A Land Fit for Heroes? The Treatment of WWI Veterans in Great Britain

A Land Fit for Heroes? The Treatment of WWI Veterans in Great Britain

We want to encourage people around the world to donate online to their country’s veterans’ charities.
These are tough times. As Remembrance Day and Veterans day comes up, because of Covid-19, collectors are unable to do face to face collections.

British Veterans of the first world war had trusted their nation when the war had started in 1914.
But after 1918, it seemed like the promise of a Land fit for heroes was not a reality.

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Created by Daniel Turner
Script: Dejan Milivojevic

Chris Kane

Cohen, Deborah. The War Come Home: Disabled Veterans in Britain and Germany, 1914-1939. Univ. of Calif. Press, 2008.

Malone, Carolyn. A job fit for heroes? Disabled veterans, the Arts and Crafts Movement and social reconstruction in post-World War I Britain. First World War Studies, 2013 Vol. 4, No. 2, 201–217

“Veterans’ Associations (Great Britain and Ireland).” New Articles RSS. https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/veterans_associations_great_britain_and_ireland

Home from the war: what happened to disabled First World War veterans. Heritage Calling. https://heritagecalling.com/2018/12/14/home-from-the-war-what-happened-to-disabled-first-world-war-veterans/

Public Attitude Toward Ex-Servicemen After World War I
Monthly Labor Review
Vol. 57, No. 6 (DECEMBER 1943), pp. 1060-1073 (14 pages)

The Twentieth Century
By Edith Girvin


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  1. We want to encourage people around the world to donate online to their country's veterans' charities.

    These are tough times. As remembrance day and Veterans day comes up, because of Covid-19, collectors are unable to do face to face collections.

  2. It is outrageous that the UK government was so disgustingly inhuman towards their veterans. A bitter fate way worse than being killed in action.
    Btw, you may now figure out why Hitler's paramilitary wing, the SA ( Sturmabteilung ), was full of WWI veterans…

  3. Thank you, much of the videos length would have been nothing but ads for games or other services and that had be go away- but whether it had been because of a change of hearts or merely some other reason instead- thankyou for keeping this video ad-free and keeping to the old motto of Simple History.

  4. "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,

    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,

    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

    Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling

    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,

    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—

    Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,

    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

    In all my dreams before my helpless sight,

    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace

    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

    His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;

    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—

    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

    To children ardent for some desperate glory,

    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est

    Pro patria mori."
    –Wilfred Owen

  5. The British had an extremely harmful and elitist view of warfare during their empirical era… it partly why their tactics sucked in ww1. Basically a ground pounder wasn't to be hailed a hero. It was the political elite in positions if command that would receive the praise and glory, when in reality their tactics lead to unnecessary deaths.

  6. Brilliant video, and you put no Advertisements on it either, just the charities. Big respect for you! This give a great insight to what it was like, and coupled with the music the video is one of your best.

  7. Soldiers kinda get the concept of teamwork drilled into their heads throughout their training and their experiences. Then they're expected to suddenly do everything by themselves with almost no backup, not saying it as an insult but rather I think it's pretty self explanatory that it would take a while for them to just suddenly do their own things like that.

  8. @Simple History:
    I wish that all these men could've been given employment in Rhodesia. Had they done so, their lives, and the life of a nation would be vastly different today! :(…..

  9. inmagine britain changing the way they treat veterans LOL, after the crimean war the same thing happend, but the british are too prideful to admit that their country is rotten.

  10. "…
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "chuck him out, the Brute!"
    But it's "savior of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
    An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
    An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool- you bet that Tommy sees!"

    "Tommy (1890)"- Rudyard Kipling

  11. Among enemies they were conquerors, survivors, killers, heroes and they had purpose. Their true war began when they arrived home and realized that sheeps would never accept wolves amongst their herd. So much for christian compassion and charity.

  12. Part of the tragedy is, that from the point of view of a Government, there just isn't a whole lot they can do when 5-10% of their population is disabled. On top of rebuilding and paying off war debts, no matter how you look at it, there just isn't enough money to pay liveable pensions or subsidize employment of so many disabled veterans.

  13. Damn great grandpa you may have lost both of your Legs and an Arm But your the Damn Hero of Great Britain and Ireland I may Come from Two different worlds one Axis and the Allies but both fought well for there Countrys
    George E.Crane

    Fritz K.Bergman

  14. Good to see that all countries treated their surviving veterans who endured horrors that broke or killed most men with the same neglect and disrespect.
    No, it's obviously not "good". It's black sarcasm. The same a lot of veterans have.

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