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

Alan Turing: WWII Code-breaker

Alan Turing Lived Here! A few minutes walk from the River Thames at Hampton, is a house adorned with a plaque celebrating that Alan Turing lived there from 1945 – 1947, when he worked at the nearby National Physical Laboratory. But who was Alan Turing? Alan Turing was born June 1912. He studied mathematics at Cambridge University and graduated in 1934 with a first class … Continue reading Alan Turing: WWII Code-breaker

Guest Blog: a Wartime Romance, Jumping Feet First into Love

I’m thrilled to welcome author Geoff Le Pard for a guest post on HistorianRuby! Geoff has written a captivating memoir, Apprenticed to my Mother, which focuses on his relationship with his mother after his father’s death. Within this remit, however, he frequently reminisces about both his parents. His father Desmond, illustrated through many of his poems in the volume, was frustrated by his failure to … Continue reading Guest Blog: a Wartime Romance, Jumping Feet First into Love

22 June 1948: Empire Windrush Arrived in Britain

In 1948, Britain needed a fresh influx of people to help rebuild the country after World War Two had battered Britain’s towns and cities. The arrival of British citizens from the Caribbean on 22 June 1948, at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on the Empire Windrush, was a defining moment in Britain’s post-war history. It signalled a welcoming of citizens of the British Empire to embark on … Continue reading 22 June 1948: Empire Windrush Arrived in Britain

Guest Blog: a Post-War Childhood in Liverpool

A guest post from George Boyland. George is a regular contributor to The Guardian’s Readers’ Recommend music blog. During World War Two, frightened Luftwaffe pilots, seeing the flak over Manchester and Liverpool, would turn back and drop their bombs over the last city before the North Sea – Hull. That city had it bad. But, apart from the East End of London, nowhere had it … Continue reading Guest Blog: a Post-War Childhood in Liverpool

8 May 1945: Victory in Europe

On 8 May 1945 Europe celebrated the end of World War II, although it would be mid-August before the world saw peace with VJ Day (victory over the Japanese) when war in the Far-East was declared over. The German surrender was anticipated for days and General Jodl, the German Army Chief of Staff, finally signed their unconditional surrender at 2.41 a.m. on 7 May 1945. … Continue reading 8 May 1945: Victory in Europe

RAF Plane Crash: Irish Sea Rescue Attempt

On the morning of 27 September 1950 an RAF twin-seater Meteor 7 aircraft crashed into the Irish Sea, off Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire. It was on its way from Jurby, Isle of Man to Driffield, Yorkshire. An RAF rescue attempt was launched immediately with assistance from those in the vicinity. It was briefly reported in some newspapers, where it was stated that one body was recovered … Continue reading RAF Plane Crash: Irish Sea Rescue Attempt

London’s Millicent Fawcett Statue: the First Female Representation in Parliament Square

One hundred years ago Britain passed the Representation of the People Act which gave certain women over the age of thirty the right to vote. Women, and some men, had fought for years for suffrage equality but it took until towards the end of World War One before this was achieved. This week a statue was unveiled of the suffragist campaigner Millicent Garrett Fawcett in Parliament … Continue reading London’s Millicent Fawcett Statue: the First Female Representation in Parliament Square