King George V: the First Christmas Speech 

King George V gave his first Christmas speech to the nation just after 3 p.m. on Christmas Day 1932, however, the King, a reluctant speaker, had previously rejected the idea for almost 10 years! With radio being the new and exciting medium for entertainment in homes, in 1923 the King was asked by John Reith, Director of the BBC, to broadcast to the citizens of … Continue reading King George V: the First Christmas Speech 

Christmas Cards: 1905 – 1910

Here’s another selection [box] of Christmas cards dated from 1905 – 1910. If you would like to see cards dated the turn of the twentieth century, click here. The above card unsurprisingly has no snow! It’s from a collection archived at the State Library of Queensland, Australia. It depicts the Post Office, St George, Queensland – and its workers and their families? Or are the … Continue reading Christmas Cards: 1905 – 1910

Christmas Nostalgia: all I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

This week in my little corner of the universe I got walloped with a big dose of nostalgia. Every year the Rotary Club comes up our street collecting for Christmas. They have Father Christmas on the back of a float, Christmas music, lots of lights and a small army of charity collectors waving collecting tins on peoples’ doorsteps. I always like to contribute as one … Continue reading Christmas Nostalgia: all I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

Queen Elizabeth II’s First Christmas Speech

On 25 December 1952, Queen Elizabeth II made her first Christmas broadcast to the nation as sovereign on BBC radio. The tradition of the Christmas broadcast began in 1932 with the Queen’s grandfather, King George V. In 1952, at 15.07 p.m. the Queen broadcast from the study at Sandringham House, Norfolk. Families around Britain would listen to the Queen huddled around their radios, for some … Continue reading Queen Elizabeth II’s First Christmas Speech

Christmas Cards: Circa 1900

It’s December! Season’s greetings! Christmas is coming and I thought I’d share some charming Christmas cards to begin the festivities. I’m going to attempt an historically themed #Blogmas – but we’ll see how that progresses throughout the month. Above is an English language Christmas card in the early art nouveau style – there is no reference to country of origin, however, it is included in … Continue reading Christmas Cards: Circa 1900

World War One: when War Reunited a Family

In Killed by Enemy Action: a Family Tragedy I wrote about my uncle Joseph Boyland, who was machine-gunned walking along Scotland Road, Liverpool, in September 1940. That was a story about a family devastated by the consequences of war, yet a generation earlier war had brought the Boyland family together.  John Boyland, Joseph’s father, fought for the Liverpool King’s 5th Regiment during World War One. … Continue reading World War One: when War Reunited a Family

Killed by Enemy Action: A Family Tragedy

On Tuesday 17 September 1940, Joseph Boyland, Joey to his brothers, was machine-gunned walking down Scotland Road, Liverpool. He died the following day at the city’s Royal Infirmary. Aged fourteen, he had left school and was about to ‘go to sea’. The Merchant Navy was a common occupation for young men in Liverpool at the time. The Liverpool Evening News briefly reported on 18 September … Continue reading Killed by Enemy Action: A Family Tragedy

Commemorating the Centenary​ of the End of the Great War #Armistice100

World War One ended at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918. The Great War, as it was known then, was believed to be ‘the war to end all wars’. Of course, it wasn’t, and just twenty-one years later the world was at war once again. This weekend the world remembers and commemoration events large and small will ensure … Continue reading Commemorating the Centenary​ of the End of the Great War #Armistice100

Black History Month: Nursing in the NHS and Me

With the proliferation of #BlackHistoryMonth hashtags haunting various social media sites [I’m sure haunting is the correct term during October], you may have noticed that October is Black History Month in the UK.  It is the time that we celebrate our diversity, learn about other cultures and the people who have settled in Britain in the near and distant past. While we embrace our differences, during … Continue reading Black History Month: Nursing in the NHS and Me

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