Stories of the Great War

July 1, 2016, marked one-hundred years since the beginning of the devastating Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest of World War I. Dragging on for four months, it incurred more than a million casualties on both sides. By the time it finally ended – November of 1916 – the Allies had advanced less than 10 miles.  A new book, “The Great War,” by political cartoonist Joe Sacco, re-creates the first day of the Somme in a 24-foot long panorama. The images are rendered in relentless detail, starting with the beginning of the day, moving into the heartbreaking battle itself, and then the aftermath.This article has a number of links which are set out here:

World War I oral histories – these recordings were done in the 1970s or 1980s and don't have the best sound quality.

Joe Sacco, author/cartoonist of “The Great War” – Video of Joe Sacco showing his book.

Poetry of World War I

Read the full article here.

World War I History in animation

More than three years after the first glimmer of inspiration, Missoula animator Andy Smetanka has boiled down the most concise elevator pitch possible for his film, "And We Were Young."  "It is a Super 8, stop-motion, silhouette-animation oral history of Americans in World War I," he said.  For full story click here.

Anzac Memories – Alistair Thomson

Sometimes you can't write the history that needs to be told. In 1986, the draft first edition of my book Anzac Memories reported that my grandfather, Hector Thomson, contracted malarial encephalitis while serving with the Light Horse in Palestine during the Great War, and that after the war he was ''in and out of mental hospital''.  Read Alistair's article here
Listen to an interview with Alistair on ABC's "Hindsight" here. There are excerpts from Alistair's interviews with the World War I veterans he interviewed for his book.  Now the book has been rewritten using material from the Department of Veterans' Affairs which sheds light on his interviewees' medical conditions.