(1915)

April 19th, 1915 - Life Continues Under Dangerous Conditions for the Citizens of Ypres

Pictured - The Cloth Hall, an impressive call-back to the city’s medieval glory days, is struck by German shells.

Like so many other towns across war-torn Europe, the city of Ypres still hosted a number of civilians, who for whatever reason refused to leave their homes.  At least a few hundred residents of the Belgian town remained their in April 1915.  Many of them were shopkeepers, or pub and cafe owners who kept up a busy trade with the British and French soldiers behind the lines guarding the town.  The weather was good, farmers were still planting crops just a few kilometers behind the fighting zone.

Still, life in Ypres entailed constant danger.  The town’s military mayor, who had taken over the civilian responsibilities of government, made the following note in his diary for the 19th.

19th: The town was bombarded from 10am to 12.30pm. Casualties amongst the inhabitants: 9 killed, 8 wounded. I made arrangements for Belgian travailleurs to be employed permanently on the road near town drinking water supply which was getting very bad.” 

Image Source:  www.thekivellfamily.co.nz

Roland Garros and his Plane Captured by Germans

Roland Garros (1888-1918), famous aviator and namesake of the French Open location.

April 18 1915, Courtrai–The famous French aviator, Roland Garros, had recently been having a string of successes, shooting down enemy planes on April 1, April 15, and another one today. These were his first kills of the war, and were attributable to a new propeller developed by the Saulnier and himself. The propeller blades were armored, designed to deflect machine gun bullets, so that a machine gun could fire through it without destroying the propeller. This gave him a massive advantage over German planes, which had no similar technology as of yet. 

Garros’ luck turned later that day, however. Ground fire from a rifleman named Schlenstedt at the Courtrai rail station cut his fuel line and forced him to land behind German lines. Garros attempted to burn the plane to destroy the top-secret technology, but failed; both he and the propeller fell into German hands. Garros claimed to have shot down five German planes with it (as opposed to the actual count of three). The propeller was sent immediately to Berlin, where German aviation engineers began attempts to copy it. 

Sources include: Randal Gray, Chronicle of the First World War (Volume I).

daydreaming-stayscheming asked:

Is it possible to get a crash course so to speak on the Armenian genocide?

Yes, my absolute pleasure. 

Basically, the Ottoman Empire during the 20th century was slowly breaking away after power for centuries. Armenians, a large ethnic minority who lived under Ottoman rule (because that land has been ours since 2000 BC), were immediate targets. You can never answer why a country could just kill 1.5 million of its citizens and deport over 2 million, but that’s what happened. The Armenians Christians, living in the centers of cities in Turkey, were grouped together like sheep and either slaughtered on spot, or forcibly marched through the Syrian Desert without food, water, or consumables. It was the first Genocide of the 20th century, occurring between 1915 to around 1923.

The major political governing party at the time was the CUP, the Committee of Union and Progress, well known today as the Young Turks. The CUP spread propaganda of Pan-Turanism, creating a region across the Asian Minor that would be only Turkic. The leaders of this group, the architects of the genocide, were Mehmet Talaat, Ismail Enver, and Ahmed Jemal. They held very high positions within the group (Prime Minister, Minister of War, and Minister of the Marine and Military governor of Syria).

The word Genocide had not been invented at the time, but it was created by Holocaust survivor Phael Lemkin, who created the word in reference to Turkey’s annihilation of the Armenian people. It is the organized killing of an entire people for the only purpose of putting an end to their collective existence. The Armenian Genocide was centrally planned and administered by the Turkish government against the entire Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire (including Greeks, Assyrians, and Jews). The Armenian people were subjected to deportation, expropriation (all their property and possessions were burnt or looted), abduction (many Armenian women were forced into the harems of wealthy Turkish sheikhs), rape, torture, massacre, and starvation. Most of the Armenian population was forcibly removed from Armenia and Anatolia to Syria, where the vast majority was sent to the desert to die of thirst and hunger. Large numbers of Armenians were methodically massacred throughout the Ottoman Empire, including mass shootings, mass drownings, and even crucifixions (yes, like how Jesus died). An eye-witness (survivor) wrote in his diary that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were colored red with the blood of all the Armenians. 

The problem is, Turkey actively continues to deny the Armenian genocide. As recent as March 19th, 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Armenians to bring evidence of the Genocide. In addition to the documented accounts by reliable news services of the age such as the New York Times and the combination of personal records, including my great grandfather’s diary, I am personally willing to present myself, as a product of the diaspora, to Erdogan as proof of the Genocide.

Also, you may have not heard, but Turkey’s Prime Minister called the Pope, YES THE POPE, “an axis of evil” following the Pope’s special mass last Sunday commemorating the Genocide, recognizing the event as a “genocide,” and calling it the first genocide of the 20th century. Also, Turkey followed its statement by pulling all of its diplomats from the Vatican city. 


The Armenian Genocide is now internationally commemorated on April 24th of each year. This year is the centennial (100th anniversary) of the Genocide, and what us Armenians want more than ever is recognition, by Turkey and the United States.

WHY DO WE WANT TURKEY TO RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE?

THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE DESERVE CLOSURE, WE DESERVE THOSE 1.5 MILLION MARTYRS TO BE RECOGNIZED. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, TO PREVENT GENOCIDE FROM HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE. 

BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN KNOW THE PHRASE, “ARMENIAN GENOCIDE”.

WHEN WE DENY THE TRUTH OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, WE SUBJECT OURSELVES TO GENOCIDE IN THE FUTURE. AT FIRST, DENIAL LEADS TO CLASSIFICATION, THEN TO DEHUMANIZATION, THEN TO POLARIZATION, UNTIL WE ARE LEFT WITH THE FINAL STAGE, EXTERMINATION.

THEREFORE, IT IS A CRIME TO HUMANITY TO DENY THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE.

8

18 April 1915 - Letter to Mother from Kingston, ON

Fred writes home about daily life at camp, the improved quarters, and inquires about home and his siblings. He also requests that his mother send him hand-knitted socks, as the “Government socks are not worth a’darn’,” and are wearing out to quickly. He pointed out that the legs had to be knit large enough to “come up over the trousers”, indicating one of the standards of the army uniform at that time.

He mentions that the University of Toronto graduates were invited to use the gym and swimming pool at Queen’s University, that he had played baseball with people from Queens, and that the ‘Toronto Varsity men’ were invited to attend the Queen’s farewell dance at the end of April. Fred told his mother, “I guess I’ll go if even tho’ I cannot dance.” Fred was obviously able to enjoy a privleged range of social activities due to his status as a U of T alumnus.

Fred mentions receiving “snaps” of home from his brother Ernest, and that his was sending home a “snap” of his fiend Art Ferguson’s daughter so his mother could see what she looked like. Photography for personal use increased dramatically in the early 1900s, around the time that Kodak introduced the Brownie Box camera, which used lighter roll film and was much more affordable. An essay and images covering WWI photography can be found in the International Encyclopedia of the First World War.

..Gelibolu’nun tepeleri arasından Conk Bayırı Anıtı’nı son bir kez görebilmeyi başardık. Aynı zamanda bir dağ yamacına beyaz harflerle yazılmış olan 18 Mart 1915 tarihini de, gemimiz rotasını İngiltere’ye doğru çevirirken son bir kez izledik..

- Okuduğum bir kitaptan alıntıdır. Yazarı, Çanakkale Savaşı’na katılmış bir İngiliz askeridir.

7

Lest We Forget


April 25 - ANZAC Day


Australian and 

New

Zealand

Army 

Corps


For those of you who don’t live in the Land Down Under, ANZAC Day is perhaps one of the most important days in the Aussie and New Zealand calander - if not, the most important day. It marks the day our troops arrived on the shores of Gallipoli in 1915. But it is so much more than that. It is the day that we honour all the brave men and women who have served in our armed forces, and continue to do so. As one, we mourn the losses of those who died, give thanks for those who returned home, show our support for those who continue to struggle with the memories day after day, and celebrate the freedom their sacrifices have given us.  

We are a country that prides itself on our ability to laugh at everything - even ourselves. We pull through disasters together, and enjoy the good times as a team. We have a strong sense of mateship which is in my biased opinion unparalleled by any other nation on this Earth. I am proud to be an Australian; and I am so very grateful to our ANZACS for giving up all they have so my country could be what it is today. True, it has it’s flaws like drop bears and politicians but it is still an amazing, incredible place to live. Thank you. 

(x)

April Fools Day: World War 1 - 1915.

On April 1, 1915, in the midst of World War I, a French aviator flew over a German camp and dropped what appeared to be a huge bomb. The German soldiers immediately scattered in all directions, but no explosion followed. After some time, the soldiers crept back and gingerly approached the bomb. They discovered it was actually a large football with a note tied to it that read, “April Fool!”