Filed under battlefield history

Edith Walks

I have often wondered why the UK has never produced an equivalent of Kerouac, of Hunter S Thompson, the wild, crazy, drug and alcohol fuelled travellers and story tellers. Yes, I know Britain is a lot smaller. Any road trip would be a lot shorter, but here’s a film that comes close. It begins with … Continue reading


Rituals of War

This is from the brilliant new book Tribe – On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger. I have heard a lot of stories about the problems of well meaning westerners going to poor countries to ‘do good’ but this is the most disturbing and damning of their attempts to force western behaviour onto others, and … Continue reading

Great War Graffiti Rescued

Most military history is about those who fought, but there is increasing interest in those who refused. This is from the i last Saturday: Rare and little-seen graffiti drawn by men who refused to fight in the First World war on prison walls as they awaited court martial is to be saved from crumbling to … Continue reading

Grateful Villages

I heard this mentioned on the radio last night, an odd corner of World War I history. There were five of them, the only places in England where all those who went to war returned. They were taking of a project to celebrate them by Daniel Hayman who has been visiting them and making songs … Continue reading

Native American Historian

We mostly measure history in terms of years, or perhaps in generations, but memories can be closer than this system suggests. My grandfather was born about a century ago, and he could tell us tales of the gold rushes in Victoria in the 1860s. The last of the soldiers of the Great War have only … Continue reading

Quietly Ignored Are The Peace Monitors

North Korea is getting a lot of coverage at the moment for sabre-rattling, but here’s a rather sad-sweet article from yesterday’s i paper: In a tiny mess hall set amid pine trees and rose bushes on the heavily fortified Korean border, a lunch of steak and asparagus is served. Outside, birdsong competes with the drone … Continue reading

Cromwell and the Scots

A while ago I read of a large number of skeletons found in Durham Castle. This is what has been discovered abut them, from last Thursday’s i newspaper: “They were defeated and humiliated by Oliver Cromwell, and now, after 400 years, the fate of the Scottish prisoners of war who were marched to England has … Continue reading

Stamford History

This is from my favourite series, this time The Highways & Byways of Lincolnshire: “There was a castle near the ford in the 10th century, and Danes and Saxons alternately held it until the Norman Conquest. The city, like the ancient Thebes, had a wall with 7 gates besides posterns, one of which still exists … Continue reading

Child Soldiers

I sometimes wonder if archaeologists will ever run out of work in Britain. It seems incredible there are still significant discoveries being made, but then, there is a lot of history here. This is from David Keys in the i newspaper: “Physical evidence that children were used as soldiers in Britain’s mid-17th century civil wars … Continue reading