The Siege of Tsingtao:
Listener Eileen Scutt came across some photographs some years back taken by her father in China in 1914. He was in China from 1912 to 1915 and Eileen wanted to know more about his war service and what the British were doing there. Helen spoke to Professor Rana Mitter at the University of Oxford who explained that the Germans, like the British, had made every effort to acquire trading status within China towards the end of the nineteenth century. These two powers co-operated during the Boxer Rebellion but in 1914 events in Europe changed their relationship. Tsingtao was a German port and the British and Japanese were intent on forcing them out.
The Selden Map:
A map that's been known about for over 350 years has recently given up startling new information which is transforming our understanding of the Chinese Ming Empire. It was thought that in the early seventeenth century China was turning in on itself; becoming the secret society that many in the West might find familiar today. But, fine lines drawn on the Selden Map connecting China with countries dotted around the South China Sea and further afield which came to light during its restoration, show that Chinese traders still looked outside their own country.
A listener nominates a man who was based in Great Yarmouth in the early years of the nineteenth century and who witnessed several incidents at sea. In one over 100 people died. Manby quickly saw that one of the problems rescuers had was getting a line to stricken vessels to help with the evacuation of crew and passengers. The Manby Mortar did just this and the principles are still in use by the RNLI today around our coasts today.
Many of Manby's inventions are described in plans and correspondence held at the Time and Tide Museum in the town.
Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.