Christmas dinner celebrations on board HMS Westminster on the 25th of December, 1941, while the warship was docked at Rosyth, Scotland. The ship served in – and survived – both the First and Second World Wars, and was then sold for scrap in 1947.
A retouched version, and the original image.
10th December 1941: Britain suffered heavy losses off the coast of Malaya at the midway point of the Second World War. Japanese torpedoes took out both HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, delivering a heavy blow to British morale.
The photograph was taken from a Japanese aeroplane.
The retouched image can be found in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.
9th December 1937: Japanese troops march on Nanking, China, carrying guns and wheels.
Days later, the soldiers would begin a spree of mass rape and mass murder that claimed the lives of between 40 000 and 300 000 people. The crime would come to be known as the Rape of Nanking, or the Nanking Massacre.
7th December 1944: A British jeep passes a sign on the side of the road in Ravenna in Northern Italy warning people not to loot. It optimistically suggests the Second World War would end soon.
The Allies had many reasons to believe this to be true. Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini had been arrested and dismissed the year before, and the Allies had worked their way through the country, defeating Axis powers.
The war would end a few months after this photograph was taken.
6th December 1943: Ordinary Seaman P S Buckingham of Norwich updates the U-boat kills on the HMS Hesperus while it is docked at Liverpool, England. Second World War.
Members of Britain’s Home Guard receive instruction on the Bren light machine-gun. Dorking, Surrey, England. 1st December 1940. Second World War.
22nd November 1906: the McAdam family of Ashfield, Cootehill, County Cavan (which falls in modern-day Republic of Ireland).
The photograph was taken by H. Allison & Co. Photographers, and is held in the public record office of Northern Ireland.