Tuesday 14 September 2010, 16:06
Most people know the name of the Red Baron, Manfred von Richtofen. He was the greatest "ace" of World War One, a conflict where young men took to the air in flimsy, canvas machines and where a pilot's life expectancy could be measured in weeks rather than months.
Richtofen destroyed 80 Allied aircraft...
Thursday 9 September 2010, 16:41
On 10 September 1604, Bishop William Morgan died in relative poverty at his home parish of St Asaph. He is, these days, largely unremembered by most people in Wales but he holds a significance in Welsh history that is second to none. This was the man who translated the Bible into Welsh and by so doing...
Thursday 2 September 2010, 17:24
The story of David Davies, the man who can justifiably claim to be Wales' first millionaire, is a classic.There is no other way to describe it; his life is a real tale of "rags to riches."
Born in 1818 at Llandinam in Montgomeryshire, he was the eldest of nine children and yet rose from being a humble...
Tuesday 31 August 2010, 10:19
The Bristol Channel is used to storms. Winter or summer, they come sweeping in from the west, hammering at the coastline and playing havoc with shipping in the western approaches.
But no storm was more severe or more dangerous than the great storm of September 1908.
Thursday 26 August 2010, 10:42
Imagine it. A merchant ship blown in half by a mine and then simply welded together again so that she could continue to play a role in the effort to keep Britain supplied during the dark days of World War Two. That is exactly what happened to the oil tanker Tafelberg.
Built by Armstrong Whitworth at...
Monday 23 August 2010, 10:24
The story of the defence of Rorke's Drift has gone down in Welsh folklore.
The defenders were mainly - but not totally - from B Company, 24th Regiment of Foot, later known as the South Wales Borderers, and took place on the night of 22-23 January 1879.
7 Victoria Cross medals went to the South Wales...
Wednesday 18 August 2010, 17:41
Seventy years ago this week, on 19 August 1940, three German Junkers bombers, escorted by two ME109 fighters, flew in over the Pembrokeshire coast and dropped their bombs onto the oil tanks high above the west Wales town of Pembroke Dock.
The tanks contained thousands of gallons of vitally important...
Wednesday 18 August 2010, 09:18
Most people have heard of Henry Morton Stanley. He was the man who was sent to find David Livingstone and supposedly greeted him with the words: "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"
It is quite possible that Stanley never uttered that immortal phrase but, perhaps more importantly, a row has recently broken...
Tuesday 17 August 2010, 10:56
Yet how many realise that from 1942 until 1945, when he was flown to Nuremberg to stand trial for crimes against...
Monday 16 August 2010, 09:21
Wales has had many heroes over the years but none more controversial than Thomas Picton, the most senior British officer to fall at Waterloo.
He was a brave and wholehearted man but a temperamental one, a general and administrator whose motto seems to have been "make them respect and hate you but most...
Monday 9 August 2010, 15:41
Most of us, when travelling by train, rarely look outside the windows of our carriage. We bury our heads in our book or newspaper and only glance up to confirm our station has appeared. But a whole world of history is lurking out there and, if we only knew it, there is more than enough to keep us interested...
Wednesday 4 August 2010, 10:48
Many things can bring about victory in battle or war, not least a liberal helping of luck. But victory thanks to a herd of cows? Now that really does take some beating.
The English Civil War began in 1642 and was, amongst many other things, the culmination of disputes between the king and parliament...
Tuesday 3 August 2010, 09:00
Every August the National Eisteddfod of Wales takes place, alternating between the northern and southern parts of the country. This year, 2010, it is being held in Ebbw Vale. In 1917, with World War One still raging, it took place in Birkenhead.
Thursday 29 July 2010, 09:50
It is not the first time Ebbw Vale has been chosen to accommodate a major social or cultural event.
This is the second time that Ebbw Vale has hosted the National Eisteddfod of Wales...
Monday 19 July 2010, 09:41
Most people who drive west from Carmarthen on the road to Pembroke pass through the village of Llanddowror, blithely unaware that this quiet backwater spot was, in the early 18th century, the centre of an educational movement that was taking Wales - perhaps even the world - by storm. For this was the...
Wednesday 14 July 2010, 09:16
When you look at mainstream poetry of World War Two it is obvious that, unlike the Great War of 1914-18, the conflict failed to throw up any really great poets. Perhaps Alun Lewis in the forces and Dylan Thomas as a civilian came close but, as far as war poetry is concerned, there was no-one of the calibre...
Monday 12 July 2010, 09:19
Most people remember Sir Alexander Fleming as the man who, on 3 September 1928, discovered penicillin. Yet the part played in the discovery by his friend and colleague Merlin Pryce, a Welshman from the Merthyr area, should never be underestimated.
Indeed, there are many who say that it was Pryce who...
Tuesday 6 July 2010, 17:21
Many of us may have heard about the Ladies of Llangollen. Maybe some of us will own a print or even one of the early Victorian fairings that depict the redoubtable pair. But not many of us will know the actual story of Lady Eleanor Charlotte Butler and the Honourable Sarah Ponsonby, the two ladies in...
Monday 5 July 2010, 15:29
Everybody in Wales knows the story of Aneurin Bevan, the miner's son who became Member of Parliament for Ebbw Vale and the man who, in the first Labour government after World War Two, effectively created the National Health Service.
Rt.Hon Aneurin Bevan, Minister of Health taken in 1942
In a recent...
Thursday 1 July 2010, 09:34
The sinking of the liner Arandora Star on 2 July 1940 is a story of tragedy and human folly, a disaster that need never have happened.
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