First World War

A soldier's story: longing for home amid the carnage of the trenches

By Marcus Dysch, August 1, 2014

Marcus Segal enlisted at 17, entering the London Regiment straight from school in September 1914.

Standing only 5ft 2in tall, he became a Second Lieutenant in the 16th Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment a year later.

During his years of service he wrote more than 150 letters to his family, charting the tribulations of being Jewish on the frontline.


The outbreak of the First World War - as told in the pages of the JC

By Jennifer Lipman, August 1, 2014

Memories of the Russian pogroms and concern over whether war would provoke antisemitism in Britain were at the forefront of Anglo-Jewish minds when the First World War began a century ago this week.


The role we must not forget

By Helen Grant, August 1, 2014

Just about everybody, I hope, must be aware that this year is the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. The next four years will see countless events, large and small, marking it in a multitude of different ways.

And it will be truly worldwide. The First World War was just that: the first time a military conflict had touched every corner of the world.


Fighting with the enemy - the Kaiser’s Jewish soldiers

By Rosa Doherty, July 31, 2014

When war broke out in 1914 German Jews joined their county’s armed forces in their thousands.

“Jews had a profound sense of commitment to the German fatherland during the First World War,” said Toby Simpson, the learning and engagement manager at the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide.


Fighting battles on two fronts

By David Cesarani, July 31, 2014

The First World War transformed Jewish society in Britain, accelerating the upward social mobility of the immigrants and their children. But it placed enormous strain on the identity forged by British Jews and left the Jewish population bitterly divided.


New resource for relatives of First World War dead

By Charlotte Oliver, July 10, 2014

Families whose relatives died in the First World War can now learn more than ever before about their ancestors' burials thanks to the release of 300,000 original documents by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.


The forgotten WWI general

By Nadav Shemer, July 10, 2014

When schools around Britain mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I later this month, I wonder if Sir John Monash, the Jewish general who planned the offensive that broke German resistance, will rate a mention.

In Australia Monash is the closest one gets to being a war hero: a top university is named after him, so is a major freeway, and his face appears on the $100 note.


World War I and the Jewish question

By Colin Shindler, June 20, 2014

"Kingdoms shake and nations tremble

The shout of the warrior and the roar of battle resounds to the ends of the earth because of the fury of the oppressor.

The terrors of war are upon us: they have come close to our gates"


Teacher’s tribute to Great War fallen heroes

By Charlotte Oliver, April 25, 2014

A Jewish woman has completed a personal mission to record the last resting places of almost 3,000 Jewish soldiers who died in battle during the First World War.

Ruth Morris, an English teacher from Leeds, has spent the past two years painstakingly cross-referencing the names of fallen heroes listed in the British Jewry Book of Honour with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.


Stories from the frontline — what Jews did in the Great War

By Charlotte Oliver, March 13, 2014

Deep in the First World War trenches, 17-year-old Marcus Segal wrote a letter home to his family in Kilburn. “I can’t wait until we’re together again,” he said. “Sitting Seder and singing Ma Nishtanah.”