Le Lusitania [paquebot britannique coulé le 7 mai 1915] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol]
Lusitania. Source: gallica.bnf.fr
On May 7th 1915, the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine. The sinking of Lusitania and the loss of nearly 1,200 civilian lives caused an international outcry. Germany argued that the ship was a legitimate military target as it was carrying ammunition and military goods and travelling through what was declared a 'war zone'. Right or wrong, read more about Lusitania, the events on May 7th, and the aftermath in Wikipedia. You can find Lusitania pictures and stories shared by archives and private contributors in the Great War Archive, First World War Poetry Digital Archive and Europeana 1914-1918 collections.


Gallipoli: first-hand account

100 years has passed since the landing at Gallipoli. While the media is showing how the event is remembered we stop to read a first-hand account from the landing, written one hundred years ago today.

The diary of 494 Sergeant Joseph Cecil Thompson of the 9th Battalion AIF contains his account of the landing and the days following it. Thompson was the band leader for the 9th Battalion, and in charge of the stretcher bearers at Gallipoli.

Image of page in diary
Page from Sgt Thompson's diary describing the landing at Gallipoli.
This item is from The Great War Archive, University of Oxford
(www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa); © Ellen Thompson 
"Sunday 25 April
We commenced our action against the Turks, by landing on Gallipoli Pen[insula]. We embarked onto a destroyer at 12 pm, and landed in boats at daylight. Our chaps soon had the Turks on the run and chased them from their trenches. Severe fighting all day, and our men severely felt the want of artillery. Turks knew this and started to counter attack at about 1pm. Shrapnel fire very destructive. Two batteries of mountain guns, worked by Indians did first class work, but were compelled to retire late in the afternoon. Our wounded began to come in in large numbers and a falling back along our whole front began. Wounds are very severe owing to the sharp pointed bullets used by the Turks. Five of the S. B. [stretcher bearers] wounded up till about six o'clock. Firing continues all night after a heavy bombardment by the [gun]ships in the afternoon.[Casua]lties very heavy."

Read Sgt Thompson's diary and explore other documents in the Great War Archive http://www.thegreatwararchive.org


International Women’s Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day, an event that is celebrated in some parts of the World and virtually unknown in others. We would like to mark the occasion by pointing to a small sample of stories in the Europeana 1914-1918 collection. The format of the ‘stories’ varies – some are long, detailed, and richly illustrated while others are brief and may consist of only one image and a line or two of text. What they have in common though is that they all tell us something about women’s life during the time of the First World War. All the material is shared by members of the public who have added them to the archive either online or at a collection event. To see these stories, and many, many more, visit the http://europeana1914-1918.eu/ website.

Maria Mohr. Lost so much.

Maria Mohr, Red Cross nurse
Maria Mohr (nee Steiner) was born in Silesia in 1888. In 1911 she married the actor and director Ludwig Mohr from Bohemia and thus became a citizen of the Habsburg monarchy. Shortly after the birth and death of their son, Ludwig Mohr was drafted to the army. He was killed in Drenovac, Serbia in October 1914. Maria worked as a Red Cross nurse in the war hospital Grinzing, Vienna from 1916. 
Between May 1918 to September 1919 she managed a girl’s home for the Army with about 50-60 girls. She got engaged to an officer in 1918, but he died and was buried in Levico.
Maria returned to Silesia in 1919, after the war. Through her work in the hospital she had contracted tuberculosis, and she spent some time in a clinic recovering. She then lived with her father, kept house for him and worked as an accountant. After the Second World War, when Silesia became Polish, Maria fled to Emsland to the family of her niece Elfriede, where she lived until her death in 1954.

To read the whole story (in German) and see all the accompanying images and documents, go to the Europeana 1914-1918 site: http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en/contributions/13965 Contributed by Erika Brieske CC BY-SA.

Women’s correspondence with secret codes

Card w cartoon
Sally McIntosh has shared a story relating to her great, great aunt:
"Whilst the men were away fighting a number of my great, great aunt’s friends, who were all young women between 18 and 25 years of age, corresponded with one another by postcard, many of which show contemporary cartoons. They sent them for birthdays and to cheer one another up as well as to discuss every day life. The messages they wrote on the postcards were very basic and said very little, but I understand they developed a code to share messages, for example about news they had from soldiers overseas, or about other matters they did not want either the postman or the censor to see".

To read the whole story, and see more cards, go to http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en/contributions/4317 Contributed by Sally McIntosh CC BY-SA.

Hulda Framers – grieving fiancée

Hulda Framers
This picture shows Hulda Framers. Around her neck is a chain on which she carries an engagement ring and an iron cross, presumably those of her fallen fiancée.
Shared by Andreas Bruehl under a CC BY-SA licence.  http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en/contributions/12730