Category Archives: Life Stories

Behind Every Photograph Lies a Story: The Rogue and the Mystery Man

In this guest blog post, Paul Bourton of the Unknown Soldier Military Archive & Soldier Research Service shares the latest instalment of his series revealing the stories behind a pre-war photograph of thirteen men of 119 Battery Royal Field Artillery. He … Continue reading

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Twisting the Dragon’s Tail: The St George’s Day Raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend

On 23 April 1918 British forces attacked Zeebrugge and Ostend, the two German-held ports which provided them with crucial access to the sea from the inland docks at Bruges. Once through the Channel and out into the Atlantic German vessels could prove deadly … Continue reading

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“Our Gallant and Worthy Foe” – laying the Red Baron to rest

Our previous blog post looked at the career of the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, and the stories of some of those who he shot down. The day after his death on 21 April 1918, he was buried with full military honours. In … Continue reading

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The last flight of the Red Baron

On 21st April 1918, Baron Manfred von Richhofen – known as the Red Baron due to the garish colour of his aircraft – was shot down and killed. He is credited with 80 ‘kills’ (shooting down 80 planes) during the First World War – … Continue reading

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100 years since the beginning of the German Spring Offensives

The German Spring Offensives, which began on 21 March 1918, represented a calculated gamble for Germany in trying to tip the balance on the Western Front once and for all. British and Allied troops were met with a huge concentration of German … Continue reading

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Marking 100 years since political change

6 February 2018 marks 100 years since the Representation of the People Act was passed, which extended the right to vote to all men over 21 and those over the age of 19 serving in the armed forces. For the first time, women over the age … Continue reading

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Chairs that Stand Empty: The men behind the names on the Hulme Hall First World War Memorial

Hulme Hall is a Hall of Residence for students at The University of Manchester. Founded in 1870, the Hall has changed constantly over the past 148 years to meet the changing landscape of university life. Over 250 current and former students … Continue reading

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“Cruiser Afire!” – The loss of HMS Natal

“Cruiser Afire!” Commander Gregory Gonville Cuff Wood-Martin was crossing just in front of the X turret of the Battleship, HMS Superb, when he heard the boat signalman’s shout. He immediately rushed to the port rail and could see two columns … Continue reading

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The Half‐Shilling Curate – the story of the Rev. Herbert Butler Cowl C.F. M.C.

On Christmas Eve 1914, Reverend Herbert Butler Cowl began his service with the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department. He became the only known Army Chaplain during the Great War to be awarded the Military Cross medal for exemplary gallantry on a ship. In … Continue reading

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The Battle of Cambrai – ‘Use tanks boldly, press success and demoralise the enemy’

As the Third Battle of Ypres drew to a close in the Passchendaele mud, Sir Douglas Haig gave his approval for General Sir Julian Byng, Third Army, to prepare for an attack on Cambrai in late November 1917. This would be the first time that … Continue reading

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