Christmas Day in the London Bridge Canteen

Christmas Day in the London Bridge Canteen depicts HRH Princess Helena Victoria, creator and Chairman of the Ladies' Auxiliary Committee of the YMCA paying a visit to workers during the

Christmas Day in the London Bridge Canteen depicts HRH Princess Helena Victoria, creator and Chairman of the Ladies’ Auxiliary Committee of the YMCA paying a visit to workers during the First World War.

The princess, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was one of a number of royals to drop German names from her title at the outbreak of the war. She never married, but went on to live through both World Wars.

The image was created by war artist Clare Atwood in 1920. Atwood, an unusual woman for her time, was a known lesbian who lived in a ménage à trois relationship with two other women until their deaths.

On this day: an Air Display in London

LONDON_DEFENDED_Torchlight_and_Searchlight_spectacleLondon Defended Torchlight and Searchlight spectacle, The Stadium Wembley May 9 to June 1, 1925. Red Arrows.

The British Empire Exhibition ran at Wembley Park in London over 1924 and 1925, showcasing Britain’s might to any world leaders who thought to overpower them.

One of the displays was an air display simulating battle-like conditions, and featuring No. 32 Squadron in a show titled “London Defended”. The display was first shown on the 9th of May, 1925 and continued until the 1st of June. Part of the show involved blank ammunition being fired into the arena.

This display was a precursor to today’s Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force’s aerial display team that was founded in the 1960s and today still performs.

On this day: Arthur Conan Doyle

British writer Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, is photographed here in New York City on the 10th of April, 1922.

Also in the picture are his second wife, Jean, and the children he had by her. Doyle, who was almost sixty-three at the time, married for the second time almost immediately after the death of his first wife.

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Sir_Arthur_Conan_Doyle_and_familySir Arthur Conan Doyle and family looking over wall and pointing, New York City 10th April 1922

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.

On this day: April Fool was released

The film April Fool was released in the United States on the 21st of November, 1920. The image below of Northern Irish actress Thelma Percy (younger sister of Eileen Percy), one of the stars, appeared in the Exhibitors Herald the day before.

Only a fragment of the film – a gag featuring a wallet – is known to have survived.

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April_Fool_(1920)_-_1Still from the American comedy short film April Fool (1920) with Thelma Percy held up by two unidentified actresses, on page 36 of the November 20, 1920 Exhibitors H