WW1 Photos Centenary Website: 2014-2018 By Paul Reed

Rethel: On This Day in 1914


A century ago today the Old Contemptibles of the British Expeditionary Force were a week into the Retreat From Mons and it is easy to think there was some sort of pause in the war at this stage, but the fighting went on as the Belgian and French forces continued to face the German advance.

The town of Rethel in the French Ardennes had seen heavy fighting and more than 5100 townsfolk had fled the area. On this day in 1914 the town was set alight with more than 70% of its buildings being destroyed, as seen in this German field postcard. Rebuilt postwar, the town was once again very badly damaged in the Battle of France in 1940.

One response

  1. Reblogged this on Festival of War Peace and Remembrance : Wirral Remembers World War 1 (1914-1918) and commented:
    the ruins of Rethel in this photograph are very striking as only the church remains standing at this moment in time. Interesting panarama and sepia tones of the photograph vividly capture the chaos of the destroyed town as the German army continued to advance.

    02/10/2014 at 08:48

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