homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Remembering 1917

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.    
Source: (consider it) Thread: Remembering 1917
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
As we haven't had the traditional SofF Poppy thread this year, and needless to say next year will be the biggie with the Centenary of Amistice Day, I was pondering a year which was undoubtly the darkest of the Great War as far as this Country, for one, was concerned.

It might be fair to say that this was the year in which British hopes of 'Business as Usual' and continuing as the a dominant World Power sank in the Flanders mud.
Being the unforeseen gargantium industrial war of attrition this conflict had become by November 1917, had all it's participants already lost at this point?

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3091 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
There is a very moving story in The Guardian today about the forgotten colonial soldiers of WW1.

Remembrance has become a liturgy devoid of any meaning. Once the participants have gone from living memory, nobody quite knows what it is that they're supposed to be remembering - and the things that maybe we should be remembering such as the use and misuse of Empire, the implicit racism, the absurdity of the militarisation of society, the risks of rabid neo-fascism - those things are largely unspoken of.

I was particularly moved by this part of that piece:

quote:
We can no longer discount the “terrible probability” James Baldwin once described: that the winners of history, “struggling to hold on to what they have stolen from their captives, and unable to look into their mirror, will precipitate a chaos throughout the world which, if it does not bring life on this planet to an end, will bring about a racial war such as the world has never seen”. Sane thinking would require, at the very least, an examination of the history – and stubborn persistence – of racist imperialism: a reckoning that Germany alone among western powers has attempted.


--------------------
arse

Posts: 10198 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I thought perhaps this thread was meant to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

BBC Radio 3 has been providing some interesting musical insights into that period of Russian history.

IJ

--------------------
The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

Posts: 9166 | From: Passing The Glums At The Bus Stop | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

 - Posted      Profile for Karl: Liberal Backslider   Author's homepage   Email Karl: Liberal Backslider   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
One thing I've noticed, and I noticed it in the build up to 2014 and the centenary of the outbreak of WWI, has been the attempted rehabilitation of it. When I were a lad, the dominant view of WWI that I picked up was pretty much the Black Adder Goes Forth version - a pointless slaughter between entities of whom none had any moral superiority over any others, started almost by accident as a result of unthinking triggering of treaties following the assassination of the Archduke. Maybe that was mistaken, but the rehabilitation of the idea that it was a fight by civilised Britain and its allies against the wicked Hun was not something I grew up with. WWII, against the clear and obvious evil of Hitler, yes, we got that, but for WWI, it was very much as St Bob put it "The reason for fighting, I never did get". Even at my minor public school with its conservative outlook and comfort with the military (well, it had a CCF...), it was Wilfrid Owen we studied with approval; of Newbolt ("Play up, play up and play the game") and even McCrae ("Take up our quarrel with the foe") we were more critical, as I recall.

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17610 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I thought perhaps this thread was meant to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

BBC Radio 3 has been providing some interesting musical insights into that period of Russian history.

It could be about that as well. 1917 was a hugely pivotal year in so many ways. There was an interesting lunchtime debate on R2 a few days ago about the birth of Communist Russia.
The incredible sacrifices of 1914-1918 achieved so very little in terms of territorial conquest, yet, almost by default, a great deal in terms of social upheaval.

KLBS, I also grew up with the feeling that WW1 had, in a way, been airbrushed from history. The fact that 1917 was so shameful and so dark could be part of the reason for that.
There have though been several illuminating TV programmes on the subject since 2014. However, even in light of this information I, like many, still have great difficulty in seeing the true sense of it all.

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3091 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
When I were a lad, the dominant view of WWI that I picked up was pretty much the Black Adder Goes Forth version - a pointless slaughter between entities of whom none had any moral superiority over any others, started almost by accident as a result of unthinking triggering of treaties following the assassination of the Archduke. Maybe that was mistaken, but the rehabilitation of the idea that it was a fight by civilised Britain and its allies against the wicked Hun was not something I grew up with.

Despite disagreements of the exact causes and contributors, the former is a hell of a lot close than the latter.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16934 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

 - Posted      Profile for Gee D     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
It might be fair to say that this was the year in which British hopes of 'Business as Usual' and continuing as the a dominant World Power sank in the Flanders mud.
Being the unforeseen gargantium industrial war of attrition this conflict had become by November 1917, had all it's participants already lost at this point?

By 1914, the US was well and truly the dominant world power, but had not realised it. Even after 1918 that had not really sunk in either.

--------------------
Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6714 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Conscription crisis in 1917 in Canada created some deep divisions between French and English. Maybe Quebec was right, we would have been better leaving Europe to themselves, which maybe would have helped the Central Powers win, but who is to say that wouldn't have been better than what happened. And here we are a century later with UK eclipsing itself in Europe and Germany dominant, which perhaps is the inevitable outcome.
Posts: 11065 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Sober Preacher's Kid

Presbymethegationalist
# 12699

 - Posted      Profile for Sober Preacher's Kid   Email Sober Preacher's Kid   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
1917 was the worst year in Canadian Confederation. It was the 50th Anniverary of Confederation, it should have been a joyous occasion; instead it was a tragedy.

Halifax suffered its devastating Explosion. And the Conscription Crisis ripped the political fabric of the country wide open. The Quebec City Riots were effectively an open revolt for a week.

And the Francoeur Motion let loose the the Seperation Genie from the bottle.

--------------------
NDP Federal Convention, Edmonton 2016: More Trots than the Calgary Stampede!

Posts: 7638 | From: Peterborough, Upper Canada | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I don't know where this can go nationally, multi-culturally, in to all the ethne, how it can be all embracing to and embraced by all our folk groups. Especially Muslim ones. We do do it SO well, it's a 100 years and all that, a centenary, but the annual event? Particularly when so much gratitude is expressed, only today by a Royal Artillery vet on BBC24; he's grateful that he can be grateful.

I'm not. I'm not grateful for the industrial slaughter set in motion by the death of a prince, a jack of clubs pulled out from the bottom of an alliance of cards.

I just read the excellent Ladysmith by Giles Foden. Britain inefficiently throwing its weight around around 1900 against marginally worse settlers of Dutch descent both in somebody else's backyard. NOTHING to be grateful for there. Nothing at all.

That seems a model for WWI. And 2 for that matter.

And just reading Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan by Frank Ledwidge. NOTHING to be grateful for there either. Especially my erstwhile support.

We learned NOTHING. In all of our centuries of learning we applied NOTHING in those theatres. Even the Americans did better.

Should have gone to the awesome Lutyens memorial today with my red and white poppies regardless.

Remembrance, respect but gratitude?

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16889 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Remembrance Day in Canada today. We stopped attending services when it became too much "support the troops", which I don't, and sharply reduced the original purpose of the day. War and soldiering being tremendous shames. But War is really good for business so we'll not stop any time soon.
Posts: 11065 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

 - Posted      Profile for Curiosity killed ...   Email Curiosity killed ...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
World War 1 included fighting in Mesopotamia* to preserve the Royal Navy's access to oil fields, TE Lawrence was in action, supporting the local population against the Ottoman Empire, campaigning for a self-determining Syria and unhappy that the British and French Empires were carving up the area with the Sykes-Picot agreement and the Balfour declaration, currently "enjoying" its centenary. There was political pressure to succeed in the Middle East to show the Indian troops, forming a large proportion of the divisions fighting this war, that the British weren't failures after Gallipoli.

The current two episodes of the BBC Radio 4 series Tommies dramatising the events of the war a century later are set in the Mesopotamian campaign.

* the name of the area in army documents of the time, from the Greek for two rivers and naming the area around the Tigris and Euphrates - now Iraq, parts of Syria and Turkey

--------------------
Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

Posts: 13545 | From: outiside the outer ring road | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It's Greek for between rivers.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16889 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Reminding me of these lines from the song "League of Notions," about the Versailles talks and treaty, by Al Stewart:

Lawrence of Arabia is waiting in the wings
He's got some Arab sheikhs and kings
And we're in debt to them somehow
Lawrence of Arabia has got this perfect vision
Gonna sell him down the River
There's no time for him now.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63107 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

 - Posted      Profile for Karl: Liberal Backslider   Author's homepage   Email Karl: Liberal Backslider   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Truly brilliant song. I've covered it in folk club and it's hard; you have to get the words exactly right.

Pax vobiscum.

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17610 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
And when I say I'm not grateful, I'm a liar. I tell every soldier I meet that I am. I thank them for serving our country. The ones who come to the soup kitchen ALL love it. I've had more than one tell me no one has ever done that before.

God bless them every one.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16889 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm grateful in the same way I’d be grateful, as a passenger, to someone roping themselves to the steering wheel of an old sailing ship in storm.
(1917 had become a storm of imaginable proportions, with consequences spanning the next 70 years).

Questions as to why that particular ship was in the storm, what it was carrying and for what purpose, or even wondering what causes storms in the first place does not diminish the heartfelt gratitude.
When the strains of Elgar's Nimrod reach out at 11.00 am the same feeling, whatever it is, still persists.

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3091 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
That's a very good analogy. So yes, I'm grateful for their impressed, conscripted, helpless, ignorant sacrifice. Am I? How can I be? I acknowledge it. The storm analogy breaks down quite quickly. WE are the storm.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16889 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Arethosemyfeet
Shipmate
# 17047

 - Posted      Profile for Arethosemyfeet   Email Arethosemyfeet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The preacher at our service today called the British military dead "martyrs", which was just about the limit after a simplistic and borderline-jingoist sermon that utterly failed to touch on the complex and varied reasons people on all sides in various conflicts have fought and died, or on the appropriate Christian response to armed conflict.
Posts: 2837 | From: Hebrides | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

 - Posted      Profile for Martin60   Email Martin60   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm only 80 pages in to 'Losing Small Wars' and I'm absolutely horrified at how WE martyred thousands of Afghanis trying to get rid of child raping druglord gangsters we were propping up.

--------------------
Love wins

Posts: 16889 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools