5th July 1880: one week after the Kelly Gang siege at Glenrowan, an Australian policeman poses with the equipment of two of the bushrangers (highwaymen) killed. The helmet belonged to Joe Byrne, and the rifle and skullcap belonged to gang leader Ned Kelly.
The Glenrowan siege came at the end of the bushranger era, as improved communication technology and the arrival of the railway made it harder for bushrangers to operate. My book The Landowner’s Secret takes place around this time.
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.
Between 1932 and 1933 Soviet authorities confiscated the food and crops of millions of ethnic Ukrainians, deliberately starving them to death. A similar genocide was also committed in Kazakhstan, where 42% of the ethnic population was killed and replaced with Russian colonists.
Unlike the Holocaust, there was very limited Western media coverage of the Holodomor, despite conservative estimates putting Ukraine’s death toll on par with it, and other estimates putting it even higher. This was because prominent journalists were either friends of Stalin or communists themselves, and they refused to report on it.
Amongst these genocide deniers was The New York Times’Walter Duranty, while Welsh reporter Gareth Jones risked his life to get the truth out.
The story, about a “thumb-sized” girl who goes on an adventure involving toads, birds, and a mole, and who then meets a miniature prince, wasn’t well-received at the time because it didn’t teach any morals.
The first English translation of the book was completed by Mary Howitt in the 1840s.
Usually omitted from English versions of the story, Andersen’s original featured a bluebird telling the story to Andersen himself. The bird had been in love with Thumbelina, and was heartbroken when she married the prince.
5th December 1944: Named by the Imperial War Museum the face of battle, this photograph is of a British infantry sergeant advancing into Geilenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany – on the border with the Netherlands.
The month before, this was the site of Operation Clipper, which saw an Allied victory over the Nazis.