WW1: Circumstances of Death

Discussion in 'Combat Footage' started by DeathHand, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    World War One ~ WW1 ~ The Great War (1914-1918)

    In this thread I'm going to be posting something new: Circumstances of Death for Canadian WW1 soldiers.

    The images are War index cards that record the death of any Canadian soldier who died during WW1, often containing vivid details that led to their death.

    The details typed onto each deceased or missing soldier's card opens up a whole new world of what these young men went through and the many ways that any of they may have died.

    World War One ~ 1914-1918.

    Set 1.


    1. Canadian/British soldier on guard while others rest.
    the-great-war-1-1914-1918.jpg

    2a.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-1a-1914-1918.jpg

    2b.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-1b-1914-1918.jpg

    3.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-2-1914-1918.jpg

    4.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-3-1914-1918.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    I stumbled across these images while researching 2 of my great uncles who served with the 165th Battalion C.E.D.

    Set 2.

    5.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-4-1914-1918.jpg

    6.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-5-1914-1918.jpg

    7.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-6-1914-1918.jpg

    8.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-7-1914-1918.jpg

    9.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-8-1914-1918.jpg

    10.
    the-great-war-2-1914-1918.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    Set 3.

    11. Downed British aeroplane and remains of crew.
    the-great-war-3-1914-1918.jpg

    12.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-9-1914-1918.jpg

    13.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-10-1914-1918.jpg

    14.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-11-1914-1918.jpg

    15.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-12-1914-1918.jpg

    16.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-13-1914-1918.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    Set 4.

    14.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-14-1914-1918.jpg

    15.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-15-1914-1918.jpg

    16.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-16-1914-1918.jpg

    17.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-17-1914-1918.jpg

    18.
    the-great-war-4-1914-1918.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    These index cards not only show 'reported cause of death' but what happened, if anything, with the soldier's body.

    Set 5.

    19.
    the-great-war-5-1914-1918.jpg

    20.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-18-1914-1918.jpg

    21A.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-19a-1914-1918.jpg

    22B.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-19b-1914-1918.jpg

    23A.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-20a-1914-1918.jpg
    23B.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-20b-1914-1918.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    Set 6.

    24A.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-21a-1914-1918.jpg

    24B.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-21b-1914-1918.jpg

    25.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-22-1914-1918.jpg

    26. A mass of dead British soldiers on the battlefield.
    the-great-war-6-1914-1918.jpg

    27A.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-23a-1914-1918.jpg

    27B.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-23b-1914-1918.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    I should have mentioned this earlier: when you see cards named something like 3A and then 3B, the B side is the reverse of the A side of the card, often detailing whether the soldier was found, or buried or unknown.
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    More to come :)
     
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  9. Shinigami

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    Great post, as usual @DeathHand
    tbh, I'd rather get a somewhat personal account of what happened than a generic 'KIA while engaging enemy' or whatever
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    Me too. But not gonna get that unless from a soldier's personal diary that has been scanned - no much chance of that: especially to cover the memories of several thousand survivors of the war.

    I found that these cards serve to accurately record a soldier's demise, when/where and under what conditions (if known), and whether a body was retrieved and buried or was never found. That's the closest thing that I've seen regarding accounts of men KIA or MIA out of WW1.

    These are not just first hand accounts (although recorded by a second party) of soldiers that were KIA but also of the thousands of men that went MIA along with others who did not die in action but rather from accidental death/health reasons/etc or had died later from wounds (which is not the same as KIA) once brought back to the rear or forward dressing stations.

    :)
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    Set 7.

    24. Although this is probably the leg of a German soldier, it goes on to show how bodies were blown apart.
    the-great-war-7-1914-1918.jpg

    25.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-24-1914-1918.jpg

    26.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-25-1914-1918.jpg

    27A.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-26a-1914-1918.jpg

    27B.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-26b-1914-1918.jpg

    28A.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-27a-1914-1918.jpg

    28B. This card shows how many men who were KIA/MIA were later exhumed from makeshift graves.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-27b-1914-1918.jpg

    29. A good example of a trench either being over run or being bombed out.
    the-great-war-8-1914-1918.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    Soldiers listed as 'Privates' or 'Corporals' were often only 18 - 21 years old.

    Set 8.

    30.
    the-great-war-9-1914-1918.jpg

    31.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-28-1914-1918.jpg

    32.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-29-1914-1918.jpg

    33.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-30-1914-1918.jpg

    34.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-31-1914-1918.jpg

    35.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-32-1914-1918.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    Set 9.

    36. Who would have thought? This man died from chocking on his own vomit after a night of drinking.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-36-1914-1918.jpg

    37.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-37-1914-1918.jpg

    38. Canadians/Brits taken out either by a foot German attack, gas attack, or a direct artillery hit on their dugout.
    the-great-war-10-1914-1918.jpg

    39A. Hill 60 was a ferocious battle. This Lieutenant's men buried him as they could.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-38a-1914-1918.jpg

    39B. The burial spot was noted but not found.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-38b-1914-1918.jpg

    40. German sharpshooters getting into position to fire on the enemy. Snipers weren't always in the trenches.
    the-great-war-11-1914-1918.jpg
     
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    DeathHand

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    Lance Corporals, Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, Majors, etc. each had their own specific duties, aside from being the regular cannon fodder. Many of these men were also a few years older than the rest: 21 - 25'ish.

    Set 10.

    41.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-39-1914-1918.jpg

    42A.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-40a-1914-1918.jpg

    42B.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-40b-1914-1918.jpg

    43.
    the-great-war-12-1914-1918.jpg

    44.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-41-1914-1918.jpg

    45. The death of a Major as witnessed by a member of his battallion.
    ww1-canadian-soldier-circumstances-of-death-index-cards-42-1914-1918.jpg
     
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  16. Starkiller1125

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    Now you should add photos of the troopers in trenches being bored. Like the photos of soldiers watering potted plants or soldiers creating trench art. Stuff they did to pass the time.
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    From various first hand accounts that I've read, the days and weeks of boredom were the worst. They had come for war yet they were out catching trench rats. But this boredom also got alot of men killed when they would start to ask, "Where the hell is the battle? Where are the Huns?", and then because they simply couldn't resist would take a quick peek over the top of their trench to look at where the Germans were. It might have been quiet but the German snipers were always at their posts and shot many of these guys in the head as they saw the helmet raise up.

    Conversely, I think those long periods of boredom and stalemate also helped fire up the troops when the time finally came to go over the top: anything to get out of their trenches.
     
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    DeathHand

    DeathHand Demolition Style Hell Canadian Freak Staff Member

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    There are several thousand of these index cards and I spent hours reading them (no, not all of them) and then realized that I should be downloading them, lol.

    I didn't select all of them, just the ones that contained details about a soldier's death that were interesting. There are hundreds of these cards that simply state, "Killed in action" with no further info. That speaks volumes as to how many men simply vanished in battle, blown to pieces, body never recovered, no known burial, taken prisoner, presumed dead, etc.

    These cards are all that remains of so many soldiers, those buried and those MIA, who went overseas in search of adventure while fighting a hostile enemy.
     
  20. Bob Sinclair

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    Whilst researching for a school project my son had on WW1, I found the KIA communique's for my Great Grandfather and two of his brothers. Very interesting, yet at the same time you cannot help wondering what affect it had on their parents; all three sons killed within a 9 week period. It's easy as a descended with the privilege of time lapsed, to experience little emotion but a faint sense of loss, until the conditions those three men (and thousands like them) died under are brought to the fore by photos such as these.

    Lest we forget.
     
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