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Autres ouvrages

Comment parler de la Grande Guerre aux enfants ?

Sophie Lamoureux, Editions Le Baron perché, 2013.

Qu’est-ce qui a déclenché la guerre ? Pourquoi les tranchées ne sont pas droites ? Quinze fiches illustrées, répondent aux questions posées par les enfants âgés de 5 à 13 ans.

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La première guerre mondiale a éclaté il y a cent ans. Sa violence, ses morts et ses blessés, sa durée et sa démesure lui ont valu le surnom de « Grande Guerre ». Si cette tragédie reste gravée sur les monuments aux morts, elle est appelée à s’effacer des mémoires. Pourtant, ce conflit livre aux enfants d’aujourd’hui des enseignements essentiels pour le présent et l’avenir.

Un clair exposé des faits explique l’entrée en guerre et s’interroge sur les rôles joués par les dirigeants, mais aussi par l’école, la presse et la propagande. Quinze fiches illustrées, élaborées à partir de questions d’enfants de 5 à 13 ans, viennent ensuite répondre à leurs interrogations en abordant aussi bien la situation en Europe à l’aube du conflit que la vie des soldats dans les tranchées, les mutineries, l’organisation des femmes à l’arrière du front ou encore le sort des anciens combattants.
Eclairées sur le passé de leurs arrière-grands-parents, les jeunes générations peuvent ainsi comprendre les conséquences de ce conflit, de la Seconde Guerre mondiale à la construction de l’Union européenne.

Disponible en FR


In Search of the Better'Ole

Tonie and Valmai Holt, Leo Cooper, Pen & Sword Books Ltd, version actualisée de 2001.

Bruce Bairnsfather crée l'un des cartoons les plus connus de la première guerre mondiale,
« Old Bill », qui remonte le moral des troupes britanniques et de ceux restés au pays. Rééditée suite à son immense succès, cette biographie est la première à être publiée sur la vie et les œuvres de Bruce Bairnsfather.

Captain Bruce Bairnsfather of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment created what is probably the most famous and most copied cartoon of all time « The Better 'Ole » - which is featured on the cover of this book.

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Bairnsfather drew cartoons to amuse his soldiers and to keep up their and his spirits in the mud and cold of Flanders. His drawings were published in the Bystander magazine and became an instant success, selling in hundreds of thousands and making nations laugh. His effect on the morale of the Tommy was such that other countries such as France, Italy, America, Australia and Canada asked that he should visit their lines and draw their men too, while the British Secret Service considered using him for propaganda purposes.

The Bystander organization marketed Bairnsfather's work much as popular TV programmes and films are promoted today. There were special editions, collected editions, prints and postcards. Grimwades, the pottery people, produced plates and cups, teapots and cheese dishes, and busts of Bairnsfather's most popular character, Old Bill, were made in pottery and in metal as car mascots. All of these are sought today by enthusiastic collectors around the world.

Bairnsfather wrote many books and plays and worked with Charles Cochran, Seymour Hicks, Sydney Chaplain and John Mills and his films were seen in Britain and America.

When the Second World War began he was virtually ignored by the British Establishment. The Americans, however, had taken him to their hearts and he lectured all over the USA including at the famous Carnegie Hall. Thus he was appointed as the official cartoonist to the USAAF and wore their uniform.

This is the roller-coaster story of Bruce Bairnsfather and his character Old Bill - the ones `who won the war' according to General Sir Ian Hamilton - how they began, how they became one, how Old Bill both sustained and destroyed his creator in his search for the Better 'Ole.

Bairnsfather had always said that Old Bill had just evolved but in this new edition the authors identify the real Old Bill and find his name on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium, barely twelve kilometres from where Bairnsfather drew his first cartoons.

Disponible en EN


The Trench

Trevor Yorke, Countryside Books, 2014.

Guide de la Grande Guerre. Ce livre en retrace les évènements et décrit le vécu de ceux qui y ont participé à travers un élément principal comme décor : la tranchée.

Champ de bataille, mais aussi champ de mort, les tranchées et leurs systèmes, ont caractérisé tout le front occidental durant 4 années de combats.

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The First World War scarred an entire generation at the beginning of the twentieth century. One hundred years later, we reflect upon it and remember what a disastrous episode of history it was. The sacrifice of so many is important to remember, but we can be overwhelmed by the sheer mass of facts and figures now available to those reading about the subject in any detail.

This book offers a simple guide to the war, looking at the events and the people who took part, through what was the setting for so much of the carnage; the trench.

The trenches and the trench system along the Western Front in particular, were the killing fields. They formed a vast line of fortifications that locked the opposing armies together in a static, 400 mile zigzag of conflict from the channel coast down to the French border with Switzerland.

Using his own diagrams and illustrations, author Trevor Yorke explains the architecture of the trenches, with their command posts, tunnels, machine gun nests, duck boards and sleeping billets. There are chapters to explain tactics, weaponry and daily life. There are special features on the introduction of new weapons of war, such as tanks, early aeroplanes and the first use of poison gas.

The political events are described in basic outline, but there is a chapter on the legacy of the war's aftermath. There are summaries of the major battles and there is information about special places to visit in France and Belgium, including key museums, battle sites and memorials.

These can give us a real understanding of the unique inhumanity of the war, and why the dates 1914-1918 require all generations of today to remember and learn from them.

Disponible en EN


Digging Up Plugstreet

Martin Brown et Richard Osgood, Haynes Publishing, 2009.

Le compte-rendu des recherches archéologiques de l’équipe « Plugstreet » sur le front ouest, et plus particulièrement, les traces de la 3e division australienne à Ploegsteert, point de départ pour la Bataille de Messines de juin 1917.

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Rusting barbed wire and clips of mud-caked bullets; bent brass cap badges an a broken harmonica; the hunched skeletal remains of a soldier – these are the poignant relics of a titanic struggle that took place more than a lifetime ago. Unearthed from the battlefields of the Western Front, these artefacts tell stories of the men who marched away to fight the so-called “war to end wars”. They also provide us with a unique window into their world.

Using archaeology as the vehicle for their story, Martin Brown and Richard Osgood tell how Australian soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division travelled to England in 1914 to fight on the Western Front during the Great War – and sometimes to die. The authors follow in their footsteps, from training on windswept Salisbury Plain to the cheerless trenches of Belgium, where the Aussies “dug-in” north-east of Ploegsteert – known as “Plugstreet” to the troops – to face the Germans.

The co-authors have investigated a section of the Allied front line held by the 3rd Division, which served as their starting point for the epic Battle of Messines in June 1917. An area of no-man's-land over which they attacked was also excavated, as well as a section of trenches occupied by their German adversaries.

The archaeological finds have helped build a comprehensive picture of who these Aussie soldiers really were, how they lived – and often how they died. In serveral instances some of the accepted facts have been challenged.

The book is fully illustrated with numerous colour photographs of the excavations and the artefacts discovered, supported by archive images from the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, and the Imperial War Museum, London.

Digging up Plugstreet offers exciting new insights into soldiering on the Western Front during the Great War.

Disponible en EN


The Ploegsteert Sector

Paul Foster, Minutecircle Services Limited.

Un relevé détaillé des soldats tombés dans la région reposant dans l’un des cimetières de la Commonwealth War Graves Commission (secteur de Ploegsteert) ou dont le nom apparaît sur le Mémorial britannique. (Ploegsteert Memorial, Berks Extension Cemetery, Hyde Park Corner Cemetery, Lancashire Cottage Cemetery, London rifle Brigade Cemetery, Mud Corner Cemetery, Ploegsteert Churchyard, Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery, Prowse Point Cemetery, Rifle House Cemetery, Strand Military Cemetery, Toronto avenue Cemetery, Underhill Farm Cemetery).
Cet ouvrage présente aussi les origines, le parcours et/ou l’histoire des nombreux militaires.

Disponible en EN


We Good...We No Shoot

Andrew Hamilton and Alan Reed, Dene House Publishing, 2014.

La Trêve de Noël de 1914 dans le secteur de Warneton – Ploegsteert retracée avec précision…

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The Christmas Truce at Plugstreet Wood in 1914

The Christmas Truce of 1914 was an iconic event. After months of gruelling warfare and appalling conditions, British and German soldiers left their trenches and celebrated Christmas together.

The authors have created, from a wealth of contemporary evidence, a fascinating, detailed and vivid account of what happened during the fraternizations at Plugstreet Wood in Belgium.

Soldiers of all ranks, in their own words, recall the few days when the War stopped and when friend and foe met in No Man's Land.

The authors investigate why soldiers were so keen to lay down their arms “without permission” and how the authorities reacted to such unwarlike behaviour.

“We Good... We No Shoot” is an invaluable guide for those wishing to visit the most famous of all the Christmas Truce sites on the Western Front.

Disponible en EN


Grande Guerre. L'image du souvenir.

Guy Focant et Pascal Kuta, Institut du Patrimoine Wallon, 2014.

Monuments, mémoriaux, cimetières, cérémonies en photos.

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La Grande Guerre, dont nous commémorons le centenaire, est une vieille dame qui se porte bien. Elle a enterré ses acteurs et ses témoins, mais les cicatrices qu'elle a laissées dans nos paysages chuchotent encore la leçon de ses quatre années « de bruit et de fureur ». Dans une Europe où s'éveille le dragon endormi du nationalisme, le message s'adresse à la génération d'aujourd'hui. Photographe au Département du Patrimoine du Service public de Wallonie, Guy Focant l'a illustré grâce à de très nombreux clichés, comme une plongée vertigineuse au cœur des stigmates de la première guerre mondiale en Wallonie. Vingt-trois sites expliqués et commentés, choisis entre les forêts de Gaume et les champs des Flandres, pour comprendre la catastrophe du siècle. Afin que ne soient pas tombés en vain ceux qui, « sur les pentes sillonnées d'une colline ravagée », avaient « rendez-vous avec la mort ».

Disponible en FR