Race, empire and colonial troops
When the great powers went to war in 1914, they didn’t start a European war, but a world war. At the start of World War One, the whole of Africa, except Ethiopia and Liberia, was under European rule, and Great Britain and France controlled the two largest colonial empires. They would draw on them extensively for both human and material sources. Even by conservative estimates, well over 4 million non-white men were mobilised into the European and American armies during the War, in both combat and non-combat roles. This section gives a small glimpse into their experiences.
Curator Dr Philip Hatfield draws on photographs taken in Canada during World War One, including scenes of enlistment and arms manufacturing, to consider the range of contributions made by Canadian citizens.Read More
- Article by:
- Julie Anderson
World War One created thousands of casualties from physical wounds, illness, and emotional trauma. Dr Julie Anderson reflects on the subsequent impact on the role of doctors and nurses, and the medical treatment, organisation and new technologies that they employed.Read More
- Article by:
- Vanda Wilcox
In a war that saw new weaponry technology and great numbers of casualties, Assistant Professor Vanda Wilcox considers the common experiences of soldiers in active combat.Read More
How did World War One begin? Why did it escalate and what was the impact of both war and peace on the countries involved?
What was life like for the millions of professional, conscripted or recruited soldiers?
Over four million non-white men served in WWI. Explore more about their lives and responsibilities.
In addition to poetry, what were the other creative responses to the War? How have these affected our memory and understanding?