Category Wartime memories

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 – […]

The Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.

It was on Sunday 26th July 1936 that England’s King Edward VIII, in one of his few official duties before he abdicated the throne, officially unveiled the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. Dedicated to the memory of the Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War, it also serves as the place […]

The day after Britain rationed Bread

Monday 22nd July 1946 was the first day after the introduction of bread rationing in Britain. The country had been told that the ration would be on a varying scale for differing types of workers and for children of different ages. For the ordinary adult it would be nine ounces of bread per day, part […]

The story of King Henry’s Mary Rose

Sunday 19th July 1545 was the day that the Mary Rose, flagship of King Henry VIII’s fleet, sank off Portsmouth 34 years after coming into service.  The wreck was located in 1971, raised and is now a museum that attracts visitors from across the world. The reason why she sank, however, remains a matter for […]

Sunday 2nd July 1916

Field Marshal Douglas Haig was a senior officer of the British Army who, during the First World War, commanded the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front from late 1915 until the end of the war. This day – Sunday 2nd July 1916 – was the second day of the Battle of the Somme and […]

D-Day and Pegasus Bridge

One of the great films of my time is the 1955 story of ‘The Dam Busters’ – a British 2nd World War film that starred Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd. The film recreates the true story of 1943 when the RAF’s 617 Squadron attacked 3 German dams with Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bomb.  What is rarely […]

Evacuate and fight another day

On Monday 27th May 1940 – the first full day of the evacuation – one cruiser, eight destroyers, and 26 other craft were active and Admiralty officers combed nearby boatyards seeking small craft that could ferry personnel from the beaches out to larger craft in the harbour. In this same day the Luftwaffe heavily bombed […]