Milunka Savic enlisted in the Serbian military pretending to be a man. She fought in WWI and was wounded no less than nine times during her service. She also single-handedly captured 23 Bulgarian soldiers.
US Marine John Kelly was the last person to be awarded 2 Medals of Honor. He ran 100 yards in advance of the front line and attacked an enemy machine gun nest, killed the gunner with a grenade, shot another man with his pistol, and returned with 8 prisoners. He was 19.
The youngest soldier in WWI was only 8 years old.
In 1916, Manfred von Richthofen was considered a below average pilot who crashed during his first flight. Despite this poor start, he rapidly became attuned to his aircraft. Upon his death two years, and 80 aerial kills later, the British buried The Red Baron with full military honors out of respect for his skill as an aviator.
The youngest participant in World War I was 8 years old.
During World War 1, Harry Houdini took 1 year off performing to help sell war bonds and teach American soldiers how to escape from German handcuffs.
Prior to World War I, sharpshooter Annie Oakley was touring Europe. By his request, she knocked the ash from a cigarette being held by German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II. When World War I broke out, she wrote to him and requested a second shot.
During World War 1, the United States Government tried to rename hamburgers as “liberty sandwiches” to promote patriotism.
After World War I, Germany experienced a period of ridiculous inflation so rapid that, reportedly, the value of a cup of coffee could double during the time it took to drink it. This also meant that everyday goods could suddenly be priced at millions or billions of marks (with salaries changing just as fast). As a result of the sudden confusion and anxiety that accompanied every purchase (“Is 50,000 marks a lot for a can of beans?” “Well, you can get a cup of coffee for 35,000 marks — oh, wait, they changed it again …“), Germany saw the rise of a brand new and unique mental disorder specific to that place and time: zero stroke. The persons afflicted with the malady are perfectly normal, except “for a desire to write endless rows of ciphers…“. Cashiers, bookkeepers, and bankers were most prone to this affliction. Besides a compulsion to write endless strings of zeros, individuals who suffered from this condition would reportedly become confused when referring to numbers and would state that they were 10 billion years old or had 40 trillion children.
In 1964 the German government decided to back pay East African soldiers (Askari) that had fought for them in WWI. Many had no proof of service so they had to perform the Manual of arms in German with a broom to prove themselves. Not one of them failed.
In 1914, a 19 yo British boy was court martialed for desertion. He was undefended and called no witnesses, as all of his comrades had been killed in action. He was hastily sentenced, and on September 8th became the first WWI soldier to be executed for desertion. He was finally pardoned in 2006.