Palace of pain: Netley, the hospital built for an empire of soldiers | Art and design | The Guardian

An aerial photograph of the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, Hampshire, in the first world war. Click here to see the full image. All photographs courtesy Marion Ivey

An aerial photograph of the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, Hampshire, in the first world war. Click here to see the full image. All photographs courtesy Marion Ivey

A hospital orderly, wearing what resembles a butcher’s apron, poses with an equally ominous-looking trolley. Ward maids, country-looking girls, pose in utilitarian overalls designed for dirty work, rather than the pristine starch of nurses’ uniforms. A handsome stable hand, straight out of War Horse and proudly holding a pair of equine charges, looks hesitantly into the camera’s lens. A quartet of stretcher-bearers wait on a dockside to…

via Palace of pain: Netley, the hospital built for an empire of soldiers | Art and design | The Guardian

Wellington: The Great Military Leader Who Led His Armies To Victory Against Napoleon

The armies that fought against Napoleon are some of the most celebrated in British history. Under the leadership of the Duke of Wellington, they drove the…

Source: Wellington: The Great Military Leader Who Led His Armies To Victory Against Napoleon

Exhibition Review: Soldiers and Suffragettes: The Photography of Christina Broom (Museum of London Docklands) | Enough of this Tomfoolery!

Originally posted on Enough of this Tomfoolery!.

In Inventing the Victorians, Matthew Sweet observed that the advent of technology allowed more women to go into work and not just in the traditional farming and cottage industry sectors but into the white-collar sector that was previously the domain of men. The invention of the telegraph, telephone, typewriter and adding machine provided employment opportunities for women to the point when certain jobs such as telephone operator, typist, secretary, bank teller and bookkeeper became female dominated and seen as “women’s work”. Owing to their nimble fingers and dexterity, women were seen as the ideal gender to operate and manipulate these pieces of machinery.

In the same way, technology also allowed women to pursue hobbies other than the usual sewing, drawing, painting, music and others that were deemed appropriate to their gender. Photography is one example and with the invention of the hand-held camera, many men and especially women took to taking photographs with enthusiasm. Queen Alexandra of Britain and the four daughters of Czar Nicholas II of Russia were examples of women who enthusiastically embraced the wonder of photography, becoming proficient with using a camera and it is through them that we have had…

via Exhibition Review: Soldiers and Suffragettes: The Photography of Christina Broom (Museum of London Docklands) | Enough of this Tomfoolery!.

Gallipoli: Through the Soldier’s Lens | The Public Domain Review

Originally posted on The Public Domain

To mark the 100 years since Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) fought the Gallipoli campaign of WW1, Alison Wishart, Senior Curator of Photographs at Australian War Memorial, explores the remarkable photographic record left by the soldiers. Made possible by the birth of Kodak’s portable camera, the photographs give a rare and intimate portrait of the soldier’s day-to-day life away from the heat of battle.

2015 marks the centenary of one of the most commemorated events in Australia’s military history. One hundred years ago, at dawn of 25th April, boatloads of Australians and New Zealanders quietly landed on Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula at a beach that became known as Anzac Cove.

Had Australia’s military commanders and elected leaders known how significant this event was to become in Australia’s history and the development of its national identity, they might have thought to send official photographers or war artists. But they didn’t. Instead, the photographic record of the nine month Gallipoli campaign relies primarily on the images taken by soldiers.

Fortunately, Kodak had released its ‘Vest Pocket’ camera in 1912, which made taking a camera to the front more feasible. Kodak encouraged enlistees…

Read original: Gallipoli: Through the Soldier’s Lens | The Public Domain Review.

East End Soldiers Of World War One | Spitalfields Life

Originally posted on Spitalfields Life.

In the week of the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, I have compiled these biographies of just a handful of the thousands of those from the East End who served in the conflict. These photographs are selected from those gathered by Tower Hamlets Community Housing for their exhibition which runs until 29th August at 285 Commercial Rd.

George Gristey was born in Hackney on 13th March 1890. At the time of his death his mother, Laura, lived in Cranbrook Rd, Green St, Bethnal Green. George served as a Private in the East Surrey Regiment and was killed in action in Belgium on 23rd June 1915 and buried at Woods Cemetery, south-east of Ypres in West Flanders.

Read more East End Soldiers Of World War One | Spitalfields Life.

George V’s Coronation 1911 — ‘…hats were waving and everybody was yelling…’


Coronation portrait by Sir Luke Fildes, 1911

Coronation portrait by Sir Luke Fildes, 1911

Today, 22 June, in 1911, George V was crowned in Westminster Abbey. My great-aunt, Diana Thomas, née Hoskyns, was ten years old when he came to the throne. Her description of the Coronation procession through the streets of London is touching in its enthusiasm.

Diana Hoskyns

Diana Hoskyns

God save the King!

The King’s Progress – Hurrah!!!!!

Second Day of the Coronation.

At half past four on Friday morning I woke up to find Parsie drawing up my blinds, and suddenly I remembered that it was the day that we were going to London, so I jumped out of bed and got dressed.

Mummy, Daddy, Chan and I all had breakfast together at five o’clock and at five and twenty minutes past we were at the Station. I did feel exited [sic]! Our seats were in St James St, and as it was quite a little way from Victoria we walked there. We were in the front row so we saw most beautifully. At last we got into our seats and all the soldiers came down the street and formed up on either side to line the route.

It was really lovely looking up the road to see it one blaze of colour. There were three Hussar bands, which played such nice tunes, and the way the drummers waved their drumsticks above their heads was so pretty.

At a quarter to ten the first procession came past. There were Canadians, and Dragoons, Highlanders and Lancers and heaps of other soldiers that I do not know the names of, they all marched in such perfect order too. I think that a cousin of ours called Edmund Allenby was in the first procession, he did look beautiful and such a prancing horse. Then came all the Indians, they really did look lovely. There were two specially nice ones, thin, hard and lean but such dear faces. All the Rajah’s [sic] were in carriages also the Maharaja’s [sic]. The first procession had gone by five minutes past ten and as the royal Procession would not start frome [sic] Buckingham Palace till eleven, we had to wait an hour, I never knew an hour that seemed so long!!!

Suddenly, there was an enormous cheer, hats were waving and everybody was yelling and we looked through the heads of the crowd on the pavement and saw a dog rushing along the road, at first we really thought it was the King and Queen when the cheers began!!

There was an American lady sitting next to me and she wanted to take a photograph but a policeman’s head was just in the way of the camera and as she did not like to ask him to move, Mummy asked instead, and when the policeman turned round the American lady said “I should very much liked to have taken a photograph of your face, but the back of a helmet is not a very interesting thing to take is it?!!”

The Decorations in our street were really very pretty. Opposite to us was an enormous picture of Saint George and the Dragon with the words “St George and Merrie England, God Bless King George!!!

At each end of the street there was an archway made of evergreens fastened on to a pink kind of canopy thing in the middle, also decorated with evergreens, it was held up by wires. Where the evergreens were fastened up onto the walls of the houses, there were two Golden Angels blowing trumpets (two each side and at each end of the street).

At our end of the street there was a great oval thing made of flowers which all lighted up at night. The first part of the Royal Procession now turned the corner at the top of the street. It began with Bluejackets but they stopped half way down the road to wait till the King and Queen joined them. At last they began to move on, there were simply heaps and heaps of soldiers before the King came.

Godfather (Captain De Chair) was riding on a white horse in the Navy, he looked awfully nice but not so nice as Edmund. Suddenly we heard an enormous cheer and looking up we saw a Blue feather coming down the street and we knew it was


We did cheer! I really think that the Queen heard our yells and looked up and smiled.

King George was taking off his hat to everybody he saw. He was dressed in his Field Marshall clothes and he looked such a dear. You could hardly see the “Famous Creams” because they were covered from ears to frog with lovely purple trappings.

Lord Kitchener was riding just behind the Kings carriage, but we were all so exited [sic] about the King that we never even looked at Lord Kitchener or anyone else that came behind.

The Royal Carriage seemed to pass by so very quickly much quicker than anything else. When the procession had quite gone past, we got down from our seats and Mummy and I went to put on our hats (which we had taken off before the Procession.) Then Daddy asked a little man in the house whether he could let us have our luncheon in the house, and he said ‘yes’, and took us into a room full of pictures, pictures on the floor, on the wall, on the table, and on the chairs. (The man was a printseller.)

We had got our own luncheon with us. After lunch we went out, and Daddy said he was going to try and get into Westminster Abbey, because Chan’s Godfather Archdeacon Wilberforce said that if we went to his house at about three o’clock he would take us all round the Abbey, but as the Procession was over before any of us expected we got to his house at about half past one, of course he was not in so we could not see the Abbey, wasn’t it dreadfully sad? And what made it worse was, that the next day Mummy got a Post Card from Chan’s Godfather saying that he had waited 40 minutes to take us all round the Abbey.

Daddy told us to wait on the pavement while he went to see if the Archdeacon was in, and as we were waiting we suddenly saw the people opposite us in the stands wave their hats and begin to shout and then we thought ‘Why here’s the Procession coming along again and so it was. Kind Chan hoisted me up on his shoulder so that I could see over the heads of the people.

Then we saw the Queen’s Blue Feather coming along and we all yelled. Then Daddy came back and as the Archdeacon was not in we took a taxi and went to Cousin Alice Arkwrights house where we had tea. Then we went on to see Aunt Fanny and Uncle Leigh, they walked back with us to the Station. Uncle Leigh was so funny, he was making jokes with Daddy nearly the whole time. At last we were in the train on our way back to Brighton after having had a simply glorious time!

How I wish we were just going!

Hip Hip Hurrah THE END. HIP HIP HURRAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!








Coronation ceremony of George V, Westminster Abbey, London, 22 June, 1911. King George V and Queen Mary occupying their chairs of estate. On the left are the bearers of the four swords, and on either side of the king and queen, the supporting bishops. A photograph from the Illustrated London News

George V’s reign lasted from 6 May 1910 until his death on 20 January 1936.

Sarah Vernon © 22-06-14

The History Girls – All in the Wrist – a guest post by Frances Hardinge

Re-blogged from The History Girls

Russian Officer's Watch, 1912

Russian Officer’s Watch, 1912

Right now I am wearing something quintessentially feminine, which no self-respecting man would consider putting on.

What is it? A wristwatch.

Naturally any gentleman would be carrying a sensible, sturdy pocket watch. A watch bracelet is women’s jewellery, too frail and ornamental for a man to wear…

Before World War I, this was exactly how “watch bracelets” or “wristlets” were generally regarded. In a much-repeated quote, one gentleman even declared that he “would sooner wear a skirt as wear a wristwatch”.

I stumbled upon this detail during my research for Cuckoo Song, a book set in the aftermath of the First World War. The male suspicion of the wristwatch surprised me. Surely it must have been obvious how practical such an arrangement would be? Apparently not. Wrist watches were considered too small to keep accurate time, and too vulnerable to dust, weather and shocks.

The wristwatch was an old idea, but had been slow to take hold. The Earl of Leicester allegedly gave Elizabeth I an “arm-watch” in 1571. The Clockmakers’ Museum have an exquisite, pearl-studded Broillal watch with a black velvet wrist strap, dating from about 1780. In 1810 the Queen of Naples commissioned a watch on a wrist-chain from the Breguet family. However, these were luxurious novelties, and very rare.

Jewelled wristwatches became more common amongst aristocratic women in the latter part of the Victorian era. After the turn of the century, wristlets became more affordable, but were still elegant works of art in their own right, fastened to the wrist with bracelet chains or ribbons.

Most men of that time would not be seen dead in a wristwatch. Curiously enough, the few exceptions were all men with very real odds of ‘being seen dead’, who wanted to keep those odds as long as possible…

Read more: The History Girls – All in the Wrist – a guest post by Frances Hardinge

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge