First World War was the start of the modern era, the era of which granted me
the opportunity of typing this on a computer rather than with pen and paper.
Today I live in a country that is quite small compared to its past, a nation
that once thrived and prospered through many Eras, until 1914 the start of the
Modern Era. I believe that World War One was the start of the British Empire’s
collapse, it did however gain some new territories from the outcome of what was
called “The Great War”.
all Empires come to an end, history can be my evidence for this statement. Some
of the empires that entered the World War were the: German Empire,
Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, all vanished
due to the war. Whereas for the: British Empire, Japanese Empire and Portuguese
Empire flourished and reaped the rewards of the war. Although the outcome might
have been beneficial to the victors, this can only last for so long before
people start to ask… “Why was there a World War?” Those who fought in the
battles on all fronts wanted more power for their homeland, such as: India,
Australia, New Zealand and countries in Africa. From this ideology of gaining
more power, many nations wanted independence from the Empires that they were
in, this included the British Empire.
the Great War London called its Empire to come to arms and support Britain, in
a War that didn’t directly involve them. This however allowed the idea of
fighting for your country and bringing honour to families. Even though many+
were seen as the minority, they apparently were never treated like a different
soldier. It seems that on the battlefield that history and anger between cultures
or status were left behind and only shared a common interest. Fighting the
enemy. This can be a reason why many wanted to stay in the Empire due to the
bonds soldiers had with each other. Captain W.D. Downes1
wrote a book titled “With the Nigerians in German East Africa”. This book was
for the memory of all Nigerians, placing; colour, race, creed and rank aside.
Capt. Downes commanded a crowd of men and he mentioned a Company Sargent Major,
CSM Belo Akure. “I have never seen a braver man… his one idea is that his
officers must on no account risk unnecessary danger; on no account will he let
an officer go in front of him on a road.” (Downes, 2015) This should undoubtedly explain that
British overseas soldiers had the same vigour and valour as anyone else in the
Empire. My point is that soldiers who fought in battles found that the
connection of staying with their superior is beneficial. As well as it shows
how home-grown British soldiers have respect for others that weren’t: born on
the same land as them, the same skin colour or the same religion. Regardless
this implies that respect still flowed in the Empire, this would be a major
impact if the loyalty of the Dominions had wavered away from the origin of the
those who hadn’t join in the war had a different view of the British Empire.
The event named “Easter Rising” was an Irish attack onto the British controlled
areas in major cities in Ireland. This was during the final days of April, 1916.
This was a 6 day revolt, it saw thousands of Irish revolutionaries fight to
adopt independence, independence from the monarchy and the rule of the British
Government. Unsurprisingly the British Empire extinguished the uprising,
therefore it lead to the surrender of the republicans on the 29th of
April. Majority of the leaders of the revolt were executed, over 5,000 had dies
and over 3,000 had been arrested (many of whom didn’t play any part of the uprising).
Capt. D. W. Downes was a British Officer in the Nigerian Brigade WAFF (1st,
2nd, 3rd and 4th Bns. Nigerian Regt.) in East
Africa until 1916. He then became an author and wrote about the bravery of the
comrades that fought alongside him.