On this day: the birth of the Duchess of Northumberland

Elizabeth Diana Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (née Montagu Douglas Scott; 20 January 1922 – 19 September 2012)

Photographed as a teenager in 1935.

Elizabeth Diana Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (née Montagu Douglas Scott) was born on the 20th of January, 1922, to parents the future Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch.

During the Second World War she served in both the Civil Nursing Reserve and the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and worked on the RMS Mauretania and in Australia.

She married Hugh Percy, 10th Duke of Northumberland in 1946 and went on to have seven children. Her husband ascended to the title after his brother, the 9th Duke, was killed in action in the war in 1940.

The Duchess outlived her husband, dying in Surrey, England in 2012.

Advertisements

On this day: Christmas Day in the Australian Women’s Army Service

Lae, New Guinea, 25 December 1945. The Right Honourable J.B. Chifley talking to Sergeant Pritchard, AWAS, the only woman interpreter of Japanese in the Australian Army.

25th December 1945: The Right Honourable J.B. Chifley is photographed talking to Sergeant Pritchard of the Australian Women’s Army Service in Lae, New Guinea.

Pritchard was the Australian Army’s only Japanese translator during the Second World War.

The AWAS saw tens of thousands of women serve in the army for the final four years of the war. The organisation was disbanded in 1947.

On this day: a Christmas parade during the war

Owen_Guns_Christmas_ParadeChristmas parade 1942 A display of Owen guns, invented and manufactured in Australia, procession Sydney to recognise the contribution war workers making to the

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. X

12th December 1942: Australian designed and manufactured Owen guns make up part of the display in the Christmas parade in the streets of Sydney.

The submachine gun was used by the Australian Army from 1943 until the 1960s.

AWASwithOwengunsAWAS with Owen guns. Members of the Australian Women’s Army Service being instructed in the use of the Owen gun at Belmont in Queensland.

Above is an image of women of the Australian Women’s Army Service training with the guns in Queensland.

On this day: Ireland legalises divorce

Anti-divorce protest in Ireland By the time Ireland voted on divorce in 1995, it was the only country in Europe where divorce was banned.

On the 24th of November, 1995, Ireland became the last country in Europe to legalise divorce. This occurred because of a referendum to change the constitution – not the first attempt to achieve this.

Ireland 1986. Anti-divorce posters at the Father Mathew Hall on polling day for the Divorce Referendum on 26 June.

Opposition in the failed 1986 referendum. X

Divorce had been specifically forbidden in the 1937 Irish constitution. A heavily Catholic country, there was very strong opposition to the legal breakup of a marriage, just as there was when it came to the legalisation of contraception, which was only made available in the 1980s.

Irish campaign against the Divorce Referendum.

The success of the 1995 referendum was a close thing; the results were just over 50% in favour and 49.79% opposed.