Category Archives: 20TH CENTURY HISTORY

Book review: July 1914: Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin

Book review: July 1914: Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin


Author: Sean McMeekin
Publisher: Icon Books
Reviewed by: Nigel Jones
Price (RRP): £25

There are two conflicting schools of thought in the historiography of how the Great War – probably the biggest disaster in human history – began.

The battle of Gallipoli: Australian and New Zealand soldiers

The battle of Gallipoli: Australian and New Zealand soldiers

It was a still night with a sea-mist. As the men clambered over the side of the ship into the small boats below, their officers were terrified that the sound of muttered curses and boots scraping on steel decks would reach the Turkish lines a few miles across the water. At last the boats were full, crammed with men, ammunition and rations for three days.

Anti-suffragette postcards

Anti-suffragette postcards

In these days on telephone, email, text, Facebook or Twitter, it is salutary to remember that in early 20th-century Britain the picture  postcard was one of the cheapest and most accessible forms of communication. Over 600m postcards were posted in 1904, rising to over a staggering 900m in 1913.

Who worked the Edwardian farms?

Who worked the Edwardian farms?

When Edward came to the throne in 1901 the number of farmers in England and Wales was about 225,000 according to the census of that year, a small fraction of the total population of 35.5 million. There were 620,000 agricultural labourers, and, taking into account the members of the farmer’s family, the concrators and others engaged in agriculture, a total of about 1.2 million is reached.

Peter II, the last King of Yugoslavia reburied in Serbia

Peter II, the last King of Yugoslavia reburied in Serbia

A state funeral of the last King of Yugoslavia, Peter II (1923 – 1970), has taken place near Belgrade in the family church in Oplenac. The funeral was also held for his wife, Queen Alexandria (1921 – 1993), his mother Queen Maria (1900 – 1961), and brother Prince Andrej (1929 – 1990). After the memorial service, they were placed in the family mausoleum. The coffins of the four members of the royal family were laid out in the centre of the church before army guards placed them in the crypt, alongside their ancestors.