Norwich Cathedral and the Grave of Edith Cavell

Friday 12 October was the 103rd anniversary of the death of Edith Cavell. Edith was executed during the First World War for helping allied soldiers escape German-occupied Belgium. She is rightly seen as a heroine who sacrificed herself for the greater good of her country. You can read my anniversary post about her here. Edith’s body was repatriated after the war and buried in Norwich … Continue reading Norwich Cathedral and the Grave of Edith Cavell

Edwardian Postcards: a Glimpse into an Earlier Life

At my last visit to a postcard fair, I bought a small bundle of twenty-two postcards dating from 1910-15. Individually they weren’t expensive, just 50p each (the seller sold them for £10) and I hoped to be able to share a snippet or two from the collection.  The address of one of the cards initially attracted me to them, ‘Mr Cyril Smith, Post Office, Sudbury, … Continue reading Edwardian Postcards: a Glimpse into an Earlier Life

12 October 1915: Edith Cavell Executed for Treason

Edith Cavell died at dawn on 12 October 1915 at Tir National firing range, Brussels. Her statue, near Trafalgar Square, London, England, bears the words she spoke the night before her death; ‘Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone.’ There are few statues of non-royal women in the country and the fact that there is one of Edith, and … Continue reading 12 October 1915: Edith Cavell Executed for Treason

Spanish Flu: The Deadliest Pandemic the World has Ever Seen

As World War One drew to a close, a new terror materialised that would more than double, and some suggest treble, the 16 million people killed during the conflict. A deadly global pandemic was facilitated by an airborne virus, the movement of troops around Europe, global commerce and migration. More died in a single year than four years of the black death, or bubonic plague … Continue reading Spanish Flu: The Deadliest Pandemic the World has Ever Seen

In the News: Newly Discovered Suffragette Letter and Romanov Family Photographs Exhibited

Letter from Annie Kenney to her Sister Nell Found A letter written in 1905 by leading Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) suffragette Annie Kenney has been discovered in a Canadian archive.  Kenney is doubly interesting: not only is she one of the earliest militant suffragettes at the heart of the movement along with the Pankhursts, but she was also from an altogether different background, working-class … Continue reading In the News: Newly Discovered Suffragette Letter and Romanov Family Photographs Exhibited

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: the Tiaras of a Duchess and Queen

Hours after posting Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Consort of George VI, unable to let go (sadly quite normal for me), I was still flicking through the pictures I’d saved of her prior to becoming Queen when I noticed I’d missed a pretty special picture out of my post. And there you have my gratuitous reason to share more pictures of Queen Elizabeth, the queen … Continue reading Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: the Tiaras of a Duchess and Queen

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Consort of King George VI

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was born 4 August 1900, the ninth child of  Claude George Bowes-Lyon and Nina Cecilia Bowes-Lyon, Lord and Lady Glamis. The family divided its time between Glamis Castle in Scotland and homes in Hertfordshire and St James’s Square, London. When war broke out in 1914, Glamis Castle was used as a reception centre and hospital for the wounded and young Elizabeth … Continue reading Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Consort of King George VI

Using Postcards for History: Suffragettes

In my post Suffragettes – Pictures say a Thousand Words, I touched on the subject of Edwardian propaganda. The battle (as at times it was a battle) for women to achieve the vote, is remembered this centenary year of the Representation of the People Act which permitted some women who met property rules, the right to vote. Suffragists, like Millicent Fawcett,  used diplomacy and law-abiding methods to … Continue reading Using Postcards for History: Suffragettes

Suffrage Stories: Save Mrs Pankhurst’s Statue

Originally posted on Woman and her Sphere:
A planning application has been made to Westminster Council to dismantle this statue of Mrs Pankhurst – which stands as close as possible to the Houses of Parliament. The plan is to banish this statue to the grounds of Regent’s University, a private university, in Regent’s Park. See the planning application here. The group behind the application calls… Continue reading Suffrage Stories: Save Mrs Pankhurst’s Statue

Titanic Survivor Lawrence Beesley: the Day of the Disaster

Lawrence Beesley was a second-class passenger on the ill-fated Titanic, the White Star Line Liner that sank on its maiden voyage on 15 April 1912. A Cambridge-educated teacher, he had recently resigned his post as science master at Dulwich College, London. He was travelling to America for an extended holiday and had aimed to visit his brother who was residing in Canada. Within weeks of … Continue reading Titanic Survivor Lawrence Beesley: the Day of the Disaster

29 July 1981: the Marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer

Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, married Lady Diana Frances Spencer, daughter of the eighth Earl Spencer on 29 July 1981 after a short engagement that had been announced on 24 February the same year. The marriage ceremony was held at St Paul’s Cathedral rather than the more traditional Westminster Abbey as it could hold more guests. Charles, a future King of Great Britain, … Continue reading 29 July 1981: the Marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer

Titanic Captain Edward John Smith Lived Here

On the night of 15 April 1912, Captain Edward John Smith died along with 1500 other people when RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic. Edward John Smith was born on 27 January 1850. In 1875 he earned his master’s certificate, a qualification necessary for him to serve as a ship’s captain. In 1880 he became a junior officer with the … Continue reading Titanic Captain Edward John Smith Lived Here

Alfred Bestall Lived Here

Alfred Bestall, 1892 – 1986, was the illustrator of popular cartoon Rupert Bear. He lived in this house in Surbiton, for thirty years. His time there has been commemorated with an English Heritage blue plaque. Alfred Edmeades Bestall was Rupert Bear’s second illustrator. He took over from Mary Tourtel, the creator of Rupert Bear when she retired. He was born in Mandalay, Burma, the son of … Continue reading Alfred Bestall Lived Here

Enid Blyton Lived Here

Enid Mary Blyton was (and is still) an extremely popular children’s author. She was born in East Dulwich, South London on 11 August 1897. She was the first child of Thomas Blyton and Theresa Harrison and was Head Girl at St Christopher’s School for Girls, Beckenham – the inspiration for her later school-themed books, maybe? During her school days, she created a magazine called Dab … Continue reading Enid Blyton Lived Here

1 July 1961: the Birth of Diana, Princess of Wales

The Honorable Diana Frances Spencer was born on 1 July 1961, the youngest daughter of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp – later Earl Spencer, and Frances Roche. She was born at Park House, near Sandringham, Norfolk and was styled Lady Diana Spencer after her father inherited the Spencer Earldom in 1975. It is well documented that she came from a broken home. Her parents divorced, and … Continue reading 1 July 1961: the Birth of Diana, Princess of Wales