A Recognition Long Due

The French Government has awarded several thousand World War II veterans who took part in the liberation of France the rank of Chevalier (knight) of the Legion d’Honneur and its accompanying medal. The Legion d’Honneur is France’s highest military honor and is in recognition of the selfless heroism that was displayed during the Normandy landings and the wider campaign in liberating France. French President, Francoise … Continue reading A Recognition Long Due

Eliza Fenning – a Nineteenth Century Poisoner?

     The case of Eliza (or Elizabeth) Fenning caused much debate in 1815.  Eliza was a domestic servant, aged twenty, who was accused of poisoning her employer, Robert Turner, and two other members of his family, with arsenic laced dumplings.  She vehemently denied this and claimed that she had eaten the meal and was subsequently sick.  She was arrested and sent for trial at … Continue reading Eliza Fenning – a Nineteenth Century Poisoner?

The Hidden History of British Post Boxes

For 160 years we have been posting our mail into pillar, wall and lamp boxes, but how many of us actually look at the box in which we post our mail?  Do we pay attention to the royal ciphers that denote the age of the box?  Or know the impact of momentous historical events that directly affect the letter boxes on our streets?  Post boxes, … Continue reading The Hidden History of British Post Boxes

Snapshot of Family History

My maternal grandparents, William and Anne Gray, had eight children, three born in Drogheda, Ireland and five in Liverpool, England.  My grandfather died in 1941, leaving my grandmother a widow for 54 years.  One by one, all their children left home and started their own families.  My uncles Johnny, Harry and Eddie and my auntie Mary, all settled in Australia.  Of the remaining four, two … Continue reading Snapshot of Family History

Digital v Physical Archives: a Personal Account, Part 2

In Part 1 I discussed my use of archives while researching my family history, describing how digital archives were the catalyst for my research in various archives in Britain and Ireland spanning several years.  With ten years’ archival research behind me, I decided to study for a history degree.  Those years were invaluable to me, as I headed into the archives within weeks of starting … Continue reading Digital v Physical Archives: a Personal Account, Part 2

The Dilemma of a Rookie Blogger

What topic should my first blog post explore?  It’s quite a conundrum; do I introduce myself and my rationale for beginning a blog, or post something immediately to grab readers’ attentions?  I’ve decided to start with the former and hope the words will flow.  I studied history at Kingston University as a mature student, and gained a first-class degree, followed by a Master’s.   But do … Continue reading The Dilemma of a Rookie Blogger