Category Archives: World War 1

A day late, but…

So fine, I really had planned to post this up yesterday, on the actual anniversary of 2 centenaries, but fate intervened. I had to go over to Bradford, deliver some paperwork for one of my prospective jobs, and though the actual process of delivering, and them copying the details they needed, throw in an hour and a half travel each way, and fine, it threw me behind.

But anyway, 100 years, and 1 day ago…

A baby girl was born in Tokyo, Japan, to American parents. So what, I can hear you screaming? Well, that lady is one of the few people we have left, who appeared in movies before WW2. Yes, on the 1st July, 1916, Olivia De Havilland was born, probably most famously remembered now for Gone With The Wind, though of course she appeared in many more movies than that. I believe (unless they died recently) that beyond one actor, a child at the time, she is the only one left from that movie. There are a few other actors, and actresses left, who have reached 100, but none probably as famous as her. To say she’s seen some amazing changes in her life would be a massive understatement, it goes without saying, both in the world, and in movie making styles.

The other, more publicized anniversary yesterday, and the far more tragic one, was that on that same date, thousands of miles away in France, it was the start of the Battle of the Somme. To say it was a futile waste of thousands of lives, would be a massive understatement. I read of one of the Yorkshire Pals regiments, where 2000 went over the top that morning, and within an hour, 1770 of them were dead, or missing, assumed dead. In all, nearly 20,000 died on that first day, on the Allies side alone. Now, its not hard to see that those brave young men were led by fools, but back then, maybe less so? A sad waste of a generation, all the same.

So fine, to the video. There are 3 songs I relate to WW1, but perhaps boringly, I’ve gone with the McCartney one, just because I think the video sums it up best, even if it relates to a different WW1 event.

(The other 2? Stop The Cavalry by Jona Lewie, and All Together Now, by The Farm)

Oh, and lastly, and an event happening today, today is apparently World UFO Day. Yes, I know, I’d love to see one, and even more so, have a flight in one. But no, sadly, I’m not expecting to be obliged!

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Betting at Christmas – Then and Now

Even though both today, and tomorrow, there will be no horse racing in the UK, and Ireland, people will still be gambling on many things. Indeed, prior to this century (and possibly the early part of it), betting shops actually shut, not just on Christmas Day, but the 2 days before as well. Nowadays, its just a case of Christmas Day off, and that’s only for retail, and retail related staff, as, to my eyes at least, incredibly there will be people betting on Christmas Day, on events happening in parts of the world where the day isnt celebrated, just because its there, and well, its a chance to win/lose money accordingly. Given my job, I cant say too much, but…I think its a shame, that some people, even on this special day, would rather be punting on some North African football match, than celebrating with their family.

The ones I feel most sorry for, are the staff at our office, who have to go in, to cater to these peoples needs!

But anyway… Yes, betting shops have been open today, and again tomorrow (tonight until 10.00, tomorrow only until 5.30) to cover foreign racing, dog racing, and a lot of virtual racing, I suspect. Oh, and to play the machines in the offices nowadays as well! Yes, I’m working tomorrow, to cover all the shops needs, on Christmas Eve.

As I say, in the good old days, the shops were shut, though as I know from past experience (I used to prepare on Christmas Eve as much as I could), that fact never stopped numerous people trying the door. Of course, also back then, papers on Boxing Day were unheard of, all the racing was in the papers on Christmas Eve, so…

I know, I know, in this modern world, everything has to be available 24/7/365, and betting seems to have gone that way, for better, or worse.

At least, with the early finish, I can get home before the buses and trains shut down, I suppose I should be grateful for that? Hopefully Santa will be more punctual than Trans Pennine Express at least, that won’t be hard, mind!

So anyway, hoping that not too many of my readers will be caught up in the manic crush that is Christmas Eve shopping, though I suspect a few will be, all the same! In closing, may I take this chance to wish all my readers the very best Christmas wishes, and hope they enjoy the holiday period. Just think of me, 1 day off!

The video, one of 2 that work for the centenary anniversary of the beginning of WW1 celebrated this year. Mind, then they played football on Christmas Day lol, for all the right reasons!

Oh, yes, I promised a couple of Jean Harlow christmas pics, didnt I?

Standing by the tree

Christmas Presents

Happy Christmas

A day to remember, but a day to celebrate too.

Well, seriously, given the date and everything, what else were you expecting tonight?

Strictly, the centenary of the significance of the 11th November is still 4 years away, but given this is the centenary of the start of World War 1, its a major landmark anyway. And at the 11th hour today, we have, or will (depending on your time zone) remember them.

Not that we just remember those who fell during that awful war, but on the battlefields everywhere, ever since. I suppose, strictly, those who died before too, but its fair to say that 1918 was of course the day that Remembrance Day over here, Veterans Day in the US, is the one that all are remembered for.

No, I’m not going to get political on the matter, though its fair to say that in hindsight, the leaders on both sides in WW1 didnt think too much about planning.

But anyway, for all those brave souls who died then, and since then, I remember, and respect all you did for us, who followed you.

Oh, the celebration? Well, two friends, one long term, one who I have only got to know recently both celebrate their birthday today.

The new one, that wonderful lady who showed Kate, and I around Cherryvale, less than 2 months ago. I think it was towards the end of last year when we first made contact, due to a posting I made about, yes, going to Cherryvale, the home town of Louise Brooks. Finally, I got to meet her in September, and she was just as wonderful to me in real life, as she had been in cyberspace.

Thanks, Tina, hope you’ve had a wonderful day.

Its fair to say I’ve known James a lot longer, though I’m not sure now, just how many years it has been. But in that time, he has become a true friend, a confidant, my editor, to name but 3 things! This man is simply amazing, believe me. Oh, and to top all this, he is the one who has invited me, in less than 2 weeks now, to celebrate Thanksgiving with him, my first time doing so.

So yes, as well as remembering the brave who died fighting for us, I am celebrating the birthday of 2 wonderful people.

The video, well yes, its a war related one, though possibly not one that people would immediately relate to events.

To bid you farewell

To those who know both blogs, apart from the set up words, the only difference is in the video pick

I know, its been a week since I last posted, and I’m sorry. But today has been my first day off for 10 days, and beyond something exceptional, like last Saturday, I tend to only have time for these when I’m off. But anyway, enough talk…

Talk about a depressing week for anniversaries, mind! The first I want to mention happened on Tuesday, 52 years since the day that Marilyn Monroe died, at the age of 36. No, the video isnt Candle in the wind, another more poignant anniversary grabs that honour. To be honest, I dont know an awful lot about her, other than when tragic blonde actresses get mentioned, the 2 most popular names are of course, Jean Harlow, and Monroe.

Whereas we all know what Harlow died of, her kidneys failed, officially due to Scarlet Fever in her teens, but lets face it, all the smoking, drinking, and the like (and maybe, just very maybe, all that bleach on her hair) didnt help her kidney’s to function, lets face it, and thats what killed her. Back then, no dialysis, no replacement organs, so it was fatal.

However, when it comes to Monroe, in all honesty, we really dont know. Officially, its suicide, by barbiturate poisoning, but there are so many other theories to how she met her end, so who knows? One thing is for sure, who she was seeing/dating was giving concern to people in ‘high places’, so her death was handy for them. Or was it arranged? As I say, we will never know for sure.

The other whose death anniversary this week, is of far more significance to me. 29 years ago, yesterday, (Mary) Louise Brooks died, at the grand old age of 78. To be honest, given how much she smoked, how much she drunk, and how she lived her life, its amazing she lasted that long, but anyway…she did! Emphysema, a lot of it caused by her smoking, probably aided the inevitability of dying of a heart attack, but lets face it, she lived a long life, albeit a painful one at the end to some degree, so…

But the grimmest one, and the one with a round number occurred on Monday, 100 years on from Great Britain entering World War 1. Given my recent posting about this, and having given my feelings on those brave men who died, I’ll keep this part brief.

As I said, this is the one worth of the video pick, a wonderfully haunting song by Dire Straits.

That other video, the obvious one, Candle in the wind, Elton John

2 happy anniversaries, and 1 less than happy one

So fine, lets start with the less than happy one, as that’s the biggest milestone of all. One hundred years ago today, World War 1 officially started. It had been boiling up for a month or so, ever since the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, but this date was the one where the first shots were quite literally fired.

The rest is in the history books, as many millions of brave young men died, on the whole, led by fools! I know, its easy to say that in hindsight, but looking back now, history doesnt cast a great picture of those military leaders, whose ideas were by then, clearly behind the times.

Rest in peace, all you brave men, the ones known, and unknown, who died in that 4 and a half year slaughter.

Fine, moving backwards in time, on this date, in 1905, in Brooklyn, a young baby girl was born, Clara Bow. Despite everything in her early impoverished life, in 1921 her picture was sent to a movie company, and the rest was history. Despite her mother’s efforts to end her career before it started, threatening her with a knife, she survived, went to Hollywood, and found fame. 12 years later, she retired from the business, never to make another film, until she met her maker in 1965.

Last, but not least, and the most important in a sense to a Jean Harlow lookalike, is a gentleman born on this day, in 1892. His name, William Powell. Thats right, the man romantically linked to Jean Harlow at the time of her death, and the man who financed the stunning last resting place of both Jean, and her mother. There was actually a 3rd space, for Powell, but as we know, a few years later he remarried, and was buried with her, when he died in 1984. Maybe if its still available, that third space, for me…? No, I know lol!

The irony is, long before they met in Hollywood, Powell, and Harlow (or Carpenter as she was back then) lived no more than a few blocks apart in Kansas City, Powell’s family having moved there in 1907. But obviously, given the age difference, their paths didnt cross for another 20 years or so, and then…

Many years later, when a biography, and a couple of films came out about Jean, Powell is famously reputed to have said that the only things they got right, were ‘her birth, her death, and her movies’ and pretty much the rest was pure fiction! If he said that, I know who I’m inclined to believe about her life.

The video, an extremely tentative connection to Powell. His most famous series of parts was as ‘The Thin Man’, so I thought of this…rolls eyes

Happy birthday, both of you, and rest in peace.

100 years ago today

In the second of my bonus blogs (i.e. shift related, not the standard ones on my days off), lets focus on an event that happened 100 years ago today, and set off the fuse for the catastrophe now known as the First World War, and all the bloodshed it caused.

Yes, on this day in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in Sarajevo, and immediately set the world on a path towards a date, 37 days later, when the commencement of WW1 was announced. Ironically, you have to wonder, if their driver had not taken a wrong turn when heading back to their base in Sarajevo (was it deliberate, you have to wonder?), then the chance to kill them may never have happened, and who knows where we might be, but for that.

Because, out of that, came the reparations against Germany, and in the ensuing ill feelings that caused, the rise of Hitler, and of course, WW2! Also, how different would Europe look now, given the break ups caused by the outcome, that led to the break up of the Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman Empires might not have happened!

But looking at it from the opposite point of view, the development of the airplane increased dramatically, if only for the reason of developing them into a weapon, to be used against the enemy!

Lets not get too heavily into the massive loss of lives that happened over the next 4 years, we all know that story, lets just remember all those brave men who lost their lives, many of them because of the stupidity of their leaders.

I suppose, as a woman, I should be grateful, it meant women were needed to go out to work, and emancipation came about soon after the end of the war, driven by those events.

But as to my views of events in WW1, this song sums them up pretty well