France – The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Women and the First World War

First Worls War women firefighters

During the First World War (1914-1918), the role of women in Britain was massively altered and the women’s sphere was enlarged in every direction. Some historians mark the First World War as a watershed moment in women’s history when women were looked at less as fragile creatures and more as robust figures.  A single blog post is not enough to explore all the contributions of women during the Great War, but we have combed through The British Newspaper Archive and

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Alfred Dreyfus – Degraded and Sentenced to Life Imprisonment on ‘Devil’s Island’, 5 January 1895

‘Tell all France that I am innocent’ – Alfred Dreyfus In Paris on 5 January 1895, Captain Alfred Dreyfus was stripped of his army rank and sentenced to life imprisonment on ‘Devil’s Island’. Here is a newspaper story published on 7 January 1895 entitled, ‘The Degradation of Dreyfus’, that reports on the utterly humiliating ceremony at the Ecole Militaire to strip Dreyfus of his rank and dignity. The words that Dreyfus shouts immediately after the degradation ceremony are very poignant,

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The Execution of Marie Antoinette – 16 October 1793

Portrait of Marie Antoinette as painted by Madame Vigre Lebrun

‘Pardon me sir, I meant not to do it’ – the last words of Marie Antoinette (after stepping on the foot of the executioner) On 16 October 1793, Marie Antoinette, the widow of Louis XVI, was executed at the guillotine in the Place de la Revolution in Paris – she was 37. The Hampshire Chronicle published the details of the event on 28 October 1793.  


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