World War 1 Memorabilia Pack (1910s)
A lovingly prepared catalogue of reproduction memorabilia from the 1910s – to aid memories or just help understand the period better. This pack contains: Diary of the War, Patriotic Pledge card, “Enlist” poster, collection of postcards and images, medical report, War Illustrated magazine, Zeppelin booklet and Air Raid instructions.
The Great War, known variously as the First World War, World War I, WWI and WW1 was arguably the first modern industrialised conflict and certainly one of the largest ever wars. Originating in Europe, it was global in scale and lasted over four years (28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918) and over 70 million people fought. Over 16 million died as a result, largely because of the technological and industrial development of the parties involved, and the stalemate caused by gruelling trench warfare. It paved the way for major political changes, including several national revolutions.
A pledge card issued during the War pledging that the signatory, to be of the greatest service to the country in it’s time of national peril, will abstain from all intoxicants until the end of the War (and encourage all others to do the same).
Lord Horatio Kitchener was the Secretary of State for War in 1914, at the outbreak of World War 1. On his recommendation a volunteer (initially) army was created with the intention that it could be put into action by 1917, though its use was required long before that, in 1915. This New Army was also referred to as Kitchener’s Army or Kitchener’s Mob (pejoratively). An iconic advert and recruitment poster from 1914 (by Alfred Leete) became one of the most enduring reminders of the period – in it, a drawing of Lord Kitchener wearing a British Field Marshal’s cap appears above the words “WANTS YOU”.
So successful was the design that ‘zeppelin’ came to refer to any rigid airship, but it was just one of many. Named after Ferdinand von Zeppelin, a German Count (a pioneer in the field in the early 20th Century) it was first flown commercially in 1910 (by Deutsche Luftschiffahrts) and by 1914 had carried over 10,000 passengers on over 1,500 flights. The First World War saw the crafts’ use as bombers – killing over 500 people on raids on the UK.
The First World War brought with it the first attack on Britain from the skies above. Defence historically related to the coastline (not airspace), and with the Royal Flying Corps operating mainly overseas, Britain had few aircraft and was not well prepared to counter an aerial threat. The first attacks were from Zeppelins, which undertook surprise attacks in 1915 and 1916. Counteractive measures were brought in – the dimming of street lights, better utilisation of guns, searchlights and observers, the recall of air squadrons and the development of incendiary ammunition. By 1917, Gotha bomber attacks had commenced. This required the development of new aerial combat tactics, wireless communications, sophisticated observation practises, increased reporting on the enemy, anti-aircraft fire and barrage balloons. These all helped the efficacy of British fighter planes and reduced the accuracy of attacks and the aerial threat to Britain reduced during 1918.