Skip to comments.World War I Claims Two More Casualties ... in 2014
Posted on 03/20/2014 7:23:24 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
First World War bomb kills two construction site workers 100 years after it was fired at Belgian battlefield
Armament was disturbed and exploded evacuation works at the site
Killed two and injured two, all construction workers working in the area
This area of Belgium is rife with unexploded bombs from the Great War
It is the former Flanders battleground where many shells were fired
A First World War bomb killed two construction site workers when it exploded 100 years after being fired at a Belgian battlefield.
The bomb had laid dormant for a century at an industrial site in the former area of Flanders battlegrounds, killing two and injuring two more.
Johan Lescrauwaert of the Ypres prosecutor's office confirmed that the armament from the 1914-1918 war exploded near the workers, but did not say whether it was a shell or a grenade.
The circumstances were unclear because there was apparently no digging at the site - the usual cause of such accidents.
Every year the battlefields in western Belgium throw up hundreds of armaments from the Great War, and most are destroyed without incident by a special Belgian army bomb squad.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
It is hard to believe those explosives are still active after a hundred years.
I have read that this type even happens just about every year maybe including WWII munitions.
I well remember the centennial of the American Civil War in the early 1960s, but it is hard to wrap my mind around WW1 being a century ago. That is when my parents were born!
Winner should make the loser go pick them all up after the war is over.
There are accounts that trees in some areas of the western front had absorbed enough mustard gas that they would occasionally poison people trying to clear them some 50+ years after the war...
My father and uncles used to hunt gazelle in North Africa using leftover M1's and US Army jeeps, I knew a Frenchman whose playtime as a kid included restoring and firing machine guns left over from WWII in Normandy.
Germany and Eastern Europe are littered with Wehrmacht ammo dumps that were just covered with earth at the end of WWII. Every year, the German police bust individuals who have restored WWII weaponry they dug up-- one guy in Berlin a couple summers ago was trying to sell a 40mm Bofors AA gun in working condition with ammo.
Europe has very strict gun control laws, but I swear half the families have leftover ordnance from the World Wars stashed somewhere.
So messy can’t countries just play war on simulators
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
I was just thinking of something similar. During the 50s and 60s, I remember my parents regularly talking about their childhood in the 20s and 30s. It really seemed like ancient history yet that was only roughly 30 years back.
Now the 60s are 50 or more years ago and they seem like almost yesterday. I recently read a story my Grandmother wrote in the newspaper about her first trip to Geneva, Alabama.
That was in the 1800s before automobiles, airplanes, radios etc. I guess the car had been invented but it was before they were in popular use. She, her Sister and Father rode an oxcart to pick up their Sister who was arriving by train. A hurricane hit and the president of the school she was attending telegraphed that he was keeping her for an extra day because of the storm.
I had a science teacher tell me something like that back around 1970. I was young and empty-headed and I pictured the scenario as a low-lying dip in the land, with some sort of lingering fog of mustard gas just waiting for an unwary traveler to stumble down the hill and die, 50 years after the fighting stopped. As I grew older I decided that the teacher made the whole thing up (because my scenario was preposterous). But perhaps the tree aspect is more believable.
Reading the Army’s official history of my Father’s WWII battalion, they once dug 18 mines out of a six by six foot plot of ground.
The Germans must have stacked them on top of each other.
The Bolshevik Revolution is still killing people to this day and it started BEFORE WW-I
My dad left me several boxes of 1954 Twin Cities Arsenal 30-06 ammo. It still shoots; I fired off a box last November. Properly stored it lasts a long time.
The problem with the old shells and bombs is that in the wild, the explosive actually becomes more unstable and dangerous over time.
UXB is no joke in Europe, a German backhoe operator was killed a couple of months ago by an unexploded bomb. If you read the story above, the Belgians are still decommissioning gas shells from WWI found a year or two ago.
Around 10 years ago, I bought a thousand rounds of 7.65 Argentine/Belgian Mauser ammo. It was headstamped FN 32 or 33. Every bit fired without a hitch.
On the other hand, I bought some Argentine .45 auto which was from the 50s. It was clean and bright but was about 90% bad. It had obviously been stored badly, probably over heated.
Yes Daddy had some good war stories. He brought home a couple of nice cameras, a Luger, a P-38 and an Austro-Hungarian .32 auto.
The Luger had an interesting story. After the war, his unit went into Berlin not too long after the Russians captured it. Most of the soldiers would feed German kids who were close to starving.
The two Daddy fed were Fritz and Ingrid. One day he asked Fritz if he could get him a Luger. The roughly six year old took off running and in about an hour he brought Daddy a sack. In it was a Luger, spare mag and a holster. They still had dirt on them and had obviously been buried.
The author of In Flanders Fields, Lt-Col John McCrae, commander of No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill), died of pneumonia on 28 January 1918 at Boulogne, France.
I am curious if there is some sort of “reverse tilt shift” photography technique... it must not exist as I envision it as every model train picture in publications like Model Railroader would look nearly completely realistic.
Mustard gas is actually a liquid. It was aerosolized in use. Imagine the droplets from a spray-can soaking an area and then that area remaining poisonous.
“1916” - Motorhead
16 years old when I went to the war,
To fight for a land fit for heroes,
God on my side, and a gun in my hand,
Chasing my days down to zero
And I marched and I fought and I bled
And I died & I never did get any older,
But I knew at the time, That a year in the line,
Was a long enough life for a soldier
We all volunteered,
And we wrote down our names,
And we added two years to our ages,
Eager for life and ahead of the game,
Ready for history’s pages
And we brawled and we fought
And we whored ‘til we stood,
Ten thousand shoulder to shoulder
A thirst for the Hun,
We were food for the gun, and that’s
What you are when you’re soldiers
I heard my friend cry,
And he sank to his knees, coughing blood
As he screamed for his mother
And I fell by his side,
And that’s how we died,
Clinging like kids to each other
And I lay in the mud
And the guts and the blood,
And I wept as his body grew colder
And I called for my mother
And she never came,
Though it wasn’t my fault
And I wasn’t to blame
The day not half over
And ten thousand slain, and now
There’s nobody remembers our names
And that’s how it is for a soldier.
Had a great-uncle who served during WWI in the 38th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces (CEF). He died of his wounds on September 10, 1918 and is buried in Terlincthun British Cemetery in France. He was 25 years of age.
I got 1000 rounds of .303 British for my Lee Enfield when I bought it. Shot about 400 of it so far without misfire, and it was made in 1918.
There is, apparently, some super horrid Argentine 7.62X51 that still surfaces occasionally. Whatever is in it goes off with ~130K PSI chamber pressure, guaranteed to roach a gun...
The British and Commonwealth lost 19000 dead IN ONE DAY July 1, 1916.
First day of the Somme campaign. It is kinda sickening to even type that.
It would require an atom bomb to do that now.
Never thought Lemmy could write a song that literally brings tears to one’s eye.
The real bad ones are the poison gas shells. They say if you pick one up, even today, you can hear the liquefied poison gas gurgling inside.
I could be wrong, but I think the British lost more in WW 1 than they did in WW 2.
I also have a great uncle who served in WW1 and was killed in action. He is buried in the US Cemetery at Bony, France. Some 30 years ago when I was stationed in West Germany my mother (he was her uncle0 and father came for a visit and we decided to visit his grave. I was stunned to learn he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, no one in the family ever talked about it. When I asked my mother she said, “Oh yeah, I had heard he was awarded some medal.”
The monuments in villages and parishes that I saw universally listed worse fatalities from the First World War. A whole generation of young men lost..
He handed me a shell and cautioned, "Don't drop this".
Over the years he had pulled boxes and boxes of ordnance out of the ground in addition to musket balls, belt buckles, and buttons as well as knives, plates and other gear. He had a very healthy respect for the stuff which hadn't exploded 145 years before.
If you’re interested in WW1 and in KCMO go to the museum here. It’s amazing. World class.
My grandmother lived with us. She was born in 1888. I wish I had asked her about more about her childhood. She grew up in Indian Territory and remembered when Oklahoma became a state. Her uncles were in the Confederacy. Her father, who was too young to fight in the Civil War, was sheriff of Sherman Texas and knew Jesse James.
My grandfather wrote several WW1 poems - here’s one:
FIVE STARS AND A CROSS OF GOLD
The little Irish mother kissed her youngest son good-bye.
He was fourth and last to answer to his countrys urgent cry.
Her little world was shattered. Aged, helpless, and all alone.
She turned into the shadows of the quaint old house of stone.
Then, along the darkened hallway to her little sitting room,
She knelt before the Virgin, shining dimly, in the gloom.
On the wall beside it, smiling in his army suit of blue,
Was the picture of the father, dating back to 62.
Here and there hung crayon portraits of her boys some young, some grown.
And a daughter, long departed, ere the bud to rose had blown.
And, above the horse-hair sofa, in the waning light revealed,
Hung the crimson flag of service, with four starts upon the shield.
One in honor to the father, Captain Jack of Shiloh fame,
Three for those whod joined the colors, long before the draft law came.
Now, with palsied hands uplifted, and a heart stab in her breast,
The mother pinned the fifth star in the place among the rest.
Summer passed. The guns of Flanders gleaned their harvest, red and dire.
Men went down in tens of thousands neath the cycles of their fire.
Fearfully the Irish mother watched the starts upon the shield.
Two were dead, a third was wounded, fourth still fighting on the field.
Then a message, late in August, found her watching in the night,
Told her how the fourth had fallen in the thickest of the fight.
One start left, its light was feeble, Almost gone, a comrade wrote,
Shrapnel wound, no hope was offered in his briefly written note.
Then the grim old mother faded when the last faint hope had flown,
Like the fragrant wind-blown climbers on the quaint old walls of stone.
On the casket where she slumbered, lay the flag of service wrought,
Sunshine filtered through the shutters in the house that God forgot,
And the aged priest was saying, while a tear shown in his glance,
Greater were this mothers battles than those fought in distant France.
Vastly was her valor greater than of husband or of son,
For she gave five lives in glory, while the others gave but one.
Then he bent above the banner and, with fingers gnarled and old,
In the center laid his tribute laid his cross of virgin gold.
The Loyalists were originally from NY State, and more than likely moved to Canada when the war broke out. I often wonder if the young man had fallen in love with the Loyalist daughter while they were still in NY, then gave it all up after the war, to go to Canada and marry the girl of his dreams. Nice story, but no proof. Both families were from Duchess County, NY, so it's definitely a possibility.
As much as I would love to handle an ancient artillery shell I think I would reply.
Thank you sir but I would happy just to look and not touch as my mother taught me.
Discretion is the better part of valor.
It is the kind of casualties that happen when new technology (heavy machineguns) makes old battlefield tactics obsolete and the generals dont have the wit to realize that new tactics are not only necessary be absolutely essential to the survival of the army.
You might want to check to see if your Loyalist ancestors filed any claims against the US government after the Revolutionary War. Many Loyalists lost property, goods, homes, etc., when they left. There was a method set up after the War to file claims for restitution. Never can tell what you may find but any claims could show exactly where your ancestors lived, worked, etc.
Thank you. I do not know of any ancestor who fought in any of the Indian Wars. There many have been some but so far I have not found a record. I do have the pension records of my g-g-grandfather who served in the Mexican-American War. That led me to getting his service records from the National Archives, very interesting reading. By following the dates of his company muster records you can deduce which battles he found in.
On one my many trips to the Archives, I did manage to find a Revolutionary War pension claim from the children of a collateral relative. Turns out this relative had briefly served at Fort Stanwix in Rome, NY. The Fort was originally built during the French & Indian War. I moved to Rome back in 2000, not having known any of that. There's a reconstructed fort on the site of the original. The Fort was abandoned in 1768, but reoccupied by Colonial troops in 1776. My relative was sent there with a group of other militia men that summer to strengthen the Fort. I'm not sure if my relative was still there at the time of the Battle of Oriskany and the Siege of Fort Stanwix in August of 1777.