A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W   Y  Z


'W Beach' One of the five beaches at Cape Helles on the southern tip of the Gallipoli peninsula, where Allied troops landed on 25 April 1915. map

War diaries Official day-to-day accounts kept by individual units within the British army.

'War guilt clause' Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles, which stated that Germany and the other Central Powers held sole responsibility for the outbreak of the First World War.

War ministries Ministries within the British government that were created specifically to meet the extra demands of the war between 1915 and 1918: Ministries of Blockade, Food, Information, Munitions, National Service, Pensions, Reconstruction and Shipping.

War Office The department of state responsible for the British army, 1683-1964.

War poets Generic term used in Britain to describe the various poets - including Robert Graves, Siegfred Sassoon and Wilfred Owen - who wrote about their experiences during the First World War.

War Propaganda Bureau Government organisation set up in September 1914 under Charles Masterman to oversee British propaganda at home and overseas during the First World War.

Warrant officers Officers in the Royal Navy holding a rank between executive officer and non-commissioned officer.

Wells, H G (1866-1946) British novelist and wartime propagandist for the Allied cause. Author of War in the Air (1908), The War that will end War (1914) and the controversial novel Mr Britling Sees It Through (1916).

West African Frontier Force First formed in 1900 to administer the regular colonial forces in British West Africa, the West African Frontier Force was composed mainly of African troops and consisted of the Queen's Own Nigeria Regiment; the Gold Coast Regiment; the Royal Sierra Leone Regiment; and the Gambia Regiment. It was re-named the Royal West African Frontier Force in 1928 and finally disbanded in 1960.

West India Regiment A regiment of long standing when war broke out in 1914, the West India Regiment was deployed only in Africa during the First World War. It was composed of troops from the Caribbean, and was eventually disbanded in 1927.

'Westerner' Term by which British soldiers and politicians who favoured concentrating solely on the Western Front during the First World War were known. Prominent 'Westerners' included the commander-in-chief of British forces on the Western Front, Sir Douglas Haig, and the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, William Robertson.

White Book Booklet of diplomatic correspondence published by the German government in August 1914, purporting to show that Germany was fighting a defensive war caused by Serbian terrorism and Russian aggression.

Wilhelm II (1859-1941) Last emperor of Germany. Acceded to the throne in 1888; abdicated on 9 November 1918. He played a prominent part in the events that culminated in the First World War.

Wilson, Woodrow (1856-1924) President of the USA, 1913-21. Adopted a policy of neutrality for much of the First World War, only allowing the USA to declare war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Key advocate of the League of Nations and a democratic post-war settlement based on the principles of national self-determination.

Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) Founded in March 1917 to provide women for employment with the British army at home and on the Western Front, thereby freeing men - previously working in administrative roles - for combat. The WAAC was divided into four sections: Cookery; Mechanical; Clerical; Miscellaneous. It was renamed the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps in April 1918.

Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) Founded alongside the RAF on 1 April 1918.

Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) Founded on 29 November 1917.

Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) Militant organisation for women's voting rights. Founded in 1903 by Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, its members were commonly known as Suffragettes.

Back to top of page back to top