Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Wales and the Second World War (Welsh History)

When the Second World War broke out, people had learned the lessons of the first and didn't rush to join up, but there was widespread unity behind the need to stop the aggression of Hitler's Nazi Germany. The civilian population of Wales was heavily involved in the war almost from the beginning, not only serving in the armed forces but also working in armament factories and suffering some of the heaviest bombing attacks of the war.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Wales in the First World War (Welsh History)

When the First World War began, Welsh chapels were initially opposed to the conflict and preached that it was a continental war that Britain should stay out of. But newspaper stories of German atrocities in Belgium soon changed their minds. Wales could sympathize with the oppression of a small country, and thousands signed up for the army.

Another way the Welsh were inspired by the war was in poetry, much of which was sentimental, by civilians and soldiers.
When first they fought at Ypres
By the early morning light,
The way they stormed the German trench
Was indeed a glorious sight.
(Corporal Oscar Foote of the Guards, 1914)
Back at home, the coal mines and the railways were put under government control, and mining wages rose due to the huge demand for coal. But food rationing, price control and conscription were much less popular.

When the war ended in 1918, Wales was a very different place. The violent opposition to the government had pushed the people towards the Labour Party.

[adapted from Highlights of Welsh History by Phil Carradice]

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Intruders: Blog the Book 14.1

This week everything changes. To read this book from the beginning, go here. My idea of Commodore Michel is actor Edward Fox.

Intruders Chapter 14 scene 1

Within a few hours, everything changed, but not in quite the way Darrow had hoped.  He was convinced that the Intruders were a real threat, and an expedition should be sent to gather information and locate them.  What he had wanted was to provoke the investigation into action.  

When Admiral Keever called him, action had indeed been provoked. Without any formalities, Keever got down to business as soon as Darrow switched on the screen.

‘Captain, thank you for your report.’ Darrow could see the family resemblance with Holland, despite the silver hair and the paunch. ‘I did some investigation myself, talked to my contacts on other planets, and I think you may have something.'

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Welsh Not (Welsh History)

In 19th century Wales there was little provision for education for ordinary people, except that provided by the churches. The National (Anglican) and British (Nonconformist) Societies ran Sunday Schools and voluntary classes, otherwise there were only Reformatory Schools for delinquents.

In recent posts I wrote about the industrial explosion and the consequent huge influx of population to work in the refineries, mills, works, mines and factories. The riots over the awful conditions led to a government look at education, among other things. It was felt that the Welsh language was divisive, and an attempt was made to stamp it out.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Intruders: Blog the Book 13.2

This week Captain Darrow sends a report to his boss and gets an unexpected reply. To read the book from the beginning, go here. My idea of Darrow is actor Michael Sheen.

Intruders chapter 13 scenes 3 & 4

To take his mind off the crew problems, Darrow went back to his dossier on the missing raw materials and added his new evidence: image analysis from Pallas and post-mortem enzyme reports from his contacts.  He contacted them to share the latest information about the ghostly figure, asking them to check the video records for their local incidents under infrared.  As he looked at the growing body of evidence, he decided to make a new attempt to convince his superior officer, Commodore Michel, of the threat. He wrote a report, attached the relevant files, plus a copy of the original report outlining his suspicions, and transmitted it to Commodore Michel.