On this day: the Christmas season during the war

The_British_Army_in_North-west_Europe_1944-45_B12586'St Nicholas' arrives on a Sherman ARV as part of St Nicholas Day celebrations in Rucphen, near Roosendaal in Holland, 6 December 1944

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6th December 1944: Only weeks after the region’s liberation from Nazi occupation, the British Army takes part in a Saint Nicholas Day event in Rucphen, near Roosendaal in the Netherlands.

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Australian “Soldiers”

Boys and girls dressed as soldiers, with slouch hats and toy rifles, at Irvinebank, Queensland, Australia around 1917. First World War.

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This image of boys and girls dressed as Australian soldiers was taken in the small far-north Queensland town of Irvinebank around 1917.

Henry Dalziel, a recipient of the Victoria Cross after World War One, was born in the town in 1893.

Australia began preparations for the war even before Britain officially joined the conflict in 1914. So closely tied to Britain, and still part of the Empire, Australia was part of the conflict until its conclusion on the 11th of November, 1918.

On this day: the birth of a theatre star

Fred & Adele Astaire. circa 1906. The photograph is a publicity photograph illustrating Fred Astaire and Adele Astaire in a vaudeville act entitled A Rainy Saturday.

Fred and Adele Astaire, circa 1906.

Adele Astaire, stage star and sister of her movie star brother, Fred, was born in Omaha, Nebraska on the 10th of September, 1896. Her birth name was Adele Marie Austerlitz, but the surname was changed to make her sound more “American”. As a child, she and her brother moved to New York to attend the Alviene Master School of the Theatre and Academy of Cultural Arts.

Publicity photograph of Fred Astaire and Adele Astaire in 1921.

In 1921

Three years Fred’s senior, Adele was actually the more successful stage performer of the two siblings. However her brother went on to find Hollywood fame, and while Adele considered moving into film, she abandoned the plan, admitting to being intimidated by her brother.

Astaire married twice (her first husband died in this thirties), and had three children. She was considered the more personable of the two siblings.

She died in January of 1981, at the age of eighty-four.

On this day: Bastille Day during a war

The commune of Courseulles-sur-Mer in Normandy, France was liberated early after the D-Day landings in 1944. It is believed to be the first town in the region to be freed.

On the 14th of July the same year, a Bastille Day service was held, with locals as well as Allied troops taking part.

British and American troops with locals at the ceremony at the War Memorial. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2000French, British and American troops join with local inhabitants of Courseulles-sur-Mer in the ceremony at the War Memorial

A brother and sister lay flowers. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2003

A local fireman holds the French Tricolour. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2001A local fireman holding the French Tricolour during the ceremony at the War Memorial to celebrate Bastille Day. Courseulles was

A British marine (left), who played the Last Post, stands with local children who wait to lay flowers at the service. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2006

On this day: Victoria Day in 1934

Fête de la Reine (Victoria Day) is a national holiday for Canada, celebrated on the final Monday before Queen Victoria’s birthday in late May.

This image is of children in Quebec celebrating with maypole dancing on the 24th of May, 1934.

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