100 Years Ago: Bethlehem at Wartime

4th_Sussex_Regiment_marching_through_Bethlehem,_9_December_1917_(IWM_Q12620) 4th Sussex Regiment marching through Bethlehem, 9 December 1917 Foirst World War One English British

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9th December 1917: Britain’s 4th Sussex Regiment photographed marching through Bethlehem days before Christmas.

The city was under Ottoman control until the end of the First World War the following year.

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Christmas in 1910

Xmas_Show_Week_1910Sutton High St., Christmas, 1910. South London Greater London.

This photograph is of the High Street in Sutton, Greater London during “Xmas Show Week” in 1910.

The High Street had only been developed at the beginning of the 1900s, as the town’s population grew through the Edwardian era.

On this day: the death of a war photographer

Ralph Morse, an American photographer for Life magazine, and war correspondent in Britain in the 1940s, died in Florida on the 7th of December, 2014 at the age of ninety-seven.

American soldier and his English girlfriend on lawn in Hyde Park, London, 1944. Photograph By Ralph Morse.

Amongst his popular photographs were those of American soldiers stationed in England during the Second World War alongside their local girlfriends. The image above was taken in London’s Hyde Park in 1944 in the buildup to D-Day. Interestingly, the American soldier is clearly wearing a wedding ring on his left hand.

On this day: Nocton Hall is Gutted by Fire

Nocton_Hall_1901 Nocton Hall as it appeared in Country Life on the 28th of September, 1901. Lincolnshire, England. Gutted by fire in 2004.

The Hall in Country Life. 28th September 1901.

On the 24th of October, 2004, Nocton Hall – a Grade II listed building in Lincolnshire, England – was gutted by fire for a second time. The Hall is the former home of Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon, who served as British Prime Minister in the 1820s.

An investigation concluded the destruction was caused by arson, but so far nobody has been arrested.

In addition to being home to a number of prominent residents, the Hall was also used as a location to treat wounded soldiers in both the First and Second World Wars.

The current building is a nineteenth-century construction that was built to replace the original sixteenth-century house, which was also destroyed by fire.

Today, the ruined house stands empty while its future is debated.

On this day: the premiere of Foyer de Danse

foyer-de-danse Alicia Markova, seen here at left in Frederick Ashton_s Foyer de Danse at the fledgling British company Ballet Club (1932).

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Foyer de Danse, a ballet by English choreographer Frederick Ashton, had its premiere on the 9th of October, 1932.

This footage (begins 24 seconds in) from the 1932 production features Ashton alongside English prima ballerina Alicia Markova (born Lilian Alice Marks):

Ashton would go on to become one of ballet’s best-known choreographers. His productions of ballets such as Cinderella and La fille mal gardée are still seen onstage at the Royal Opera House on a regular basis.

On this day: the founding of Nelson’s Column

1844williamhenryfoxtalbotOn the 30th of September, 1840, the first stone of Nelson_s Column, the 52-metre structure in the centre of London_s Trafalgar Square was laid.

Photograph taken by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1843.

On the 30th of September, 1840, the first stone of Nelson’s Column, the 52-metre structure in the centre of London’s Trafalgar Square, was laid.

The column was commissioned to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The first stone was laid by Charles Davison Scott, and the completed structure was opened three years later, in 1843.