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World War I – The Great War – La Grande Guerre

World War I is known as the Great War – Grande Guerre.

It lasted from July 28, 1914 to November 11, 1918.

World War I involved the world’s great nations: British, German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Russian Empires, France and Italy.

More than 70 million soldiers, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history.

Eight million were killed; 7million were permanently disabled and 15 million were seriously injured.

France lost 10.5 % of its active male population.

No words can translate the deep emotion that is felt when visiting the WWI Battlefields where so many soldiers fought and died in horrendous conditions.

The remains of many lie forever in the earth of Flanders and Northern France.

This section on the Battlefields of World War I humbly pays tribute to all these men and keeps their memory alive.

We invite you on this moving journey, as we celebrate the Centenary of the Great War, to remember and honour them.

 

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The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke

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