Category Archives: Archives

Clement Attlee and the Secret State: Recent evidence from British archives

As we recall the surprise election of Clement Attlee as Britain’s Prime Minister 75 years ago this summer, and his role in reconstructing Britain after the war, it is a good moment to also consider recent evidence on the more … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, European History, Historiography, Public History, Russian History, Secret State, Teaching, The National Archives, Uncategorized, World History | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Admiral Domvile and the Nazis: New light on ‘The Link’ at local level

The current interest in the ‘Battle of Britain’ in 1940 has served once again to remind us about the time when the British Isles effectively stood alone against the threat of Nazi tyranny, and how the myths and realities of … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, Conspiracy theory, European History, Events, Fascism, German History, Kingston, Local History, London history, Media history, Public History, Research, Richmond history, Secret State, Surrey | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spies and Lies: Another look at the Kim Philby story

The news that a major new television drama will be produced about the life of Kim Philby, the British Intelligence officer who engaged in treachery, will come as no surprise to historians of the secret state. The new production, A … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, European History, Public History, Research, Russian History, Secret State, The National Archives, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

COVID-19 Agricultural Crisis? We have been here before – in World War One

On 20th May, 2020, The Guardian newspaper ran the headline ‘Farmers still need up to 40,000 workers to harvest fruit and veg’. As lockdown continues for many people and the summer picking season reaches its height, farmers in the UK … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, Gender History, Local History, London history, Public History, Research, Surrey, Surrey History Centre, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Subverting the Subversives: Did MI5 infiltrate the British entertainment industry?

In 2018 some revealing new claims were put forward that the British domestic Security Service, MI5, was not just involved with monitoring and collecting intelligence on political movements and individuals deemed as potential threats to the state in the post-war … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, Gender History, History skills, London history, Media history, Public History, Research, Secret State, The National Archives, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fighting Franco: Commemorating the British volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

Eighty two years ago, on 28th October, 1938, the volunteers of the ‘British Battalion’ joined the other volunteer Battalions of the International Brigades (IB) in Spain and held a poignant farewell parade, which included the transfer of their flags and … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, European History, Fascism, Kingston, Local History, London history, Media history, Public History, Research, Richmond history, Surrey, The National Archives, Uncategorized, World History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A ‘bond of mutual help’: The Comrades of the Great War organisation in Kingston and Surbiton

Christmas arrived early for some former soldiers in the suburbs of south-west London in late 1918. Just over one hundred years ago, on Christmas Day, 1918, the Surrey Comet newspaper carried a report about the opening of a new clubhouse … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British Empire, British history, Disability History, European History, Kingston, Local History, London history, Media history, Public History, Research, Surbiton, Surrey, Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Red Cross meets the Suffragettes via an Indian Princess

To help celebrate NursesDay2020, we republish this fascinating blog by Dr. Sue Hawkins. The Red Cross’s Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) from World War One have in the past been saddled with a popular public image something akin to the Women’s … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, Gender History, History of Medicine, History of Nursing, Local History, London history, Medical History, Public History, Research, Surrey, Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Volunteers in May: Kingston and the General Strike of 1926

Ninety-four years ago this month, in May, 1926, Britain experienced a General Strike, called by the Trades Union Congress (T.U.C), and – for a few days at least – ‘normal’ life in the country was put on hold. I have … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, British history, Events, Kingston, Local History, London history, Media history, Public History, Research, Surbiton, Surrey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amazons against the Nazis: Women’s Home Defence in Wartime Britain

At the height of invasion fears in the summer of 1940, the British government asked for civilian volunteers ‘to go on duty against airborne invasion’ and be ‘entrusted with certain vital duties’ for which a knowledge of firearms would be necessary. Many … Continue reading

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