Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Month: May 2019 (Page 1 of 2)

KU relocates its “Victory Eagle”

Since 1982 Douglas County’s “Victory Eagle” has stood outside the main entrance to Dyche Hall on the KU Campus in Lawrence. Recently it was moved to a new location on Memorial Drive. You can read all about the “Victory Eagles” in Blair’s September 30th, 2016 post here, and you can read about the relocation and dedication here. more

Tony Wilding, the First Tennis Superstar

Wilding in an RNAS armored car towing a 47 mm gun

Capt. Anthony F.  “Tony” Wilding (1883-1915) was a New Zealander who was the greatest tennis player of his generation – over a hundred years later he still holds a number of singles records including the most titles won in one season (23 in 1906). He was a 1905 Cambridge graduate and motivated by a strong sense of duty (with the assistance of the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill), in October, 1914 he was commissioned as a Royal Marine artillery officer. He was briefly seconded to the newly-formed Intelligence Corps, then he joined the Duke of Westminster’s Royal Naval Air Service Armored Car Detachment. On May 9th, 1915, while assisting artillery, he was killed by accurate German counter battery fire at Aubers Ridge in Artois, France. more

Camouflage Comes of Age in WW1

French Infantryman 1914

In 1914 the European armies went to war in what amounted to parade uniforms. In some cases, it was felt that brightly colored uniforms would help soldiers to recognize their comrades when in battle. After heavy casualties the armies hurried to introduce field uniforms that gave the soldiers some protection from becoming targets. more

Update on the National WW1 Memorial Project

The National Football League (NFL) has donated $1 million to the U.S. WW1 Centennial Committee towards the cost of the proposed WW1 memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC.  With this gift, the NFL honors the memory of its founders, many of whom were WW1 veterans. You can read more here. Other lead contributors to the memorial project include The Pritzker Military Museum and Library, The Starr Foundation, General Motors, Walmart, the major defense contractors Huntington Ingalls and United Technologies, Federal Express, several other foundations and the Pershing family. more

The Madison Square Victory Arch

Madison Square is a park located at Fifth Ave. and 23RD St. in mid-town Manhattan. From 1879 until 1925 the arena still known as Madison Square Garden was located there. And in the last months of 1918 it was decided to build a victory arch there, too, an American Arc de Triomphe. However, there was insufficient time to build a permanent structure before the New York boys came home in 1919, so the arch was constructed of wood and plaster instead. You can read the whole story here. more

The USS Recruit

In the summer of 1917 the Navy constructed a mock-up of a modern battleship in the middle of Union Square Park (Broadway between E. 14th and E. 17th Streets), which sits at the point in Manhattan where downtown ends and midtown begins. Made entirely of wooden materials, this “landship” wasn’t a replica or a model, as it was about 1/3rd the length of a modern battleship and half the width. Built only from the waterline up, the structure did have a complete topside, with several turrets and batteries of replica guns, the bridge, a wireless station, officer’s quarters and two cage masts for look outs and gunnery observation. Finished in September, the structure was named the ‘USS Recruit’, and was manned by a ‘crew’ of 40 officers and trainees on rotation from the Newport, RI Naval Station. more

American Armored Cars

1914 Belgian Minerva Armored Car in Tsarist Livery

Armored cars were tried in the early years of WW1 but were unable to navigate the rough, battle-scarred terrain of the Western Front; in particular they couldn’t cross trenches or break through obstacles.

The American experience with armored cars began on March 18th, 1916, when the 1st Armored Motor Battery, commanded by Captain Harry C. Montgomery, was activated in the New York National Guard. The original 93 volunteers were assembled in the 22nd Engineer Regiment Armory at Fort Washington Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. more

Turner Classic Movies for May

At the risk of offending those who absolutely love Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia and watch them every chance these classics are scheduled–well, not this month, at least not on TCM. We do have some WWI-themed movies on TCM in May, and as usual, all times listed here are Central. more

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