The kids from Fame..why you may ask,it brings back childhood memories

Who are the Kids from Fame:

What was the show about:

It was the child of the 1980’s High School musical.

Using a mixture of drama and music, it followed the lives of the students and faculty at the New York City High School for the Performing Arts.Who had a number of hit singles and albums at the height of the show’s success.

In 2008  television presenter Justin Lee Collins, travelled to America to unite various members of the group.Hence forth the attached video’s,are very entertaining enjoy.

This blog is dedicated to Steve Tolfrey Nee Hall


Women Of WW1 Mata Hari

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle alias Mata Hari was born in Leeuwarden (NL) on 7 August 1876.

At the beginning of the 20th century she moved to France where she started a career as a nude dancer. She became famous and moved in the highest circles of Europe. Her fame made it easy  to travel to various European countries. Even during the war.   So, the French Secret Service asked Mata Hari to mingle with the Germans and find out as much as she could.

However, during her first mission something went wrong   and she was arrested  by the British Intelligence Service. All of her alibis were watertight, so the British agents had to release her. In the meantime, the French too got suspicious.

It also became clear that German army officers were paying her. Officially it was to keep them company but the French intelligence office wasn’t so sure about that. When she tried to cross the French border, to visit one of her lovers, she was arrested by the French Secret Service and interrogated.

During one of these long sessions, she succumbed and confessed to be a German spy, known under the pseudonym of H21.

The trial that followed was nothing but a showcase. The French were convinced that she was:  “one of the greatest spies of the century,   responsible for the death of tens of thousands of soldiers”. She was found guilty and condemned to death.  On 15 October 1917 she was shot by afiring squad.

Women Of WW1 Gabrielle Petit

Gabrielle Alina Eugenia Maria Petit was born in a simple family in Tournai (Doornik), Belgium in 1893. After her mother’s death she was raised in a catholic boarding school in Brugelette. In 1914 Gabrielle Petit, now 21 years old, was living and working in Bussels. As soon as the war broke out she took part in the medical service of the Belgian Red Cross.

Her fiancée, Maurice Gobert, whom she met in 1912 was – being a professional soldier – sent to the front. After hes was wounded in Hofstade and captivated by the Germans, he managed to escape to his parents in Fontaine – l’Évêque. When he was recovered he crossed the Dutch border to join the Belgian troops. After a short training period in England, Gabrielle Petit joined the Secret Service and soon became a master spy. She collected information about the movements of the German troops and their railway communications for the Allied Powers. Besides that, she was also active as a distributor for the clandestine newspaper “La libre Belgique” and the underground mail service “Mot du Soldat” and helped several young men crossing the Dutch border.

She was betrayed by a so called Dutchman and arrested by the Germans in February 1916. On the first of March she was sentenced to death. During her trial she refused to betray her co-operators in order to get clemency. She served her time in the prison of Saint-Gilles (Brussels) with stoic patience, proud unassailability and great faith. She was brought before the firing squad on April 1, 1916. Her corpse was buried at the execution field in Schaarbeek.

Only after the war – when her story became widely known – Gabrielle Petit became a martyr and a national heroine. Post mortem she was granted several medals and honorary titles. In May 1919 – after a national funeral in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth, Cardinal Mercier and the Prime Minister Delacroix – her mortal remains (and those of her compatriots A. Bodson and A. Smekens) were transferred to the city cemetary of Schaarbeek. She got a statue in Brussels (as seen on the postcard) and in her city of birth, Tournai, a square was named after her. The story of her life was told in several hagiographic books, theatre plays, patriotic songs, children’s books and movies.

Edith Cavell Postcards

Series of 6 cards, designed by the famous Italian artist Tito Corbella

(Printed by Inter Art Co., Red Lion Square, London, W.C. 1915)

Women and WW1: Miss Edith “Cavell”

Edith Louisa Cavell was born on 4 December 1865 in Swardeston in Norfolk (GB).

In 1907 she became the matron of the Berkendael Institute in Brussels. In August 1914, Cavell was spending a short holiday with her mother in Norwich after her husband’s death. Edith was weeding her mother’s back garden when she heard the dramatic news that Germany had invaded Belgium. “I am needed more than ever,” she said, and immediately left for the Continent. Her mother never saw her again.

Cavell sheltered at the Institute British, French and Belgian soldiers, from where they were helped to escape to Holland, which was neutral. It became obvious however, that the escape route could not be kept open indefinitely. The Germans were well aware that large numbers of fugitive soldiers were crossing the Belgian border into Holland. Then, in August 1915, the Germans raided the home of Philippe Baucg, a member of the escape organization, and arrested him. Unfortunately Baucq failed to destroy several incriminating letters in which Edith Cavell‘s name appeared.

On August 5, Otto Mayer of the German Secret Police arrived in the Rue de la Culture. Cavell was driven to police headquarters and questioned. But nothing of importance was found in the Institute — Cavell had, in fact, sewn her diary inside a cushion. Although more than 200 troops had passed through her hands, the only document incriminating the nurse was a tattered postcard sent, rather unwisely, by an English soldier  thanking her for helping him to reach home. Cavell was sentenced to death, along with four Belgians. Two firing squads, each of eight men, carried out the execution at dawn on October 12, 1915, at the national rifle range in Brussels. Cavell was still wearing her nurse’s uniform.

Although the German action was justified according to the rule of war, the shooting of Edith Cavell was a serious blunder. Within days, the heroic nurse became a worldwide martyr, and the Germans were universally described as “murdering monsters.” As a result of her execution, Allied morale was strengthened, and recruitment doubled for eight weeks after her death was announced.

Allies: Celebrating Alliances

Allied Postcards WW1

Allied Powers WW1

World War One technically began as a strictly European conflict with Austria-Hungary‘s declaration of war against the Kingdom of Serbia on July 28th, 1914. Within literally days it escalated as Russia initiated mobilization of its army and reservists as a precautionary measure, and in sympathy with its Serbian Slavic “cousins”. Refusing Germany’s ultimatum to stand down its mobilization, which had not yet taken any offensive action against any state, Germany subsequently declared war upon the Russian Empire on August 1st.

This brought France into war against Germany on August 3rd, and this development along with Germany’s unprovoked invasion of neutral Belgium that same day, caused Great Britain to declare war against Germany on August 4th. These first three “Allied Powers”, the empires of Russia, France and Britain, were known as the “Triple Entente, this name deriving from the “Entente Cordiale” agreement between Great Britain and France. The Entente Cordiale was the public and popular name for the Anglo-French agreement of 1904 and it was the basis for Great Britain’s entry into the war on behalf of France and Russia, a true military mutual assistance treaty existing between  the latter two countries. Of course, Great Britain’s entry also brought the “British Dominion” nations of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa into the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Japan’s entry into the war, British and South Africa into the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Japan’s entry into the war, British and South African moves against Germany’s African colonies, and Canadian, Australian and New Zealand contribution of troops to Britain’s European war  theaters were what converted a European conflict into a

“world war”.

The German propagandists were the first to use the term “Weltkrieg” (world war), and it was soon picked up by both sides. The nations opposing the Germanic Empires quickly became simply and universally known as “The Allied Powers”.
By the end of World War One in November 1918, some 26 countries had joined the Allied Powers and declared war upon the Central Powers. Presented below is a summary of the growing list of Allied Powers, ordered by  the year  they  formally entered  the war.

1914 Serbia,Russia,France,Belgium,Japan,Montenegro,Great Britain(Australia New Zealand Canada South Africa

1915 Italy

1916 Portugal & Romania

1917 USA,Cuba,Brazil,Panama,Thailand,Liberia & China

1918 Greece,Guatemala,Nicaragua,Costa Rica & Haiti

As well as those Latin American countries which formally declared war against Germany, most of the remainder severed diplomatic and economic relations with Germany and Austria-Hungary by early 1918. The motivations for Latin America turning against Germany were to protest that country’s unhindered submarine warfare practices and as a show of solidarity with the United States. Significantly, America’s immediate southern neighbour, Mexico, did not join in the war.

The major brunt of the war effort on the Allied side was borne by France, Great Britain and her four Dominion nations, Russia, Serbia and Belgium. These five nations alone of the twenty-six Allies accounted for over 91% of the 16.2 million Allied military casualties. While fifteen more nations joined the Allied cause during the course of the war, the only two additions that had substantive military impact on the ultimate Allied victory were the entry of the Kingdom of Italy in May 1915 and the United States in April 1917.

The Sarajevo Murder

Wedding picture of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of...

Image via Wikipedia

Franz Ferdinand, eldest son of Carl Ludwig, the brother of emperor Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary, was born in 1863. Educated by private tutors, he joined the Austro-Hungarian army in 1883. While in the army Franz Ferdinand received several promotions: captain (1885), major (1888), colonel (1890) and general (1896).

In 1889, crown prince Rudolf, the son of Franz Josef, shot himself at his hunting lodge. The succession now passed to Franz Ferdinand’s father, Carl Ludwig. When he died in 1896, Franz Ferdinand became the new heir to the throne.
Franz Ferdinand married Sophie von Hohenberg in 1889 and over the next few years the couple had three children: Sophie (1901), Maximilian (1902) and Ernst (1904).

In 1913 Franz Ferdinand was appointed Inspector General of the Austro-Hungarian army. In the summer of 1914 General Oskar Potiorek, governor of the Austrian provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, invited the Inspector to watch his troops on maneuvers, Although he knew it would be dangerous, Franz Ferdinand agreed to make the visit.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina there was a group called “The Black Hand” who wanted to leave the Austro-Hungarian Empire and favoured an union with Serbia.

When it was announced that Franz Ferdinand was going to visit Bosnia in June 1914, the “Black Hand” began to make plans to assassinate the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.
June 28, 1914 at 10.10 when the 6 car procession passed the central police station, Nedjelko Cabrinovic hurled a handgrenade at the archduke’s car. The driver accelerated and the grenade exploded under the wheel of the next car. Two of the occupants were seriously wounded. Franz Ferdinand’s driver, Franz Urban, drove on extremely fast and other members of the “Black Hand” were unable to fire their guns or hurl their bombs at the archduke’s car.

After attending the official reception at the City Hall, Franz Ferdinand asked about the members of his party that had been wounded by the bomb and he insisted to be taken to the hospital to see them.
In order to avoid the city centre, general Oskar Potiorek decided that the royal car should travel straight along the Appel Quay to the Sarajevo hospital. The driver, Franz Urban, was not told about this decision and he took the wrong route.
Potiorek shouted: “This is the wrong way, we’re supposed to take the Appel Quay”.

The driver put his foot on the break and began to back up. In doing so, he moved slowly past the waitingGavrilo Prinzip. The assassin stepped forward, drew his gun, and at a distance of about five feet, fired several times on and into the car. Franz Ferdinand was hit in the neck and Sophie von Hohenberg in the abdomen. Franz Urban drove the couple to Konak, the governor’s residence, but although both were still alive when they arrived, they died from their wounds soon afterwards.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand & Sophie von Hohenberg

The City of Sorrows “Sarajevo”

Most persons these days will recall the city of Sarajevo as the  beautiful  locale of  the 1984 Winter Olympic’s Winter Olympic games, which later became the center piece in the Bosnian wars of the early 1990’s. Those  ethnic defined  wars between  the Croatians, Serbians and Muslim Bosnians claimed over a quarter million lives.
By 1996 an uneasy peace was achieved and Bosnia – Herzegovina gained its official independence. It became the fourth new nation carved from the national body of a Yugoslavia created in 1919 as the fulfillment of 500  years  of  slavic  nationalist dreams.  However  by 1996  Sarajevo  was  a devastated and broken city of sorrows. What is far less remembered today is that for three generations of Europeans and Americans, those born before 1940, Sarajevo was indeed a city of sorrows. This was a city whose very name was as ashes in the mouth of tens of millions of Europeans. It was for them a one-word symbol of how tragedy on a profoundly human level can be twisted to evil ends and escalated beyond the power of imagination by powerful self-serving men. All of  this  and  more  because  Sarajevo was  the location of  a  single incident that ignited World War One. Here on June 28, 1914 a friendless and despised man and his publically scorned wife were killed. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie von Hohenberg were shot by a Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Prinzip. Two people sadly little mourned by those who knew them, but symbols of power and empire. Here the horror began. Here in the 1990’s Sarajevo reclaimed the mantel as the city of sorrows bestowed upon it  some  three  generations  before.  Sarajevo –  the  “spark”  that  ignited  the conflagration of the Great War whose fires would not be quenched until they had plunged twenty-five nations into war and consumed over twenty million lives.

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