Tag Archives: World War II

On This Day – New Albion, a Bomb, and a Mac

Cornish Rebellion – Update

Medieval woodcut of a battle

1497 The Battle of Deptford Bridge (also known as the Battle of Blackheath) took place on this day. Forces under King Henry VII were victorious in what was the culminating event of the Cornish Rebellion. After carefully spreading rumours that he would attack on the following Monday, Henry moved against the Cornish at dawn on his ‘lucky day’ which was Saturday (17 June). By 2pm, Henry had returned to the City in triumph, knighting deserving parties on the way, and accepted the acclamation of the Mayor followed by a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s.

New Albion

1579 Francis Drake anchored the Golden Hind just north of what would one day be San Francisco Bay, California and proclaimed England’s sovereignty over an area he named New Albion.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Wesley

1703 The birth of John Wesley, English evangelist who initiated the Methodist societies and brought about an evangelical revival, not only in England, but also in North America.

The Victory at Bunker Hill

1775 In the War of American Independence, British troops won a victory at Bunker Hill north of Boston, Massachusetts.

Where Would We Be Without It?

trench coats in VOGUE magazine

1823 Charles Macintosh patented the waterproof cloth he used to make raincoats, after experimenting with waste rubber products from Glasgow’s new gas works.


1867 Pioneer doctor Joseph Lister amputated a cancerous breast from his sister Isabella using carbolic acid as an antiseptic. The operation in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary was the first under antiseptic conditions.

The Finest Hour

Churchill portrait NYP 45063.jpg

1940 World War II: In a radio broadcast, Winston Churchill urged Britain to conduct herself so that this would be remembered as her finest hour.

The Tragedy of Lancastria

RMS Lancastria.jpg

1940 World War II: The RMS Lancastria was sunk by the Luftwaffe near Saint-Nazaire, France. Over 4,000 lives were lost making it the worst ever loss of life in the sinking of a single British ship, and the bloodiest single engagement for UK forces (in terms of lives lost) in the whole of World War II. The sinking claimed more lives than the combined losses of the Titanic and Lusitania.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Livingstone

1945 The birth of Ken Livingstone, former Labour politician and the first Mayor of London.

(Personally, I thought Dick Whittington was the first, but apparently that’s a different post. The first Mayor of the City of London was Henry Fitz-Ailwin de Londonestone )

What A Sight That Must Have Been

Caller at public phone booth with screen showing person being called

1964 The first purpose-built floating trade fair docked at Tilbury in London with 22,000 samples of Japanese goods on board.

The Abomination Of An IRA Bomb…

The scene at Westminster

1974 An IRA bomb exploded at the Houses of Parliament, causing extensive damage and injuring 11 people.

… And an US Nuclear Missile

1980 The locations for the first US nuclear missiles to be stored on British soil (at Greenham Common and Molesworth military bases) were revealed by the government.

Start Them Young

Norman Whiteside

1982 Manchester United footballer Norman Whiteside became the youngest player to appear in the World Cup finals – playing for Northern Ireland against Yugoslavia in Spain. He was aged 17 years and 41 days.

Farewell Cardinal Hume

George Basil Hume

1999 The death of Cardinal Basil Hume, Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop of Westminster.

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Posted by on 17/06/2012 in Uncategorized


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On This Day – Revolts, Mutinies and a Surrender

More Revolting Peasants

1381 Richard II met leaders of Wat Tyler’s Peasants’ Revolt on Blackheath. The Tower of London was stormed by rebels who entered without resistance. The revolt later came to be seen as a mark of the beginning of the end of serfdom in medieval England. Although the revolt itself was a failure it increased awareness in the upper classes of the need for the reform of feudalism in England and the appalling misery felt by the lower classes as a result of their enforced near-slavery.

The Battle of Naseby

1645 The Battle of Naseby (Northamptonshire) was fought. It was the key battle of the first English Civil War. 12,000 Royalist forces of King Charles I were beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell.

Mutiny on the Bounty

1789 English Captain William Bligh and 18 others, cast adrift from the H.M.S. Bounty, reached Timor after travelling nearly 4,000 miles in a small, open boat. The Bounty had been sailing from Tahiti when crew members mutinied.

Computer Daddy

1822 Englishman Charles Babbage proposed an automatic, mechanical calculator (he called it a difference engine). He is considered a ‘father of the computer’ and is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs.

Transatlantic Flight

1919 At 14.13 GMT, Captain John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Whitten-Brown took off from Newfoundland on the first non-stop transatlantic flight to Galway, Ireland, in a Vickers Vimy. They landed safely 16 hours later, on the 15th and claimed a £10,000 prize from the Daily Mail. They were eventually knighted by King George V. When Alcock was killed in an air crash in France in December 1919 his partner, Brown, never flew again.

Operation Perch


1944 World War II: After several failed attempts, the British Army abandoned Operation Perch, its plan to capture the German-occupied town of Caen. Caen was a major Allied objective in the early stages of the invasion of northwest Europe but a combination of fierce German resistance and failures at the British command level foiled the operation before its objectives were achieved.

Farewell, Mr Baird

John Logie Baird

1946 John Logie Baird, Scottish inventor who developed television died.

The Last of Bobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton.jpg

1970 Manchester United footballer Bobby Charlton played his 106th and last international match for England against West Germany in the World Cup finals in Mexico. His first game had been in April 1958 against Scotland.

Surrender at Port Stanley

1982 Argentine forces surrendered at Port Stanley, ending the Falklands War. 255 Britons and 652 Argentines died in the conflict.

Mrs Chief Constable

Article image

1995 Pauline Clare, 47, became the first woman to be appointed chief constable in Britain.

The Honours List

1997 Queen Elizabeth II birthday honours included a George Medal for teacher Lisa Potts, survivor of a machete attack at her school (1996) and a posthumous Queen’s Gallantry medal for headmaster Philip Lawrence murdered outside his school in December 1995.


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Posted by on 14/06/2012 in Uncategorized


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