Sunday, 19 November 2017

#WW1 Tanks - A British Invention

Just watching Guy Martin on Channel 4, that man is so enthusiastic about anything, in this programme he is busy making a replica tank. The tank as we know it today is a British invention.
British MkIV tank found at:https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3223/2327945386_3ee6200089_b.jpg

Tanks were first used by the British & Canadian army in September 1916 at the Battle of Flers Courcelette where most of them broke down, but later versions proved more successful. http://www.canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2-McEwen-Tanks-at-Courcelette.pdf

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Britain's National Anthem - Or is it the English National Anthem?

I read in one of the papers last week that Britain's national anthem had a line about crushing rebellious Scots. I thought it would not be included nowadays but it appears it still is. There is no wonder the Scottish sing 'Flower of Scotland' and not the national anthem at big events. A national anthem should not be insulting to a country's inhabitants.

first publicly performed in London, 1745
1. God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us;
God save the Queen!

2. O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!

3. Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign;
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen!
 4. Not in this land alone,
But be God's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world over.

5. From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the Queen!
O'er her thine arm extend,
For Britain's sake defend,
Our mother, prince, and friend,
God save the Queen!

6. Lord grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the King!

Found at http://ingeb.org/songs/godsaveo.html

Personally I think we should have Rule Britannia as a national anthem. It is grander, very patriotic and actually contains the words Great Britain. It is about our country, not a person. 

Rule, Britannia!
Lyrics

Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And Guardian Angels sang this strain:

(Chorus)

The nations not so blest as thee
Must, in their turn, to tyrants fall,
While thou shalt flourish great and free:
The dread and envy of them all.

(Chorus)

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke,
As the loud blast that tears the skies
Serves but to root thy native oak.

(Chorus)

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame;
All their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy generous flame,
But work their woe and thy renown.

(Chorus)

To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles, thine.

(Chorus)

The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coasts repair.
Blest isle! with matchless beauty crowned,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.

(Chorus)
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.




Sunday, 12 November 2017

Lest We Forget - Remembrance Sunday 2017

99 Years ago on 11th November at 1100hrs the guns stopped. Four long years of bloodshed had ceased. The poppy remains a symbol of hope, respect and a reminder of those who gave their lives that we might live in freedom today. The poppies grew in the churned up soil of No-man's land, reminding soldiers in the trenches that amidst death and destruction, new life could still begin. #Lestweforget

Flanders Poppies, found at: http://www.flandersfieldsmiracle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/poppy2.jpg

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Britain's Great Ships #Britainisgreat

Launch of the cargo ship 'Empire Clough' from South Shields found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/twm_news/23085004346


Great Britain has always had a proud maritime history, Shipbuilding on the Clyde, the Wear and the Tyne produced many ships that were essential to the economy and security of the country. Captain Cook and John  Hudson relied on good ships for exploration just as the Royal Navy need them today for our country's defence.


Wear shipyards at Sunderland, please see link below

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wear/content/articles/2008/01/16/shipbuilding_has_been_20_years_feature.shtml

HMS Hood, found at: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/-/media/royal-navy-responsive/images/news/heritage/150810-hms-hood-bell-recovered/150810-hood-bell-1.jpg?mh=447&mw=980&thn=0&hash=F8FECEE5226E273FB069AB104F9588670DDC0FF9

Unfortunately most of the shipyards are now gone, along with thousands of jobs.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Some Famous British Explorers Who Made Britain Great #BritainisGreat

Captain Robert Falcon Scott found at:
 http://www.scottslastexpedition.org/content/images/447/1890x800crop/header.jpg


Britain has a long history of explorers, some more successful than others. The first one that springs to mind is Captain Scott who perished so tragically in the race to the South Pole. Without these brave people, the British Empire would not have existed.

Mary Kingsley
Mary Kingsley, niece of the famous author Charles Kingsley, travelled extensively in Africa. She explored Angola and Sierra Leone. Kingsley also had views about Africa and its inhabitants which upset the Church of England, she said Polygamy was a necessity, and also stated that African colonies should be be indirectly ruled by White men, insisting that there was some work that could only be completed by White Men. Mary Kingsley in 1900 after contracting malaria whilst working as a nurse in the Boer War. What makes her stand out from the rest of the exploring elite is that she is a woman, who dd not toe the line, overcame discrimination and proved she was as good an explorer as anyone else. Kingsley discovered previously unknown species of fish and at least three types were named after her.

Henry Hudson (1565-1611), had the Hudson River and Hudson Bay named after him. His exploration in North America provided more detailed knowledge of the east coast of America.
Henry Hudson

There are many more explorers, Captain Cook, Francis Drake, Stanley Livingston and Ralph Fiennes, just to name a few. Have a look here:http://britainexplorer.com/british-explorers-the-top-ten/





Monday, 6 November 2017

WW2 Fallen 100: WW2 Fallen - MIA B-24 navigator Irwin "Zipper" Zae...

Another tragic story of sacrifice and bravery...

WW2 Fallen 100: WW2 Fallen - MIA B-24 navigator Irwin "Zipper" Zae...: Lt. Irwin Zaetz volunteered to fill in for a sick navigator on the B-24 Hot As Hell for his final, fatal mission. https://www.findagrave...




Carrying Fire: September 3, 1917-2017This date, September 3, 201...

Carrying Fire: September 3, 1917-2017
This date, September 3, 201...
: September 3, 1917-2017 This date, September 3, 2017,  marks the 100th birthday of my father, B-17 pilot Lt. Donald R. Christensen.  ...

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Great British Cars #BritainisGreat



British cars. Britain was a leader in car manufacture, a shame it is no longer. There are plenty of car factories still in  Britain, but mostly making foreign cars.

Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Sunbeam, Austin, Rover, MG are just a few that spring to mind, the only car manufacturer still owned by the original family are Morgan.
New Morgan Car leaving factory

Everything goes round in cycles, or so they say. Maybe one day we will see a resurgence in British cars, lets hope so, I'm sick of seeing big fat Chelsea tractors being driven round our small British roads.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Great Britain's Stately Homes #BritainisGreat

Buckingham Palace & Statue of Eros


Britain is full of lovely stately homes, many of which are open to the public. Even the Queen's main residence, Buckingham Palace is open to visitors https://www.royal.uk/royal-residences-buckingham-palace



Not only London, but there's Blenheim Palace, home to Winston Churchill, http://www.blenheimpalace.com/
Blenheim palace

Most stately homes are full of antiques and have beautiful gardens to walk around, a great way to spend a day.


  Related image

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Kiplin Hall, North Yorkshire
My personal has to be Kiplin Hall in North Yorkshire, usually only open 2 days a week is well worth a visit, link here http://www.kiplinhall.co.uk/
 A great family day out, gardens including a renovated Victorian walled garden, a play area for children and a nice tearoom usually equals a good visitor experience.
Kiplin Hall library


It was originally built by George Calvert who went on to be Governor of Maryland, USA. Full of art and period furniture Kiplin Hall certainly has an atmosphere and it really feels like you go back to another time when you step through the doors.
 I can't think of anywhere else in that world that has as many stately homes as Great Britain, can you?

Monday, 12 June 2017

Great British Inventions New BBC Series Starts This Week #BritainisGreat

Britain has borne many inventors over the years, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, John Logi Baird invented television, Frank Whittle invented the jet engine, Thomas Newcomen invented the first true steam engine with a piston that was used to pump water out of mines. I could go on for ages, but the BBC is starting a new series, Britain's Great Inventions, starts this Thursday on BBC2 at 2030 hrs. It features personalities including Angela Rippon & Len Goodman fighting their respective corners for their favourite inventions.





Image result for Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone.






Britain's Greatest Inventions, broadcast live from the Science Museum.