July 1915


David Childs

Few attacks were launched during July as the allies prepared for an autumn offensive although the French tried to advance at altitude in the Vosges mountains but with limited success. At sea the British sank the German light cruiser Konigsberg which was sheltering up a river in East Africa while an elderly merchant navy Master won a VC for defending his ship Anglo-California against a U-boat.

Reports about a massacre of Armenians in eastern Turkey came filtering through to the West but it would be years before the full scale of this genocide was known.


By June 1915 a certain degree of war weariness and cynicism was being voiced in print - a view succinctly summed up by J C Squire.

God heard theW W Gibson was a friend of Rupert Brooke whom he tried to dissuade from enlisting. He himself served in the Royal Army Medical Corps but never in the front line. This poem then reflects his feeling of collective responsibility as was much later summed up in the popular protest song, 'The Universal Soldier.'

They ask me where I've been,
And what I've done and seen.
But what can I reply
Who know it wasn't I,
But someone just like me,
Who went across the sea
And with my head and hands,
Killed men in foreign lands...
Though I must bear the blame,
Because he bore my name.

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