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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

August MGWAT


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Don't blame me - I'm am only obeying orders! :ph34r:

August MGWAT:

What did you do in the Great War Daddy?

(It doesn't need to have angelic children staring into the eyes of weary men, but...)


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"I flew the most wonderful flying machines you could imagine in the service of the Luftstreitkräfte."post-11267-1155124243.jpg

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Just had to say what a tremendous picture. Almost like a photograph but with far more personality.



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This is my entry, a bit of a rushed job, however, this is based on a grave at my local CWGC to a DD Whitham from WW 1 , which had a message from the soldiers wife:

'Sadly missed by Bella, Don and Arthur'

One of this soldiers son's went off to fight and and die during WW2, obviously unlikely scene as he probably never had the opportunity to visit his fathers grave, but here goes:

You can read about DD Whitham here:



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Soren, the emotion is captured perfectly in his face. This one's an early favorite for me.

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Excellent entries so far! :D

Here goes my modest contribution -with a slight variation on the suggested theme-:

November 11th, 1918. 11.11 a.m. A young conscript and an old sweat who's been out since the Somme, somewhere in France.

The Lad: Such silence... it seems so strange. Surely, this is the end of a war to end all wars.

The Sarge: Yes, my lad, if your kids want are curious about what a war is like, they will have to ask you... Otherwhise, how will they know?

Oh, oh, high hopes :unsure:



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I like Russell's, Soren's and Gloria's.

The first is such a fantastic picture that I thought that it was a photograph the first time I saw it and it has a genuine feel to it. Soren's is reflective and certainly has fantastic atmosphere about it. Finally Gloria's picture is really fascinating, just to look at it has some of the pain and triumph of 1918 in it. I am going to have real trouble figuring out my favourite.

Jon :)

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I hate to sound like an art teacher but:

Soren I love how you capture the form of the figure with the minimum of use of line and how you give depth because of the contrast with the thicker background hatching.

Gloria I like the comic book look of your work the look of naivity is captured in the face of the younger soldier

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Gunboat, thanks for the comment. The idea about the young soldier is how youthful innocence has been disrupted: however, conscripted young men of 18 or 19 did not regard war in the more naive fashion of their 1914 volunteer equivalents: they were more aware about what they would experience in uniform than then. You could say that they didn't join the army starry-eyed, so they were more unlikely to be disenchanted (they had probably lost already a brother and /or father, cousin, friend, neighbour).

As Jon (thanks, too) well puts it, is about pain and triumph.


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I'm always trying to find some what different angles in our titles.

This scene happens somewhere in the 40's... Had to contact my friend who has studied German to do the translation.

Was hast du im Großen Krieg gemacht, Vater?

(I found a grown-up son addressing his father as "Daddy" little weird. That would have been Vati)


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The Lad: Such silence... it seems so strange. Surely, this is the end of a war to end all wars.


Naive? need I say more....

The wonderful thing is that we all see something in the expression. Excellent

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Thanks Kim and Gunboat, and the Lawnstrum answers;

Not deliberately a poster work, but I see some similarities. And I just chose Germans, since I didn't believe anybody would do that.

Had some troubles in German translation, though...

Reminds me of my granpa (when still alive) in a military cemetary in Kihniö (Finland, not Germany, obviously). He remembered the dates and the names before we saw the gravestones.

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Surely the saying is "out since Mons" :)

Chevrons in his sleeve say "3 years"... coloured in blue, but if the soldier had been in service overseas in 1914, there was a red one in the bottom. I'd say Sarge is one of those who came to look for adventure and enlisted. Young lad is obviously a draftee... At least that's how I saw this illustration.

Landsturm's is my winner so far.

:blink: Thank you, but surprises happen, when time comes to pick up the the Pals' Monthly Fav.

I still remember that plain, black blank that won...:angry:

Really ought to do something myself.

Please do! There's still time! Quickly!

(points his finger at you)

What did You do in the Monthly Great War Art Thread?

BTW, dear Artists, who gets to choose the September title? Who hasn't done it yet?

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Missed my point, I know all about Overseas Service chevrons,ta.

I was referring to the Old Bill cartoons of Bruce Bairnsfather, who when he showed an old soldier would say "out since Mons."

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Some great efforts so far.....

I'm back from me hols, relaxing time was had(apart from the grassland fire causing the campsite to be evacuated and getting lost in Barcelona trying to find the airport on the way back- had to ask a policeman Donde este el aeropuerto ? ( so my son in first year secondary school spanish told me) :huh: . No great war even, no books.... nowt ( well..... I did take a picture of a memorial in the Pyrenean walled town of Villefranche de Conflet- to groans and dark looks from the wife) :rolleyes: and after a busy week at home last week I've finally popped in to the forum again.

Voted in last months poll and will try to come up with an effort for this months

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Here is my August MGWAT effort ( done tonight) in the category

( my effort isn't august, it's just my effort and the month is August).

What did you do in the Great War Daddy ?

"What did you do in the Great War...Daddy ?"

"Well Lass, I'll tell yer....."

Shall I tell you I dug holes ? Big holes, little holes, trenches, mineshafts

dugouts. I shifted more soil than an earthquake...... killed more worms

than I ever did Germans. Should I tell you that I never seen a German ?

Not a live one at least, though I did dig up a few things that once were.

Should I tell you I carried stuff ? Big stuff, small stuff,dangerous stuff,

harmless stuff. Stuff that killed men and stuff that saved them. But

you don't wanna hear about stuff- Stuff and Nonsense.

Can I say I was scared, scared witless and even sh*tless, caught

in a huge bombardment, watching my mates dying, copping it and

so frightened I couldn't even help them as I lay curled in my own stink ?

Sole survivor, a much overused phrase, Lass, but at least my digging

skills came in handy when we had to bury the poor *******. Thank

god I'm no good at writing, so I didn't have to write and tell their


Can I say I was a crackshot ? No, you know I couldn't hit a cows

**** with a banjo, you've seen me out hunting. I had a rifle, but

keeping it from tripping me up or some other poor ******, was

the bane of my life. Still what good did guns ever do, Little Tom

Akitt, sniped right through the head, shortest man in the platoon

(perhaps that made him too confident), never fired a shot in anger


Should I tell you about my greatest skill ? Making finest gravemarkers

out of old crates and boxes- some of mine are still there now. Not a

great claim to fame, but I tried to make a memorial for each poor

mothers son. The mass graves were the hardest- it fair broke my heart

to see so many with barely a cross to mark the spot.

Should I tell you about my training ? My old RSM- Harris, walrus moustache,

6ft of solid bone, with the heart of a bull and the manners to match

" Johnson, lad , we'll make a soldier of you yet, God help me we will"

Well he did, just not quite the soldier he envisaged, or maybe it was

and he had me figgered out form day one. He went out himself you know

didn't have to, but he had the courage of a lion and the spirit to match

A shell crippled him in March 1918- I used to see him selling matches

at the station after the war- always gave him what I could - "Made a

soldier of you Johnson" he would cry "Told you I would".- but what did it

make of him ?

"What did you do in the War Daddy, I'll tell yer Lass".......

"I was the man who captured Ole Kaiser Bill, I was. Right at the palace in Berlin

Come on out Billy I says, Nien, Nien says he.

Now Bill I don't want ter tell yer twice.

So I puts one up the spout, well, Bill never moved so fast....OK Tommy

I go to Holland now.....quicksmart.""

There's plaque you know, in Berlin, by his palace marks the place where

Kaiser Bill surrendered to a Private of the Pioneer Corps armed only

with a spade and a cross with Bills name on it."

The war was won by the spade you know, not the rifle, machine gun

or howitzer, the spade and the bloke carrying stuff......

That's why I will always stand tall and answer that question with the words

" Well, I was proud to be, a Pioneer"


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