Second World War – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Requisitioning of Country Houses in the Second World War – Hospitals, War Supply Depots and More

During the Second World War the government requisitioned country houses across the United Kingdom for the war effort. No house was exempt, with the grandest stately homes re-purposed to house everything from schools to maternity homes, from military hospitals to war supply depots. Using photographs and contemporary articles found in the British Newspaper Archive, we will look at the myriad of purposes for which stately homes were used during the six year conflict. Many houses were taken over to be

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Requisitioning of Country Houses in the Second World War – Evacuated Schools in Wartime

Eighty years since the first children were evacuated from cities across Britain, in this first of two special blogs, we look at how country houses were requisitioned by schools and their evacuated children. The grandest of stately homes were not exempt from requisition, with some of the country’s largest and most famous houses, including Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth and Castle Howard, taken over for the purpose of housing evacuated schools. Using contemporary accounts in the British Newspaper Archive, we will delve

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Women and the Second World War

To wrap up our month of military posts, we have one last blog about the contribution of women during the Second World War (1939-1945).  Last week, we explored Women and the First World War.  In 1939, for a second time, Britain found itself embroiled in an international conflict, and women stepped forward to work in civil defence, armed forces, and industry.  Unlike any other country, for the first time, British women were conscripted into service.  On 18 December 1941, the

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Knitting and fashion in the Second World War

stockings

In discussing the fashions during the Second World War, we turn to the pages of Britannia and Eve.  Along with providing general news, this paper has dedicated sections on such topics as fashion, home, and knitting. Wonderful illustrations and photographs are included amongst its pages. Explore all our fashion findings here! Knitting Knitting advice and patterns are no strangers to the pages of our newspapers. It could be said that the value of such readily available information was made all the

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Economy and utility in wartime fashion

new clothes from old

War impacts every part of life, some more obvious than others. In this post, we will explore the impact of war on fashion; particularly, we will look at how the topics of economy and quality shaped war-time fashion. The article excerpts included in this post are from two recurring columns: ‘The Highway of Fashion‘, printed in The Tatler, and ‘Fashions by Jean Burnup‘, printed in Britannia and Eve. Explore knitting and fashion in the Second World War Economy With the ever-present threat

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Guest post: Researching military ancestors in The British Newspaper Archive

Researching military ancestors in The British Newspaper Archive As part of our military themed month, we are delighted to bring you a guest blog post by military researcher Paul Nixon.  Paul is the author of the blogs Army Ancestry Research and Army Service Numbers 1881-1918.  He has also recently launched a new endeavour, British Army Ancestors, a database of over 11 million men who served their monarch and country between 1850 and 1920 and a resource which enables visitors to

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Headlines from History – November military events

American troops

In honour of Remembrance Day, during the month of November, The British Newspaper Archive will be focusing our attention on military in the newspapers.  Coming up this month we will feature blogs about our special military titles, researching military history, women and war, and wartime rationing and fashion, as well as a guest blog about a remarkable Great War discovery from The Archive.  To begin our military month, we are delving into the newspaper headlines through the years for the

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Facing the past in Ruby Wax’s Family Tree

In this week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? Ruby Wax confronted the hidden past in her family tree.  The episode proved cathartic for Ruby who came to a better understanding of her parents’ lives, particularly her mother’s.  The personal revelations perfectly illustrated that it is one thing to know ‘history’ in general terms, it is quite another when that history has directly impacted your family. When family cannot or will not speak about events it is possible

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Headlines from History – Local history

Westingworth school opening

Throughout the month of September, The British Newspaper Archive is taking a closer look at researching local history through the newspapers.  Currently, The Archive holds more than 800 titles and many of those are local or provincial titles.  These papers reported national and international news, but it was in their interest to report details of local news and events. In our everyday life, we are affected on a daily basis by what happens in our immediate surroundings rather than national events.  National events

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Headlines from History: The Month of August

Michael Faraday

A new month, a new blog post! Today we’re exploring three events that took place in August – one from 150 years ago, one from 125 years ago, and the last from 75 years ago. Michael Faraday As we kick off this month’s theme of occupations, we are happy to remember the British physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (22 September 1791-25 August 1867) who died 150 years ago this month. Of all occupations, those relating to the sciences have been

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