On this day: the birth of the Duchess of Northumberland

Elizabeth Diana Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (née Montagu Douglas Scott; 20 January 1922 – 19 September 2012)

Photographed as a teenager in 1935.

Elizabeth Diana Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (née Montagu Douglas Scott) was born on the 20th of January, 1922, to parents the future Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch.

During the Second World War she served in both the Civil Nursing Reserve and the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and worked on the RMS Mauretania and in Australia.

She married Hugh Percy, 10th Duke of Northumberland in 1946 and went on to have seven children. Her husband ascended to the title after his brother, the 9th Duke, was killed in action in the war in 1940.

The Duchess outlived her husband, dying in Surrey, England in 2012.

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Fifteen Years

I’ve mentioned this disaster before, but today is the fifteenth anniversary of the freakish firestorm that tore through Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Unlike other bushfires, this one burnt into the city itself, claiming lives and destroying many hundreds of buildings.

Watch from 1:08 in to see what the suburban streets looked like that afternoon.

The images below (from Wikimedia Commons) are from before the sky turned blacker than night, and then bright red. All the photos are of places I was on that day. When everything went black, it started raining embers, and the flames started rolling down the mountains that surround us, things got really scary in this part of town. (What looks like lights in the first picture is all fire.)

People I know lost everything, but we got lucky and the firebombing helicopters were just over us and stopped it before it jumped the road to our side.

2003_Canberra_Firestorm-Woden 2003 Canberra Firestorm. 18th January 2003 Canberra_hills-18-01-2003

2003_Canberra_Firestorm-Woden Photo of Woden Town Centre during the height of the 2003 Canberra Firestorm. 18th January 2003

2003_Canberra_Firestorm- 2003 Canberra Firestorm. 18th January 2003 Canberra_hills-18-01-2003 2003CanberraBushfires.

Winter 1916

Pow_Winter_Recreation_Art_IWMART17084 German Prisoners of War Recreation Alexandra Palace London 1916 First World War One

This painting, from the collection of the Imperial War Museum, shows German prisoners of war playing in the snow outside Alexandra Palace in London.

At the beginning of the First World War the area housed Belgian refugees, but as the war continued it was transformed into an internment camp for Germans and Austrians.

Thomas Hardy’s Early Career

Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, influenced both in his novels and in his poetry

Today marks ninety years since the death of Thomas Hardy, famed English novelist of the Victorian era.

His famous works include Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895).

However, when Dorset-born Hardy first came to London, he was not making money as a writer.

St Pancras Railway Station London Victorian Era the year it opened 1868

In 1868

One of his jobs was to clear graves to make way for the massive new St Pancras railway station, which opened in 1868.

The Hardy Tree in the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church, growing up between gravestones moved there while Thomas Hardy was working here. London Victorian Era.

Headstones were moved for the build, and stacked together. Today, there is a famous spot called the “Hardy Tree“, where – for the past 1.5 centuries – a tree has grown around them.

On this day: Australian Soldiers in Egypt

Group portrait of the Australian 11th (Western Australia) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force posing on the Great Pyramid of Giza on 10 January 1915, prior to the

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10th January 1915: Members of the Australian 11th (Western Australia) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force pose for a group photograph on the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. The Australians did a lot of their training in the country.

In April of the same year they would take part in the infamous landings at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey). 378 men in this battalion were amongst the 26 111 Australian casualties, which included 8141 deaths.

On this day: a Japanese Church in Ruins

UrakamiTenshudoJan1946Urakami Tenshudo (Catholic Church in Nagasaki) destroyed by the atomic bomb, the bell of the church having toppled off. 7th January 1946.

One of the many buildings destroyed in the 9th August, 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan was the city’s Catholic church. The Urakami Tenshudo was of historical significance because of the centuries of persecution Japanese Christians faced for practicing their religion.

At Urakami people risked death by torture for following a religion Japanese authorities saw as undermining their power and bringing too much Western influence to the Empire.

Urakami was ground zero for the nuclear attack on the city.

Photographed here on the 7th of January, 1946, the destroyed church is seen to still be a ruin five months after the atomic bombings that forced Japan’s surrender in the Second World War.

On this day: London Frozen

This photograph, dated the 2nd of January, 1962 shows ice and snow at East Finchley station in London’s north. The next winter the United Kingdom suffered one of the coldest winters on record.

Source

EPSON scanner image