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Home > History > war 14-18


World war I


The great war took place from 1914 to 1918 with the involvement of many countries.The conflict will spread in Europe. The expression "Der des Ders" will emerge in France at the end of hostilities, people thought it was the last one "the war to end all wars".


- Local situation
- Behind the front lines
- Key dates




Local situation

Millions of hectares plowed by bombs, 1 million dead and nearly 3 million injured in France.

During the war, a wounded evacuation zone has been established at Vignacourt, under the tents. The goal was to rendering first aid, not far from the front lines, to alleviate the suffering, the pain, or even accompanied the last moments for the cases more serious. The medical staff took charge the war wounds but the railroad allowed the transportation of the injured soldiers to specialized hospitals. Those in convalescence remained a few days to recover strength, before setting out again on the battlefields.

The airfield was located a few meters away. A mark on the ground helped guide the planes. Backfilling works carried out after the war are reported in a daily newspaper of this time, the trenches around the village seemed quite important.

Soldiers from different nationalities have passed in our village: Americans, Australians, British, Canadians, Chinese, French, Germans, Indians, Irish, Italians, Moroccans.


King royal irish lieutenants sidecard camp chinois


guerre 14 avion 14*18 Royal engineers


Private Jsthorne mitrailleur AIF soldats

Louis Thuillier photos


Behind the front line in the canton

The sound of the cannon is heard in the villages of the township, all night sometimes until morning. Flares bomb seen in the distance also follow one another in the dark night.

The newspapers bring daily news from the front: The movement of troops, the advance or the retreat of our armies. Allies also regularly report the number of planes that have not returned. These planes forced to stay on the ground when the weather was too bad.

In the mail, we hope to find a card from a husband or a son stating that he is in good health and thinks he will be back for a few days soon. Those are sometimes cards with the battalion's photo. When this news is slow to come, it is worrying, anxiety increases day by day. Not all news is always positive.

This mail is filtered by the authorities to avoid the transmission of information strategic or bad for the morale of the men. The allies also exchange mail with the residents they have already met in order to inquire about more recent news in the sector. Dispatches are broadcast in factories, in train stations in the region, but most are fake news. They can fall into the hands of the enemy.

Each soldier returning on leave also communicates information to the family of a comrade wounded in combat, or the position in the trenches for those who remained at the front.
This moment of respite is used to meet loved ones, get news from neighbors, rest and enjoy good meals.

At the rear of front, the gardens are cultivated, when is possible. Vegetables provide food when the meat becomes too expensive. The fruits harvested make it possible to make jams which are sent in the soldiers' parcels on the front (plums, peaches, apples ...).

In the streets of the villages it is an incessant comings and goings of cannons, supplies, passage of troops, artillery batteries.

The whole of this information are based on real facts and reformulated by my care.


Key dates

1914 - 28th June: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand - The Sarajevo attack.

1914 - 02 August: French mobilization.

1914 - 5th Sept to 12th Sept: Battle of the Marne.

1914 - October 12 to November 2: Battle of Mesen - Messines

1914 - 19th Oct to 24th Nov, 1914 -1st Battle of Ypres or Battle of Flanders in Belgium.

1915 - 10th - 13th March - Battle of Neuve-Chapelle.

1915 - April 22 to May 25, 1915 - Second Battle of Ypres.

1915 - 23 May: entry into the War of Italy.

1915 - 6th to 16th June: Battle of Quennevières. (Oise).

1916 - 21st Feb to 19th Dec: Battle of Verdun.

1916 - June 2 to 14: Battle of Mont Sorrel - Battle of hill 62 in Belgium.

1916 - 1st July to Nov 18th: Battle of the Somme.

1916 - 19 to 20 July: Battle of Fromelles.

1916 - 1st Oct to 11 Nov 1916 - Ancre (Albert)

1917 - 4 to 12 April: Battle of Sapigneul in the Aisne near Berry-au-Bac.

1917 - 6th April: United states declared war on Germany.

1917 - 9th April: Battle of Arras.

1917 - 9 to 12 April: Battle of Vimy Ridge.

1917 - May 3: Second Battle of Bullecourt.

1917 - 16th April to 24th Oct: Battle of Chemin des dames (2nd Battle of the Aisne).

1917 - June 7 to 14: 2nd battle of Mesen - Messines.

1917 - July 31 and November 6, 1917: Battle of Passchendaele or 3rd Battle of Ypres.

1917 - 20 Nov to 7 December: The Battle of Cambrai.

1918 - 27th May to 6 August: 2nd battle of the Marne.

1918 - March 21th to April 5th: Operation Michael.

1918 - 9th to 29th April 1918: Battle of the Lys or 4th battle of Ypres (Estaires).

1918 - 28th to 31 May 1918: Battle of Cantigny.

1918 - August 8th to 12th: Battle of Amiens.

1918 - 21th August to 1st September - Battle of Bapaume.

1918 - August 31 to Sept 3st: Mont Saint-Quentin.

1918 - Nov 11th: Signing of Armistice.

1919 - June 28th: The treaty of Versailles, in the Hall of Mirrors.


General mobilization poster in France

General mobilization poster in France