Britain 100 Years Ago

The_Anti-aircraft_Warfare_on_the_Western_Front,_1914-1918_Q279Officers at the 16th Course of Instruction at the General Headquarters of the Anti-aircraft School, Royal Artillery; 17th Oc

17th October 1918: Officers at the General Headquarters of the Anti-aircraft School of Britain’s Royal Artillery.

After more than four years of fighting, the First World War would be over less than a month after this picture was taken.

Russian Orthodoxy – GONE!


The Lavra in Kyiv

In a centuries’ overdue move, and one that is going to lead to more Russian aggression in Ukraine, the Constantinople Patriarchate approved Ukraine’s split from the Russian Orthodox Church overnight. It is being called the biggest split in all of Christianity in a thousand years.

Russian Orthodoxy was forced on Ukrainians over several centuries, finishing with the forced conversion of my family’s Ukrainian Catholic villages in the west of the country when Churchill gifted the country to Stalin after the Second World War (thanks for that, Winston!).

What will happen now? Well, in anticipation of this move, the Russian military has already stepped up attacks in Ukraine’s east, with people being killed in record numbers again. It has to be understood that Russia’s Church – in the past decade or so – has become a weaponised political party that effectively runs the country, behind only Vladimir Putin.

Additionally, experts are predicting staged attacks on Russian churches, so that Putin can blame them on “fascist Ukrainians”, and attack and invade even more.

What I’m worried about is attacks on the thousand-year-old Orthodox monasteries and cathedrals in Ukraine, such as the Lavra complex in Kyiv. I sure hope they’ve stepped up security at those locations.

This move removes a major aspect of Russian colonialism from Ukraine.

I’m not sure why Russia never comes up alongside the likes of France and Britain and Spain in discussions about colonialism and cultural appropriation (because people think Russia is romantic?). The Russians were just as brutal as anybody else (see the Holodomor). And – unlike other nations – their behaviour is ongoing (see the annexation of Crimea, the invasion and occupation of eastern Ukraine, the ongoing invasion and occupation of one-fifth of Georgia, and the illegal occupation of Moldova).

The next few weeks are going to be chaotic for Eastern Europe.

On this day…

#OnThisDay 11th October 1949 Ballet Dancer Margot Fonteyn at the opening performance at the Metropolitan Opera

English ballerina Margot Fonteyn, one of the only dancers in history to hold the title of Prima Ballerina Assoluta, is seen here in a photograph dated the 11th of October, 1949.

Fonteyn was dancing the opening night performance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House.

100 Years Ago Today: Britain Advances on the Germans

The_Hundred_Days_Offensive,_Pursuit to the Selle. 4th Battalion, Royal Leicestershire Regiment (46th Division) firing at German snipers and machine gunners on the edge of the Bois de Req



British soldiers of the 4th Battalion, Royal Leicestershire Regiment fire at German snipers and machine gunners on the edge of the Bois de Requerval, France on the 10th of October, 1918.

The image was taken by John Warwick Brooke, who was Britain’s second official photographer of the First World War.

The advance to recapture the Selle in the Picardy region was complete by the end of the month.

On this day: Market Day in Ireland

Would_have_been_perfect_if_the_Butcher's_Shop_was_called_Hazlett!_(9553954028)Very patiently queueing horses at the Market Square in Dromore, Co. Down. Ireland Edwardian Northern Ireland

From the National Library of Ireland

This photograph is thought to be from Sunday the 9th of October, 1904. Horses wait in a queue in the market town of Dromore in County Down.

Dromore is now in Northern Ireland.

On this day: a Rail Disaster in London


The scene looking south over the aftermath of the Harrow and Wealdstone train crash on 8 October 1952. The United Kingdom's worst peacetime rail disaster.

The United Kingdom’s worst peacetime rail disaster occurred at London’s Harrow and Wealdstone station on the 8th of October, 1952.

The scene looking south over the aftermath of the Harrow and Wealdstone train crash on 8 October 1952.Rescue workers around wrecked coaches after the Harrow and Wealdstone train crash on

112 people were killed when the City of Glasgow – an express train from Perth, Scotland – crashed into the back of a local passenger train at rush hour. The wreckage covered other rail lines, resulting in a third train – another express – to crash.

The scene looking south over the aftermath of the Harrow and Wealdstone train crash on 8 October 1952. The badly damaged locomotive of the Perth express train No. 46242 Coronation Class

The wrecked City of Glasgow.

In addition to over a hundred deaths, 340 other people were injured, with 88 transported to hospital for treatment.

The overturned second Liverpool locomotive No. 46202 and wrecked coaches after the Harrow and Wealdstone train crash on 8 October 1952.

An investigation found that the driver of the Perth train missed three signals before crashing, but as those involved were killed, the reason for this was never discovered.

On this day…

Winner_of_the_Sirens_of_the_Surf_competition,_Miss_Bonnie_Orchard,_Gold_Coast,_1936_(4903167283)Winner of the Sirens of the Surf competition, Miss Bonnie Orchard, Gold Coast, 1936. Queen


Miss Bonnie Orchard, the winner of the Sirens of the Surf competition on the 5th of October, 1936. The competition took place in springtime at the holiday resort of the Gold Coast in the state of Queensland in Australia’s north.

The image is credited to George Jackman.