Forgotten History

RyoHazuki

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And there were POWs working at a live munitions dump because....?
 

BlackPeter

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Victory

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From a little-known explosion which actually happened, to a well-known explosion which never happened...Guy Fawkes and The Gunpowder Plot.

This Richard Hammond documentary recreates what would have happened if the plot had succeeded.... skip the pre-amble and go to 49m 53s to watch a recreation of what the blast might have been like...

 

ramonmercado

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They were Italian.

My dad (RAF aircrew in WWII) occasionally used to be detailed to guard Italian POWs. He used to get one of them to carry his rifle for him.

maximus otter
Please relate any other stories that your father passed on regarding this.
 

maximus otter

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Please relate any other stories that your father passed on regarding this.
That’s about it, unfortunately. lt was in - IIRC - North Africa. The Italians were ecstatic to be getting three square meals a day, a comfortable bed and freedom from people trying to kill them. The UK services had them literally digging holes and filling them in again, just to deprive the Devil of the opportunity to provide alternative employment.

Dad was particularly close to one Italian lad, and even - once again IIRC - swapped addresses with him for a post-war reunion. lt never came off, unfortunately.

Dad did remember his name, and told it to me more than once, but to my shame, l can’t recall it. Oddly enough, l can remember the rhythm of my dad saying it, and realising that he’d taught it to my dad backwards, i.e. surname first, Christian name last. The name itself? Gone...

maximus otter
 

Zeke Newbold

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Have we done the Monument to a child Eater in Bern yet? And if bot, why not?

Gist: in the middle of the twee town of Bern in alpine Switzerland there is a fountain - and in the middle of the fountain there is a plinth - on top of this plinth there is a statue. This statue depicts a man filling his face with helpless and cute babies - without so much as a condinement.

Bern childeater 1.jpg


This gotesque artefact has been dated back to the 1540s but otherwise nobody knows what the significance or the purpose of this monument is exactly. Naturally there are numerous theoies - from antisemitic blood libel to child scaring device - but they remain just that - theories:

https://www.ranker.com/list/child-eater-statue-bern-switzerland/genevieve-carlton

It is this local amnesia that I find oddest about all this - more odd than the statue itself. The 1500s isn't exactly pre-history so you'd have thought that there would be records of some sort pertaining to sculpture in the middle of the town - or even failing that word -of-mouth would have told something of its origins, but apparently not.
 

EnolaGaia

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The first thing that came to mind about this fountain sculpture is that bagging up children with intent to eat them is a characteristic of the Krampus character / figure from Alpine folklore, usually associated with the Xmas season. However, Krampus as depicted elsewhere in the Alpine region (i.e., elsewhere than Switzerland) is strongly attributed to pre-Xtian myth / folklore.

I wonder whether this Swiss statue might represent a Swiss translation or riff on the Krampus figure into a more generic form.
 

RaM

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I know this is a long shot and not sure if this is the place to ask,
I have been passing this place for at least 30 years and not noticed this, It appears to be a old stone cross
with the top missing though I cant find any info on it only seen it marked on one OS map, question is
and I know it's a long shot, is does anyone know anything about it, the link at the bottom shows it on
Google maps it's in the lanes just off the A6 in the Garstang area.

Cross nr Garstang.jpg


This is the same in Google maps



https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.9...4!1sHkEqf6h7AHaazY--C8R1Sg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
 

Mythopoeika

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As it's at a crossroads, it seems likely that a cross had been placed there to 'calm the spirits'. Maybe in the obscure past, there had been a gibbet or multiple deaths had occurred? There is (or was) a Hangman's Lane nearby, so it's not improbable.

Also... that is an old Roman road. LOTS of history.

The cross is called Cabus Cross. The cross is either of Viking origin or it dates from the Middle Ages (doesn't seem to be clear).

https://www.southlancasterspeakers.club/2019/04/a-tall-tale-viking-gold-under-cabus-cross.html
http://cabuspc.org.uk/kcfinder/upload/files/Full Leaflet.pdf
http://wyrearchaeology.blogspot.com/2006/10/keeills-around-wyre-part-two.html
 
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RaM

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Excellent, just what I was looking for,
I thank you.
 

maximus otter

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I know this is a long shot and not sure if this is the place to ask,
I have been passing this place for at least 30 years and not noticed this, It appears to be a old stone cross
with the top missing though I cant find any info on it only seen it marked on one OS map, question is
and I know it's a long shot, is does anyone know anything about it, the link at the bottom shows it on
Google maps it's in the lanes just off the A6 in the Garstang area.
It isn't shown on the Ordnance Survey map of Lancashire published in 1847:



https://maps.nls.uk/view/102343859#zoom=5&lat=3415&lon=11499&layers=BT

... Or in 1895:



... But sudenly comes to official attention in 1913:



maximus otter
 
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ramonmercado

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We really have forgotten how many foodstuffs first came to us through this trade network.

Fruit from the Sands
Robert N. Spengler III
Univ. of California, $34.95

Many popular foods can be traced back to trade caravans and herding groups that turned Central Asia into a hub of globalization several thousand years ago. In Fruit from the Sands, archaeobotanist Robert Spengler, who studies how people used plants in the past, surveys evidence suggesting that the ancient Silk Road was the conduit for dispersing much of what is now munched and sipped. Edibles with a Silk Road pedigree include almonds, apples, grapes, peaches, rice and wheat.

To understand how this food distribution process worked, readers must first discard romantic notions about the Silk Road, Spengler explains. The name is misleading: The Silk Road wasn’t a road and didn’t primarily transport silk. Instead, archaeological evidence indicates that the Silk Road encompassed a network of trade routes radiating out from Central Asia that connected China to the Mediterranean. ...

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/fruit-sands-book-explores-silk-road-origins-apples-tea
 

Ladyloafer

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Sydneys forgotton trams.

The Fort Macquarie tram depot at Bennelong Point, now the site of the Sydney Opera House, in 1956.
Photograph: State Library of NSW

3280.jpg


more photos

and a feature
https://www.theguardian.com/austral...ydney-destroyed-its-trams-for-love-of-the-car

They burnt the trams at Randwick.
In the late 1950s Sydney ripped up its tram network, once one of the largest in the world. Nearly 1,000 trams – some only a few years old – were rolled to the workshops in the city’s eastern suburbs and stripped of anything that could be sold, before being unceremoniously tipped on their sides, doused with sump oil and set ablaze.
 

RaM

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In 1907 the last steam tram belonging to Bury tramways was retired the system then being electrified,
about 70 years later I got a call, some of the lads were demolishing a old changing room on one of
the football fields and were having problems and could I assist.
So I jump out of my Lanny and there's only the base left a massive oak oblong with monster metal
fittings, so I cut the oak up into manageable sizes with a chain saw and blow the ironmongery off
with the torch only when I was half way through did I realise it was the chassis of one of the passenger
trailers from the old steam trams, and so ended another interesting era.


http://www.petergould.co.uk/local_transport_history/fleetlists/bury1.htm
 

zaknsolly

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I found this article about a mining disaster at Creswell near Bolsover, Derbyshire in September 1960. Its amazing to think so many men lost their lives at work in numbers we’d probably associate with Victorian times. Eight men died in an underground fire, some bodies taking eleven months to be recovered.
http://www.healeyhero.co.uk/rescue/pits/Cresswell/creswell.htm
 

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Ladyloafer

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from the bbc archives, 1988, an interview with 2 young fellas who set up a computer game business in their bedroom and made a fortune.

amazingly the company still exists. i've often wondering why Southam, of all places, (which is quite near where i live) is a computer game design hub, now i know. these boys!



edit. theres some fabulous stuff on that bbc archive site.
 

GNC

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The Darlings were publicity hounds in the 80s - Your Sinclair magazine would publish any photo or press release they sent. They even got their sister to pose for photos!
 

ramonmercado

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Not sure where to post this but I think it fits here. A cracking story about Air Marshal Sir George Beamish originally from Dunmanway, County Cork where some of my antecedents came from. As well as the RAF he was great Rugby player. His brother Victor, also an RAF pilot was shot down and killed in 1942.

George Beamish: The flying number eight with the widest of horizons
A ‘Boys Own’ life on and off the rugby pitch has been chronicled in a new book


From Dunmanway in West Cork to a knighthood, a rank of air marshal in the RAF and along the way a World War, 25 Irish caps and five caps with the Lions, George Beamish lived a cartoon-sized ‘Boys Own’ life. ...

The life of George (1905-67) was also coloured by his siblings, Victor (1903-42), Charles (1908-84) and Cecil (1915-99), who like him were all accomplished sportsmen. George and Charles played international rugby for Ireland and with Victor and Cecil they all played variously with Leicester Tigers, London Irish and Harlequins. ...

George played at number eight and won his first Irish cap as a 19-year-old in 1925 and between 1928 and 1933 was rarely out of the Irish squad. Selected in 1930 for the Lions’ tour of Australia and New Zealand, he played in all five Tests and in 17 of the regional matches. On return from that tour in the same year he was picked as Irish captain. ...

Between them all the Beamish family provided one air marshal, one air vice-marshal, two group captains and two flight lieutenants. Victor even died a tragic, glorious death after an attack on his Spitfire by a Messerschmitt in 1942. As it says in ‘The Lion of the RAF’ by Paul McElhinney, it was “an impressive tally for one family.” ...

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/international/george-beamish-the-flying-number-eight-with-the-widest-of-horizons-1.3987429
 

Jim

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Not sure where to post this but I think it fits here. A cracking story about Air Marshal Sir George Beamish originally from Dunmanway, County Cork where some of my antecedents came from. As well as the RAF he was great Rugby player. His brother Victor, also an RAF pilot was shot down and killed in 1942.

George Beamish: The flying number eight with the widest of horizons
A ‘Boys Own’ life on and off the rugby pitch has been chronicled in a new book


From Dunmanway in West Cork to a knighthood, a rank of air marshal in the RAF and along the way a World War, 25 Irish caps and five caps with the Lions, George Beamish lived a cartoon-sized ‘Boys Own’ life. ...

The life of George (1905-67) was also coloured by his siblings, Victor (1903-42), Charles (1908-84) and Cecil (1915-99), who like him were all accomplished sportsmen. George and Charles played international rugby for Ireland and with Victor and Cecil they all played variously with Leicester Tigers, London Irish and Harlequins. ...

George played at number eight and won his first Irish cap as a 19-year-old in 1925 and between 1928 and 1933 was rarely out of the Irish squad. Selected in 1930 for the Lions’ tour of Australia and New Zealand, he played in all five Tests and in 17 of the regional matches. On return from that tour in the same year he was picked as Irish captain. ...

Between them all the Beamish family provided one air marshal, one air vice-marshal, two group captains and two flight lieutenants. Victor even died a tragic, glorious death after an attack on his Spitfire by a Messerschmitt in 1942. As it says in ‘The Lion of the RAF’ by Paul McElhinney, it was “an impressive tally for one family.” ...

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/international/george-beamish-the-flying-number-eight-with-the-widest-of-horizons-1.3987429
The RAF always gets my vote, brave men and all these above guys deserve considerable credits. Some stories here (mum's family migrated to states after WW2). As I'm sure do many brits on the forum.
 

CALGACUS03

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There were plenty of rail accidents to choose from in the 1870s, the worst was the Tay Bridge Diaster 28 December 1879, where 75 were killed. This one is remembered in part because like the Titanic, it's due to a massive failure of technology, and partly because of William McGonagall's poem.

The worst rail disaster in the UK was at Quintinshill, near Gretna, in 1915, where a troop train ran into a local passenger train, and a third train ran into these There were 226 deaths. This one is probably forgotten by anyone but railway historians, as it's rather overshadowed by WWI.
The Quintinshill Disaster was another one that the authorities were keen not be too widely discussed. It couldn't be entirely covered up; but I believe that newspapers were discouraged from dwelling on it too much. Coming, as it did, less than two weeks after the sinking of the Lusitania, the government believed that it could severely impact civilian morale.

On a side note, I read on a genealogy forum that there is a persistent rumor/legend that a handful of the survivors of the rail crash deserted in it's aftermath and traveled east to settle down in the Newcastle area. Whether this could be true I don't know (I do know that the muster rolls for the 1/7th (Leith) Battalion, the Royal Scots who were on board the troop train were destroyed in the conflagration, making confirmation of casualties and injured numbers difficult). Possibly it's the sort of story that a family might make up to comfort younger siblings of the fatalities - that their much missed older brother was actually alive and well in north-east England but daren't come home as the authorities believed him dead.
 

Cochise

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The Quintinshill Disaster was another one that the authorities were keen not be too widely discussed. It couldn't be entirely covered up; but I believe that newspapers were discouraged from dwelling on it too much. Coming, as it did, less than two weeks after the sinking of the Lusitania, the government believed that it could severely impact civilian morale.

On a side note, I read on a genealogy forum that there is a persistent rumor/legend that a handful of the survivors of the rail crash deserted in it's aftermath and traveled east to settle down in the Newcastle area. Whether this could be true I don't know (I do know that the muster rolls for the 1/7th (Leith) Battalion, the Royal Scots who were on board the troop train were destroyed in the conflagration, making confirmation of casualties and injured numbers difficult). Possibly it's the sort of story that a family might make up to comfort younger siblings of the fatalities - that their much missed older brother was actually alive and well in north-east England but daren't come home as the authorities believed him dead.
It was a consequence of WW1, really. Although there was gross negligence by the signalmen, the troop train and its out-of-date carriages wouldn't have been there but for the war. There is this one in France as well which is not well known -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne_derailment
 

amyasleigh

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The Quintinshill Disaster was another one that the authorities were keen not be too widely discussed. It couldn't be entirely covered up; but I believe that newspapers were discouraged from dwelling on it too much. Coming, as it did, less than two weeks after the sinking of the Lusitania, the government believed that it could severely impact civilian morale.

On a side note, I read on a genealogy forum that there is a persistent rumor/legend that a handful of the survivors of the rail crash deserted in it's aftermath and traveled east to settle down in the Newcastle area. Whether this could be true I don't know (I do know that the muster rolls for the 1/7th (Leith) Battalion, the Royal Scots who were on board the troop train were destroyed in the conflagration, making confirmation of casualties and injured numbers difficult). Possibly it's the sort of story that a family might make up to comfort younger siblings of the fatalities - that their much missed older brother was actually alive and well in north-east England but daren't come home as the authorities believed him dead.
It was a consequence of WW1, really. Although there was gross negligence by the signalmen, the troop train and its out-of-date carriages wouldn't have been there but for the war. There is this one in France as well which is not well known -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne_derailment
With mention of the Quintinshill rail crash: there was published a few years ago, a book titled The Quintinshill Conspiracy. On initially becoming aware of the book's existence, I wondered whether its theme would be that, in actuality, "it was the Germans what done it": a thing assiduously covered up at the time and long after, because of -- as mentioned above -- the "keeping up morale" factor. Nothing so dramatic, it turned out. I learned (was not interested enough actually to acquire and read the tome in full) that the book focuses on covert "deals" in the aftermath of the disaster, involving governing authorities / railway companies / trade unions: with all of these bodies acting to some extent -- in the interests of expediency -- contrary to their publicly stated positions on some relevant matters. A thing emphasised, is that many railway companies at the time imposed on their staff, heavy burdens in the form of almost-unfulfillable work hours and schedules: almost forcing employees in some instances, to engage in "short-cuts and fiddles" of the kind which the Quintinshill signalmen had been engaging in; though as Cochise says, they were compounding this with truly highly negligent behaviour.
 
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