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

The Secret Story of the POWs Who Tunnelled Through a Toilet to Freedom – Narratively

Part of the first group of American prisoners to arrive at Oflag 64 in June, 1943. Escapee Lt. Ed Ward is on the far right in the bottom row. Beside him is Lt. Sid ‘Mouse’ Waldman, who was in charge of soil dispersal from the Cory tunnel. (Photo courtesy Ed Ward Jr.)

Skinny, gaunt, 25-year-old William Ash from Dallas, Texas, strolled up to the wooden shed that housed the prisoner of war camp’s communal latrine block – the Abort, the Germans called it. A fellow POW lounging against the wall by the door gave Ash a nod. This guy was a “stooge,” standing lookout, and the nod indicated the “all clear.” Ash passed into the Abort building.

It was Wednesday, March 3, 1943, a bleak winter’s day. And this toilet block was the main ablutions facility in the…

Source: The Secret Story of the POWs Who Tunnelled Through a Toilet to Freedom – Narratively

Illustrated London News May 15, 1943—General Alexander

illuslondnewsheaderalexanderalexandertext

THE BRITISH “ALEXANDER THE GREAT”: GENERAL SIR HAROLD ALEXANDER, WHOSE SUPERB STRATEGY IN THE BATTLE OF AFRICA HAS BEEN HAILED BY OUR ALLIES AND BY NEUTRAL STATES AS EPOCH-MAKING.

A second triumph has come to General Alexander; with Montgomery in the field, he planned the campaign that started at El Alamein, and now, as chief strategist of the Tunisian campaign, he has used the men of the Eighth Army, the First Army, the Second American Corps and the Corps d’Afrique with brilliant results. He has completely out-generalled von Arnim and helped to bring about the repaying of the Dunkirk debt.  General Alexander was appointed C.-in-C., Middle East, in 1942, after fighting, as G.O.C., Burma, the brilliant delaying action which saved India by giving us time to reorganise. It was he, too, who was in command at last on the beaches of Dunkirk, and on that occasion as well, no  little credit is due to him as a master strategist. Now these bitter memories will be wiped out, and he has the satisfaction of knowing the enemy are suffering the same as our men at Dunkirk.

Reading the above, which is from my original edition of The Illustrated London News, 15th May 1943, the one thing that strikes me above all is the clue the last sentence gives about the reality of Dunkirk. Only the brain-dead would not have realised that that episode of the war had been an unmitigated disaster.

© Sarah Vernon

On this day: The Blitz, 1943.

In Times Gone By...

“Two bewildered old ladies stand amid the levelled ruins of the alms-house which was Home; until Jerry dropped his bombs. Total war knows no bounds.”

Alms-house bombed Feb. 10, Newbury, Berks., England.” Photograph taken 11th February, 1943.

Source

ww2Two bewildered old ladies stand amid the levelled ruins of the almshouse which was HomeAlmshouse bombed  10 Newbury   Photograph taken 11th February

View original post

Personal gifts from Mr Churchill – Untold lives blog


World War II propaganda poster featuring Winston Churchill ©De Agostini/The British Library Board Images Online

This week the 50th anniversary of the death of Winston Churchill is being commemorated.  There has been a flood of articles analysing his role in British history.  Untold Lives would like to highlight three little-known files in the India Office Records which show Mr Churchill’s generosity to men who had been his servants when he was a young officer in the British Army.

Churchill sailed for India with his regiment, the Queen’s Own Hussars, in October 1896.  He was stationed initially at Bangalore. In July 1943 the India Office set its administrative wheels in motion on behalf of Prime Minster Churchill who wished to send a personal gift of 100 rupees to his former servant Mr S Joshua. Mr Joshua was an inmate of the Friend-in-Need Society’s home in Bangalore.  Officials in London and India liaised to transfer the money through the Resident in Mysore to Mr Joshua after he had shown proof of his identity.  Churchill conveyed his thanks from Quebec where he was attending an Allied conference. He sent a cheque for £9 6s 9d made out to ‘Accountant-General India Office’ to cover to cost of the gift and a telegram to India.

Mr P Muniswamy wrote a letter to Churchill from Bangalore in December 1946 and again in May 1947 after he heard about the 100 rupees sent to Mr Joshua.  He claimed to be an ‘old old Servant’ who had worked for Churchill when he was stationed in India.  Churchill thought that he did remember   a servant of that name some 50 years earlier and asked the Private Secretary to…

via Personal gifts from Mr Churchill – Untold lives blog.

On this day: Food rationing was introduced in the United Kingdom

In Times Gone By...

UK Childs Ration Book WW2

A children’s ration book

On the 8th of January, 1940, food rationing was introduced in the United Kingdom as the Second World War raged on.

Petrol had been rationed since 1939, but in January restrictions were placed on bacon, butter and sugar.

A shopkeeper cancels the coupons in a British housewife's ration book for the tea, sugar, cooking fats and bacon she is allowed for one week. April 1943.

Stamping coupons in April 1943

Many more restrictions were introduced as the war continued, including wider rationing of meat, as well the rationing of things like tea, milk and biscuits.

Rationing on many products didn’t end until years after the war.

View original post