Archives » History

Lassodie War Memorial

Lassodie is a village that no longer exists. When the pits which were its main employment – and reason for being – closed, the land was cleared of housing. A condition of the original granting of mineral rights, apparently.

Nevertheless it has a War Memorial, which lies beside the B912 between the villages of Kingseat and Kelty in Fife, near Loch Fitty.

Lassodie War Memorial 2

Dedication. “Erected in grateful remembrance of the men of this village who fell in the Great War 1914-1918,” with below the “grow not old” lines from Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen.

Lassodie War Memorial Dedication and Names

The Second World War dedication is inscribed on the southern side of the memorial. “To the glory of god and in memory of the men of Lassodie who fell in the 1939-1945 War.”

Lassodie War Memorial, World War 2 Dedication

Situation. In fenced off square by B912 between Kingseat and Kelty:-

Location, Lassodie War Memorial 4

Aldborough

On the way back up from Peterborough we stopped off at the village of Aldborough in Yorkshire.

There are Roman remains there but the English Heritage site was shut due to Covid restrictions so we couldn’t access them. Maybe another time.

Aldborough is one of those English villages centred round a village green. It’s slightly unusual in that the green still has a maypole.

Aldborough Maypole

Maypole, Aldborough, Yorkshire

The other part of the green has a lovely oak tree on it:-

Oak Tree, village green, Aldborough, Yorkshire

There was the obligatory church (St Andrew’s):-

Aldborough Church, Yorkshire

St Andrew's Church, Aldborough, Yorkshire

Another historical hangover is the presence of stocks:-

Aldborough Stocks, Yorkshire

The memorial you can see beyond the stocks in the photo above was erected on the 50th anniversary of an air crash where due to the skill of the pilot the aeroplane narrowly avoided Aldborough. All seven crew were killed.

Air Crash Memorial, Aldborough

This stone is just along from the memorial. It records where MPs for Aldborough and Boroughbridge were elected in the days before the Great Reform Act of 1832. Was Aldborough a rotten borough?

Aldborough Election Site

Tombs in Peterborough Cathedral

There are memorials to two Queens in Peterborough Cathedral, Katherine of Aragon and Mary, Queen of Scots.

The cathedral actually contains the tomb of the first of those. She died in Kimbolton Castle and Peterborough was presumably the nearest viable option given Henry VIII would have wanted the whoel thing over with quickly:-

Katharine's Tomb

Tomb inscription. “Here lies the body of Katherine of Aragon, Queen of England, wife of Henry VIII, who died at Kimbolton Castle on the (obscured) day of January 1535/6 aged 49 years.” Note the two pomegranates on the tomb. The pomegranate was Katherine’s personal symbol:-

Katharine of Aragon's Tomb

Plaque on pillar to the side. “A Queen cherished by the English people for her piety, courage and compassion.”

Plaque Above Katharine of Aragon's Tomb, Peterborough Cathedral

Mary’s body was moved from Peterborough by order of her son King James VI (and I) so a stone inscription now lies on a pillar near where its location was

Above Mary's Former Tomb

Mary's Former Tomb

Memorials at Bletchley Park

The codebreakers at Bletchley Park were indebted to the Polish secret service for helping break the Enigma code and for smuggling an Enigma machine to them just as war broke out.

At the entrance to the courtyard of houses seen in yesterday’s post lies a memorial to three of these Polish contributors. In Polish and English it commemorates, “the work of Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, mathematicians of the Polish intelligence service, in first breaking the Enigma code. Their work greatly assisted the Bletchley Park code breakers and contributed to the Allied victory in World War II.”

Polish Memorial, Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park, Polish Memorial

Nearer the main museum building is this memorial to those who worked at Bletchley Park. The letters read, “WE ALSO SERVED.”

Memorial, Bletchley Park

Reverse of memorial:-

Bletchley Park Memorial

Pigeon War Heroes

World War 2 wasn’t all technology driven.

One of the exhibits at Bletchley Park featured the contribution pigeons made to message carrying.

The pigeons were parachuted into occupied Europe using contraptions like this:-

Pigeon Parachute, Bletchley Park

Information board:-

Pigeon Information Board, Bletchley Park

Memorial to a pigeon winner of a gallantry medal. They also served:-

Pigeon Post Poster, Bletchley Park

Acccomodation at Bletchley Park

There were few facilities at Bletchley Park other than the working spaces. They did have a tennis court and there was the possibility of picnics etc on the lawns.

To simulate this outdoor loudspeakers at the modern museum play voices as if there’s a tennis match or picnic going on.

Some of the workers lived (just slept probably) off-site but there was some accomodation for others.

These buildings enclosing a courtyard were beyond the tennis court:-

Bletchley Park Cottages

Side of building to left above:-

Cottages, Bletchley Park

There was a lovely stained glass window in the side wall here:-

Bletchley Park Cottages window

Other side of courtyard:-

Bletchley Park Cottages

In courtyard to right of arch in photo above:-

Bletchley Park Cottages,

Arch into courtyard:-

Bletchley Park Cottages

Vehicles at Bletchley Park

A couple of the exhibits at Bletchley Park related to the film Enigma. (I see from that link that the model submarine used in the film was also donated to Bletchley Park. This may be the model which is near the car park and can be seen in the third photo in this post.)

Austin 18 Ambulance:-

Austin Ambulance Information Board, Bletchley Park

Austin Ambulance, Bletchley Park

Sunbeam Talbot (note “blackout” headlights):-

Sunbeam Talbot Information Board, Bletchley Park

Sunbeam Talbot, Bletchley Park

As I recall this Packard saloon car was used by Bletchley operatives if they had to travel about the country. A lot of the messages from listening stations were carried to Bletchley by motor bike – see photos on the wall behind the Packard:-

Packard Saloon Car, Bletchley Park

This is one of the sentry boxes where the despatch riders would have to check in:-

Bletchley Park Sentry Box

Huts at Bletchley Park

Most of the work at Bletchley Park was carried out in huts.

Hut corridor:-

Bletchley Park Hut Corridor, WW2 codebreaking

Room with security reminder poster:-

Bletchley Park Hut Poster , WW2, codebreaking

The famous “Careless Talk Costs Lives” slogan and First Aid box:-

Poster in Hut at Bletchley Park

Another room in one of the huts:-

Room in Hut, Bletchley Park

Alan Turing’s office:-

Alen Turing's Office, Bletchley Park, codebreaking, WW2

Alan Turing's Office, Bletchley Park, codebreaking, WW2

Statue of Alan Turing, made in slate. (This is situated in the main building, where most of the Enigma machines are displayed.)

Alan Turing Statue, Bletchey Park

The Gleam in the North by D K Broster

Windmill, 1958, 302 p.

The Gleam in the North cover

This is the second of Broster’s Jacobite trilogy (the first of which, The Flight of the Heron, I wrote about here.) Again it follows the fortunes of Ewen Cameron of Ardroy and also once more starts with a scene set at the Loch of the Eagle on his estate. Ewen’s son Donald pushes his younger brother Keith into the loch as revenge for him throwing his favourite object, a sword hilt memento from the Battle of Culloden, into the loch. Ewen has to effect a rescue but Keith becomes ill and the local doctor is summoned but is on a call. Meanwhile Ewen’s cousin Archibald Cameron, still in the service of the young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, and so subject to government attainder, turns up at the house and, as a doctor himself, ministers to the child. When Doctor Kincaid arrives he surmises the Camerons’ visitor is indeed the wanted man and informs the authorities. So Ewen’s adventures begin once more, as he is taken in to Fort William to be questioned and eventually bust out.

In his peregrinations about the Western Highlands trying to avoid government soldiery Ewen comes across Viscount Aveling, half-brother of the Major Keith Windham whom he befriended in The Flight of the Heron and from whom he learns that Archibald Cameron’s whereabouts have been betrayed. In the process, though, he makes an enemy of Aveling. Trying to warn Archie, Ewen only ends up injured during his capture.

After convalescing, Ewen makes his way to London to attempt to secure Doctor Cameron’s release and one night rescues a gentleman from street thieves. This turns out to be Lord Stowe, Aveling’s father. Coincidences being stretched a mite too far here perhaps. The rest of the book is made up of Ewen’s encounters with Aveling’s mother, Jacobite turncoats and trying to intercede with the Duke of Argyll, a Campbell and so sworn enemy of the Camerons but the government’s man for Scottish affairs.

While not as immediate in its chronicling of historical events as was The Flight of the Heron Broster manages to keep the level of peril reasonably high. A description of the Aurora Borealis could be taken to be the gleam in the north of the book’s title, as well as an allusion to the residual glimmer of the hopes of the Stuart dynasty, but the aurora’s relatively quick disappearance “as if it had never been” does not, quite, apply to the ramifications of the 1745 Jacobite rising.

Sensitivity alert. In a piece of stereotyping racist to modern eyes, a black servant of Lord Stowe is named Sambo.

Pedant’s corner:- had …. sowed (sown,) “would none of the thanks” (would have none of,) an extra comma in “‘Yes,, you may do that’”,) “once for all” (once and for all,) “They an prove nothing” (They can prove nothing,) gillie (ghillie,) “requires, it for his chaise” (no comma necessary,) a missing single quote mark at the end of a thought followed by a missing start one at the direct speech following on from it, a missing comma at the end of a piece of direct speech where the sentence carried on, paplably (palpably,) Gailbraith (elsewhere Galbraith,) Lock Arkaig (Loch Arkaig,) caryatides (caryatids.)

Bletchley Park, Other Code Breaking

It wasn’t merely European languages that were decoded during WW2. Japanese codes were also broken. One of the decoders taught himself Japanese in weeks to help do so.

These two exhibits refer to the efforts in Japanese.

Index Cards for Japanese words:-

Index Cards Japanese, Bletchley Park, codebreaking ,WW2

Captured Japanese flag:-

Japanese Flag, Bletchley Park

This irreverent cartoon referring to BP (Bumph Palace; aka Bletchley Park) is about all the paperwork etc involved in the war effort:-

Bumph Palace Exhibit, Bletchley Park

free hit counter script