Glossary

ANZAC

An acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a joint force assembled in 1915 for the Gallipoli campaign. April 25th is commemorated as ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand.

Armistice

Suspension of hostilities in a war often linked to while a peace treaty is being negotiated. In relation to WW1 it was signed at dawn on 11th November 1918 and came into effect at 11 am.

Bangalore Torpedo

An explosive charge placed within one or several connected tubes used by combat engineers to clear obstacles that would otherwise require them to approach directly, possibly under fire. It was first devised by Caption McClintock of the British Indian Army unit of the Madras Sappers and Miners at Bangalore, India, in 1912

Blighty

Origins from a Hindu word meaning a foreign country taken up by the British troops in India to refer to Britain. Later it was also used for a wound which would get one sent back home.

Chit

From the Indian Army used by the British as a slang for a piece of paper.

Eastern Front

The main line of combat between German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian forces during WW1. This Front was much longer, more changeable and less well defended than the Western Front.

Great Powers

Term used to describe major nations of Europe before WW1 which included Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia.

Great Push

Describes a major offensive, usually involving mass infantry charge across ‘no man’s land’ toward the enemy – used particularly in the Western Front.

Hague Conventions

Agreements on the protocol of war outlined in 1899 and 1907 which most nations were signatories. It sets out the rules of conflict, outlawing the targeting of civilian populations, the use of chemical and other prohibited weapons and the mistreatment of prisoners.

Hindenburg Line

Named after the German Commander in Chief, it was a defensive section of the Western Front running through northern France. It was constructed by the Germans in 1916-17 consisting of concrete fortifications, machine-gun posts, trenches and barbed wire.

Kitchener's Army

Men recruited into the British Army a result of Lord Kitchener's appeal for volunteers.

Posh

A slang used by the British to describe goods and services which are better than the norm. Originates from the British travelling to and from India by ship in the colonial days. Because of the heat from the sun, the rich passengers secured cabins on the Portside going east and Starboard side coming back to Britain which assured them the coolest part of the ship Therefore it was Port-Out Starbord-Home and finally shortened to POSH to describe goods and services much better than the norm.

Propaganda

Material or campaigns used for invoking an emotional response, often through distortion or misrepresentation of actuality or facts.

Reparations

Payments of money or goods as compensation for deaths, injuries and destruction inflicted during a war. These were imposed on all the defeated Central Powers in 1919, most significantly on Germany.

Sepoy

Derived from Persian meaning infantry soldier during the Mughal Empire. Was then used in the British Indian Army for an infantry private. Still used in the Sub-Continent forces for the rank of private soldier.

Western Front

One of the most theatres of war during WW1 which lasted the entirety of the war and stretched 450 miles from the coast of Belgium through northern France to the Swiss border.

Source: CAFHR-United Service Institution of India

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