Tag: History

We will remember them

Today is remembrance day.

The Third Battle of Ypres (31 July – 10 November 1917) concluded 100 years ago yesterday and has come to symbolise the horrors associated with the war on the Western Front. It is frequently known by the name of the village where it culminated – Passchendaele.


Outside my …

Lest we forget

At the weekend I was reading a book¹ that reviews the activities of some notable physicists during the First World War in order to highlight how it shaped their later careers.

During this section of the book there's a passage that brought home to me the horrors of trench …

Rocket Science

I grew up with a fascination for the Apollo space programme and remember as a child staring at the moon with wonder and thinking that a man had walked about up there. Despite this early interest, I have never read that much about the history of the race to the …

Foghorns Just


Photo by Tom Parnell

Where I grew up on the coast of Fife I would often hear the Inchkeith Island foghorn booming out in the night. What I remember of that sound is that it was like hearing a muge mythical creature, trapped and lamenting in the dark stormy night …


Some years ago when we were on holiday in Northumberland we visited the Vindolanda Roman fort. It’s a fascinating site, where the archeologists are still uncovering the history of Roman life in Britain. It brings home just how many things the Romans did do for us. When it was …

Magna Carta

Magna Carta
Photo by Pedro Lourenco Venda

A clause from the Magna Carta, a peace settlement between King John and his most powerful subjects, signed on 15 June 1215.

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned or stripped of his rights or possessions or outlawed or exiled or deprived of his …

A English country house with an industrial chimney

English country house with industrial chimney

Some years back when we was driving through Oxfordshire, heading to visit friends in Reading, I glimpsed a building with this incongruous combination of a tall industrial chimney on an English county house. At the time I fantasised it was built by one of the magnates of the industrial revolution …

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