Duelling as an Olympic sport

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Duelling at the 1908 Games

The 1908 Olympic Games were held in London, beginning on the 27th of April. While medals were awarded for many sports, some were labelled “associate sports” and were for display only.

Duelling was one of these. Historically, duels were fought between two people (usually men) to defend their honour, and frequently resulted in grave injury or death.

At the Olympics the bullets were made of wax, and the contestants wore protective outfits.

The Games were supposed to have been held in Rome, but were moved after a devastating Mount Vesuvius eruption.

Unlike today, the event ran for months, from April to their conclusion on the 31st of October.

On this day: a funeral procession for an English entrepreneur

William Whiteley, Yorkshire-born entrepreneur and founder of Whiteleys department store in London, was murdered on the 24th of January, 1907.

His killer was a young man who claimed to be his illegitimate son. The man shot Whiteley dead in his shop.

Whiteley’s will left £1 000 000, which is the equivalent of about £90 000 000 today.

The funeral procession is seen here on the 30th of January, making its way through Ladbroke Grove.

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Christmas carols for the troops

Choirboys from St Margaret’s, Westminster sing Christmas carols for American troops in a flat in London in December, 1944.

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Eve Maxwell Wright sings I Saw Three Ships while Dorothea Aspinall accompanies her on the piano.

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On this day…

This hand-coloured etching of London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane was published on the 25th of November, 1812.

When this etching was published the building had only been opened a few weeks. This is the third theatre to have stood there, and it was opened on the tenth of October that year. It is the same building that now stands on the site.

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