Frank Stone(above) and Nigel Drever (below), two Stalag Luft III PoWs who worked on the Great Escape RAF Leads Commemorations On 75th Anniversary Of Great Escape The RAF has led commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the Great Escape at two services in Poland. In 1944, 76 prisoners of war (PoW) attempted to escape from a […]

The last of the Blenheim pilots

by admin on January 28, 2017

By Alison Shaw The Times, January 17, 2017 For a man born on one of the most inauspicious days Leonard Trevallion proved adept at finding the silver lining in Friday the 13th, turning the unluckiest number of all into his talisman. In many ways it accounted for his charmed life as a policeman and Second […]

Another life well-lived

January 26, 2017

A lesson in a life well-lived, from one indomitable lady. OBITUARY Sheila Ferres The UK’s longest-serving physiotherapist who didn’t allow polio to deter her and whose patients included Princess Margaret The Times January 26, 2017 Sheila Ferres when she arrived in ScotlandIMAGE COURTESY OF JOANNE BOOTH Very little, if anything, could faze Sheila Ferres: treating […]

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Commando Memorial

September 16, 2016

A visit to the glorious Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge is a moving reminder of the sacrifice of thousands of Allied troops during World War II. Glowering skies hanging heavy over desolate hills, an illustration of the battle with the elements and the inhospitable terrain these valiant men overcame while training here before facing the […]

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A job that had to be done

July 19, 2016

Colin and Alice Anson were two strangers, living in the shadow of the Third Reich, whose extraordinary lives became intertwined in 1940s London when they made a pact to become British. Colin, brought up as Claus Leopold Octavio Ascher, had fled his native Germany just days before he turned 17, the age at which he […]

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Surviving The Sinking of The Royal Oak

June 26, 2015

The sinking of the Royal Oak was one of the first great tragedies of World War II and occurred when the country was engaged in the so-called Phoney War when, it was perceived, very little was happening in the way of enemy action. But one German U-Boat captain attained instant notoriety when his vessel slunk […]

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A Wonderful Life

December 16, 2014

Lying on the battlefield, a bullet through his chest, Tom Carling seemed destined to die. Even the German soldier, prowling the scene shooting the badly-wounded, dismissed him as “kaput”. He had survived D-Day, the ferocious fighting for Caen and the frozen forests of the Ardennes at the Battle of the Bulge, which began 70 years […]

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Private Wojtek

October 30, 2014

Delighted to see that plans are forging ahead for a memorial in Edinburgh to one of World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers – Private Wojtek the Syrian brown bear. He served alongside Polish soldiers, famously carrying ammunition to his human comrades at the battle of Monte Cassino. Like many of the Polish troops, Scotland  became his […]

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A Life Less Ordinary

September 2, 2014

Sometimes the human spirit’s capacity for fortitude is quite astonishing. Linde McGregor was a young woman growing up in north-eastern Germany when she was ensnared in the Nazi war machine and put to work for the German cavalry. Imprisoned for criticising Hitler, she survived, fell in love and went on to lead a long, useful […]

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Education By Obit

August 19, 2014

Writing obituaries has always been an education but I hadn’t realised quite how much so until I managed to beat a University Challenge team with the answer to a subject I hadn’t heard of until that afternoon – thanks to an obituary. For the record, it concerned an unpronounceable Mexican volcano and related to life […]

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