The First World War was the first truly global conflict. From 1914 to 1918, fighting took place across several continents, at sea and - for the first time - in the air. It cost the lives of over ten million soldiers.
The British Army has played a central role in the long history of conflict and co-operation between Britain and Ireland. Here we explore some of the key moments in this difficult but fascinating story.
James Frederick Plunkett served on the Western Front throughout the First World War. His courage, leadership and devotion to duty enabled him to rise through the ranks and become one of the most highly decorated servicemen of the war.
Paul Sarrut was a French soldier who was posted to the British Army as a military liaison officer and interpreter during the First World War. Trained as an artist, Sarrut created an important visual record of the 3rd (Lahore) Division in France.
After the First World War, British society had to come to terms with the loss of huge numbers of its service personnel. Across the country, people found ways to commemorate the fallen at a local and national level.
The grave of the Unknown Warrior contains the remains of an unidentified British serviceman, interred in 1920 to honour the fallen of the First World War. The selection was a secretive event and remains shrouded in mystery.
Chance plays a significant part in deciding a soldier’s fate on the battlefield. Here we look at examples of close shaves and extraordinary escapes, and examine some of the superstitions soldiers draw on for comfort and protection.
In 1918, the artist Alfred Munnings was tasked with recording the wartime contribution of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade and Forestry Corps. His paintings highlight the military role of horses, capturing their beauty in the war-affected landscapes of France.
In the First World War, the cavalry could no longer deliver the decisive charges it had performed in the past. But it continued to carry out a variety of useful roles that contributed to British success.
Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts successfully led troops against Britain in the Boer War. He later commanded the South African Defence Force fighting alongside British soldiers in several First World War campaigns.
After the Armistice in November 1918, millions of soldiers hoped they would soon go home. But demobilising so many troops was a huge task. How best to mark the Allied victory also became a subject for debate.