Kansas WW1

Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Author: James Patton (page 1 of 6)

The Battenbergs Change Their Name Too

Two of Queen Victoria’s daughters married German Princes from Hesse, and they settled in England, using the name Battenberg. When King George V changed his dynastic name to Windsor, his cousins followed suit, changing theirs to ‘Mountbatten’ and renouncing all of their Germanic crowns, titles and honors. George V gave the men British titles as compensation for their action. ...read more

Pershing Park Memorial Proposal Criticized Again

At the July 13th meeting of the National Capital Planning Commission, the proposed design for the National WW1 Memorial at Pershing Park was considered and discussed. The design proposal has already been substantially modified and scaled back by previous reviews. You can read more about this in my April 29th post and my June 3rd, post. ...read more

Memorials to the Missing – ‘Plug Street’, and Churchill at War.

Ploegsteert Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Memorial to the Missing is located near the village of the same name in Belgium, about ten miles south of Ypres (Ieper). In 1914 the Brits quickly renamed the village ‘Plug Street’ and so it remains to them today. ...read more

Kansas City Mourns the Loss of James B. Nutter

Nutter was a Kansas City business icon, major philanthropist and a founding member of the US WW1 Centennial Commission. He also made the first donation towards the construction of the National WW1 Memorial at Pershing Park in DC. Read more here.


American War Poet Alan Seeger

It’s been 101 years and three days since the death of Alan Seeger (1888-1916); for those of us who remember the 1960’s, he was the uncle of the very popular folk singer, composer, musicologist  and Vietnam War protester Pete Seeger (who died in 2014 at age 94). Additionally, Alan’s brother Charles (Pete’s father) was also a musicologist and also prominently anti-war – in 1916 he was sacked by the University of California at Berkeley for his outspokenness. How times have changed. ...read more

Lafayette We Are Here

July 4th, 1917, one hundred years ago today.

Gen. John Pershing had arrived in France on June 13th and the advance units of his force had disembarked on June 27th. So, on the fourth it seemed appropriate for a parade, so members of the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Division marched through the streets of Paris, greeted by cheering throngs. ...read more

Memorials to the Missing: Newfoundland Memorial Park

On the 101st anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme it seems appropriate to visit one of its most famous sites. Plus today is also Canada Day.

The Memorial to the Missing at Beaumont-Hamel in France is not maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). It’s situated in the Newfoundland Memorial Park which is administered by the Canadian Department of Veteran’s Affairs, just like the Vimy Memorial.  However, within the site there are four CWGC cemeteries. ...read more

WW1 Commemorative Coinage

Shown above is the artist’s rendering of the obverse side of the proposed Kansas WW1 Centennial Commemorative Coin. When  and if available this coin will be minted in nickel silver alloy with a touch of color, similar to the Australian coin depicted below left. ...read more

Memorials to the Missing – Messines Ridge (and some other stuff)

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial to the Missing is located just outside of Messines, Belgium. The painting above isn’t of the memorial. Rather, it depicts the ruins of St. Nicholas Church, which was heavily damaged by shelling in 1914. ...read more

The Big Push began with a Big Bang

British Gen. Sir Charles Harington: “Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow, but we shall certainly change the geography”.

At 3:10 AM on June 7th, 1917 Royal Engineers detonated 19 explosive mines placed by tunneling companies under major German strongpoints known as stellungs. A creeping barrage delivered by 756 guns followed, and IX, X and II ANZAC Corps advanced behind this firestorm. This was the beginning of the Messines-Wytschaete Ridge (usually abbreviated to Messines) attack to drive the Germans off of the high ground south of Ypres and north of Ploegsteert in Belgium. This was a necessary first objective of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig’s 1917 Offensive to End the War, regrettably called ‘The Big Push’, later officially labelled the Third Battle of Ypres. ...read more

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