WW1 Hull: Facts and Figures

Whilst much information about Hull’s casualties was meticulously recorded, in general it wasn’t pulled together in the way it has been collected here. The charts below present a unique insight into the facts and figures.  Use them to show trends as no guarantee as to their exact accuracy  is given.  Additionally we are continuously updating the database and these charts are only a snapshot of the data at a specific moment in time.  


The Ten most bloodiest battles of World War One  B

Battle Total Casualties
1. Hundred Day Offensive 1,855,369
2. Spring Offensive 1,539,715
3. Battle of the Somme 1,219,201
4. Battle of Verdun 976,000
5. Battle of Passchendaele 848,614
6. Serbian Campaign 633,500
7. First Battle of Marnes 483,000
8. Battle of Gallipoli 473,000
9. Battle of Arras 278,000
10. Battle of Tannenberg 182,000


List of WW1 Casualties

Civilian Deaths as a result of direct military action: 950,000

Civilian Deaths caused by disease and famine: 6 million

 Country with the most military deaths: Germany (2.1 million)

Country with highest total death toll: Russia (3.8 million)

 Highest Percentage of population killed: Serbia (16.11%)

250,000 British Soldiers were suffered a partial or full amputation, as a result of fighting in the First World War.

List of Casualties in WWI

Countries Total Mobilized Killed / Died Wounded Prisoners and Missing Total Casualties Percent of Casualties
Russia 12,000,000 1,700,000 4,950,000 2,500,000 9,150,000 76.3%
France 8,410,000 1,357,800 4,266,000 537,000 6,160,800 73.3%
British Empire 8,904,467 908,371 2,090,212 191,652 3,190,235 35.8%
Italy 5,615,000 650,000 947,000 600,000 2,197,000 39.1%
United States 4,355,000 116,516 204,002 4,500 323,018 7.1%
Japan 800,00 300 907 3 1,210 0.2%
Romania 750,000 335,706 120,000 80,000 535,706 71.4%
Serbia 707,343 45,000 133,148 152,958 331,106 46.8%
Belgium 267,000 13,716 44,686 34,659 93,061 34.9%
Greece 230,000 5,000 21,000 1,000 17,000 11.7%
Portugal 100,000 7,222 13,751 12,318 33,291 33.3%
Montenegro 50,000 3,000 10,000 7,000 20,000 40.0%
Total 42,1888,810 5,152,115 12,831,004 4,121,090 22,104,209 52.3%
Central Powers
Germany 11,000,000 1,773,700 4,216,058 1,152,800 7,142,558 64.9%
Austria-Hungary 7,800,000 1,200,000 3,620,000 2,200,000 7,020,000 90.0%
Turkey 2,850,000 325,000 400,000 250,000 975,000 34.2%
Bulgaria 1,200,000 87,500 152,390 27,029 266,919 22.2%
Total 22,850,000 3,386,200 8,388,448 3,629,829 15,404,477 67.4%
Grand Total 65,038,810 8,538,315 21,219,452 7,750,919 37,508,686 57.6%

World War One in Numbers

Seventy-million men from 40 countries, were mobilised to fight around the world, from the trenches of the Western Front to the Middle East and Africa. There were more bullets fired, more bombs dropped, more men killed, more money borrowed and spent than in any war before. 

It was a war of numbers: men, ammunition, food – quantity was the difference between victory and defeat, and for the first time in human history, everything was recorded in exacting detail: 762,000 Britons enlisted in the first four weeks of the war; 980,000 ‘war’ horses shipped to Europe from America; the life expectancy of a WW1 pilot was only 15 flight hours; the cost of bullets for one day of fighting in 1918 was £3,800,000 – in today’s money that’s £237,500,000. The first World war was the first war fought in the air, the first war to use tanks and the first war to deploy chemical weapons on a mass scale. For the first time, battle wounds accounted for more deaths than disease, until the arrival of the ‘Spanish Flu’. By 1918, 60% of US deaths were attributed to flu and more than 40% of the US Navy had fallen ill. Below are some other WW1 facts in numbers:- 

SOLDIERS DIED: 9.7 million

SOLDIERS WOUNDED: 21.2 million

6,500 soldiers, died every day of the war, on average

70% of all battle casualties were caused by artillery weapons.

6.6 million civilians died in the war, including 2 million in Russia alone

7.5 million Prisoners of War and Missing Soldiers

240 Men took six hours to build a 250 meter trench.

25,000 miles of trenches dug on the Western Front, enough to encircle the world.

3 million miles of barb wire produced – enough to wrap around the world 140 times

£100 million lent to Britain by America for the war.

2 Billion letters sent between British families and soldiers fighting.

9 million food parcels sent to prisoners of war by the British Red Cross.

627 Servicemen were awarded the Victoria Cross.

185,000 British Troops taken Prisoner.

1 million men shipped back to Britain due to serious illness.

240,000 British Soldiers had limbs amputated.

80,000 British soldiers suffered shell shock.

20,000 British soldiers suffered ‘Trench Foot’

100,000 soldiers gassed in fighting.

110,000 tons of poison gas was used, resulting in 500,000 casualties.

6 weeks – life expectancy of a Junior Officer in the trenches

60,000 British Casualties on the the first day of the Battle of the Somme – 1st July 1916.

3,600 British soldiers killed per day in the five month Somme offensive

600 rounds per minute fired by a German machine gun.

150 yards – typical width of ‘No-Man’s’ land.

2,000 British war cemeteries on the old Western Front.

53 British villages suffered no war deaths. They were called ‘Thankful Villages’

8.9 million British Troops deployed.

30,000 aircraft built by UK factories per year.

8,200 Tanks produced by the war’s end

500,000 carrier pigeons were used to carry messages along the front.

1 million men enlisted in the British Army by January 1915.

250,000 soldiers lied about their age to enlist in Britain.

1 in seven weeks spent by a British soldier on the front line.

2 weeks a year leave was given to soldiers in the British Army.

5p basic daily pay for soldiers.

16,000 Conscientious Objectors refused to fight.

11 German Spies were executed by British authorities.

1.5 million Armenians were killed by Turkey’s Ottoman Empire in genocide.

3.5 million standard Lee Enfield rifles were built in Britain. 

5,554 Allied ships were sunk by U-Boats.

190,000 mines laid in waters around Britain.

1 billion artillery shells fired on the Western Front.

50 billion bullets fired.

1 million machine guns produced.

1 tonne of explosives fired, per square meter, of Western Front territory.

812 tonnes of cordite produced per week in Gretna factory, Scotland.

160 tonnes of munitions found in the fields on the old Ypres front in 2012.

400 female factory workers died from over exposure to TNT explosives.

6,000 Belgium civilians killed in 1914 by the German army.

200,000 Belgian refugees came to Britain.

557 people killed by German Zeppelin raids.

3 million acres of farmland created in Britain to prevent famine.

1,000  Daily average caloric intake for German adult civilians Jan 1918.

103 German airship and bomber raids on Great Britain.

675 Allied air raids on Germany

1.3 million Indian troops served in the war, including 100,000 Sikhs, 800,000 Hindu troops and 400,000 Muslims. 62,060 were killed in action. More than 1,000 of them lost their lives at Gallipoli and nearly 700,000 Sepoys fought in Mesopotamia. 8 VC’s were won by the Indian Army.

The First Soldiers to Die in WW1

Jules Andre Peugeot (1893-1914), the first French Soldier, killed on 2nd August 1914, aged 21.
Albert Otto Walter Mayer (1892-1914). The first German soldier killed on 2nd August 1914, aged 22

The first French Soldier to die in the war was Corporal, Jules-Andre Peugeot, of the 2nd Battalion, 44th Division. The First German victim of WW1 was Leutnant, Albert Meyer, of the 5th German Light Cavalry. They both fatally shot each other on the 2nd August 1914, in a skirmish at the nearby village of Joncherey, 30 hours before war was officially declared. 

Henry Hadley (1863-1914) was the first British civilian to die in the war, on the 5th August 1914. A teacher of Languages in Berlin, he was mistaken as a spy and shot by a Prussian Officer, Oberleutnant, Nicolay, while resisting arrest on a train.

Private, John Parr, of the 4th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex) Regiment, is believed to be the first British Soldier killed in WW1. He was shot dead by a German patrol near Mons, in Belgium, on August 21, 1914. Aged just 17 years old. He had been deployed in a two-man team as a reconnaissance cyclist to scout out German positions. He is buried in St Symphorien Military Cemetery, near Mons, opposite the grave of Private, George Edwin Ellison, 5th Royal Irish Lancers, thought to be last British soldier killed in action during the war. Ellison was shot by a sniper around, 9.30am on the 11th November 1918, 90 minutes before the Armistice came into effect. He was aged 40 and had fought throughout the war. He is buried just a few metres away from Private, George Lawrence Price, the Canadian soldier, killed aged 25, near Mons at 10:58am, and the last British Empire soldier killed in the Great War.

Private, John Parr,(1897-1914). Believed to be the first British soldier killed in WW1, on 21st August 1914, aged 17.
George Lawrence Price (1892-1918). A Canadian Soldier. killed two minutes before the war ended.

Some 11,000 soldiers were killed or wounded, on the last day of the war. They include, Augustin-Joseph Victorin Trébuchon, the last French Soldier, killed at 10.45am, aged 40 and Henry Nicholas John Gunther, an American soldier, aged 23, killed at 10:59 a.m., about one minute before the Armistice was to take effect at 11:00 a.m. 

Young Soldiers 

Many teenagers enlisted during the War. The British Army alone recruited 250,000 boys under eighteen during World War I. The youngest known soldier to ever participate in World War I is Momčilo Gavrić, from Serbia, who enlisted aged 8 years old after his family was killed early in the war. He was soon promoted to Corporal after battle of Cer. 

Bugler, Reginald Garth, from Perth, Australia, joined his father and brothers in the army in 1915. He was just 12 years old at the time. He did not see combat. His father Thomas and brother, Frank were killed in action in 1916. His brother John was returned home disabled in 1917, his third brother, Tom was discharged from the army on compassion grounds.

Corporal, Momčilo Gavrić, from Serbia, was the youngest soldier in WW1 at age 8. With no home or family, Momčilo Gavrić joined the 6th Artillery Division of the Royal Serbian Army in 1914.


Some of the Youngest Soldiers to die in the war, were:

  1. Désiré Bianco (1902-1915). The youngest French casualty of WW1

    Desiré Bianco of France, killed at Gallipoli on 8th May 1915, aged just 13 years and 1 month. He was born in Italy on 4th April 1902 and his parents had just moved to Marseille in France. Too young to serve, he managed to illegally board a troop ship there, in March 1915 and was found later when the ship was already at sea. He was incorporated in the 8th French Colonial Mixt regiment (later the 58th RIC), became the regimental mascot and landed with them in the Gallipoli peninsula on the 6th may 1915, for the second battle of Krithia. On the 8th of may, his regiment was launching an attack against the “haricot redoudt”: ordered to remain in the trench, Desiré was seen running and charging in the no man’s land holding the lieutenant’s sword: He had made just 5 yards, when he was immediately killed by two bullets. There is a Memorial statue  to him in Toulon.

  2. The Youngest sailor commemorated by the CWGC was aged 13: Mercantile Marine Cook, Redan Sydney Jeffries, on the Fishing Vessel “Vanguard” (Lowestoft), died on 24/10/1917, aged 13,   Son of Edith Maud Jeffries, of 26, Howard St., Lowestoft. Born at Lowestoft.
  3. Private, David S.U. Ross,11322, 2nd South African Infantry, died a prisoner of war, on 25th March 1918, aged 14 years and 3 months. Son of Mr. C. G. and Mrs. S. J. Ross, of Johannesburg. He joined the war veryCorporal,  young, in order to travel from South Africa to the UK and be trained. Despatched to the Front. He was wounded at Ypres; aged just 13 years and 9 months, before being captured and dying in captivity. He is buried at Heudicourt Communal Cemetery, France.
  4. Private, Thomas Woodgate, 297699, Royal Air Force, 23rd Training Sqdn. died on 10th October 1918, aged 14. Son of Edward J. and Hanora Woodgate, of Mill St., Callan, Co. Kilkenny. Initially thought to have been 18 when he died, it was only recently proven that he was aged14 when he drowned on the RMS Leinster, off the coast of Dun Laoighaire, County Dublin. He is buried in
    Abraham Bevistein, was just sixteen when he joined the 11th Battalion Middlesex Regiment.

    Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin and remembered on The Kilkenny World War 1 Memorial.

  5. Private, John Condon, 6322, 2nd Royal Irish Regiment, killed in a gas attack, at Ypres, on 24th May 1915, believed to be aged 14. John Condon, joined the army at 13 after faking his actual age. He is buried at Poelcapelle Cemetery, Belgium.
  6. Rifleman, Valentine Joe Strudwick, 5750, 8th Rifle Brigade, killed on the 14th January 1916, aged 15 and 11 months. Buried in Essex Farm Cemetery, Belgium. Son of Louisa Strudwick, of 70, Orchard Rd., Dorking. Born on Valentine’s day 1900, he enlisted in January 1915 was sent to France with just six weeks training. He had already been badly gassed and had just returned to France after 3 months treatment, at Sheerness, Kent. Valentine Joe died in action at Boezinge.
  7. Private, Abraham Bevistein, G1799, 11th Middlesex Regiment  was shot for cowardice in Calais — four weeks shy of his 18th birthday. Son of Rebecca and Joseph Bevistein, of 48, Anthony Street, Commercial Rd., London. A Polish Jew from East London, Aby enlisted under the surname “Harris”, in September 1914, aged 16 years and four months, He was wounded in December 1915, but soon passed fit for duty again. On February 12-13, 1916, shell shocked and deafened by German grenades, he again sought medical help but was directed back to the lines by a harried medical officer. Instead, Bevistein wandered away to the rear, and took temporary refuge at a French farm. The farm owner’s later testimony to Bevistein’s court-martial that the young tommy had expressed an intent to return to England sealed his fate as a deserter. He was executed on 20th March 1916, aged 17 and is buried at Labourse Communal Cemetery, France.


The outbreak of war in 1914 brought many new rules. These were enshrined in the Defence of The Realm Acts (DORA)

DORA gave the government the power to prosecute anybody whose actions were deemed to ‘jeopardise the success of the operations of His Majesty’s forces or to assist the enemy’. This gave the act a very wide interpretation. It regulated virtually every aspect of the British home front and was expanded as the war went on. If anyone broke these rules, they could be arrested, fined, sent to prison, or even executed. It’s estimated that almost a million arrests happened under DORA and a total of 11 ‘German spies’ were executed under the regulations.

A full list of the 11 executed spies under DORA:

  • Carl Lody, 34, executed 6 November 1914

  • Carl Muller, 57, executed 23 June 1915

  • Willem Roos, 33, executed 30 July 1915

  • Haicke Janssen, 30, executed 30 July 1915

  • Ernst Melin, 49, executed 10 September 1915

  • Augusto Roggin, 34, executed 17 September 1915

  • Fernando Buschman, 25, executed 19 September 1915

  • George Breeckow, 33, executed 26 October 1915

  • Irving Ries, 55, executed 27 October 1915

  • Albert Meyer, 22, executed 2 December 1915

  • Ludovico Zender, 38, executed 11 April 1916

10 Surprising Laws passed in the First World War.

Here are a few of the surprising measures introduced by DORA – some of which still affect life in Britain today.

1. WhistlingWhistling for London taxis was banned in case it should be mistaken for an air raid warning.

2. Loitering. People were forbidden to loiter near bridges and tunnels or to light bonfires.

3. Clocks Go ForwardBritish Summer Time was instituted in May 1916 to maximise working hours in the day, particularly in agriculture. British Summer Time was first established by the Summer Time Act 1916. In 1916, BST began on 21 May and ended on 1 October. With some variations, Clocks still go forward and backwards today.

4. DrinkingClaims that war production was being hampered by drunkenness led to pub opening times and alcohol strength being reduced. The ‘No treating order’ also made it an offence to buy drinks for others. It restricted opening hours for licensed premises to Lunch (12:00 to 14:40) and  Supper (18:30 to 22:30). “Last Orders” and “Drinking up time” were introduced with pubs closing at 11pm. These restrictions remained in place until the late 1980’s.

5. DrugsPossession of cocaine or opium, other than by authorised professionals such as doctors, became a criminal offence.

6. BlackoutsA blackout was introduced in certain towns and cities to protect against air raids.

7. Press CensorshipPress censorship was introduced in WW1, severely limiting the reporting of war news. Many publications were also banned. A Minister of Information was appointed to help recruit soldiers, motivate the armed forces, and maintain support on the Home Front. “Defeatism”, was suppressed, not only in the media, but also in novels, entertainment, and in private correspondence. Censorship was so effective, that civilians had little knowledge of what happened at the front. Even the bloodiest defeat in British history, at the Somme in 1916 – in which Allied troop casualties numbered 60,000 – went largely unreported. The battle’s disastrous first day was reported as a victory.

8. Postal CensorshipPrivate correspondence was also censored. Military censors examined 300,000 private telegrams in 1916 alone.

9. White Flour. Fines were issued for making white flour instead of whole wheat and for allowing rats to invade wheat stores. Further restrictions on food production eventually led to the introduction of rationing in 1918.

10. Foreign Nationals. DORA put restrictions on the movement of foreign nationals from enemy countries. The freedom of such ‘aliens’ was severely restricted, with many interned. The British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914 was passed on the outbreak of World War I. A new format was introduced in 1915: a single sheet folded into eight with a cardboard cover. It included a description of the holder as well as a photograph, and had to be renewed after two years.

Inventions that owe their success to World War One, They include, Sanitary Towels and paper hankies, Sun Lamps to prevent Ricketts, Tea bags for transportation, wrist watches, Vegetarian Sausages, Zips, Stainless steel and pilot communications

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