Amanda Mason

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Wilfred 'Billie' Nevill led his men forward on the first day of the Battle of the Somme by kicking two footballs ahead of them as they attacked.Billie Nevill was commissioned as a second lieutenant in November 1914 and a month later was posted to the...

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It was the duty of all Allied prisoners of war (POWs) to try to escape. If they made it home they could re-join the war and fight again, but even those who didn’t make it back to safety still helped the war effort by occupying large numbers of police...

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In December 1939, a new branch of British military intelligence called MI9 was set up to teach servicemen who became prisoners of war (POWs) how to escape from POW camps and evade those trying to recapture them. Secretly, MI9 sent escaping tools...

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Stefan Westmann, a German medical officer, endured the long British artillery bombardment that began the Battle of the Somme.Stefan Westmann was from Berlin. In 1914, he was a medical student at Freiburg University. He was called up for National...

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Robert Stewart Smylie, a 42-year-old father of three, died on the Somme with photographs of his wife and children in his shrapnel-damaged wallet.By the summer of 1914, Robert Smylie had been the headmaster of Sudbury Grammar School for three and a...

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On 1 July 1916 Wilfred Walton took part in an attack on one of the toughest parts of the German line near Thiepval and was badly wounded.Walton was born in Urmston, near Manchester, in 1886. He began his military career with the Mounted Infantry...

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J R R Tolkien, writer, academic and author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, endured life in the front line trenches of the Somme throughout the summer and autumn of 1916.John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was brought up in Birmingham and from the age of 12...

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A Bomber Command aircrew operated as a team. Each member was mutually dependent on the others and each had a vital part to play in ensuring that the aircraft reached its target, dropped its bombs and safely returned to base. The crew all shared the...

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Kenneth Macardle fought on the Battle of the Somme's opening day, but was killed a week later while attempting to continue his battalion's advance.Kenneth Callan Macardle was born in Dundalk, Louth, Ireland in 1890.  When the First World War...