WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY
TISBURY AND THE GREAT WAR
February 1915 was a quiet month for British troops on the Western Front although the French launched a fresh assault against the German lines in Champagne in which, after a month of fighting they broke off having sustained over 240,000 casualties. Similar casualties were suffered by the Russians in their massive defeat in the Masurian Lakes region of East Prussia. Elsewhere the British repelled an attack by the Turks against the Suez Canal, which was a vital link between Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India.
At the beginning of the month Germany declared a submarine blockade of the British Isles, meaning that they intended to sink ships without warning. Then, on 19 February the British fleet began bombarding the Turkish forts in the Dardanelles prior to their attempt to force a passage through in March.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
Private(Driver) Edward Frederick Taylor, Army Service Corps, aged 18, died on 28 February 1915.
Cecil Claude Taylor, Boy Telegraphist, Royal Navy, Service NumberJ/86916, HMS Renown, born 18 November 1901, died of disease on 22 September 1919, aged 17.
POEMS FOR FEBRUARY
It is simple to separate First World War poetry written from emotional experience from that penned by onlookers. This was obviously the point that W B Yeats was making in February 1915, although he was later to write one of the great war poems 'An Irish Airman Foresees his Death', dealing with the ambiguities of Irishmen serving in British uniforms. That same February Edward Thomas, who did not join up until July, was experiencing the unease of still being a civilian.
On Being Asked for a War Poem
I think it better that in times like these
Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved,
Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,
Shaken out long and clear upon the hill
And salted was my food, and my repose,
|© Tisbury History Society|