If we were to ask : Who used gas first in WWI and when? The chances are that most people wouls say ‘The Germans as 2nd Yrpres in April 2015’. The surprising fact is that it was not.
It was , in fact, the French, who first used gas as a weapon of war and they did it in the very first month of the war
Any Bibliophile will appreciate, or at least empathise (if you’ve never had the opportunity), the exquisite pleasure of gazing upon an ancient book or scroll and reading the words engraved on its pages hundreds or thousands of years ago.
Guernsey and the Channel Islands were very much at the heart of the old Duchy of Normandy and then in 1066 we were propelled into the wider world when our Duke, William the Bastard defeated the English King Harold at Hastings. In this artilcle we outline some of the defining moments in the history of the Norman dynasty.
If there’s one English Monarch who’s consistently had a ‘bad wrap’ it’s King John I. He’s the ultimate in abuse of absolute power, an archetypal villan – portrayed as the cruel King oppressing his people with taxes and arbitrary justice. But is this true ? Was his rule really as bad as folklore seems to say ?
Today, London is the financial capital of the world and for good or ill the hub of global banking and finance. How banking started in the capital is every bit as intriguing and mysterious as the ways that modern international finance seems to work today. Basically we owe it all to a religious order of heavily armed warrior monks who set up London’s first bank some 900 years ago.
On Christmas Day 1982 local Diver Richard Keen spotted the remains of a large wreck sticking out from the mud directly between the pierheads of St Peter Port harbour. It turned out to be the largest, most complete, seagoing Roman ship surviving outside the Mediterranean.
On the 21st April 753 BC, according to Plutarch, the city of Rome was founded. In this article we look at the myths and legends surrounding the foundation of the ‘Eternal City’.
The Bayeux Tapestry is an historical artifact that never fails to impress depicting as it does such a pivotal moment in British and Channel Island history, that of the invasion & conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. But look closely and you will come across oddities that are hard to explain, mysterious characters, some named, some not, appear in the main body and borders. Add to that some of the cuirious rather theatrical gestures they appear to be making and there emerges a sense of mystery.
If there is one thing that is a blight on modern life it is the rise of ‘compensation culture’. The idea that someone else is always to blame and you are entitled to some compensation no matter what. But the origins of this are far older than you might think.
The First World War, which has become a byword for a static war of attrition, ended in 1918 just as it had begun in 1914, as a mobile war. But it was a final throw of the dice by the Germans in the Sping of 1918 that was to be a ‘catalyst of the end’.
Given that Britain and France were at war almost permanently between 1792 and 1814, it does seem strange that Napoleon Bonaparte made no effort to occupy what were almost exclusively French-speaking islands just a few miles off the French coast.
As the 19th century gave way to the new 20th century few could appreciate how much of the old cosy world order was being swept away by industialisation, science and the increasing political enfrachisment of the masses. In Guernsey at this time there was to be one last gasp of the old superstition and occult, ‘The Last Witchcraft Trial in Guernsey’.
Democracy isn’t a word that you would ordinarily associate with the Middle Ages. The most common perception of this time is of Kings, Bishops, Feudal over lords and right at the bottom of the ‘social heap’, the peasant all of them with no say in government. In fact it turns out this is not overall an entirely true picture and that elections were a reasonably common occurrence
Did the British’s experiences in the Boer War help or hinder fighting strategies at the start of the First World War?
World War I for the British – Would it have been worse or was it indeed better than it could have been because of Britain’s experiences in the Boer War some 12 to 15 years earlier ?