Tag - WWI

Women in the Military

International Women’s Day and the Military

International Women’s Day started in 1910 when Clara Zetkin (a famous German advocate for Women’s rights) suggested the day become an international day of celebration. America already celebrated a National Women’s Day in 1908 after 15,000 women marched through New York City in demanding the right to vote and better pay and this sowed the seeds for what later became International Women’s day. Every year on the 8th of March women celebrate how far women have come in society, politics and economics. In countries like Russia, the day is a national holiday, where the sales of flowers double. Women currently make up about 10% of British Army personnel. They are, for the first time ever, working alongside their male counterparts in such roles as engineers, mechanics, lawyers and educators. Today, International Women’s Day, celebrates the achievements of women all over the world. The British Army now seeks to promote equality throughout all ranks and trades. Although women have served alongside men on [...]

Royal Tank Regiment

The Royal Tank Regiment

The Royal Tank Regiment or RTR is the oldest tank regiment in the world. The RTR was formed as early as 1916 during the Great War by the British Army. Originally formed from the Machine Gun Corps, the pioneers of armoured warfare became the Tank Corps, who formed 8 battalions by the start of 1919. During the Second World War, the RTR, had 25 battalions fighting all over the world. Currently the regiment is based at Tidworth and is equipped with Challenger 2 tanks. Their official uniform is unique to the rest of the Royal Armoured Corps; instead of the standard-issue blue beret, the RTR wear a black one. Their uniform of black coveralls is also reserved especially for the Regiment. Soldiers in the RTR also wear a cap badge which shows an image of an early Royal Tank Regiment tank. Their motto is ‘Fear Naught’. During the First World War, walking sticks were often used by officers to probe the ground [...]

Veterans March Past the Cenotaph London During Remembrance Sunday Service

Remembrance Day 2016

Soldier Wearing Poppy and Afghanistan Medal Britain will fall silent for two minutes to remember the end of the First World War on Friday the 11th of November. This tradition of holding a silence was started by King George V to ensure that the ‘thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.’ This day is called Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or sometimes more informally Poppy Day. From 2014 to 2018 this day has an added significance from the fact that this period marks the centenary of the First World War. From 1919 until 1945, Armistice Day was always on the 11th of November. In 1946 it was moved to Remembrance Sunday. Since the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1995 it became usual to have ceremonies on both days. In 2006 Veterans Day was also created to help celebrate the achievements of the veterans. Today this is named Armed Forces Day and held annually. This year [...]

Working Women During 1940

Women’s Royal Naval Service

Enlisting Poster WRENS The Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) was the first branch in the Armed Forces and Royal Navy made up solely of women and is officially known as the Wrens. The Wrens was first formed during the First World War in 1917 and standard jobs included cook, clerk, weapons analyst and range assessor. By the end of the First World War the Wrens had 5,500 members, of which 500 were officers. 2,000 of its members were transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Wrens were disbanded in 1919 after the end of the First World War. Director Dame Katharine Furse joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) in 1909. During the First World War she was chosen to be the head of the first VAD to be sent to France. In 1917 Katharine became the Director of the then, newly formed, Women’s Royal Naval Service. Katharine was awarded three service medals and became a Dame. The Wrens were then revived [...]

Women-of-the-Auxiliary-Territorial-Service-unload-rifles

Women in the Military

Women serving in the military has always been a controversial topic. As increasing numbers of countries begin to expand the role of women in their militaries, the debate continues. In order to be on the front line, women have been known to cross dress. The Royal Navy were the first to employ women in 1969 allowing a few to be nurses and laundresses on hospital ships. This was a controversial move and by the 19th century both roles had been eliminated. The Queen Alexandra’s Royal Nursing Service began in 1902 and is still in operation today. During World War II Britain established a uniformed service for women. This combined with the small units of nurses which had been in operation for a while meant that about 600,000 women served in the military. Most were working in units close to London where there was no risk of being captured by the enemy. The first woman was killed in the military in April [...]

Tower of London

Remembrance Sunday 2015

This year Remembrance Sunday takes place on November 8th. Remembrance Day honours heroic efforts and sacrifices that were made in past wars. This day is also referred to as Poppy Day or Armistice Day. It usually occurs on the second Sunday in November, but many people also observe a moment of silence at 11am on November 11th, which is the time and date when hostilities formally ended after more than four years of battle during World War I. Why the poppy? Poppies are worn as a symbol of respect and tribute on Remembrance Sunday. Scarlet corn poppies naturally grow in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century brought destruction and transformed the bare land into fields of blood-red poppies, growing amongst the bodies of fallen soldiers. In 1914, World War One stormed through Europe and ripped open the fields of Northern France and Flanders. The poppy was one of the only plants to grow [...]

Soldiers being awarded the Military Medal

The Military Medal Ribbon

The Military Medal (MM), created by King George V in March 1916, was a way to acknowledge the acts of bravery in war which were not considered worthy enough to receive a Distinguished Conduct Medal.  Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men on the recommendation of a Commander in Chief in the field were awarded this medal. During WWI, 108 members of the Royal Newfound Regiment received the Military Medal. A silver bar was also given out to eight of these recipients which signified subsequent acts of bravery. The Military Medal is shown below feturing a picture of the sovereign. In the First World War this medal depicted a bare-headed King George V in a Field Marshall’s uniform. The reverse of the medal reads “For Bravery in the Field”, circled by a laurel wreath with the Royal Cypher and Imperial Crown on top. The medal is displayed on a dark blue ribbon with red and white stripes. It is this medal ribbon [...]