Second World War – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we have added 96,924 new pages, covering 140 years of headlines from across the United Kingdom and Ireland, and beyond. Furthermore, we are delighted to welcome a brand new title to our collection – Nottinghamshire’s Newark Herald – as well as introducing updates to 49 of our existing titles. So read on to find out more about the Newark Herald and the other additions we have made, as well as to learn about the Polish war graves of Newark Cemetery. Register now and

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‘A Pageant of Peace’ – Overcoming Adversity and Austerity at the 1948 London Olympic Games

With the scars of the Second World War still visible across Great Britain, in 1948 the eyes of the world turned to the country who were set to host the fourteenth Olympiad. Would Britain be able to manage, just three years after the end of the crippling conflict that still saw rationing in place, and bomb sites across its towns and cities? The 14th Olympiad opens at London | Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News | 11 August 1948 In this special blog,

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‘Pluck, Tenacity and Inspired Guidance’ – Exploring the Birth of the Paralympic Games

The first Paralympics took place in Rome in 1960. But this was not the beginning of competitive sport for people with disabilities; indeed, the origins of the Paralympics can partly be traced to the aftermath of the Second World War and the work undertaken at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Archers at Stoke Mandeville Hospital | The Sphere | 21 August 1948 And nor was it the culmination of such work; the Paralympics in Rome were only open to those with mobility or

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‘Courage and Devotion to Duty’ – Remembering Jane Haining

Scottish missionary Jane Mathison Haining (6 June 1897 to 17 July 1944) was one of the only, if not the only, Scot to die during the course of the Holocaust, as she refused to leave her post in Budapest upon the outbreak of war and the subsequent invasion of Hungary by the Wehrmacht. In this special blog, we will tell the story of Jane Haining, the quiet daughter of a farmer from Dumfriesshire, who was subsequently honoured as Righteous Among

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Far From ‘Idle:’ The Women Canal Workers of the Second World War

Nicknamed the ‘Idle Women,’ although they were about as far from idle as anybody could possibly be, the women canal workers of the Second World War performed vital war work which is all but forgotten today, some seventy years later. Some of the ‘Idle women’ arriving at a canal dock | The Sphere | 15 April 1944 The curious name of ‘Idle Women’ came from the badges that these pioneering women wore, with the initials ‘IW,’ which stood for ‘Inland Waterways’.

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A Gift of Warfare – The History of Plastic Surgery

‘Plastic surgery, born in one war and perfected in another,’ had been practiced before the First World War, but it took this global conflict, and a second one, to develop plastic surgery as we know it today. The Sphere | 20 May 1933 In this special blog, using newspapers taken from The Archive, we will trace the development of plastic surgery, from the work of Harold Gillies in the First World War, to its move into the cosmetic mainstream in the

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

Fresh from celebrating our ninth birthday on Sunday, and the landmark of reaching 40 million pages last week, the presses have continued to whir here at the British Newspaper Archive. This week we have added 47,958 new pages to our collection, with one regional title receiving particularly special attention. Register now and explore the Archive Receiving the ‘special treatment’ this week is the Leicester Evening Mail, to which we have added the years 1931 to 1949. 1931 was an important year in the history of this

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‘Make-Do Make-Up’ – Makeup During the Second World War

Flung into new roles in the armed services and other industries, their home life turned upside down during blackouts and air raids, how did women use makeup during the Second World War? In this our fourth and final blog looking at the history of makeup, we delve into how makeup was used during the Second World War. The Sketch | 5 June 1940 Using pages taken from the British Newspaper Archive, we will discover how women in the three branches of

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‘The Feathered Battalions’ – The Brave Pigeons of Wartime

Every Army, Air Force, Navy and Secret Service in the world has its feathered battalions, and when the story of the war is written finally it will be found that many a battle has been won, many a ship preserved and many a life saved through the help of the feathered soldiers. These were the words of Victor Newton as he wrote for the Aberdeen Press and Journal in 1943, describing ‘how pigeons play their part in war.’ And so, in this

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Brave Dogs and Cats of the British Newspaper Archive – ‘An Example to Human Beings’

This month at the British Newspaper Archive we are celebrating all things pet related – and what better way to start than by taking a special look at some of the bravest cats and dogs that we have found in the pages of our newspapers? Irma the Alastian receives the Dickin Medal for rescue work during the Blitz | Illustrated London News | 20 January 1945 From the role that dogs played on the European front during the First World War, and

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