Category Archives: Features on Major Events

articles within a theme that are featured in excerpts

WW1 Remembrance Poetry Art and Hope

WW1 Remembrance Poetry Art and Hope

The Digital Archives of WW1 Poetry needs little introduction. Worthy of a reflective browse and full of deeply moving artefacts.

When souls in the extremes of horrific wars raise themselves to such heights, in spite of all they face, it feels like the least we can do is to take inspiration from their art and take it forward with us today. Remembrance seems as important and poignant now as ever.

Whilst the generations that endured these ironically called ‘Great Wars’ are no longer with us, hearing the children from a WW1 project at last nights Royal Albert Hall Remembrance commemoration it is as relevant now as ever surely that we continue to observe this annual moment.

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The children last night reflected the rich tapestry of modern Britain, independent of race, religion, education or wealth. The recent Reith BBC lectures on identity for me were full of hope, teaching us that we adapt, adopt and Evolve culture. We need not be bound by birthrights or the illusion of identity as a fixed inheritance that emanates from our DNA. It is ours to do what we wish with. Sometimes we need not be bound by our history but liberated by it.

The depth of the art left by these poets has been rooted in my reading since early school days. Like the children featured last night, it has provided me a glimpse of insight and inspiration not just at this time of year. I heard from My brother this week that his son aged 10 read ‘In Flanders Fields…’ To his school this week. In an uncertain world when poems from 100 years ago can have that much impact they have got to be worth sharing, preserving ad nurturing for future generations.

Whilst some Veteran associations with dwindling numbers are winding-up their participation, let’s hope the next generations so widely represented today in Whitehall London continue to take up the baton.

Tower of London an outpouring of national recognition.
Tower of London an outpouring of national recognition.

This is not to glorify war but to remind of the error and horrors of not only our past but our all too recent conflicts. What is the point of poetry some people ask, read these texts see the hand-written manuscripts and I defy anyone not to be moved and know exactly why these documents are so important. Bless them all.

13th November 2016.

Hiroshima an English Perspective

Hiroshima an English Perspective

Hiroshima an English Perspective on 70th Commemoration in the spirit of hope, resilience and reconciliation with thanks to a unique 390 year old Bonsai Tree, a blog post with references and links commemorating this the 70th anniversary of these dark days but with hope for the future and thanks to Master Yamaki.

George Duke of Clarence

George Duke of Clarence

George Duke of Clarence may have been the only legitimate heir in the House of York he married the Kingmaker’s daughter what happened to their children? Margaret of York, Edward Plantagenet and Richard of York were born to rank and privilege but how would their lives stand-up to the brutal times of the War of the Roses?

IT Livery Companies History and Dame Shirley

IT Livery Companies History and Dame Shirley

Dame Stephanie Shirley, aka Steve computing pioneer, philanthropist and advocate for strategic projects in Autism and child escaping Nazi Germany via the British Kindertransport initiative. She survived and succeeded against the odds, one 10,000 against one and a half million that perished..She is part of history and very much alive and still making it happen, she is for me an inspiration and continues a long line of great contributions to British life that started with the story of a migration and the struggles of an immigrant trying to make the best of the cards life has dealt the, We can all learn something from Dame Shirley.

Appeasement as Pragmatic Policy

Appeasement as Pragmatic Policy

Appeasement Policy, why did it have any credibility in Neville Chamberlain’s eyes? Could he really believe Hitler wanted peace and when it did unravel was he really surprised and ill-prepared? Would Churchill have handled this period any better and with the position Britain found itself in at that particular point could Churchill really have fared any better by outright confrontation before 3rd Sept 1939?

Paris Peace Conference 1919

Paris Peace Conference 1919

Was the Paris Peace Conference and four months of wrangling amongst the Allies robbing Germany of its Empire a key document that impacts on British Appeasement Policy in 1938 1939 and was it also a major factor in the problems that led to WW2? In full knowledge of its content is Chamberlain all too aware of its implications and seeks to appease Germany’s imperialist pretensions because of it, or in spite of it. Before we judge Chamberlain should we not take a long hard look at Britain in the ‘interwar years’ and how these outcomes constrain the options available as Baldwin resigns and Chamberlain picks-up the poison chalice.

Edward Coke 1552 – 1634

Edward Coke 1552 – 1634

Edward Coke, supreme barrister and politician of the C16th and C17th, whose belief and work in Common Law became part of the English and US Constitution whose name should be known by every child in the UK.

Arthur James Balfour Prime Minister 1902-1905

Arthur James Balfour Prime Minister 1902-1905

Arthur James Balfour was a Prime Minister cut from the old aristocratic mould, an intelligent man who perhaps lacked emotional intelligence to match. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, nephew of Lord Salisbury, his mother’s brother. He would serve in coalition during WWI alongside Lloyd George more than strange bed-fellows. It was then that his now infamous Balfour Declaration would be declared and continues to cited as the root cause of the troubles between the Arab and Zionist causes in Palestine. and modern Israel. Unsuccessful Prime Ministers can be even more important it would seem than those that succeed and the failures may also be greatest when they are no longer in the top job.

Constitutional Crisis People’s Budget 1909

Constitutional Crisis People’s Budget 1909

What would cause a king to contemplate the end of the Monarchy and that his son might be the last King? When his Barons, the Lords would rise-up and revolt against the rule of democracy and seek to reinvent the will of the people via its commons from being fulfilled. Lloyd George and Winston Churchill would be the advocates for the poor and common man. Asquith would seek to calm the rage and the King would plead with the Lords to let the Bill pass but it would take two General Elections and never again would this unwritten convention be relied upon without statute to support it.