Pull Your Finger Out (Phrase Origins) | Albert Jack

A pair of 18th-century Spanish cannons outside the museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Caernarfon Castle.

A pair of 18th century Spanish cannons outside the museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Caernarfon Castle.

Originally posted on Albert Jack.

The phrase these days is associated with encouraging someone to get a move on, or hurry up and complete a task more quickly than they are presently doing. Like so many English phrases it has a military or naval origin. Loaded cannons would have gunpowder poured into a small ignition hole, which was then held in place with a wooden plug.

But in times of battle, when speed was of the essence, the powder would be pushed in and then held in place by a gun crew-member using his finger. Impatient artillerymen, anxious to fire their cannons at the advancing enemy, would…

via Pull Your Finger Out (Phrase Origins) | Albert Jack.

SLAUGHTER IN THE MUD: HENRY V AT AGINCOURT

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with meShall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

The St. Crispin’s Day speech, which the Immortal Bard places in the mouth of his hero, King Henry V of England, is one of the great battle speeches in history. Though likely Shakespeare‘s invention, it brilliantly portrays a young, inspiring commander attempting to hearten his starving and dispirited Army; in desperate straits as it faces battle against a superior force. Whatever (if anything) Henry may have actually said that fateful morning in October is lost to history. But what is not lost is how he, and his tiny force of desperate men, stood firmly on the muddy field of Agincourt and…

Source: SLAUGHTER IN THE MUD: HENRY V AT AGINCOURT

Human remains: some thoughts on the bones of Richard III

Mathew Lyons

Over the course of this morning, thousands of people will gather in Leicester for the re-interment of the bones of Richard III. Many more – hundreds of thousands certainly – will watch proceedings on TV as Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the actor Benedict Cumberpatch speak at the ceremony.

What does it mean, though? Two patrician voices, pure and incantatory in their privilege, orating over the boxed skeleton of a man who reigned for a mere two years and whose claim to the throne was, to put it mildly, dubious?

Why does this matter to us? Because, clearly, it does.

All the evidence suggested that Richard’s bones were buried behind the altar of the Greyfriars in Leicester. There was good evidence to show where that altar was. There is a reason, after all, that the archaeological team hit the late king’s resting place with more or less the…

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Hunt is on for Battle of Waterloo descendants for 200th anniversary in 2015 | Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015

First Night History

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler
Prints of Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler are available to buy at FirstNightVintage

Related


Originally posted on Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015.

A call is going out to the nation and beyond to find descendants of those who fought in the Battle of Waterloo, the last great conflict of the age of the sword, cannon and musket in Western Europe, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the Battle in 2015.

On 18th June 1815, one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever was fought by the Duke of Wellington and his allied army, bringing to an end a long campaign against the might of Napoleon Bonaparte. Over rolling countryside between two ridges, 11 miles south of Brussels, the entire course of European history changed as Napoleon was defeated, ending his leadership of the French Empire. Waterloo literally means ‘wet meadow’ and the condition of the…

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Hunt is on for Battle of Waterloo descendants for 200th anniversary in 2015 | Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler
Prints of Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler are available to buy at FirstNightVintage

Related


Originally posted on Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015.

A call is going out to the nation and beyond to find descendants of those who fought in the Battle of Waterloo, the last great conflict of the age of the sword, cannon and musket in Western Europe, ahead of the 200th anniversary of the Battle in 2015.

On 18th June 1815, one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever was fought by the Duke of Wellington and his allied army, bringing to an end a long campaign against the might of Napoleon Bonaparte. Over rolling countryside between two ridges, 11 miles south of Brussels, the entire course of European history changed as Napoleon was defeated, ending his leadership of the French Empire. Waterloo literally means ‘wet meadow’ and the condition of the ground on the day was such that shoes and cannon balls simply disappeared by their hundreds into the mud.

Though the Duke was outnumbered in both men and cannon, his tactical skill and staying power resulted in an outcome that decided the future of Europe, becoming a milestone in…

via Hunt is on for Battle of Waterloo descendants for 200th anniversary in 2015 | Waterloo 200 | 1815 – 2015.

The Scar of Henry V

Fascinating perspective on how the Prince of Wales’ arrow injury at 16 might have affected his later behaviour as heir to the throne and his reign as Henry V.
Henry V on Amazon

Matt's History Blog

On 21st July 1403, a rebel army led by Sir Henry Percy, known as Harry Hotspur, son of the 1st Earl of Northumberland, gave battle to the forces of King Henry IV. The somewhat beleaguered monarch was supported by his oldest son and heir, Henry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales, who was only 16 years of age. This young man was later to become the legendary king of Agincourt fame, “Hammer of the Gauls” as his tomb inscription lauds him. That sunny day was darkened by clouds of arrows and rang with the screams of many dead. It may also have defined the future Henry V as we remember him.

The background to the Percy rebellion was a mounting list of grievances that they felt was going unaddressed. They had been loyal to the new regime initially, but went unpaid for their ongoing defence of the troublesome and perilous Scottish…

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Battle of Crete – Operation Mercury Maps (2)

Today in 1941…

Historical Resources About The Second World War

Collection of maps about the participation of New Zealand military forces in the Battle of Crete – from 20 May to 1 June 1941, during the Operation Mercury.

42nd Street Map, 27 May

Babali Hani Map, 28 May

Beritiana-Stilos Map, 28 May

Canea, Mao of 26 May

Canea-Galatas sector Map, 22 May

Counter-attack at Galatas Map, 25 May

Force Reserve, 27 May

Galatas, Map of 24 May

Galatas, Map of 25 May

 

See also: Battle of Crete – Movies and Propaganda

See also: Battle of Crete – Operation Mercury Maps

See also: Full text of “Crete”, By Daniel Marcus Davin

Credits: NZ Electronic Text Centre – with the permission of the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Wellington.

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