mapsworldwide blog

We are an online specialist map retailer based in the United Kingdom, supplying maps, travel guides & nautical charts worldwide.

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Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

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Finally got to London in the last few days with the prime intention of going to the Tower of London to see the the sea of ceramic poppies flooding the moat of the Tower.

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The sheer mass of colour of these poppies was amazing, and when you reflect that each one represents a life lost during the 1914-18 war, and the number of poppies just represents the British casualties, think how many more there would be if all the casualties were represented the same way, I cannot begin to imagine how big an area would be required for them all!

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Commemorating World War One

ww1 mapI had a customer call the other day who wished to commemorate the first world war, by cycling the route of the front from Pfetterhouse to Nieuport.  He was looking into purchasing the 1:25 000 scale Bleue Series French IGN maps, until I pointed out that it would take at least 40-50 maps to cover the route, more possibly depending on which line of the front he followed.  However, he might have preferred to view the new IGN map Grande Guerre 1914-1918 which shows in detail the various front lines together with the sites of memorials etc.


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Commemorating World War One


I have just been listening to the radio as they were discussing letters between the soldiers at the front and those at home, and how often on both sides they tried to make light of the conditions they found themselves in.  However, I cannot forget my introduction to the War Poets when I was at school and in particular Wilfred Owen, who opened my eyes to the time and conditions, even if I do not understand poetry in general!  Perhaps in poetry, it was easier to be honest about the conditions than in was when communicated directly with loved ones.

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est 
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

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Commemorating World War One

9789078131045One hundred years ago this year, saw the start of one of the most devastating wars our world has known, with over 37 million civilian and military casualties, and over 16 million people killed.  Maps such as the one above, and the one below show how in places the front line barely moved during the entire war, and yet these areas are doted with thousands of graves of those who died on the battlefield, many of them sadly unknown.


Like most people, I know of at least one relative, buried in France or Belgium as a result of this conflict.  This is why I quite like the idea of the 2014 Real Poppy Campaign; wouldn’t it be a fitting tribute to all those who suffered in this conflict, and who are still suffering in conflicts around the world, the see every verge, hedgerow and garden turn red in their memory?