WW1 archive documents spark controversy

Newly discovered documents from the First World War highlight controversial military tribunals

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The discovery of a rare collection of First World War documents in Staffordshire has drawn attention to tribunals held in the county after conscription was introduced in 1916.

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Men appealing for exemption from conscription could apply on several different grounds, such as ill-health, infirmity, or financial hardship.

It was thought the tribunal documents were destroyed after the war due to the sensitive nature of the issues surrounding compulsory military service, but an apparent oversight meant the documents survived.

To read the BBC article in full, click here.

Modern history ‘dominating’ A-level options

Schools are favouring 19th and 20th-century history over medieval and early modern, a new study has revealed.

According to a review of history modules studied by students at A-level in 2013, Russian dictatorship, civil rights in the US, and Germany 1933–63 were the most popular topic choices.

Conducted by exam board OCR, the research also shows the Tudors and the study of one of Britain’s most influential prime ministers, Sir Winston Churchill, to be among the top 10 selections.

British history appears in half of the top 10, and the second-most popular combination of modules chosen by students provides a narrow historical period of just 98 years in total.

To read the Telegraph article in full, click here.

How Brighton Pavilion became a temporary hospital for Indian soldiers in WW1

The role played by Brighton Pavilion in the First World War when it was transformed into a hospital will be remembered during this centenary year.

The elaborate rooms of the Pavilion, dripping with chandeliers and magnificent curtains, became a 722-bed hospital to house the injured in December 1914. That month, hundreds of Indian casualties from the western front arrived on Britain’s shores, and made the journey from the Port of Southampton to Brighton. There they were received by local dignitaries, entrusted by George V to make provision for their rehabilitation.

A series of events are due to take place this year to commemorate Brighton’s role in helping the injured soldiers to heal and recuperate.

To read the Telegraph article in full, click here.

First World War slang “still in use today”

Everyday phrases such as ‘having a chat’, a bottle of ‘plonk’ and ‘over the top’ originate from the First World War, it has been revealed. In his new book, Martin Pegler, presenter of the BBC Antiques Roadshow, explores the history of these phrases, uncovering a tale of wartime slang developed by soldiers on the frontline.

To read the article he wrote for History Extra – 10 First World War slang words we still use today – click here.

Did mummification happen ‘more than a millennium’ earlier?

The discovery of embalming agents in the linen used to wrap bodies in unopened tombs in one of the earliest recorded ancient Egyptian cemeteries at Mostagedda has prompted suggestions that the Egyptians may have been mummifying bodies more than 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.

Along with other identified materials, the embalming agents were found to be present in similar proportions to those used in mummification known to have taken place between 2000 and 1600 BC, with the earliest example in 2200 BC.

The presence of resins found in the ancient tombs at Mostagedda, in the region of Upper Egypt, suggests that the practice was likely to have taken place in 3700BC – well over a millennium before previously thought.

To read the Telegraph article in full, click here.

Richard III: battle of Bosworth re-enacted

The dramatic battle that cost Richard III his life will be reenacted at Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre this weekend. Thousands of re-enactors are expected to descend on the centre to take part in the ‘battle’, and relive a defining moment in history. This year the demand for tickets has been so high that the battle arena has been extended.

Click here to find out more.

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Written by Carmela Rodriguez