Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 May 2024

World War I 

see also Army, War
  1. Exterminate…the treacherous English, walk over General French's contemptible little army.
    allegedly a copy of Orders issued by the Kaiser Wilhelm II but most probably fabricated by the British
    Anonymous: annexe to BEF [British Expeditionary Force] Routine Orders of 24 September 1914, in Arthur Ponsonby Falsehood in Wartime (1928) ch. 10
  2. Ils ne passeront pas.
    They shall not pass.
    Anonymous: slogan used by the French army at the defence of Verdun in 1916; variously attributed to Marshal Pétain and to General Robert Nivelle, and taken up by the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War in the form ‘No pasarán!’; see Ibarruri
  3. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well.
    Kemal Atatürk 1881–1938 Turkish general and statesman: address to a group of visiting Australians at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, 1934; subsequently inscribed on the memorial there, and on the Atatürk memorials in Canberra and Wellington
  4. Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
    And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping.
    Rupert Brooke 1887–1915 English poet: ‘Peace’ (1914)
  5. My home policy: I wage war; my foreign policy: I wage war. All the time I wage war.
    Georges Clemenceau 1841–1929 French statesman, Prime Minister of France 1906–9, 1917–20: speech to French Chamber of Deputies, 8 March 1918
  6. Over there, over there,
    Send the word, send the word over there
    That the Yanks are coming,
    The drums rum-tumming everywhere.
    George M. Cohan 1878–1942 American songwriter, dramatist, and producer: ‘Over There’ (1917 song)
  7. We'll be over, we're coming over
    And we won't come back till it's over, over there.
    George M. Cohan 1878–1942 American songwriter, dramatist, and producer: ‘Over There’ (1917 song)
  8. See that little stream—we could walk to it in two minutes. It took the British a month to walk it—a whole empire walking very slowly, dying in front and pushing forward behind. And another empire walked very slowly backward a few inches a day, leaving the dead like a million bloody rugs.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald 1896–1940 American novelist: Tender is the Night (1934)
  9. My centre is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent, I am attacking.
    Ferdinand Foch 1851–1929 French Marshal: message during the first Battle of the Marne, September 1914; R. Recouly Foch (1919) ch. 6
  10. This is not a peace treaty, it is an armistice for twenty years.
    Ferdinand Foch 1851–1929 French Marshal: at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, 1919; Paul Reynaud Mémoires (1963) vol. 2
  11. Gott strafe England!
    God punish England!
    Alfred Funke 1869–1941 German writer: Schwert und Myrte (1914); see Anonymous
  12. The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.
    on the eve of the First World War
    Lord Grey of Fallodon 1862–1933 British Liberal politician: 25 Years (1925) vol. 2, ch. 18
  13. The war has used up words.
    Henry James 1843–1916 American novelist: in New York Times 21 March 1915
  14. Do your duty bravely. Fear God. Honour the King.
    Lord Kitchener 1850–1916 British soldier and statesman: message to soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force, August 1914
  15. Your country needs you.
    Alfred Leete 1882–1933 English graphic artist: slogan on First World War recruitment poster, 1914, showing Lord Kitchener pointing; see Field
  16. At eleven o'clock this morning came to an end the cruellest and most terrible war that has ever scourged mankind. I hope we may say that thus, this fateful morning, came to an end all wars.
    David Lloyd George 1863–1945 British Liberal statesman; Prime Minister, 1916–22: speech in the House of Commons, 11 November 1918; see Wells
  17. In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row.
    John McCrae 1872–1918 Canadian poet and military physician: ‘In Flanders Fields’ (1915)
  18. All quiet on the western front.
    Erich Maria Remarque 1898–1970 German novelist: English title of Im Westen nichts Neues (1929 novel); see Beers, McClellan
  19. Oh! we don't want to lose you but we think you ought to go
    For your King and your Country both need you so.
    Paul Alfred Rubens 1875–1917 English songwriter: ‘Your King and Country Want You’ (1914 song)
  20. You are all a lost generation.
    of the young who served in the First World War
    Gertrude Stein 1874–1946 American writer: phrase borrowed (in translation) from a French garage mechanic, whom Stein heard address it disparagingly to an incompetent apprentice; epigraph to Ernest Hemingway The Sun Also Rises (1926)