Second World War – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

Blog

‘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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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’.

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

‘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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , ,

‘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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , ,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , ,

Women and the Second World War

Continuing our commemoration of the 75 years since VE-Day, in this special blog we explore the vital role that women played throughout the course of the Second World War. In 1939, for a second time in just over twenty years, 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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Bonfires and Prayers – Headlines from VE Day, 8 May 1945

This month marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day – the day that peace in Europe was finally declared. After nearly six years of conflict – how did the newspapers of the time report the momentous news? How did the people of Britain react? Gloucestershire Echo | 8 May 1945 Using the front pages from the 8 May 1945, VE Day itself, we take a step back in time to discover just how the joyous news spread, and how it was

Continue Reading

Tags

, ,

The Murder of Countess Teresa Lubienska – An Unsolved Underground Mystery

Reading like a 1950s noire novel, or a Cold War thriller from the pen of John le Carré, the murder of Polish aristocrat Countess Teresa Lubienska on the platform of Gloucester Road Underground station shocked the nation, and provoked a massive man hunt that saw 18,000 people interviewed over the following months. Belfast Telegraph | 25 May 1957 Using contemporary articles found in the British Newspaper Archive, we explore the circumstances of Countess Lubienska’s murder, the possible motives behind her killing,

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , ,