Sunday, December 14, 2014

HMS Belfast: a survivor of Operation Neptune

1. HMS Belfast (C35) moored on the River Thames, London
(with Tower Bridge in the distance)
2. HMS Belfast (C35) from Tower Pier, River Thames, London
(with the lower part of the'Shard' behind)
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Introduction

During WW2 HMS Belfast (C35) was a Royal Navy cruiser, saw action on the Arctic convoys, took part in Operation Neptune (the seaborne element of Operation Overlord) and toward the end of the war was sent to the Far East shortly before the Japanese surrender. After decommissioning in 1963 HMS Belfast became a museum ship in 1971 since when she has been moored at London on the river Thames near Tower Bridge [Photographs No. 1 and 2]. Since 1978 she has been part of the 'museum family' of the Imperial War Museum.

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Monday, December 08, 2014

Oslo's annual Christmas gift to London

1. The 2014 Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, London
[View from the National Gallery towards Whitehall
2. The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, London
[View looking towards the National Gallery
3. An annual gift from the city of Oslo since 1947
[Sign at the base of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree]

4. St Martin's in the Fields 'Christmas Crib'
[Trafalgar Square, London (December 2014)]
 Season's Greetings for 2014
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Sunday, November 30, 2014

The passage to Perpignan and beyond

1. Postcard from Perpignan (showing Le Castillet)
2. Perpignan: 'Le Patio' in the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall)
3. Perpignan: the Place St Jean
4. 1945 newspaper cutting of Lt.-Cmndr. 'Pat O'Leary' 
(Speaking in front of the Porte de Paris, Lille, France)

[Perpignan was a key town for his WW2 escape line]
During the Second World War, for many escapees and evaders a passage to Perpignan was the last stepping stone to escape to freedom where they could join or rejoin the struggle against the Nazi Occupiers of N.W. Europe. It was not by any means an easy matter getting to Perpignan and beyond and most of the escapees and evaders needed the assistance of the Resistance networks to do so. Nor was it always a clear run for home if they were guided over the Pyrenees into Spain, where the Spanish authorities would often arrest them. 

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Where have all the flowers gone?"

Floral tributes at the grave of L.A.C.W. Elizabeth Cowan
[Whitehaven Cemetery, Cumbria (November 2014)]
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A service of re-dedication and remembrance

1. The re-dedicated Normandy Veterans seat
St Nicholas' Church Gardens, Whitehaven, Cumbria

[Armistice Day anniversary, Tuesday 11 November 2014
2. "In memory of all who died in the Battle of Normandy 1944"
[The dedication of the N.V.A. West Cumbria Branch (No. 51)]
3. The N.V.A. plaque and tributes of remembrance
[Armistice Day anniversary, Tuesday 11 November 2014]
4. Poppy crosses placed in remembrance of loved ones
[The box contains sand from one of the Normandy beaches]
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Missing" by Clara Bernhardt

The framed poem by Clara Berhardt
Displayed at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Museum

(Based at the wartime R.A.F. East Kirkby)
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Friday, October 03, 2014

A time to remember at Rheged, Cumbria

1. Entrance to the modern Rheged Discovery Centre
[Situated near Penrith, Cumbria]
2. Poster for a WW1 film about life on the home front
[Film compiled by the North West Film Archive]
3. Poster for a WW2 3-D film about "D-Day"
[Shown at Rheged, Cumbria (Sep. 2014 - Jan. 2015)] 
4. "Distant Dreams" by the artist Peter Lewis
[Part of Rheged's exhibition "The Art of Remembering"]
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Roy Chadwick: 'father' of the Lancaster Bomber

1. Tribute to Roy Chadwick,  CBE, FRAeS (1893 - 1947)
(Designer of the Avro Lancaster Bomber)
2. 'Just Jane', an Avro Lancaster Bomber
3. 'Just Jane', in the hangar of the wartime RAF East Kirkby
 Photographs taken at: 
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, Spilsby, Lincs. 
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tribute to the "Dambusters" (617 Squadron)

1. WW2 "Dambusters" tribute 
(with photographs and autographs)
2. 50th anniversary tribute of the dams raid (1943 - 1993)

3. Exhibits telling the WW2 story of 617 Squadron
4. A Barnes Wallis "Bouncing Bomb" on display
 Photographs taken at: 
the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Museum
(Based at the wartime R.A.F. East Kirkby airfield)
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Irthington War Memorial, Cumbria

1. St Kentigern's Parish Church and war memorial, Cumbria. 
2. Irthington War Memorial, St Kentigern's churchyard
3. Dedication and list of WW1 names on the war memorial
4. Dedication and WW2 names on the war memorial
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

The wartime refuge of Stanislas Bender

1. Lourdes in the High Pyrenees of southern France
[Wartime refuge for the Jewish painter Stanislas Bender]
2. Lourdes Parish Church
[Dedicated to the Sacred Heart]
3. The Lady Chapel and WW1 Parish War Memorial,
4. "The ecstasy of Bernadette" by Stanislas Bender
[In the St Bernadette Chapel of Lourdes Parish Church]
 
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Eternal Flame at the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe, Paris (1928 postcard photograph)

A symbol of the French Nation in War and Peace

The Arc de Triomphe, symbol of the French nation, the grand and the lowly, the old and the new, stands at the top of the Champs-Élysées in the centre of the Place de l'Étoile. It is at the highest point of a line running from the Louvre Museum to the Grande Arche de la Défense to west of Paris.

Beneath the arch is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, one of the many French soldiers who died in the First World War. Also found here is the Eternal Flame which burns in memory of the many unidentified French soldiers, sailors and airmen of the First World War and subsequently the Second World War.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Is Paris Burning?"

1. "Is Paris Burning?" 
(Adolf Hitler, August 1944)
2. View of Paris from the Tour de Montparnasse
3. View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower
4. Gothic architecture of Notre Dame de Paris
Paris, France, Friday 25 August 1944
General Dietrich von Choltitz, German Military Governor of Paris surrenders and orders all remaining German troops in the city to put down their arms. After four years of German Occupation Paris is once more free. In Germany, Adolf Hitler asks the question "Is Paris Burning?" The reasons why Paris was not burning are the basis of the book by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre [Photograph No. 1].

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dearham War Memorial, Cumbria

1. Dearham Parish Church and the war memorial

2. Dearham Parish War Memorial in the churchyard

3. Dearham Parish War Memorial (front)
4. WW1 names on Dearham Parish War Memorial
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Crosscanonby War Memorial, Cumbria

1. Crosscanonby Parish Church (St. John the Evangelist)
2. Crosscanonby War Memorial (WW1 dedication)
3. Crosscanonby War Memorial (WW2 dedication)
4. Names of the 'Fallen' on the war memorial
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

'The Fallen' of Seascale, Cumbria

St Cuthbert's Parish Church and war memorial, Seascale

Commemorating 'The Fallen' of Seascale, Cumbria

A sandstone cross in the churchyard of St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Seascale commemorates the servicemen who lost their lives during the First World War and can be seen in the photograph above. Inside the church there are additional war memorials for the 'Fallen' connected to Seascale.

The first memorial inside the church is a tablet listing the names of 'Old Boys' of Seascale 'Prep' (Preparatory) School who died in WW1. The second memorial inside the church is a tablet listing the names of those who died in although the actual WW2 memorial is the altar rail.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Waberthwaite War Memorial, Cumbria

1. Waberthwaite village (from in front of the school)

2. Waberthwaite War Memorial and village school

3. The names engraved on Waberthwaite War Memorial
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