Category Wartime memories

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 […]

Coping in a POW camp

Available through many sources, and one of the many books on my book shelves, is ‘The Diaries of Captain John Mansel, Prisoner of War and Camp Forger, in Germany, 1940-45’.  I’ve just picked up a short piece that he recorded on Wednesday 29th October 1941 during his stay at a typical POW camp: Lunch is […]

The King and Mrs Simpson

It was Tuesday 27th October 1939 that Mrs Wallis Simpson, an American socialite, received divorce papers ending her marriage to Ernest Simpson. This was part of a chain of events that changed the course of history in Great Britain. Wallis Simpson was having an affair with King Edward VIII and the relationship made him very […]

A new weapon of war arrives

It was in the First World War on Friday 15th September 1916 at Flers Courcelette in France that tanks were used for the first time in battle.  Around 50 of these fearsome-looking weapons had been developed.  The tanks travelled slowly on caterpillar tracks over wheels in a way based on American farming tractors and their […]

War in England & Golf in America – two countries soon to be ‘playing together

  On this day – Thursday 29th August 1940 – the Daily Sketch headlined: NAZIS RAID LONDON – AND 13 TOWNS.  The sub-headings said that ‘Mr. Churchill Sees Coast Battles’.  However, it was the ‘INSIDE INFORMATION’ piece that caught my eye.  The following are just three pieces from that information: Many complaints are being made […]

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 […]