Category Archives: Life Stories

My Research – Spanish Flu: The Unseen Enemy

In the final year of the First World War, an unseen deadly killer was sweeping around the globe. The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-19 was one of the most deadly pandemics in human history. In a little over a year, it … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories, My Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Charles Sidney Woplin: Family, War and Imperial War Museums

In this guest blog post, Imperial War Museum (IWM) Intern Charlie Knight shares stories from his family history, with a special connection to the museum itself. Charlie’s ancestors the Woplin family were affected by both world wars and his great-great … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories, My Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gassed: creativity out of destruction

John Singer Sargent’s painting Gassed is amongst the most well known in the Imperial War Museums’ art collection. Measuring over 2 x 6 metres (7 ft x 20 ft), this vast artwork depicts the horrific effects of mustard gas on the body, which often caused … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Stunt – escape in the First World War

A German prisoner of war camp. A tunnel. A plan for a mass breakout. If you think this is a familiar story you’d be right – but this isn’t the ‘Great Escape’. This was the Big Stunt, when 10 Allied … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories, My Research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Second Ostend Raid

On 9-10 May 1918 the Royal Navy attacked the German held port of Ostend for the second time in less than a month. In his previous blog post, Lives of the First World War Volunteer Trevor Torkington explained why the first attack on Ostend … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories, My Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Behind Every Photograph Lies a Story: The Rogue and the Mystery Man

In this guest blog post, Paul Bourton of the Unknown Soldier Military Archive & Soldier Research Service shares the latest instalment of his series revealing the stories behind a pre-war photograph of thirteen men of 119 Battery Royal Field Artillery. He … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories, My Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twisting the Dragon’s Tail: The St George’s Day Raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend

On 23 April 1918 British forces attacked Zeebrugge and Ostend, the two German-held ports which provided them with crucial access to the sea from the inland docks at Bruges. Once through the Channel and out into the Atlantic German vessels could prove deadly … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories, My Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Our Gallant and Worthy Foe” – laying the Red Baron to rest

Our previous blog post looked at the career of the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, and the stories of some of those who he shot down. The day after his death on 21 April 1918, he was buried with full military honours. In … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories, My Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The last flight of the Red Baron

On 21st April 1918, Baron Manfred von Richhofen – known as the Red Baron due to the garish colour of his aircraft – was shot down and killed. He is credited with 80 ‘kills’ (shooting down 80 planes) during the First World War – … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories, My Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

100 years since the beginning of the German Spring Offensives

The German Spring Offensives, which began on 21 March 1918, represented a calculated gamble for Germany in trying to tip the balance on the Western Front once and for all. British and Allied troops were met with a huge concentration of German … Continue reading

Posted in Life Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment