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Tragedy and triumph in Warwick Davis’ family tree

  “I won’t be embarrassed by what I discover, bring it on! Let’s have an adventure.” – Warwick Davis In last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? we joined Warwick Davis, best known for his acting career, as he uncovered a few family secrets including bigamy and multiple marriages on his mother’s side of the family, as well as tragedy and another successful performer on his father’s side. Searching for a Local Pub Warwick wanted to find out

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Remembering the Fall of Singapore

  February 15, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore during the Second World War.  The event was one of the greatest British military defeats in history.  It meant the loss of a military stronghold to the Japanese as well as the capture of almost 100,000 men, women, and children as prisoners of war.  The event was covered extensively in the newspapers, from the initial invasion and evacuation of civilians to the surrender and questions that immediately

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Valentine’s Day Poems

Over the course of its history and in its present-day iteration, Valentine’s Day has been a day fit for the writing and sharing of romantic verse. The union of romantic love and Valentine’s Day has been advantageous for aspiring poets, and the newspapers have been quick to publish such verse over the years to honour St Valentine’s Day. In the pages of the newspapers, you can find numerous poems celebrating Valentine’s Day. Here is a sampling. Discover more poems and

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For the Love of Valentine’s Day

As we covered in our last blog post, the traditions and opinions surrounding the celebration of Valentine’s Day have evolved and changed over the years. But as we search through three hundred years of stories in The British Newspaper Archive, we see that the day has endured as one of celebration and, occasionally, scandal. In the newspapers, we can see a long tradition of celebrating this day, but we can also observe the emergence of a certain skepticism and cynicism

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Valentine’s Day Throughout the Ages

Valentine’s Day in its present iteration is inexorably linked to both romantic love and commercialism. It inspires strong feelings, both for and against this day of chocolate boxes and heart-shaped cards. However, the day and its traditions have not been static. In performing a simple search for ‘Valentine’s Day’ on The British Newspaper Archive, you can start to see the ways in which the holiday — and its reception — have changed (and, occasionally, stayed the same) over the years.

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Greg Davies’ family secrets and regal ancestors discovered

Last night on Who Do You Think You Are? comedian Greg Davies, best known for his role on The Inbetweeners and Cuckoo, explored his Welsh ancestry.  Through newspapers, Davies discovered that his great-grandfather was taken to court to pay child maintenance, and his great-great-grandfather was killed in a tragic accident.  Finally, Davies discovered he was descended from royalty. Using The British Newspaper Archive, we will delve deeper into the Davies family stories and extract more details about the lives of

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February 1942

There is no shortage of wartime reporting in our historic newspapers about any major conflict throughout history, with some newspapers even releasing special wartime issues to further cover military and naval news. February 1942 was no exception as newspapers printed articles on the Battle of Singapore, the Western Desert Campaign, and the rationing on the home front caused by the ongoing world war. The Battle and Fall of Singapore Perhaps the most significant event of February 1942 was the battle, and subsequent fall, of

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All in the (McKellen) family

  ‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more’. – William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene V These are the lines with which Sir Ian McKellen opens his episode of Who Do You Think You Are? As a septuagenarian, looking backwards to discover from whence (and from whom) he came, it is fitting that he should read these particular lines of Macbeth’s. Furthermore, they are

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Australia Day

On 26 January 1788, the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales, which saw the flag of Great Britain raised at Sydney Cove and the settlement of the first penal colony. The arrival also marked Britain’s proclamation of sovereignty over Australia’s eastern seaboard. This day has since become a national holiday in Australia: Australia Day. To mark this day, we’ve taken a look into its history and evolution. You can find articles on this historic landing of the First Fleet in

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Defying Superstitions – London’s Thirteen Club

We have all fallen victim to superstitions.  I avoid walking under ladders, never open an umbrella indoors, and dread spilling salt at the table.  Even Napoleon was influenced by superstitions.  Once when he was separated from his beloved Josephine, a picture of her fell over and with haste Napoleon sent a message to Josephine to make sure she was well.  A look through the British Newspaper Archive proves that people of all walks of life have been touched by fear

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