Top WW1 Remembrance Tattoos

 In General

Everyone has a different way of showing their respect to our armed forces past and present. Millions of people buy the Poppy each year and observe the silence on Remembrance Day. Thousands of people visit war graves across Europe and beyond to pay their respects to an individual or a group of soldiers that paid the ultimate sacrifice… People wear t-shirts, run races, climb mountains, cycle across continents and do other crazy stuff in an effort to remember, raise money and raise awareness for a multitude of charities that help veterans. All of which is simply amazing.

Some people remember in a slightly different, more personal and much more permanent way – they have an image or a slogan/saying permanently tattooed on their body as a mark of respect and/or remembrance to a group of people or an individual of their choice. Tattoos (and the tattooed) often get negative press, but the trend of getting inked is incredibly popular these days and thousands and thousands of people are getting tattoos done – some are brilliant works of art (some are not so great!) – but here are a few examples of WW1 remembrance themed tattooes that have caught my eye… Let me know what you think! You can click on any of the images to get a better look!


tattooThis tattoo depicts a famous image of WW1 Soldiers advancing across barbed wire into No Man’s Land. The image is taken from film ‘The Battle of the Somme’ and is a very powerful image. I happen to love this image, but then I guess this is not surprising as this is my tattoo… I have had it for many years and people still stop me in the street to talk about it – even more so now that we are in the Centenary years and more people are seemingly aware of the war.


ww1 tatt portrait sommeKeeping with the Somme theme, this is a portrait of a very famous image of a man carrying a wounded comrade through a trench away from the danger of the front line. Everytime I see the image I wonder what both of the men have just been through -all around them the ‘Big Push’ of 1/7/1916 was in full swing but it was all going badly wrong with men getting murdered by machine gun fire all over the place. The tattoo itself is very good and has amazing detail, it must have been very difficult to do!


WW1_sleeve_part_1_by_NelsonMandingoThis tattoo includes an image of the same man carrying his wounded comrade out of the trench, you can see it just to the right of the red poppy – but it maybe isn’t quite as good. The main focus of this tattoo is the grave marker adorned with a helmet and the poppy at the foot of the grave. The grave stone is in a cross which would suggest it is an American war grave and as such an American design – although I cannot be certain. Above and below the image is the inscription: Some gave a lot, Some gave it all.




unknown soldierThis tattoo for the unknown soldier is very striking with a very intricate celtic type of cross with a red poppy in the centre. Their seems to be bagpipes and a tartan thrown in to the design as well. Another wicked design, one which I think would look much better ‘in the flesh’ that it does in the picture…




tank tattooI love this one – the detail is incredible. It shows a First World War British tank (the geeks out there will probably be able to tell which variant it is) roaring over an enemy trench system… It is such a shame that the picture is not very good quality as I would love to have a better look in detail at this tattoo – if anyone knows where I can get a better picture, please let me know! Or if you know you owns it even better – I would love to speak to them!




redbaron tatt 1There are lots of examples of tattoos of the Red Baron on the internet – some, like this one are pretty good. Others (ahem) are not so good… The great thing about the Red Baron’s tri-plane is the fact it was red! The colour is vivid and looks great as a tattoo – it really makes it stand out. This particular tattoo blends in the blue from the sky very cleverly and I love the detail of the rotor blades, it gives a real sense of motion to the whole thing – you can almost hear it whizzing past!


kitchener tattYou have to love a Kitchener tattoo! It is no surprise that perhaps one of the most iconic images ever in the history of iconic images makes a very popular piece of ink. There are many examples out there ranging quite significantly in quality! It is not an easy image to replicate in ink I am sure and this example is one of the better ones that I have found. Iconic, historical, patriotic ink – fantastic!





dardenelles tattTalking of iconic, historical and patriotic ink, this back piece depicting an ANZAC recruiting poster for the Gallipolli campaign is something else! Most definitely one of my favourite WW1 tattoos!




sassoon tattNot surprisingly there are hundreds of poppy related tattoos out there – and that is fantastic to see! I thought I would round of this little list of some of my favourite WW1 Remembrance inspired ink with something a little bit more ‘culteral’ and what could be more fitting that some words penned by the famous war poet Sigfried Sassoon: O, but everyone was a bird; and the song was wordless is taken from Sassoon’s poem Everyone Sang which was penned by Sassoon to celebrate, not just the end of the war, but to also celebrate peace.


There are lots of other tattoos out there and I have probably missed out some absolute corkers, if you know of any please let us all know! There are some fantastic WW2 tattoos that I have seen while looking for these, maybe some of those will fetaure in a different blog post…

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Showing 5 comments
  • John Craven

    Fantastic tribute to so many brave people, me grandad was in the merchant navy serving on HMS
    Maori which was torpedoed and sunk at Zebrugger, he spent nearly 3 day’s in the water hanging onto a bit of his boat (he couldn’t swim).

  • Gareth

    Getting the exact same tattoo finished tomorrow as that cross and poppy. Only I have at the top ‘Some Gave All’ and at the bottom ‘All Gave Some’. Will definitely look the part when it’s done. Lest We Forget

    • scottaddington

      Hi Gareth – fantastic stuff! pls send a picture and I will update the listing!

  • Liam mercer

    Allo mate I wanna get the first day of the battle of the somme tattoo on my fore arm. How much did it cost you mate. It’s a really cool and awesome idea

  • Mark

    Thinking of getting the Somme tattoo, Poppy’s on ground as well

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