The First World War is a byword for mud, blood and slaughter on a huge mechanised scale. Men living in squalid trenches only tens of yards apart from each other would daily tear each other to pieces if they got the chance. So then, it is no wonder that the Christmas truce is one of the best-known moments of the WWI. Amid the industrial slaughter, here was a reminder of simple human decency.
This is a true story of a mystery that’s puzzled archaeologists for a long time. Namely how to explain the nautical prowess of the Vikings in an age long before the invention of reliable magnetic compasses.. Up until now only strange and vague references to their use of a ‘Magic Sun Crystals’ has been offered up as part of the solution to this conundrum.
No one was more delighted by the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot than King James I, who had narrowly avoided becoming the first king to sit on a rocket-propelled throne. In this article we look at the history of the partying mayhem that grew up surrounding this quintessentially British tradition.
World War I was supposed to be the “war to end all wars”. It was the first ‘modern mechanised war’ and a lot of myths about it have been built up over the years often by revisionist historians using ‘hind-sight’. Some of these so called “facts” are blinding us to the reality and we are in danger of belittling the experience of soldiers and civilians in this conflict. In this article we look at some of the bigee “facts” that are just plain wrong.
The British ‘Tommy’ going over the top to battle the evil Hun is synonymous with World War I and World War II but this slang term for the British soldier originated much earlier than this and is credited as being coined by one of Britain’s most famous Generals
There are some events in history upon which turn the fate of nations. A point at which history can go either way. Battles have always played a part in defining what Britain is. Here we look at The Battles of Mons; Battle of Britain; & D-Day.
Nothing epitomizes the First World War more than the trench. Trench warfare prevailed on the Western Front from 16 Sept 1914 up until the Germans launched their Spring Offensive on 21 March 1918, a staggering 4 and half years in which deadly, grinding attrition became the norm. Trenches stretched from the Franco-Swiss frontier in the south to the Flanders coast in the north, a distance of over 450 miles. But how did this situation come about?
The umbrella is an iconic symbol of Britishness and especially useful in our wet and damp climate. However there was a time when they were ridiculed and looked down upon. In this article we look at the origins of this most useful piece of technology.
The Battle of Mons marked the first battle between the British & German Armies in the First World War. It was a titanic struggle that threatened to completely overwhelm the small professional British Army in the hot summer of 1914.
It looks like Jersey may have been an offshore banking centre for far longer than anyone has suspected. In June 2012 two metal detectorists uncovered a hoard of a staggering 70,000 late Iron Age and Roman coins. Their incredible find has since turned out to be the largest hoard ever found in Jersey.
The immediate trigger that led to the start of the Great War (or First World War as it was subsequently known) was, relatively, innocuous enough – another assassination in the volatile Balkans. However what followed quickly resolved itself into a direct causal sequence of mobilisations & declarations of war by all the major European countries in turn – like a line of toppling dominoes.
We like to think of the Royal Navy, led by the likes of Drake & Raleigh, as plucky little fighters whittling down the Spanish leviathan as it chugged up the English Channel on its inexorable path of conquest. However the truth is a little different and if it weren’t for some key items of luck, 1066 wouldn’t be the date that British schoolchildren remember as the last time England was invaded but 1588 (and we’d all probably be speaking Spanish as well).
How did the Romans do the calculations necessary for construction and other purposes using Roman numerals?
The Romans were skilled architects and engineers the likes of which the world had not seen before. They built huge elaborate and perfectly balanced structures that are not only still standing but still in use 2,000 years later. However their number system, whilst useful, was anything but straight forward. So how did the Romans manage to do the calculations necessary for construction using this rather unwieldy number system ?
The cult of celebrity may be a modern phenomenon but the interest in the love lives and romances of others has always been a human curiosity. If the gossip magazines of today had existed 860 years ago they would have been full of the lurid details of one of the most famous romances in history; that of Abélard & Héloise.