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

January 29, 1944 Operation Pied Piper – Today in History

94330In the summer of 1938, the horrors of the Great War were a mere twenty years in the past.  Hitler had swallowed up Austria, only six months earlier.   Authorities divided the British Isles into “risk zones”, identified as “evacuation,” “neutral,” and “reception.”  In some of the most gut wrenching decisions of the age, these people were planning “Operation Pied Piper”, the evacuation of…

via January 29, 1944 Operation Pied Piper – Today in History

The Welsh copper who became a Nazi double agent | historywithatwist

We have fanciful notions about spies – the men are dashing James Bond-types and the women are exotic, like Mata Hari. Alas, the reality can often be more prosaic. Take, for example, Gwilym Wi…

Source: The Welsh copper who became a Nazi double agent | historywithatwist

TV Review – Titanic’s Tragic Twin: The Britannic Disaster and Dan Snow on Lloyd George: My Great-Great Grandfather | Enough of this Tomfoolery!

Celebrations for the First World War centenary continued in 2016 with events and new books published commemorating and observing the centenaries of the Battles of the Somme and Jutland. It is there…

Source: TV Review – Titanic’s Tragic Twin: The Britannic Disaster and Dan Snow on Lloyd George: My Great-Great Grandfather | Enough of this Tomfoolery!

Mametz Wood: The stretcher bearers to the Somme’s stricken – BBC News

The unit was raised mainly from St John-trained men from across the south Wales coalfields – Amman, Garw, Ogmore Vale and Rhondda valleys and Gwent

The largely over-looked efforts of the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance unit in Mametz Wood.

Source: Mametz Wood: The stretcher bearers to the Somme’s stricken – BBC News

Bonaparte Dethron’d April 1st 1814 | The Printshop Window

It’s been a while since we looked at any transfer-printed pottery on the Printshop Window and so I thought I’d share these images of a creamware jug which came up at auction recently.

The jug was manufactured by the Cambrian Pottery Company of Swansea and is dated 1st April 1814. The design is somewhat unusual in that it is an original composition rather than a copy of an existing caricature print. It was drawn and engraved by James Brindley, an English engraver working in Swansea for a period of about five years between 1813 and 1818. Brindley produced this image and another satirical design, entitled Peace and Plenty, specifically for use in the potteries. We know Brindley was responsible for creating these two designs because his signature appears on both, although David Drakard points out that it was obliterated from later transfers, possibly because “confirmation that both the design and the engraving was not their own work was too much for the Cambrian Pottery” (Drakard, p.248).

The image is a complex one in which several figures gather around…

Source: Bonaparte Dethron’d April 1st 1814 | The Printshop Window

Operation Mincemeat: The Biggest Bluff of WWII

History Wench

The Second World War is the setting for some of history’s greatest espionage tales. Public imagination is frequently captured by the image of a suave and intelligent agent undertaking covert missions for Queen and country. This post will detail one of the more unusual of these espionage stories – ‘Operation Mincemeat. A plan which was masterminded by Ewen Montagu and targeted the German intelligence orginisation, Abwehr.

The agent used in Operation Mincemeat was worlds away from the charming and sophisticated agent popular culture often likes to depict – he was a semi-literate tramp from Aberbargoed, Wales. This agent’s name was Glyndwr Michael. Whats more is that Michael was already dead when he successfully carried out his mission.

Michael’s personal history is one of sadness and tragedy. His father committed suicide when he was just fifteen years old and his mother died sixteen years later. He was left penniless, homeless, and depressed. Shortly after the death…

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A ‘Hotbed of Immorality’? World War One and Sexual Panic

Workhouse Tales

War generates change (both perceived and real) in sexual conduct, and at the beginning of the First World War, young women were accused of being carried away by ‘Khaki Fever’ which in turn drove campaigns to curb the behaviour of young, mainly working-class, women. Similarly, fears that soldiers and sailors would be in danger of contracting venereal diseases from an increased number of women working as prostitutes resulted in draconian military legislation on the female population. Curfews were enforced, anti-immorality associations were formed, and female police officers were introduced.

In Swansea, a Women’s Citizen Union with a membership of 120 was formed at a conference for the promotion of public morals which was convened by women’s groups and led by well-known philanthropists Lady Lyons and Lady Llewelyn. Public morality had always been of concern to many women’s groups in Swansea, Lady Llewelyn had instigated and chaired a Ladies’ Workhouse Visiting…

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TimePlays – 500 years of stories brought to life in daily performances

Originally posted on Historic Royal Palaces.

Every day at Hampton Court Palace from 3 April to 31 August:

Meet characters from the palace’s past and witness scenes of five hundred years of life at the Palace, from the Tudors to the present day.

If the walls of Hampton Court could speak…

Experience history close-up, as bite-sized dramas, inspired by real characters and events from Hampton Court’s past, play out across the palace every day.  Through a series of specially-written micro-plays by award-winning playwright Elizabeth Kuti, directed by Pia Furtado, discover some of the extraordinary lives lived within these walls over the past 500 years as you explore…

via TimePlays – 500 years of stories brought to life in daily performances.