Category Archives: History

Women of the French Resistance 1940-45

After France was crushed, resistance to the German conquerors came from two principal sources: Communists and the Gaullist Free French. French women were critical to the entire resistance movement as they exploited their femininity. Women moved messages and small arms … Continue reading

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A Chance Encounter

I met this old man in Dagnam Park in the London Borough of Havering in the winter of about 1973. He had an old push chair, for transporting his logs, a bow saw to separate them into reasonable sized chunks … Continue reading

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Every Immigrant is Undesirable: British policy 1905-2018

British immigration policy isn’t driven by humanitarian principles. Anti-immigrant legislation began in 1905 with the Aliens Act. Mass immigration from Eastern Europe was halted in 1905 because most were destitute and wealth was the sole criterion used for desirability. Nazi … Continue reading

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Cardinal della Costa: an Italian hero in 1943

The Archbishop of Florence, Cardinal della Costa, has taken a courageous stand. When some of his nuns were arrested, in consequence of having given shelter to some Jewish women in their convent, the Cardinal, putting on his full panoply, went … Continue reading

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Traditional forms of punishment: Britain* 1700-1900

Traditionally, British judges sentencing criminals had five principal options: capital punishment, corporal punishment, exile, imprisonment and torture. Judges sentencing criminals to ‘savage’ sentences were using proportionate and appropriate punishments according to the expectations of the time. The sentences were anticipated … Continue reading

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French military atrocities 1933, 1944 and 1957: the normalisation of military terror tactics

Twentieth century French history is filled with horrific examples of brutal violence. Extra-judicial murder, torture, terror attacks on civilians and swaggering intimidation were routinely used*. Beliefs in racial superiority and entitlement legitimised atrocities. The French army provide a chilling context … Continue reading

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From opulence to squalor: Gibson Square, Islington

This desirable row of Regency houses was built in the mid-1800s, in the reign of George IV. It was a highly desirable property with servants sleeping quarters in the two attic rooms. One room for the maids the other for … Continue reading

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