Category First World War

Ragtime moves on to Jazz in 1920’s Britain

Jazz music burst into mainstream Britain in 1919, with the arrival of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.   The popularity of ragtime music in the Edwardian era laid the foundations for the acceptance of this syncopated music and its black (and sometimes white) musicians. During most of the First World War, Dan Kildare and his orchestra […]

The war moved on as the USA took a hand

The United States had carefully kept out of the conflict in Europe while being helpful to the sufferers.  In 1917 the British intercepted and decoded a telegram from the German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann to Mexico urging that country to enter into war against the United States. The American states of Texas, Arizona and New […]

The world was changing – and perhaps not for the better

It’s the second decade of the 20th century and the world continues to develop and change. At this time Great Britain was at the centre of the world’s largest empire, a beneficiary of colonial resources and trade.  It occupied territory on four different continents and was at the centre of a vast trading and commercial […]

The death of a great Prime Minister

Three days ago I was telling the story of the 1st World War and the Prime Minister of the time.  Today we tell the story of another World War Prime Minister – Sir Winston Churchill –and his involvement in the first one and his control – and perhaps saving – the second one and his […]

The story of a star begins

It was on the first day of this year – 1st January 2018 – that I wrote that it was on Friday 27th December 1901 in Schoneberg, a suburb of Berlin, that one Marie Magdalene Dietrich was born – the product of a privileged and conservative family – and a fact that she seemingly failed […]

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae is remembered for what is probably the best known and most popular of all First World War poetry.  It is believed that he was so moved by the death of his friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmet, who had been killed by a shell burst, and inspired by the profusion of wild poppies he could […]

A nurse at the Russian Front

One of the books on my shelf is ‘Nurse at the Russian Front’ – the diary of Florence Farmborough who went to Russia as a teacher of English to a surgeon’s daughters and became a nurse with the Russian army through the 1914-18 conflict. Her diary for this day – Monday 23rd August 1915 – […]