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Posts tagged with 'war'

Captain Frank Watson

22 March 2012 by Lucy

Today, we’re looking at the story of Captain Frank Watson, in the run up to our First World War Family History Day at the Museum of Liverpool on Saturday.

Photograph of Frank Watson

Frank Watson originally signed up to the 17th Pals Battalion in Liverpool.

Lord Derby came up with the idea of bringing together men who worked and socialised in a fighting regiment to appeal to more men to ‘sign up’.

The response to the first adverts was so great, that Lord Derby was able to form two battalions, and by mid-October a second advertisement appealing for recruits meant that there were a total of four ‘Liverpool Pals’ battalions, and two reserve battalions. They were officially known as the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Service Battalions of the King’s Regiment, Liverpool. Read more…

The Turner Brothers

21 March 2012 by Lucy

This is our second blog post in a series leading up to our World War One Family History Day at the Museum of Liverpool this Saturday, 24 March. Today, we look at the story of the Turner Brothers, William and Fred.

Soldiers from the Liverpool Scottish Battalion

William and Fred Turner signed up as Officers to the Liverpool Scottish Battalion. William can be seen here on the far right.

Lieutenants William and Fred Turner were born in Ullet Road, Liverpool, to parents Jessie and William. Both attended the local Greenbank School, and went on to become successful sportsmen in cricket, rugby and football at Sedbergh School, Yorkshire before following in their father’s footsteps and joining the printing firm Turner & Dunnett, of which their father was Senior Partner.
The boys were among the first to ‘sign up’ and both joined the Liverpool Scottish Battalion as officers. Read more…

David Jones – Victoria Cross Hero

20 March 2012 by Lucy

Image of David Jones, VC

David Jones was awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding bravery

In the run up to our First World War Family History Day at the Museum of Liverpool on Saturday, we’ll be sharing a few stories from our collection about soldiers who fought in World War I.

Today’s story is about David Jones, VC.

David Jones, from Smithdown Lane in Edge Hill, enlisted in 1915 and was soon promoted to Sergeant.

Read more…

Liverpool’s Chinese community during the Blitz

4 May 2011 by Lucy

Francesca Aiken, Assistant Exhibition Curator for the Global City Gallery in the new Museum of Liverpool writes:

Seventy years since the May Blitz, the spirit of Pitt Street lives on.

Seventy years ago this month, a devastating aerial bombardment struck Liverpool, ending lives, demolishing homes and displacing whole communities. It is in tribute to “the spirit of an unconquered people” that Liverpool’s Anglo-Chinese community were part of the effort to keep calm and carry on, piecing back together not just buildings but homes and livelihoods.

Pitt Street, 1915, shaped by tall converted warehouse buildings and cobbled streets, stretches out under the constant watch of St Michaels Church spire, busy with dozens of Chinese businesses, from boarding houses to grocers and tobacconists. This was the birthplace of Liverpool’s Chinese community, the destination for seamen from all over the world including Spain, the Philippines, Italy, the West Indies and Scandinavia – to name just a few. To the people who lived and grew up there, this was ‘world’s end.’ Pitt Street was the place to go, bustling with shops and cafes all within easy reach of the docks. Kwong Shang Lung was one of the city’s earliest grocers to specialise in Chinese food, trading from 1915 until the bombs fell in 1941. Read more…

Convoy HX 219

8 March 2011 by Stephen

Small model ships

Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post and Echo

I would not like to be a pirate – apart from being illegal, the chances of meeting a violent end are too great– but I do like the swashbuckling aspects.

The sight of the Jolly Roger (the pirate skull and crossbones) being raised is pretty exciting – it is a part of pirate lore which has been adapted by submariners. 

A British commander first flew the notorious flag in modern times nearly 100 years ago. Read more…

Cam ships

7 February 2011 by Stephen

old photo of an aircraft carrier from above

Image courtesy of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo.

My first construction kit was of a galleon with a solid balsa wood hull and colourful cardboard cabins and sails.

All the later ones were plastic. I have fond memories of making a big model of HMS Hood with The Searchers on the radio in the background singing ‘Ain’t Gonna Kiss Ya’. Strange how music can imprint pictures in the brain.

My favourite aircraft construction kit was a Swordfish – I marvelled how this hugely-successful biplane was put together, with a lethal torpedo slung beneath its fuselage.

Among the measures used by Britain to protect beleaguered convoys in the Second World War was a unique type of ship which catapulted fighter aircraft into action. Read more…

Through the lens

31 January 2011 by Stephen

old binoculars in museum display

Image courtesy of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo.

The Victorian child’s brass telescope attracted my eye in the cluttered window of the old junk shop in Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. After some cajoling, it was mine and I was soon down at the river scrutinising the great ships coming and going from the docks.

I still have the little telescope bought all those years ago and continue to be fascinated by the hidden worlds revealed by lenses.

The invention of the telescope helped transform safety at sea as mariners could now see distant shorelines and other vessels not easily visible to the human eye. Read more…

Aircraft threat

13 December 2010 by Stephen

I am an amateur cartoonist and caricaturist – all right, a doodler – who’s also very interested in the development of this art form since it emerged about the time of the English Civil War.

The Second World War inspired some classic newspaper and magazine drawings which kept up morale and were sometimes also used on propaganda posters and leaflets.

cartoon showing a boat shooting a plane with a wolf's head

Captioned: ‘Who’s afraid of the big bad wulf? (By holding everything, including his fire, one of HM tugs brought one down on 11th January 1941’. Image courtesy of the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo.

This cartoon (pictured) is not particularly well drawn but it captures perfectly the mood of the time and one man’s brave determination to have a go.

Allied merchant shipping carrying vital supplies used the convoy system in an attempt to protect itself from combined U-boat submarine and air attacks during the war. Read more…

Lusitania losses

29 November 2010 by Stephen

napkin with image of a ship and text

Image courtesy of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo.

I find the words on the napkin, produced to commemorate one of the worst maritime disasters of the First World War, very moving.

To many people at the time the loss of the Lusitania came to symbolise Liverpool’s suffering, as she was the city’s favourite passenger liner.

The spectacular coloured glass war memorial at one of my local churches, St James’s in West Derby, uniquely uses an image of the doomed ship to silently express that grief. Read more…

War imports

25 October 2010 by Stephen

archive photo of men unloading cargo from a ship

Image courtesy of the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

I have many memories of Liverpool’s docklands when they were labour-intensive before the widespread use of containers.

Once I was flung off my motorcycle when the wheels got caught in the dock railway lines. The windscreen and front mudguard were shattered.

As I wheeled my machine past the police officer he joked: “You crunched!” (This was a catch phrase from a crisps advert of the time, 1968.)

Some 25 years earlier the Port of Liverpool fought a daily battle of survival bringing in vital supplies. Read more…

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