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Posts by Karen O'Rourke

Sergeant Cyril Askew

10 June 2019 by Karen O'Rourke

Cyril wearing lots of medals

Cyril proudly wearing his Legion of Honour medal above his Second World War campaign medals. Image courtesy of the King’s Regiment Association.

This guest blog by Major (Retired) Eddie McMahon TD continues our series of blogs commemorating D-Day.

“Cyril Lancelot Askew enlisted with the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment in 1935 and served in the Second World War. Unusually, he served on both the Eastern and Western fronts. His service is described in an earlier blog and in a display at the Museum of Liverpool.

I first met Sergeant Cyril Askew in 1975, while I was still serving with the King’s, before I became involved with the Regimental Association. I was intrigued by this interesting man kitted out in his Corps of Commissioners uniform, proudly wearing his medal ribbons. The Corps was set up to help ex-servicemen into employment after demobilisation and Cyril had welcomed people at many of Liverpool’s amazing buildings, including the Three Graces and The Liverpool Empire.

I listened to him talk about patrolling the dangerous Khyber Pass territory in India, or coming under heavy German fire in the weeks after D-Day while pushing inland. Read more…

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day

29 May 2019 by Karen O'Rourke

On 6 June, we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day, Normandy Landings. This was the start of the Allied forces operation to liberate Europe, which would eventually lead to the end of the Second World War. In recognition of the part played by men from the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, we are staging a small display on the first floor of the Museum of Liverpool from Saturday 25 May to Wednesday 17 July.

Two battalions from the Regiment took part. Both were allocated the role of Beach Group, which involved securing the Beach, providing cover and directing the landed troops and equipment once ashore. It also involved gathering up the dead and wounded whenever there was a lull in the German bombardment. Anyone who has seen the first few minutes of the film Saving Private Ryan will understand that being part of a Beach Group was no easy task. For our two local battalions, the 5th based at Sword Beach and the 8th based at Juno Beach, that task lasted six weeks. After this, the 8th Battalion were disbanded, while the 5th Battalion moved inland with the advancing Allied troops. For more information on the part the Regiment played in the Second World War, at D-Day, in Italy and in Burma, you can visit our City Soldiers gallery.

Our new D-Day display will focus on the story of one man; Sergeant Cyril Askew Read more…

1919 Race Riots centenary – looking back at Untold Stories

23 May 2019 by Karen O'Rourke

In November 2013 at the Museum of Liverpool, we launched our Untold Stories project, exploring the stories of some of Liverpool’s Black Families in the First World War. We were able to search back through the histories of several local families, who then featured in our exhibition, Reflecting on Liverpool’s Home Front, which was a great success and ran for a year from July 2014.

As part of the project, we worked with local groups and organisations to create a mix of events, both in the Museum and in the Liverpool 8 area. While working on a series of creative writing workshops with Writing on the Wall, we got the chance to look at an amazing archive of material, relating to the Race Riots in Liverpool that happened in 1919. Now, 100 years on, Writing on the Wall is telling the story of the Riots as part of their WoWFest 2019 programme. Read more…

The Chinese Labour Corps – ‘Labour conquers all’

9 August 2018 by Karen O'Rourke

Men

Chinese Labour Corps Image: W J Hawkings Collection, courtesy of John de Lucy

At the eastern side of Anfield Cemetery, there is a strip of land where the Liverpool Chinese community are buried. Given that Liverpool is home to the oldest Chinese Community in Europe, these graves are hardly a surprising sight. What is surprising perhaps, are the five small white Commonwealth War Graves clustered together in the middle. They are the graves of men from the Chinese Labour Corps (CLC) who died in Liverpool in 1917 and 1918. Lui Feng Hsiang, the last of the five men to be buried, died 100 years ago today (Thu 9 Aug). Born and raised in China, how did these men come to be buried in foreign soil so far away from home?

Read more…

Captain Noel Chavasse (VC and Bar, MC) remembered.

4 August 2017 by Karen O'Rourke

Sculpture

The Liverpool Heroes Memorial in Abercromby Square is situated close to the Bishop’s Palace, the Chavasse family home from 1900. The statue depicts Noel and a stretcher-bearer rescuing a soldier. Image courtesy Bill Sergeant

In my blog on Monday, marking the start of the Third Battle of Ypres, I mentioned that Noel Chavasse had received a second Victoria Cross award, for his actions in the first days of the Battle.

Noel Chavasse is a well known local War hero and I often find myself saying that he was awarded for bravery, but don’t always have the opportunity to give the actual details of what he did: Read more…

Passchendaele Remembered

31 July 2017 by Karen O'Rourke

medals

Captain Noel Chavasse (VC and Bar, MC) medal group on public display in Liverpool for the first time at Museum of Liverpool until Jan 2018. Image Courtesy of the Lord Ashcroft Collection © IWM

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. Read more…

Aidan Chavasse – centenary of the death of Noel Chavasse’s younger brother.

4 July 2017 by Karen O'Rourke

Soldier

Lieutenant Aidan Chavasse

In the coming weeks, there will be much written about Captain Noel Chavasse VC, as the 100th anniversary of his death on 4 August 1917 approaches. Read more…

Bootle man, Arthur Procter VC, honoured in new memorial

25 April 2017 by Karen O'Rourke

Soldier

Arthur Herbert Procter

This morning there was a ceremony at the Freemason Hall in London, to unveil a memorial commemorating the 64 freemasons who were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War. One of the men featured was Arthur Herbert Procter, who served with the King’s Liverpool Regiment. Read more…

Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps

8 March 2017 by Karen O'Rourke

Poster

‘Women Urgently Wanted’ © IWM (Art.IWM PST 13171)

As soon as war had been declared in August 1914, women had begun ‘doing their bit’ towards the war effort. Initially they worked as nurses, shop staff or office clerks, but as the war progressed, women took on roles that were traditionally more masculine, such as tram conductors, farm labourers and munitions workers. Read more…

Somme centenary: the Battle of Ancre

16 November 2016 by Karen O'Rourke

Map

Map of the Battle of Ancre. The red lines indicate the trenches, with the thicker lines showing the British and German front lines on 13 November.

Since 1 July, I have been blogging about some of the significant attacks in the Battle of the Somme involving the King’s Liverpool Regiment. This is the final one of the series. Read more…



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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.