On this day: a Victorian School Opens

Harby_Primary_School_1895 The village school and pupils 1895 Leicestershire England Victorian Era Christian

Pupils of the school photographed in 1895.

The Church of England Primary School in the village of Harby in Leicestershire, England opened on the 25th of March, 1861.

Part of the National Society for Promoting Religious Education, an organisation formed to promote education in England and Wales before the government began to regulate the school system, the building was constructed in 1860. It had two classrooms, and living accommodations for the teacher.

Bombed London Under Snow

January 1942: London stands in ruins and covered in snow after German bombing in the Second World War. A crane and truck can be seen clearing debris.

St Paul’s Cathedral – which survived the Blitz – is in the background.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museums.

bombed-london-in-the-snowThe destruction around St Paul's Cathedral air raid on London is softened by a heavy dusting of snow. mobile crane and truck can be seen work to clear up some of

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: the publication of Black Beauty

Repost from 2016

black-beauty-is-an-1877-novel-by-english-author-anna-sewell-it-was-composed-in-the-last-years-of-her-life-during-which-she-remained-in-her-house-as-an-invalid-24th-november-1877-

1877 first edition cover. X

Black Beauty, a novel by English author Anna Sewell, was first published on the 24th of November, 1877.

Considered to be a story about animal rights, the book is about the life of a horse, told in autobiographical form.

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Sewell had been barely able to walk since she was fourteen, when injuries to both her ankles were incorrectly treated, and she was an invalid when the book was written and published.

While she lived to see Black Beauty’s initial success, she died of an illness only five months afterwards.

On this day: the RAF Balloon Command was Formed

The RAF Balloon Command was formed in Britain on the 1st of November, 1938. The organisation was formed in anticipation of German air raids if war broke out.

The Command operated over the skies of the United Kingdom until February of 1945.

Balloons over London during the war.

Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial can be seen.

Barrage_balloons_over_London_during_World_War_IIPhotograph of Barrage balloons over London during World War II. Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial can be seen in the middle ground.

On this day: a War Child in London

On this day: a War Child in London

This now-famous photograph, taken by Cecil Beaton, appeared on the cover of American LIFE Magazine on the 23rd of September, 1943. It shows Eileen Dunne, aged “3 and 3/4” sitting in her hospital bed in London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children after being injured in a German air raid.

 

The LIFE cover.

The cover feature was significant, as it encouraged Americans – still more than a year out from joining the Second World War – to take more of an interest in the conflict.

The original caption for the photograph reads:

The wide-eyed young lady on the cover is Eileen Dunne, aged 3 3/4. A German bomber whose crew had never met her dropped a bomb on a North England village. A splinter from it hit Eileen. She is sitting in the hospital. A plucky chorus of wounded children had just finished singing in the North English dialect, “Roon, Rabbit, Roon.” The picture was taken by Cecil Beaton, the English photographer who generally specializes in fashionable or surrealist studies of society women.

80 Years Ago: the Outbreak of War

 

Civilians gather outside 10 Downing Street in London on the 1st of September, 1939, following the news of the German invasion of Poland and the beginning of the Second World War.

Britain declared war on Germany two days later, as did Australia and New Zealand (then both part of the British Empire).

May 1940

May 1940 General Maurice Gamelin, Commander in Chief of the French Army, reviews Canadian troops at Aldershot, England shortly before the Dunkirk evacuation. Second world War Two

May 1940: General Maurice Gamelin, Commander in Chief of the French Army, reviews Canadian troops at Aldershot, England shortly before the Dunkirk evacuation.

Second World War.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.