Monthly Archives: April 2012


This week the Guardian datablog looked at trends in the names of babies born in the last 15 years, specifically around the names of celebrities. This is not a recent trend, though, as we will see in this blog about a newly fashionable name from the end of the Victorian era – one that was borne by around a hundred soldiers of the Great War: Redvers.

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Posted by on 29 April 2012 in Famous People, Ordinary Londoners, War Dead


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Henry Allingham: London’s last Great War veteran

Most people with an interest in the Great War will probably have heard of Henry Allingham, the second-last British serviceman of the war to die (by which point he was also the world’s oldest man). He was the last surviving Londoner to have seen active service in the war. This blog post gives a brief overview of his service and some thoughts about him as wartime civilian, sailor, solider and airman and as a celebrity veteran.

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Posted by on 22 April 2012 in Famous People, Ordinary Londoners


Absent voters

This week is the last chance to register to vote in the 2012 London mayoral election, assembly elections and (elsewhere) local council elections.  In 1918, a completely new electoral register was created as all men over 21, women over 30, and servicemen over 19 were allowed to vote. This register marks out those who were serving in the armed forces and allows us a snapshot of military service in the summer of 1918 when it was compiled. How many Londoners were serving? How did London compare with other regions?

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Posted by on 15 April 2012 in People, Recruitment


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Harry Lee: cricketer, warrior, cricketer

Today, Middlesex County Cricket Club are playing their first home game of the season at Lord’s. Harry Lee was a professional player for the club from 1911 and had a remarkable war – as a cricketer and a soldier.

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Posted by on 12 April 2012 in Famous People, Ordinary Londoners


Golly saving lives

Golliwoggs get a rather bad press these days, but they were very popular back at the start of the twentieth century. In 1917, the original Golly raised nearly £500 for the Red Cross, enough to kit out an ambulance for use on the Western Front.

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Posted by on 8 April 2012 in Events, Famous People, Ordinary Londoners, Women


The Belligerent Bishop

As it is Holy Week, it seems appropriate to remember the wartime story of a clergyman. We have already seen the bravery of one of their number – EN Mellish – who was rewarded with the Victoria Cross. Arthur Winnington-Ingram’s war was quite different, as Bishop of London his was a very vocal supporter of the war effort and has remained controversial for his role.

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Posted by on 6 April 2012 in Famous People