November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, but not before tens of millions died in the four-year-long unprecedented industrial carnage. Amid all the media coverage, almost entirely missing is the actual story of how such bloodshed and misery was ended: by a mass popular rebellion in Germany that brought down the monarchy and established a republic.
World War I
FIFA, the world’s ruling body of football (soccer), has banned wearing poppies to mark the death of British soldiers in war, which has provoked a confected outrage by British media and politicians.
The football associations of England and Scotland intend to defy the ban in the two national teams’ match on Armistice Day on November 11. In the editorial below, British left-wing daily The Morning Star responds to the hypocrisy of those opposing FIFA’s ruling.
In July 1915, three brothers presented themselves at Glencorse Barracks on the outskirts of Edinburgh to enlist in the Royal Scots. The First World War was almost a year old, but despite the mounting casualty lists and a growing realisation that it would not be over anytime soon, my grandfather and his two brothers joined up.
On October 28, the 100th anniversary of the first conscription referendum, historian Michael Hamel-Green gave a talk at the Brunswick Library entitled "When Australians said no to war".
Hamel-Green said that in official commemorations of World War I there is "amnesia" about the divisions among the Australian people over the war.
When the initial high level of voluntary recruitment to the army declined, Labor Prime Minister Billy Hughes decided to introduce conscription for overseas service — conscription for service within Australia was already legal.