6 years ago
On Friday 11 November at 11.00 am, we will take 2 minutes out of our busy days to remember those that fought and died in World War 1. This date is significant as it marks the end of the war, the 2 minute silence was first observed in 1919, exactly one year after the war ended.
Initially, it was thought that the war would be rapid and offensive, and would be over quickly. They were wrong, by Christmas 1914, defensive lines of trenches stretched from the Channel coast to the Swiss border. Up to 2 million men were serving on the Western Front and these men needed supplies. By 1918 each Division of around 12,000 men needed about 1000 tonnes of supplies every day. The British Army were hampered by the English Channel, this was before ferries had been built to carry wagons, so supplies had to be loaded onto a ferry then reloaded onto a train once in France.
The loading and un-loading of a these ships contents was so different then compared to today. It required sheer armies of stevedores and longshoremen to physically move cargo by hand. Of course, there were cranes and booms that could lift them into the hold but these men had the back breaking job of moving the cargo around in the hold and securing it down.
Today we take for granted how easy it is to move cargo around the world. Here at Kestrel we help importers and exporters move their goods with relative ease. Loading and unloading of ships has greatly changed. Most cargo is transported in containerised form and requires fewer workers at ports with the advancement in our cranes and lifting gear.
As we pay our respects to those that fought in WW1 we could take time to consider just how much things have changed since then and be thankful to them.