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Europe started WWI a century ago, blind to tragedy

n this 1914 file photo, World War I soldiers, known as Lancers, ride on horseback as they enter a Belgian village in the first days of the war on the Western Front. Fierce battles around Belgium’s Liege and Mons had great significance in the war by holding up the pressing Germans for a few days...

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HORIEN, Belgium (AP) — British Pvt. John Parr set off on his reconnaissance bike on the lookout for German troops amid the rolling farmland and woods south of Brussels in August 1914. It was the last anyone saw of ‘Ole Man’ Parr, the ironic nickname he won due to his tender age of 17. He became known as the first Commonwealth soldier to die on the Western Front of World War I, likely killed by German gunfire.
Another British private, George Ellison, was already moving to face the Germans in southern Belgium for the first battle of the two empires. He ...

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