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World War One

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

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

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

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

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: , , , , , | 4 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: , , | 12 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