Category Wartime memories

It happened on April 9th

I find it fascinating when a particular date has links to differing actual events.  The 9th April is one such date: Sunday 9th April 1865 was the day that the American Civil War finally ended when the Confederate General Robert E Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia. […]

Marlene Dietrich – her final years

It was on Monday 29th September 1975 that Marlene’s show business career largely came to an end when she fell off the stage and broke her thigh during a performance in Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, Australia.  The following year, her husband, Rudolf Sieber, died of cancer on Wednesday 24th June 1976. In 1979 she did […]

Marlene Dietrich and the 2nd World War

In December 1941, the United States entered World War II, and Marlene became one of the first celebrities to help sell war bonds. She toured the US from January 1942 to September 1943 (appearing before some 250,000 troops on the Pacific Coast leg of her tour alone) and was reported to have sold more war […]

A farewell to a King

It is said that 305,806 people had filed past King George’s coffin while he lay in Westminster Hall.  Now – the morning of Friday 15th February 1952 had, dawned.  At 9.30am in a cloudy and misty the mile-long cortege began its slow journey from Westminster Hall as Big Ben tolled fifty-six times – once for […]

Tributes from England and beyond

The Daily Mail of 11th February has three pieces to the Editor: The first is  ‘A French tribute’ from A. Caffin from the Rue de Chaligny in Paris:   ‘Sir – ‘It is with sad emotion that we French of the 1939-45 war have learned of the death of his Majesty King George.  We cannot forget […]

Single men are required for the conflict.

It was on Thursday 27th January 1916 that Britain’s parliament passed the Military Service Act – an Act that introduced compulsory conscription for all single men between the ages of 18 and 41. The Great War was edging into its third year of conflict when British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith introduced the first military conscription […]

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 […]