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20th Century

Zeppelin Nights

Jerry White is a social historian and Visiting Professor of London History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is perhaps best known for his trilogy of histories of London in the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. His latest book, Zeppelin Nights: London in the First World War was published by Bodley Head on 1st May … Continue reading »

Categories: Books we've read, World War One | 2 Comments

Great-grandpas airship and Zeppelins over London

  Last year I wrote couple of blogs about a largely unrecognised element of the First World War story; the Zeppelin bombing raids over England and the competition to develop a British airship to rival the German Zeppelin.  My focus was my great-grandfather’s attempts to persuade the War Office that his airship design would both … Continue reading »

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

Gomersal Mills and the outbreak of World War One

The outbreak of the First World War would prove profitable for some textile businesses in the West Riding, as wars had in earlier centuries.  They had supplied uniforms and other items for military use to this country, most of Europe, the Middle East and overseas territories for several hundred years previously.  I think they clothed … Continue reading »

Categories: Men of God, and of Commerce, World War One | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

A family not at War (much)

The Great War centenary commemorations are something of an embarrassment for me.  The obvious family war stories are lacking among my ancestors. In particular, no-one was an acknowledged hero, and nobody died.  I suppose one could regard Nana’s sister, Ethel, as a war death, at a stretch. She died in 1918, in the Spanish Flu … Continue reading »

Categories: World War One | 1 Comment

Great grandpa and the overture to war (part two)

In my last posting I introduced the International Review of Commerce and Industry to which my great grandfather, Alfred John Liversedge (AJL), submitted articles in December 1913 and January 1914 in an attempt to see if there was any intimation that the Great War was imminent. In the next issue, January 1914, the editor kicks … Continue reading »

Categories: Men of God, and of Commerce, World War One | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

War Baby

My mother-in-law, Diana Gutch [nee Worsley], who died three months ago would have celebrated her 100th birthday on 26th February 2014.It used to amuse her to call herself a ‘War Baby’, although she was born six months before the outbreak of the first World War. However,her early life was greatly affected by the events in … Continue reading »

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

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
 Gang aft agley

At the beginning of 1914, my grandparents had important decisions to make.  My grandfather, Lewis Casson, 38 years old, had just resigned from an important job as producer (the more usual word for a theatre director) at the very first regional repertory company in England, Miss Horniman’s Company at the Gaiety Theatre, Manchester.  His modern … Continue reading »

Categories: Before 1st World War | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Royal Flying Corps in WW1 – dangers and accidents

Early in 1915 my grandfather, Frank Oswald Burnley, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the 16th (Service Battalion) of West Yorkshire Regiment, after some three months in the Territorials (the Reserve Army Service Corps).  This was a Bradford brigade.  The following year, paid for privately I suspect, he gained his Aviator’s Certificate on a … Continue reading »

Categories: Men of God, and of Commerce, World War One | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Great grandpa and the overture to war (part one)

As the “celebrations” of the Great War start to ramp up I found myself wondering if I could discover whether my great grandfather, Alfred John Liversedge (AJL) had any thoughts on the impending catastrophe. In December 1913 and January 1914 he published articles in The International Review of Commerce and Industry edited by T. Swinborne … Continue reading »

Categories: Men of God, and of Commerce, World War One | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

First World War ancestors

One hundred years ago, early in 1914 my grandfather and his two cousins, young men only 20 years old were beginning their working lives in wool textile manufacturing, as at least four generations of their forebears had done.  Frank Oswald Burnley, my paternal grandfather, had been an apprentice dryer in worsted yarn and was preparing … Continue reading »

Categories: Men of God, and of Commerce, World War One | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments