The First World War - barbed wire, mustard gas, thousands of fresh-faced young men dying in muddy fields - and some of the most shameless propaganda ever produced. "The War Illustrated" is an entertainingly biased contemporary magazine that ran from August 1914; I'll be following their publication schedule every Wednesday from August 2007 with weekly updates (providing I manage to keep up) to show the progress of the war and the magazine's changing attitudes as the conflict dragged on.

Note - to see larger versions of the pages, just click on the images.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Week 2 - The Empire Mobilises - First British troops land in France

"Have you seen any Germans pass this way?"

The Rally of the Empire

How the Overseas Dominions are standing by the Motherland: A Stirring Chapter in the History of the Great War

Expressly written for "The War Illustrated" By Sir Gilbert Parker, MP

"The heart of Europe is laid bare, and we can see its fierce pulsations and know whereof it is made; but also the hearts of the Overseas Dominions have been laid bare, and we know, without peradventure, that they throb in unison and in purpose with Great Britain and also Ireland, thank God!"

Antwerp - Belgium's Last and Mightiest Stronghold

Red War Among the Golden Cornfields

[Belgians with straw in their hats - the art of camouflage was still in its infancy...]

Belgian Rear-guard Covering Retirement

How Brussels Prepared to Succour the Wounded

Belgians' Pitiable Flight before the Invaders

The Wake of Ruin Behind the German Advance

The Terror let loose on the Fair Land of Belgium

"A month ago Belgium was a land of lovely, dreamlike towns, smiling fields of harvest, and busy, industrial centres. Now many of her bravest sons lie in huddled heaps amid the ungathered corn, amid the burnt ruins of villages, with their faithful horses stretched in death beside them. And this horrible thing has happened because the Belgians put their national honour above bribery, because they stood out against the mendacious, ferocious savages of Prussia, for the sanctity of treaties on which civilisation depends.
If anything more were needed to nerve the young men of the Empire to fight to the death against Germanic barbarism and tyranny, the sight of these dead heroes should alone suffice."

With the British Army in France

"The illustrations in this and the four following pages touch one of the most remarkable events in the whole range of British history - the landing of the British Expeditionary Army on the shores of France to join its forces with those of our cross-Channel allies in the supreme effort to rid Europe for ever of the evil root of armed insolence."

[Long sentences were obviously the order of the day in 1914!]

The British Army on the way to the War - How the Expeditionary Force landed in France

An Historic Moment - General French Lands at Boulogne

Some Camera Pictures of British Soldiers on French Soil

[The art of sub-editing and headline composition also had a long way to go]

United Ireland - A New Source of Strength to the Empire

Some Unusual Glimpses in the London Area

"Men who checkmate the lurking Teuton in our midst"

Some Homely Scenes in War-time England

Tsar's Master-stroke - Poland a Nation Again!

"The effect of the proclamation has been electrical."

Victories of the Great French Air Fleet

"Nothing - absolutely nothing - escapes the trained eyes of the observing officers."

Where the First Flame of War Was Lighted

Germany's Evil Genius and Some of the Kaiser's Men

Our Allies of the Far East Intervene

How The War Wages: The story of the great conflict told week by week

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