Great Uncle Norman: ‘shot by a single sniper’

Great Uncle Norman is one of the forbears I remember during November and think about on many occasions.

First Night History

They Shall Grow Not Old © Sarah Vernon (prints, posters, cushions, cards)They Shall Grow Not Old © Sarah Vernon (prints, posters, cushions, cards)

‘Five foot ten of a beautiful young Englishman under French soil. Never a joke, never a look, never a word more to add to my store of memories. The book is shut up forever and as the years pass I shall remember less and less, till he becomes a vague personality; a stereotyped photograph.’

Captain Noman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon Captain Norman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon

Poor Norman.

Such a commonplace death.  Shot by a single sniper. Youngest child, only son.  Three sisters and a father left to grieve along with so many other fathers, mothers, sisters, wives, brothers, children.

“Poor Norman,” said my grandmother Joyce in the 1950s, and turned away so that her youngest son changed the subject.  Was she still, so many, many years later, too saddened by her brother’s death to talk or had he, for her, become nothing…

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9 Sites on the River Thames That Tell the Story of Charles Dickens | Heritage Calling

Portrait of Dickens (detail) in 1843 when he was 21, painted by Margaret Gillies. Public Domain.

Portrait of Dickens (detail) in 1843 when he was 21, painted by Margaret Gillies. Public Domain.

2020 sees the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens, considered by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era; author of books such as Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend. Many of his novels – and his journalism – were shaped by a time of hardship in his childhood and by firsthand knowledge of the cruel…

Source: 9 Sites on the River Thames That Tell the Story of Charles Dickens | Heritage Calling

First Night Design | My Comments on Your Blogs and That Virus

First Night Design

Comments

Mint Sauce @ Sarah Vernon Shower Curtain at RedbubbleMint Julep @ Sarah Vernon
Shower Curtain at Redbubble

The comments I made and make on your blogs do not register and haven’t during my blog sabbatical.  I have been unable thus far to resolve the situation  This is something I should have told you as soon as I returned from my sabbatical a month ago because it’s still happening. On top of this, there are new comments on old blog posts when comments allowed comments that I don’t seem able to reply to. Apologies. It’s very frustrating.

COVD-19

And now to the pandemic. Please keep safe and follow best practice. There’s a great deal of fake advice out there so check your sources.

In the UK, we have been very ill-served by the Prime Minister (no surprise when you look at the lies spouted about Brexit which pushed so many to believe it would be ‘a good thing’…

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9 of the best historical novels – as chosen by expert historians

‘On World Book Day, and following the release of the eagerly-awaited final book in Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror & The Light, we asked nine expert historians and authors to share with us their favourite historical novels…’

Source: 9 of the best historical novels – as chosen by expert historians

The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool


Screenshot 2020-02-11 at 2.33.59 pm

DURING WORLD WAR I, A grandmother in Belgium knitted at her window, watching the passing trains. As one train chugged by, she made a bumpy stitch in the fabric with her two needles. Another passed, and she dropped a stitch from the fabric, making an intentional hole…

Source: The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool

The Secret London Exhibition for Spies’ Eyes Only – Atlas Obscura

Installation shots from inside the exhibition. THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES: HS10-1-3

Installation shots from inside the exhibition. THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES: HS10-1-3

When Ealing Studios released a feature film in 1948 that showed a secret wartime spy workshop hidden in London’s Natural History Museum, the plot was too far-fetched for critics and the public. The New York Times said Against the Wind conveyed only “a minimum of the truth” behind Second World War sabotage efforts. Its director Charles Crichton—perhaps best known for the comedy A Fish Called Wanda—was also rebuffed: “Only Crichton would think of having his secret London headquarters in a museum of stuffed dinosaurs” scoffed…

via The Secret London Exhibition for Spies’ Eyes Only – Atlas Obscura

The Lost Artist: Love Passion War – A Search for a Famed Illustrator Uncovers a WW II Hero

lostartist

1934: A 13-year-old Jewish boy escapes Nazi Germany to become the highest decorated WWII Palestinian (future Israeli) soldier in the British Army.

2010: A top Israeli computer scientist searches for her favorite artist of her youth.

From the rise of the Nazi Party through the formation of the State of Israel, across a sea of time, their worlds collide…

via The Lost Artist: Love Passion War – A Search for a Famed Illustrator Uncovers a WW II Hero

The Diary Of Renia Spiegel: Another Teen’s Remarkable Record Of Hiding From The Nazis

Renia Spiegel

Renia Spiegel

Almost everyone has heard of Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who kept a diary during her time in hiding from the Nazis in 1942.  It has recently come to light that another diary of a World War II-era teenager has been found.  Renia Spiegel, from the village of Uhryńkowce in the Tarnów region of Opałszczyce in Poland, kept a diary from January of 1939 until…

via The Diary Of Renia Spiegel: Another Teen’s Remarkable Record Of Hiding From The Nazis

B-17 Wreckage Discovered in English Channel Forces Rerouting of Undersea Cable

germanbomber

The 1GW Nemo cable being placed at the bottom of the English Channel will need to be rerouted after the discovery of a World War II bomber.

As the Belgian transmission operator, Elia, announced, the US bomber was discovered during preparation for the 140 km link. The team was using multi-beam echo sounders, side scan sonar and…

via B-17 Wreckage Discovered in English Channel Forces Rerouting of Undersea Cable

What happened to the children of Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirt followers?

Blackshirt followers of Oswald Mosley gave Nazi salutes in the street, openly greeted strangers with anti-Semitic slogans and holidayed at ultra-right-wing seaside camps CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Blackshirt followers of Oswald Mosley gave Nazi salutes in the street, openly greeted strangers with anti-Semitic slogans and holidayed at ultra-right-wing seaside camps CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

In a memoir published in 1998, journalist Trevor Grundy recalled how, when he was a boy just after the war, his mother used to come out on to the front step of their house in Paddington to see him off to school. As he turned out of the square where they lived, he’d wave back at her.

Each morning, she’d stand to attention and fling out her right arm in a full fascist salute. ‘I returned it. “PJ,” she shouted…

via What happened to the children of Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirt followers?

D-Day: Pointe du Hoc | History Geek

First Night History

The prominent heights of Pointe du Hoc on the Normandy coast were the scene of a desperate battle during the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944.  The strategic promontory overlooks Utah Beach to the wes…

Source: D-Day: Pointe du Hoc | History Geek

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Fake History 6 : The Failure of primary source evidence. | First World War Hidden History

ed-fullbrookEstablishment historians place great value on the use of primary source evidence. This is described as ‘Narrative Fixation’ by the heterodox economist Edward Fullbrook [1] who cites Einstein’s famous aphorism:
‘Whether you can observe a thing or not depends on the theory which you use: It is the theory which decides what can be observed.’…

via Fake History 6: The Failure of primary source evidence. | First World War Hidden History

Modern criticism of Winston Churchill is fake history – it’s based on quotes taken out of context

Some welcome sanity from historian Andrew Roberts.

British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) in the garden at 10 Downing Street, London, circa 1943. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) in the garden at 10 Downing Street, London, circa 1943. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

by Andrew Roberts

The movie Darkest Hour, in which Gary Oldman won an Oscar playing Winston Churchill, has garnered many plaudits, and deservedly so. It introduced a new generation to Churchill and the inspiring story of 1940, reminding them of how Britain stood alone for a year against the might and fury of Nazi Germany.

But it has also produced a vicious backlash against Churchill and all that he stood for and unleashed an avalanche of vitriolic abuse, much of it ahistorical and ignorant.

It says more about our modern “fake history” culture than anything about…

via Modern criticism of Winston Churchill is fake history – it’s based on quotes taken out of context – The i – iWeekend #28