A Vietnam War Christmas

This collection of images shows Australian soldiers celebrating Christmas in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s.

Australia committed approximately 61 000 troops to the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1972 (and again occasionally until 1975), including many thousands of conscripts.

All the photographs are from the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

December 1971. South Vietnam.

Private David McColl of Canberra, hanging puddings to mature before Christmas.

Christmas_in_Vietnam,_1971_(3116643779)South Vietnam. Private (Pte) David McColl of Page in Canberra ACT, hanging puddings to mature before Christmas

December 1967. Nui Dat, Vietnam.

Newly arrived members of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), preparing their base camp for the Christmas season.

Christmas_in_Vietnam,_1967_(3117470156)Nui Dat, Vietnam. 1967-12. Newly arrived members of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), preparing their base camp for the Christma

November 1970. Nui Dat, South Vietnam.

Corporal Arthur Wallis, 21, sharpening a knife in preparation for carving the three prime hams he has prepared for Christmas.

Christmas_at_Nui_Dat,_1970_(3116643487)Nui Dat, South Vietnam. November 1970. Corporal Arthur Wallis, 21, of Preston, Vic, sharpening a knife in preparation for carving the three prime h

Holodomor Awareness

2018_-_Комплекс_Києво-Печерської_лаври Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Ukraine and Holodomor Genocide memorial stalin communism communist

This time in November is typically designated as an awareness week for the Holodomor, Stalin’s forced famine-genocide of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s.

Above is the Lavra monastery complex in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city. The golden tower/flame on the right is the memorial to the genocide.

The deaths of tens of millions in the Soviet Union should serve as a reminder why communism should never again be revived or allowed to thrive – something generations born after the fall of the USSR seem unable to fully understand.

Remembrance Day

Keeping_warm_while_waiting_for_lunch_(4688538866) Sherwood Foresters British Army Somme WW1

Source

As today is Remembrance Day, here’s an image of British Army Sherwood Foresters keeping warm while waiting for lunch during the Battle of the Somme (First World War). The battle claimed over a million casualties over the 140 days it was fought.

Florence Foster Jenkins

I randomly came across this movie when it was on free to air TV a couple of weeks ago, and it was amazing. Based on the life of a real person – and I actually looked up the real woman and was happy to see how historically accurate the movie is – Florence Foster Jenkins tells the story of a Gilded Age New York socialite who, near the end of her life, decides she has what it takes to become a famous opera singer.

The problem? She can’t sing to save herself. She becomes infamous rather than famous.

This is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. You laugh and laugh … and then suddenly you’re crying because it really is a tragic story.

Meryl Streep actually trained as an opera singer (something I just learnt), and – much like the character of Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera – in order to sing badly, you first have to learn to sing properly.

The real woman really was an appalling singer, and because she paid to have records of her voice made, you can listen to her even now. She’s even worse than in the movie.

The costumes in this movie are worth your time alone.

Streep was ROBBED of the Oscar for this performance (it went to La La Land that year), and both Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg (who is most famous as a sitcom actor, but who is actually a trained concert pianist) were nominated for Golden Globes for their parts. They’re both brilliant, too.

I’m so glad I stumbled across this.

On this day: Workmen in London

Workers at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London remove scaffolding from the Victoria Tower. The image appeared in The Illustrated London News on the 20th of March, 1954.

From The Londonist, via the British Newspaper Archive.

workers removing the scaffolding from the Victoria Tower Westminster London in 1954. the Illustrated London News, 20 March 1954.