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The First World War


Deception at Amiens

Mr. Morrison describes how the Germans were deceived into weakening their defenses at Amiens. As a result of this, the Canadian army advanced seven miles on the opening day of the Battle of Amiens.

The Rhyl Riot

Mr. Scovil describes the tension in Rhyl, Wales which arose from the decision to send home first those soldiers who had served the least amount of time overseas. The ensuing riot results in the accidental shooting and death of one of Mr. Scovil's friends.

Gas Attack

Mr. Routhier describes being gassed and the troops having to hold soaked hankies to their noses because gas masks weren't yet available.

Concussion Mines And Gas Shells

Mr. McLeod describes two devastating weapons he witnessed at the Hindenburg Line and afterward. The British used concussion mines which caused their German victims to bloat and die. For their part, the Germans delivered mustard gas via artillery shells.

Grenade training was dangerous.

Mr. Page describes a training incident where a soldier accidentally drops a live grenade in their trench. Their sergeant throws it away just in time.

Sank in Two Minutes

Mr. Andrews describes being in a convoy aboard HMS Loch Maree and, for the first time, seeing a ship sink. He transfers to the minesweeper HMS John Barry, and two days later the Loch Maree is lost with all hands.

Heavy losses at the front

Mr. Gies recalls arriving at the front line and remaining static for the first month. After a German breakthrough at the Somme, his unit is sent to help repel them. In the ensuing action, four-fifths of his unit are either killed or wounded.

Basic training and the Ross rifle

Mr. Babcock retraces his training in Sydenham, Kingston and Val Cartier, and compares the Ross and Lee Infield rifles.

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