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The Christmas Truce(s)

From ‘No-Man’s Land’ to ‘Every Man’s Land’

A British sergeant is shot dead almost at the outset, as he stands on the parapet. But this makes no difference. It must be an accident. The supreme craving of humanity, the irresistible, spontaneous impulse born of a common faith and a common fear, fully triumph. And so the grey and khaki figures surge towards each other as one man. The movement... More →

Victims of the Poor law

A woman before the courts in 1882 said that she preferred the gaol to Eastville workhouse as ‘in the latter she was three quarter starved and worked to death’ Before the end of the Second World War and the creation of the Welfare state and the National Health Service if you were poor and you got ill or you couldn’t find work there was only... More →

Eastville Workhouse and the unmarked graves of paupers at Rosemary Green

Bristol Radical History group (BRHG) is making progress on the project to record and respect the paupers buried in unmarked ground behind the old Eastville workhouse (100 Fishponds Rd), now called Rosemary Green. A key marker of disrespect is burying people, seen as worthless in unmarked graves; their death and burial not worth marking. Despite... More →

Should Britain Go to War With Germany?

By Roger Ball,
Opposition to WW1 in Bristol in August 1914 War enthusiasm? There is a perception in Britain that popular patriotic pressure drove politicians to declare war on Germany on August 4th 1914 and that the population somehow desired war. This so-called ‘war enthusiasm’ has been characterised in the popular memory as: "cheering crowds outside... More →

Tolpuddle, Hutt and the Meerut ‘Conspiracy’

By Roger Ball,
A few years ago Bristol Radical History Group published a pamphlet entitled Tolpuddle and Swing: The Flea and the Elephant [1]which critiqued the centrality of the Tolpuddle Martyrs incident (1833-34) to Trade Union history whilst the massive uprising of rural wage-labourers which occurred a few years previously, known as the ‘Captain Swing... More →

Babies in unmarked graves

By Di Parkin,
Eastville Workhouse, BRHG research project There is rightly scandal in the press at the 800 babies buried in unmarked graves in Galway. But this was not a unique occurrence. Bristol Radical History Group BRHG has established that 3,300 adults, children and babies were buried in unmarked graves in an old cemetery (now a piece of open ground) behind... More →

THIRTEEN ROSES ….. AND 43 CARNATIONS

By Rafael Narbona,
Translation by Diarmuid Breatnach; original version published in Spanish in Rafael Narbona’s blog August 2013, also republished by kind permission in Rebel Breeze. On the morning of August 5th 1939 thirteen women were shot dead against the walls of the Eastern Madrid Cemetery. Nine were minors, because at that time the age of majority was not... More →

The guillotine, knitting and terror…

So you think you know about the French Revolution? Introduction The last few years I have been playing word association games; asking people at work and at the pub to say the first thing that comes into their head about a particular historical event or figure. So typically the English Civil War carries mental images of 'laughing cavaliers',... More →

Ripples From The French Revolution In Tewksbury

By Derek Benson,
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy (White House speech, 1962) First published in the Tewkesbury Historical Society "Bulletin 23", Mar 2014 and in "The Local Historian", Jan 2014 (journal of the British Association for Local History) The advent of the French Revolution in... More →