Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Indian Forces Memorial, Ieper, Belgium

In WW1, the British Indian Army sent seven Indian Expeditionary Forces – over one million troops – to serve with the British Army and the Allies, in Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean, North Africa, East Africa and Europe. Of these, 138,000 served and about 9,000 died on the Western Front. They died not only from battle injuries but from exposure to severe winter weather.

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Hugh McDonald McKenzie, VC DCM, Menin Gate, Ypres

Every soldier tells a story.

Hugh McDonald McKenzie was born to Jane and James McDonald McKenzie in Liverpool, England on 5 December 1885. He moved with his family to Inverness, Scotland (which he listed as his birthplace on his attestation papers) and immigrated to Montreal, Quebec in 1911, where he worked as a teamster. Marjory McGuigan followed him to Canada and they were married in 1912.

He attested in August 1914 with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and sailed for Europe in December. Over time he rose in rank from private to second lieutenant.

In March 1916, McKenzie was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal (as well as the Croix de Guerre) for conspicuous gallantry: Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Menin Gate replica, Ieper (Ypres), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing names 54,389 Commonwealth soldiers (Australian, British, Canadian, Indian and South African) who were killed in the Ypres Salient before 16 August 1917 and who have no known grave.

In 2010, a scale model in the Menin Gate Memorial was unveiled on the ramparts near the monument, a gift of the Kiwanis Ieper Vlakke Land. Visitors (especially those with sight impairments) can touch the bronze replica to feel the overall design of the monument. You can see one of the braille plaques that gives more information. Continue reading


Monday Monuments and Memorials – Menin Gate, Ieper (Ypres), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is one of four memorials to Commonwealth soldiers killed on the battlefield in the Ypres Salient and who have no known grave. The memorial names 54,389 officers and men from Australian, British, Canadian, Indian and South African Forces who fell in the Salient before 16 August 1917. (New Zealand and Newfoundland are memorialized elsewhere.) Continue reading