Britain is no country for old men: Britain is no country for a very old Second World War spitfire pilot called Flight Lieutenant Edmund James

Edmund, who is 98 years old, is one of the last remaining fighter pilots from the Second World War. While, at the age of 17, he was too young to fight in the Battle of Britain, Edmund enlisted in the RAF and joined 93 Squadron and based at Biggin Hill he saw action over British waters and above the fields of France during and after D-Day in 1944.

He was involved in …

Source: Britain is no country for old men: Britain is no country for a very old Second World War spitfire pilot called Flight Lieutenant Edmund James

When Christmas was cancelled: what 1647’s riots and rebellion can teach us today

Back in 1647, Christmas was banned in the kingdoms of England (which at the time included Wales), Scotland and Ireland and it didn’t work out very well. Following a total ban on everything festive, from decorations to gatherings, rebellions broke out across the country. While some activity took the form of hanging holly in defiance, other action was …

Source: When Christmas was cancelled: what 1647’s riots and rebellion can teach us today

Three faces – The Silent Eye

For November, it was a surprisingly pleasant morning. In need of somewhere to go to stretch our lockdown-cramped legs, we wandered to a neighbouring village to explore its history. Whilst personal preference may direct our attention to the ancient face of the land, it was because of more recent memory that we had landed in Whitchurch… this sleepy little backwater …

Source: Three faces – The Silent Eye

Saved by a judge: Historic Victorian station with a military history and a setting for “Dad’s Army” | Westminster Confidential

Brandon Station

Brandon Station

When Save Britain’s Heritage appeared before Mrs Justice Lang to argue the case for saving Brandon Station it was almost a lost cause.

Historic Brandon Station dating from 1845, built by a notable Victorian architect and now listed following the judgement …

Source: Saved by a judge: Historic Victorian station with a military history and a setting for “Dad’s Army” | Westminster Confidential

Resistance Fighter Noor Inayat Khan Honoured With Plaque in Central London

Hon. Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan (code name Madeleine), George Cross, MiD, Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Vermeil. Noor Inayat Khan served as a wireless operator with F Section, Special Operations Executive.

Hon. Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan (code name Madeleine), George Cross, MiD, Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Vermeil. Noor Inayat Khan served as a wireless operator with F Section, Special Operations Executive.

Female spy, Noor Inayat Khan, born in Moscow to Indian and US parents, made history in WWII when she became the first Muslim woman to be deployed behind enemy lines in Paris, France in 1943.

Today she is making history once more as…

Source: Resistance Fighter Noor Inayat Khan Honoured With Plaque in Central London

Nazi concentration camp guard convicted over 5,232 murders | World news | The Guardian

A 93-year-old former SS guard has been found guilty of accessory to the murder of 5,232 people at a Nazi concentration camp in the final days of the second world war.

Bruno Dey, who was 17 when he joined Stutthof concentration camp as a guard, was handed a two-year suspended sentence by a youth court in Hamburg on Thursday morning…

Source: Nazi concentration camp guard convicted over 5,232 murders | World news | The Guardian

It Wasn’t Just Pompeii. Archaeologists Say the Roman Republic and Even an Ancient Egyptian Kingdom May Have Been Ended by Volcanoes

Okmok Caldera, Alaska. Photo by J. Reeder. Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.

Okmok Caldera, Alaska. Photo by J. Reeder. Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.

What led to the demise of the Roman Republic?

Experts now believe that the eruption of a remote Alaskan volcano may be partly to blame.

The Okmok volcano erupted early in the year 43 BC, spewing clouds of ash into the atmosphere and blocking the sun’s rays, causing two of the coldest years in the past two and a half millennia. The event triggered a famine that exacerbated existing political tensions in Rome and led to the rise of the Roman Empire, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings…

Source: It Wasn’t Just Pompeii. Archaeologists Say the Roman Republic and Even an Ancient Egyptian Kingdom May Have Been Ended by Volcanoes

On Catherine the Great and Smallpox | toritto

‘… Let us speak of Catherine the Great, Autocrat and Empress of all Russia…

‘Catherine had seen first hand the ravages of smallpox.  Catherine herself was spared but she saw the horrors of smallpox and probably decided to make efforts to spare her people from the kind of suffering she saw when ascending the throne.  An “enlightened” monarch with a great interest in science and the enlightenment literature of the age, she would lead Russia into its golden age converting it from a backward nation into a …’

Source: On Catherine the Great and Smallpox | toritto

Thousands of ancient artefacts from Roman treasure to shipwreck bounty to be revealed by X-rays

Thousands of artefacts encased in centuries of concrete-like deposits – ranging from Roman antiquities to the contents of a 280-year-old shipwreck – are to have their secrets revealed by a state-of-the-art X-ray system…

Source: Thousands of ancient artefacts from Roman treasure to shipwreck bounty to be revealed by X-rays

Churchill statue ‘may have to be put in museum’, says granddaughter – BBC News

A statue of Winston Churchill may have to be put in a museum to protect it if demonstrations continue, his granddaughter has said.

Emma Soames told the BBC the war-time prime minister was a “complex man” but he was considered a hero by millions..

She said she was “shocked” to see the monument in London’s Parliament Square boarded up, although she said she understood why this…

Source: Churchill statue ‘may have to be put in museum’, says granddaughter – BBC News

How the 1896 Bombay Plague Changed Mumbai Forever – Atlas Obscura

Workers clean a house in a neighborhood affected by the 1896 bubonic plague. CAPT. C. MOSS / WELLCOME LIBRARY / PUBLIC DOMAIN

Workers clean a house in a neighborhood affected by the 1896 bubonic plague. CAPT. C. MOSS / WELLCOME LIBRARY / PUBLIC DOMAIN

ALONG THE WINDING LANES OF Bandra, a coastal suburb of Mumbai with a history of Catholicism, lime-washed crosses can be found near busy intersections. They are markers of a plague that ravaged the city more than a century ago when this metropolis was still known as Bombay. Mumbai was shaped by a catastrophe it has largely forgotten.

Source: How the 1896 Bombay Plague Changed Mumbai Forever – Atlas Obscura

Heinrich Himmler: How a fake stamp led to the Nazi SS leader’s capture – BBC News

A document vital to the capture of top Nazi Heinrich Himmler has been unearthed in the UK 75 years after his death. The items belonging to the SS leader, found in the possessions of a judge, are now due to go on display.

On 22 May 1945, a trio of odd-looking men was spotted by…

Source: Heinrich Himmler: How a fake stamp led to the Nazi SS leader’s capture – BBC News

VE Day: Last Nazi message intercepted by Bletchley Park revealed – BBC News

The last German military communications decoded at Bletchley Park in World War Two have been revealed to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. They were broadcast on 7 May 1945 by a military radio network making its final stand in Cuxhaven on Germany’s North Sea coast.

Source: VE Day: Last Nazi message intercepted by Bletchley Park revealed – BBC News