World War One

What was this fellow doing 100 years ago?

Tommy Warriner, son of George and Margaret Warriner 
of Tebay. Assistant teacher at St Pauls Public School in the Sparkhill area of Solihull.

How did he become "Second Lieutenant Thomas Andrew Latimer Warriner, 5th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. Died 10th October 1916 aged 27"?

Many young men fought and died in the War to End All War. Over the next four years we, as a nation, are spending much time and effort remembering those young men - whilst contemplating waging more war across the globe.

Is working ever harder for peace the only worthwhile tribute of remembrance we can make to those who died in WW1 and since? Here we try to illuminate the issues with local and regional stories.

On the right are brief summaries of the subjects we explore now (and in the coming months).


Conscience and the Draft

The draft has met with serious resistance from communities of faith and people of conscience throughout its history.  While tolerated by the population at large during times of crisis, virtually all religions teach that killing is wrong. There were also those who refused to fight in a war that they considered was a further manifestation of the class struggle.

Friends Ambulance Unit

The Friends' Ambulance Unit (FAU) was a volunteer ambulance service, founded by individual members of the British Religious Society of Friends(Quakers), in line with their Peace Testimony. The FAU operated from 1914–1919, 1939–1946 and 1946–1959 in 25 different countries around the world. It was independent of the Quakers' organisation and chiefly staffed by registered conscientious objectors.

Black Humour

In the depths of the horrors some soldiers developed not only a black sense of humour but expressed that humour in a self-published "magazine" - the Wipers Times.

Coming soon:

Causes of The Great War

The beginnings of the Great War are not to be found in the simple story of an assassination, nor of the defence of "Plucky Belgium". The roots of the conflict are complex and go back many years. They involve long standing enmities between nations, new and old. Even before the end of the first world war there were moves to understand what caused the war and how such war might be averted in the future. 

Development of the War

How did the war progress, how (and why) did it end?

The first Battle of the Marne (September 5th-12th 1914) was a hard battle for Germany, and revealed the Schlieffen Plan to be little more than a failure. Thus tactics changed with Germany in a “Race to the Sea”, with the goal of capturing important ports and encircling any Allied troops in the north. The Allies were following a similiar plan. These plans mostly did not succeed, turning the war from one of movement into one of position.

Where were the principal theatres of war? (Land, sea and, increasingly, air)

What Was Achieved

What were the objectives of the war (from the viewpoint of different countries), were those objectives met - and if so, did the ends justify the means?