72,396 shrouded figures were laid out in London in honor of the fallen soldiers



The First World War resulted in so many illnesses and many soldiers were killed throughout the war. The war brought forth new illnesses, and wounds that were unfamiliar to the doctors treating the veterans at the time. As a result of them being unfamiliar with the disease, long-term untreatable conditions surfaced and to an extent killed some soldiers. Ceylan Yeginsu from The New York Times article states that “the 72,396 British who died on the battlefields in France from 1916 to 1918 and who had no known graves, …. 19,240, the number killed on just the first day of the Battle.” The emphasis is placed on the number of veterans that died on the very first day of the war. Veterans were not properly equipped or trained to fight and protect themselves. According to Vanda Wilcox, “wounded men were carried or escorted break to field hospitals  for treatment, while the dead could only be buried if there was a suitable break in the fighting.” This imagery is particularly gruesome because it explains that the battlefield was such a place of brutality, that soldiers could not even have a respectful burial unless there was a chance do so amidst all the fighting. There were several significant technological advances taking place during the First World War to better enhance their fight. In the late 19th century, World War One was introduced to new weapons such as poison gas, tanks, and new machine guns. Machine Guns were also buried underneath trenches. This was a strategy developed that enabled the ammunition to be more accessible for the veterans in unforeseeable situations.

Wilcox, Vanda. “Combat and the Soldier’s Experience in World War One.” The British Library, The British Library, 20 Jan. 2014,

Yeginsu, Ceylan. “A Somber World War I Memorial in London Seeks to Finally Lay the Fallen to Rest.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 9 Nov. 2018,