WORLD WAR ONE CENTENARY
TISBURY AND THE GREAT WAR
With the arrival of a US Destroyer Flotilla at Queenstown, Ireland, and the appointment of Major General Pershing in command of the US Expeditionary Force, May was the month that American involvement in the war became manifest. In Europe Field Marshal Foch became the Chief of the French General Staff. British troops were in action in the 3rd Battle of Arras while at sea the Austrian navy sank 14 drifters in the Straits of Otranto with Skipper Joseph Watt winning a VC for his attempt to engage the cruiser Heligoland. This was also the month when, at long last and after staggering monthly losses of merchant ships to U-boats, the Admiralty drew up plans to adopt a convoy system. In the sir London suffered its first night attack while a major air raid on Folkestone caused many civilian casualties.WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
On 3 May Private Francis Howell of the Wiltshire Regiment died and was buried at Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery in Belgium. He was 37 years old, the son of Frank and Ellen Howell and husband of Emily Jane of 56, Newtown, Tisbury.
One of those lost in the fighting around Arras was 34 year old Private
Edwin Carter serving in the Devonshire Regiment who died on 9 May with
his name being commemorated on the Arras War Memorial. Although a Gillingham
lad he spent most of his life in Tisbury. In four attacks at Arras in
April and May the 1st Battalion in which Carter was serving was almost
POEM FOR MAY
In tribute to Francis Howell here is Edmund Blunden's poem Vlamertinghe written a couple of months after Howell's death. Vlamertinghe was just outside the range of the German guns so the chateau served as a HQ but is it the building or the cemetery to which Blunden is referring? Although not in the forefront of the war poets, Blunden's autobiography, Undertones of War, is one of the finest accounts of that time.
Vlamertinghe: Passing the Chateau
'And all her silken flanks with garlands drest'-
Bold great daisies' golden lights,
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