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20th Century

A visit to the Somme

We recently visited the Somme area for the first time. My husband’s maternal grandfather was killed there during the First World War and as the centenary of his death approaches, it felt appropriate to  see where he is buried and pay our respects. In a sense he was fortunate in that he has a named resting … Continue reading »

Categories: Miscellaneous, World War One | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Change of Fortune

  After the photograph of the Slaughter family taken on the steps of the loggia at White Ness ca. 1906, as far as I know they were never together again – at least, there is no extant group photo of them from a later date. Mihill [Mac] and Connie were married in 1906,and in the … Continue reading »

Categories: 20th Century, Before 1st World War, Men of God, and of Commerce, Miscellaneous, World War One | Tags: | Leave a comment

William’s ‘other’ family

During the early 1980s, my mother saw an advertisement in the Times requesting any descendants of William Capel Slaughter to contact a box number. This my mother duly did, and through subsequent enquiries discovered that her grandfather had had an affair with a governess after the death of his first wife and that a son … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century, Before 1st World War, Men of God, and of Commerce, Miscellaneous | Tags: | 2 Comments

Mr Slaughter and Mr May

William May’s background was very different from William Slaughter’s.  Born in 1863, May was from a professional, landowning family in Berkshire. His father was a surgeon in Reading, as had been his grandfather. William was born in the family home at Caversham, a mansion set in large grounds by the Thames. He was educated at … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century, Before 1st World War, Men of God, and of Commerce | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Gallipoli 1915

My grandfather, Arthur Slaughter was in the 5th [territorial] Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. On September 10th 1914 they sailed for Egypt from Southampton on board the Caledonia, arriving in Alexandria on September 25th.They were quartered in the Mustapha barracks where they were kitted out for the tropics. By October, they had started training. On … Continue reading »

Categories: World War One | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Great-Grandma’s recipe book

  My great aunts recipe books have long fascinated me so when today I was sorting boxes to try and kick-start my research into their father’s life I allowed myself to distracted by one.  To call it a recipe book is rather misleading as the pages have long since detached themselves from the cover.  It … Continue reading »

Categories: 20th Century, Before 1st World War, Strong Women | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain – a review

The red flower for this Valentine’s Day piece is the scarlet poppy on the front of the Virago anniversary edition of Testament of Youth. First published in 1933 by Victor Gollancz, it became a great success both in the UK and the USA, and  familiar to a later generation when reissued in 1978 and a … Continue reading »

Categories: Books we've read, How we write, Miscellaneous, Strong Women, World War One | Leave a comment

Different perspectives

My youngest sister, in her retirement, has set off on a round-the-world tour on which one of the stops is Singapore.  She has been asking me and our other sister for our memories of the place in the mid-1960s when our father was stationed there for three years with the RAF.  While my other sister … Continue reading »

Categories: 20th Century, After the 2nd World War, Miscellaneous | 3 Comments

My Grandfathers’ Chests [part 2]

It seems a long time since I wrote about William Slaughter’s small leather trunk in the December blog post, with Christmas and New Year falling in between. Now it’s 2015, and the anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign falls this year, reminding us that there were many other theatres of war than the Western Front, during … Continue reading »

Categories: Legacies, World War One | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Mr Punch’s History of the Great War

Of all the books I’ve acquired from relatives over the years one of my favourites is Mr. Punch’s History of the Great War.  Published in 1919 by Cassell and Company and edited by Charles L Graves (1856-1944) it uses extracts from Punch magazine to “provide a mirror of varying moods, month by month, but reflecting … Continue reading »

Categories: Books we've read, World War One | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment