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happy? - Sept 18 (Wire Hanging)

Abby Sale 18 Sep 05 - 09:46 AM
Le Scaramouche 18 Sep 05 - 10:16 AM
sapper82 18 Sep 05 - 04:19 PM
Liz the Squeak 19 Sep 05 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Fullerton 19 Sep 05 - 05:26 AM
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Subject: happy? - Sept 18 (Wire Hanging)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 09:46 AM

On September 18, 1914 in the first Battle of the Aisne (N-W of Paris), Trench Warfare begins during World War I.

        If you want to find the privates,
                I know where they are,
                I know where they are,
                I know where they are.
        If you want to find the privates,
                I know where they are,
        They're hanging on the old barbed wire.
                I saw them,
                I saw them,
        Hanging on the old barbed wire -
                 I saw them,
        Hanging on the old barbed wire.

                        "(Hanging On) The Old Barbed Wire" (or "I Know Where They Are")

[There are endless versions/verses since 1914, I sing basically that of Roberts & Barrand.]

From the Ballad Index: Earliest Date: 1927 (Sandburg). Notes: Internal evidence clearly dates this to the First World War, with its trenches and barbed wire and mud that threatened to swallow the Allied armies whole. What's more, until WWI, officers -- including brigade and sometimes even divisional officers -- were expected to lead their men from the front. Only in the twentieth century did officers become so valuable that they were allowed to "lead" from the rear. - RBW

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky


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Subject: RE: happy? - Sept 18 (Wire Hanging)
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 10:16 AM

I'd quibble with the Ballad Index. I'm not saying it isn't from then, but the internal evidence only means its about WWI.


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Subject: RE: happy? - Sept 18 (Wire Hanging)
From: sapper82
Date: 18 Sep 05 - 04:19 PM

More British generals were killed by enemy action in WW1 than in WW2. A lot of myths sprung up in the '20s, this was one of them.


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Subject: RE: happy? - Sept 18 (Wire Hanging)
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Sep 05 - 04:40 AM

Not quite 4 years later (Sept 12th 1918) it claimed the life of James Eli Christopher, brother to my great grandmother, in the fighting around Haucourt (Arras to Cambrai road) and Vis en Artois, where his memorial now stands.

He signed up in the early years with Alfred, whom we thought was his brother but was actually his nephew. Alfred survived but Eli (as he was christened) was killed in action. He is one of those whose body has no grave, only a name on a memorial and a fading photograph in my collection.

LTS


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Subject: RE: happy? - Sept 18 (Wire Hanging)
From: GUEST,Fullerton
Date: 19 Sep 05 - 05:26 AM

A German soldier's view...

"The officers were in front. I noticed one of them walking calmly carrying a walking stick. When we started firing we just had to load and reload. They went down in their hundreds. You didn't have to aim, we just fired into them"

(J. Simkin, Contemporary accounts of the First World War, 1981).


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