Category World War 2

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

It’s 1940 and King George VI speaks to Britain from his underground shelter.

In a radio broadcast on the evening of Monday 23rd September 1940 King George VI spoke to Britain, the British Empire and America from his underground shelter at Buckingham Palace during an air-raid warning.  In the broadcast he told his people that, with the aid of “our friends in the Americas”, Great Britain will emerge […]