WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY
TISBURY AND THE GREAT WAR
May was a month of allied offensives both at Gallipoli and the Western Front. In Gallipoli the British tried, with significant losses, to break out of the beachhead at Helles. On the Western Front, the Germans, deploying their new weapon of poison gas broke through the allied line to the north of Ypres and were only forced back by four major allied offensives, known collectively as the Second Battle of Ypres.
The naval campaign saw the resignation of the First Sea Lord, Fisher, and the First Lord, Churchill, both casualties of the failed assault on Gallipoli as well as the sinking of the two battleships in those waters.
More important was the sinking on 7 May by U-boat and without warning, of the liner, Lusitania, in which a significant number of American civilians were travelling. This one act did much to ally American sympathies with the allied cause - although it was to be some while before that nation renounced its neutrality. The last day of the month saw the first German airship raid on London.
POEM FOR MAY
Siegfried Sassoon is remembered mostly for the stance that he later took against the slaughter but here, in the Spring of 1915, he is writing in a vein similar to that of Rupert Brooke whose poems influenced him and who had died in April 1915.
The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,
There was an hour when we were loath to part
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