Tag Archives: British Expeditionary Force

Brexit: a modest theory

The Times digest of events in the Great War and Mike Schuster’s Great War Project continue to come down the wires once a week, together with scores of daily Tweets from the Imperial War Museum, from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from … Continue reading

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Dulc(e) et decor(um) est…

I have always been uncomfortable with what I take to be the popular interpretation of Wilfred Owen’s poem Dulce et Decorum est. My first experience of it was in about 1962 from the lips of our young English teacher, a … Continue reading

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‘Literally for this…’

  This is the most original, enjoyable, moving and impressive book about the First World War that I have read since the centenary began. It is not a ‘history’ book like Max Hastings’s Catastrophe, say, Peter Hart’s Gallipoli, or David Reynolds’s The Long … Continue reading

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‘…but Mr Jones does look a nice dog’

After enduring a long bout of illness and the first anniversary of George’s disappearance at Gallipoli, in the summer of 1916 Kittie decided she must channel her energies into a number of useful and therapeutic activities. One of these was … Continue reading

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‘He became his admirers…’

W.H. Auden’s ‘In Memory of W.B. Yeats’ describes Yeats’s death in January 1939, culminating in: ‘The current of his feeling failed: he became his admirers.’ I often think the word should be ‘readers’ rather than ‘admirers’, for as Auden himself … Continue reading

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‘The Long Shadow’, War Poetry, and Commemoration

  Faithful followers of this blog will recall my account on 16 December 2015 of Professor David Reynolds’s public lecture ‘Making Peace with the Great War: Centenary Reflections’. I have now read the book behind the lecture (see above) and … Continue reading

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The Somme: over to you

It won’t, I think, surprise followers to hear that I know next to nothing about the Battle of the Somme compared with Ypres 1 and Gallipoli, which George Calderon fought at and which we covered from day to day in … Continue reading

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The Somme: a memory

In July 1970, whilst waiting to hear whether I had been awarded a grant to do a Ph.D. on Chekhov, I worked for six weeks in the male wing of a ‘mental hospital’ near my home. I place the words … Continue reading

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The Somme: Ends and Beginnings

When did the Edwardian Age begin and end? Obviously, in the literal sense it spanned Edward VII’s reign, 1901-10. Cultural historians, however, have long extended it beyond those dates, because the nexus of attitudes and values that we call ‘Edwardianism’ began to … Continue reading

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Watch this Space

6/4/16. I have now revised 96% of my book George Calderon: Edwardian Genius. The last chapter, covering Kittie’s life 1923-1950, feels too close still (I finished the second draft only two months ago) to tackle, so I am limiting myself to … Continue reading

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Watch this Space

Calderonia is an experiment in biography through a blog. It tells the story of George and Kittie Calderon’s lives from 30 July 1914 to 30 July 1915 from day to day as it happened, but exactly 100 years afterwards. It therefore … Continue reading

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The War

Im Westen nichts Neues is the title of Erich Maria Remarque’s famous novel, usually rendered in English as All Quiet on the Western Front. Its literal translation, however, is In the West Nothing New. The deadly sniping, sapping, night raids, shelling … Continue reading

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15 April 1915

April 15. 1915 [France] Dear Mrs Astley — it is with the greatest grief that I write to you to tell you of your son’s death which took place at 8 a.m. this morning. It was very foggy, and your … Continue reading

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Two separate biographies

As I have explained on several occasions, apart from his machine gun course on Hayling Island we know nothing specific about George’s training as a lieutenant with the 9th Battalion Ox and Bucks at Fort Brockhurst from the middle of … Continue reading

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The Battle of Neuve Chapelle

All this week, 10-13 March 1915, a new battle was raging in France’s Artois region. The western front had been static since Christmas (see my post of 27 January). This was the first deliberate British offensive, and it was very … Continue reading

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The military situation (1)

In the course of the First Battle of Ypres (19 October – 22 November 1914), the French, Belgian and British armies had fought Falkenhayn’s army to a standstill; but at a terrible cost. Beckett (2013) estimates German losses at a … Continue reading

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