Archive: Jun 2011

One Man and a Boat Club

Journey's End Programme

It is a fairly well known story that R C Sherriff wrote his play, Journey’s End, to raise money for his rowing club. Or at least, that is what most people think. So, how exactly did this come about, and is the story really true? After the First World War, Sherriff had gone back to […]

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The Red Sweet Wine of Youth – The Brave and Brief Lives of the War Poets

The Red Sweet Wine of Youth by Nicholas Murray cover

A group portrait of the poets of the First World War by Nicholas Murray Published by: Little, Brown Cover Price: £25.00 All references given below refer to the hardback edition. Before reviewing this book, I thought I would read the opinions of others and, upon doing so, discovered it had been almost universally praised as […]

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Sir Douglas Haig (1861-1928)

Sir Douglas Haig

Douglas Haig was born in Edinburgh on June 19th 1861, the youngest of the eleven children of John Haig, the head of the successful whisky distillery which still bears the family name. He was educated at Clifton College in Bristol and Brasenose College, Oxford, leaving university before completing his degree, so as to enroll at […]

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David Lloyd George (1863-1945)

David Lloyd George

David Lloyd George was born in Manchester on January 17th 1863, the son of William, a schoolteacher, and his wife Elizabeth. The following year, William died, so Elizabeth returned to her native Wales, where the family lived with her brother, Richard. Lloyd George began his career as a lawyer, but soon turned his attention to […]

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A treat at… The Rose and Crown

The Rose and Crown, Burwash

As a welcome break during our visit to Burwash, on an extremely hot, late August Sunday, we stopped for a family lunch at the “Rose and Crown”, although the only part of the pub which can be seen from the main road is its sign. Undeterred, we walked down a side road, to find a […]

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Burwash War Memorial

War Memorial, Burwash

The village of Burwash may well date back to the 11th Century, and certainly the church which stands at its heart, The Church of St Bartholomew, was built in 1090. Over the ensuing centuries, this picturesque market town expanded, until by the mid-eighteenth century, it housed over fifty shops, which continued to thrive until the […]

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A visit to… Bateman’s – Splendid Isolation


In 1902, when Rudyard Kipling purchased Bateman’s for £9,300, he was buying himself a little piece of England, and the privacy which he and his family craved. Now, over a hundred years later, the property is maintained and managed by the National Trust and very little has changed since his widow, Carrie, bequeathed the house […]

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Rudyard Kipling – author, poet and quintessential Englishman

Rudyard Kipling

Of the many First World War writers and poets who changed their opinion and style of writing as the war progressed, it could be argued that none did so more markedly or with greater justification than Rudyard Kipling, whose only son, John, was killed on September 27th 1915 at the Battle of Loos. This event […]

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Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell

The very name of this nurse and patriot came to represent all that was good about the British during the First World War, while also showing the public the very worst side of humanity. Born on 4th December 1865 at Swardeston in Norfolk, Edith Cavell was the daughter of the parish priest, Frederick and his […]

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Horace Smith-Dorrien (1858-1930)

Horace Smith-Dorrien

Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien was born on 26th May 1858 at Berkhamsted and was the eleventh of the fifteen children of Robert Algernon and Mary Ann Smith-Dorrien. Following his education at Harrow, he attended the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, from where he joined the 95th Regiment of Foot and saw service in the Zulu Wars, […]

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