First World War Stories
March 31, 2003 1:14 PM   Subscribe

World War 1 Memoirs and Diaries, by soldiers, nurses and chaplains. 'With the advent of the world wide web, an opportunity arose for the descendants of many survivors to publish fragments of diary entries for the education and interest of others. '
The diary of Edwin Jones, who fought in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Via the website, which also features poetry and prose (including an overview of British World War 1 satire and how it reflected the class system at the time); propaganda posters; and miscellaneous features on everything from the Christmas truce to the disputed sexuality of T.E. Lawrence.
Related :- an interview with one of the last British WW1 survivors, aged 107 ('I survived the trenches - and would never go back'), and the BBC's 80th anniversary site, which includes five poignant, sometimes tragic, letters from soldiers to family and friends.
posted by plep (8 comments total)
“A great lesson from Kafka’s diary. He wrote it during the First World War, which he never mentions. Not a single line refers to it.” —Jean Cocteau, in his diary, 20 August 1953.

Found in the fascinating book, The Assassin’s Cloak: An Anthology of the World’s Greatest Diarists. Pick a day and there will be a half dozen or so diary entries covering a span of more than four hundred years, from Samuel Pepys to Brian Eno, heavy on the British, but with a healthy dose of American and French diarists as well. This is a dip-and-learn book. Excellent, excellent.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:14 PM on March 31, 2003

What a great set of links.

World War I destroyed the old world order in Europe and changed the way we fought wars. I remember one person referring to the famous Christmas Truce of 1917 as "the last time men were decent."

It is amazing how different the concepts of "honor" and "decency" are now, a mere 90 years later.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:38 PM on March 31, 2003

Thank you for the links, plep. The letters on the BBC site were especially moving.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:47 PM on March 31, 2003

Superb, thank you.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 4:09 PM on March 31, 2003

plep, you really are outdoing yourself lately. Awesome.
posted by jokeefe at 6:03 PM on March 31, 2003

Plep-tacularly pleporific!
posted by hama7 at 8:33 PM on March 31, 2003

ok, when I lose all my client contracts because I am reading your wonderful links instead of meeting deadlines, when I am pushing all my worldly goods around in a shopping cart, the word on the street will be "she is a victim of plep's prolific plethora of premier posts."
posted by madamjujujive at 10:28 PM on March 31, 2003

Thanks for the links. And jokeefe, it's great to see your weblog back.

While I was rooting around for this, I happened across the site of the Anglo-Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein. It's an interesting site, though probably not enough by itself for an FPP. Some of the participants (such as Kitchener, and Winston Churchill, a reporter at the time) also participated in WW1.
This war recorded the first use of concentration camps and there are images on the site.
posted by plep at 11:12 PM on March 31, 2003

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