Tag: British

The A to Z of the Royal Navy Captains’ letters project

Reading time: 11 minutes

This is the first of a planned series of blogs charting the progress of the Royal Navy Captains’ letters volunteer project. In it I make reference to letters which use terminology and refer to practices that may cause offence.

This project, scheduled for completion in 2024, involves cataloguing letters written by Royal Navy Captains to the Admiralty during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars (1793-1815). The National Archives holds these letters in 564 boxes in the record series ADM 1, archived by year and the initial letter of Captains’ surnames.

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The spirit of invention in the Victorian home

Reading time: 8 minutes
The Victorian era was an amazing time for inventive activity. Advances in technology, science and industry brought change to all areas. One setting that provided endless inspiration for Victorian inventors was their homes. As it took on new forms and functions in the wake of rapid social change, the Victorian home sparked ideas for an array of creative inventions attempting to improve the domestic experience.

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Traitors to King and Country: Inside the British Free Corps, Hitler’s British Legion

Reading time: 11 minutes
From the moment it took power, the Nazis ruled over a German state possessed of two armies. One was the inheritor of the imperial lineage of the First World War, and the second was the Waffen-SS, which grew from a tiny band of Hitler’s most hardened antisemites to a force of nearly a million men from over two dozen nations before its demise.

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Treason against the state: The execution of Charles I

Reading time: 7 minutes
Levying war against the Crown was one of the key treasonable offences defined by the 1352 Treason Act. Yet, during the civil wars of the 1640s and again in the American Revolutionary War of the 1770s and 80s, those that levied war against the monarch not only avoided punishments for treason, but rejected royal authority and accused their kings of levying war – of committing treason – against the state.

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‘Habits of civilised life’: how one Australian State forced Indigenous people to meet onerous conditions to obtain citizenship

Reading time: 7 minutes
In the breakthrough High Court case Love and Thoms vs Commonwealth in 2020, the court ruled that First Nations people could not be considered aliens in Australia. As Justice James Edelman noted in the decision, whatever the other manners in which they were treated […] Aboriginal people were not ‘considered as foreigners in a kingdom which is their own’.

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Earning the Enemy’s Respect: Victoria Cross Recommendations from the Other Side

Reading time: 7 minutes
Many readers will be familiar with the 1964 epic movie Zulu, which depicts the 1879 landmark Battle of Rorke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War. In the film, perhaps the most iconic scene takes place at the end of the movie, whereby the Zulu warriors chant in respectful salutation towards the British soldiers before withdrawing after the battle. Moving, cinematic, and honourable, it’s clear why the scene lives so memorably in the hearts of fans today.

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History’s Greatest Nicknames

Reading time: 7 minutes
A browse through any military history book will no doubt bring up titles of famous officers, often bearing unusual, surprising, or sometimes downright hilarious nicknames. In many cases, it’s clear where the sobriquet originated, while other examples hold a less-obvious significance.

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