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WW1: Life On The Frontline


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Remembrance Day is marked for the nation to remember those who fought and died at war.

WW1: Life On The Frontline

A year after World War One came to an end on the 11th November 1918, King George V asked the public to share in a silence at 11am - something that is still repeated today.

The main Remembrance ceremony takes place on the Sunday that is closest to the 11th, which this year is the 12th November.

But what do you really know about WW1? Did you know it sparked the invention of plastic surgery, for example?

Let's take a look at some top facts...

  • The anniversary is used to remember those who have died not just in World War One, but also World War Two, the Gulf and Falklands Wars, as well as recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • The war involved over 100 modern nations and over 70 million men (approx. 6 million from the UK), and there was fighting in Europe, Africa and Asia & North and South America.
  • An explosion on a battlefield in France was believed to have been heard in London - 140 miles away!
  • The faces of soldiers were often severely damaged from shrapnel blasts. In the process of treating such injuries, surgeon Harold Gillies pioneered early technologies of facial reconstruction.
  • The poppy was one of the first flowers to bloom on the battlefields of Flanders during World War 1. Their bright red colour symbolised the blood shed, but also the hope of new life.
  • White poppies are worn by pacifists (those people who oppose all conflict and war) as a way of promoting peace. Purple poppies are produced by a charity called Animal Aid and remind people that animals also lose their lives during wars.
  • Despite the size, 89% of British soldiers who fought, survived.
  • The youngest British soldier, who lied about his age, fought at age 12 - you had to be 18! Many others tried and got turned away. However, approximately 250,000 underage soldiers still managed to fight.

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