Your newspaper discoveries – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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A Lost Great Grandmother found

I started researching my family history over 20 years ago. I knew that my Grandmother and her sister had been left with guardians in Boston, Lincolnshire when they were very young. My Grandma died when I was young, but in later years my Granddad told me that her parents, my great-grandparents, had gone to Canada and had promised to call for their daughters when they were settled. They never did. As I started my research I soon discovered the names

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A story for Remembrance Day

We’re always delighted to hear about people’s newspaper discoveries, especially when they solve a mystery. Well this week the Uckfield News reported a great story we’d like to share. In a great show of community pride, the people of Uckfield banded together to secure the medals of Private Albert Corden when they appeared for sale online. Since the medals came home they’ve been researching more about Pte Corden but until very recently didn’t have a picture of him. They recently

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The Swindler Asgill

This story was submitted to us by Anne Ammunsden, whose exploration of the British Newspaper Archive led to some amazing discoveries and unravelled some mysteries that had baffled her family for generations When I subscribed to the British Newspaper Archive I did so with the intention of trying to find some reference to a book review my mother sent me (when I was living in Tonga in 1986/7) about a book she thought I would enjoy. The book was a

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Waterloo and the British Press

This blog was submitted by Professor Brian Cathcart. Brian is a professor of journalism at Kingston University London. His book, The News From Waterloo: the race to tell Britain of Wellington’s victory, is published on 30 April by Faber & Faber, price £16.99   How long did it take for the news of Waterloo to reach London? In this bicentenary year of the battle it is something we might expect to know, but the facts turned out to be surprisingly

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Writing a first-class History dissertation: How newspapers can help

Ruth Small studied History at Newcastle University and recently got in touch to tell us all about her dissertation. She used The British Newspaper Archive in her research and was awarded a first-class mark, with some amazing comments about the originality of her work.   **************   I wrote my History dissertation about the great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead, which occurred on 6 October 1854. It was a fire which led to an explosion in a warehouse of a

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Charles Dickens and a ‘diabolical’ crime in Kent

The lovely people at history magazine Bygone Kent got in touch to share the shocking stories they’ve uncovered about Charles Dickens’ life in Higham, Kent. We’d love to hear about your own discoveries – email press@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to tell us about them.   **************   A ‘diabolical attempt’ to overturn the carriage of Charles Dickens while it drove through his home village has been discovered by local historian and journalist Andrew Rootes, editor of Bygone Kent. The incident was uncovered in

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Using newspapers to research WW1 shell shock

Suzie Grogan used The British Newspaper Archive extensively while researching her book, Shell Shocked Britain: The First World War’s legacy for Britain’s mental health. She got in touch to show us the heart-breaking story she found about her own ancestors and some of the terrible accounts about life during World War One.   **************   My book is the product of two years of intensive research into the trauma of the Great War and its aftermath. But it was a chance

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19th-century medical fraudsters who got caught out

Caroline Rance, author of The Quack Doctor and What the Apothecary Ordered, got in touch to show us some of the shocking medical tales she’s unearthed. We’d love to hear about your own discoveries – email press@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to tell us about them.   ************** Whatever you search for in The British Newspaper Archive, chances are the articles you find will be close to adverts promoting cures for every kind of disease. Some brands were sold in good faith and became

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Local newspapers, football match reports and the 1908 FA Charity Shield

Last year, we donated 100 subscriptions to Wikipedia’s volunteer editors to help expand public information about historical topics. Brian Chapman has worked with Wikipedia for over five years and made around 42,000 edits to the online encyclopedia. He got in touch to tell us about one of the pages he’s improved with the help of our newspapers.   **************   When I heard about the collaboration between The British Newspaper Archive and Wikipedia, I jumped at the chance to take

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The story of the 1914 Christmas Truce, as reported by WW1 newspapers

After watching Sainsbury’s Christmas advert, Kate Cole was inspired to research the real story behind WW1’s Christmas Truce. She used The British Newspaper Archive to unearth the experiences of soldiers on the Western Front in 1914.   **************   In December 1914, during first year of World War One, a remarkable event known as the Christmas Day Truce occurred in small pockets along the Western Front. 100 years later, one of Britain’s largest grocery shops has released a Christmas advert re-enacting

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