“A perfect tornado of furious sound”: Breaking the Hindenburg Line with the 46th

  Riqueval Bridge looks inconspicuous enough, but the goosebumps climbing my legs, arms and neck know otherwise. A hundred years ago it was here the men of the Midlands broke through the Hindenburg Line. Spanning high above the narrow San Quentin canal, the bridge was witness to one of the…

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Passchendaele, 100 years on

A hundred years ago WW1’s second most notorious bloodbath was churning up souls in Flanders. Here, I spare a few words on Leicestershire’s involvement at Passchendaele.   The three Leicestershire Regiment officers stared at the map, looked hard at the surrounding mud and then, with incredulity, at each other. The…

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When it’s actually okay to get yourself arrested

It’s a tough question. Marlene Yeo looks skyward and then slides her eyes to the left in the hope of tweaking out the answer from a corner of her brain. The grey-haired 74-year-old looks defeated – she can’t remember how many times she’s been arrested. “I should keep a tally,”…

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The mud was scraped away and one word could be seen…Leicester

  It was February and raining when they found him, covered in a century-old cloak of earth and chalk. In the dirt near his bones, attached to a shred of uniform, they found a brass shoulder title, green with age and a little twisted. One word could be seen clearly…Leicester.…

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You’ll never look at Simon de Montfort the same way again

Simon de Montfort drew his last exhausted breath on a bloody Worcestershire battlefield. Outnumbered four to one, the powerful sixth Earl of Leicester had refused pleas to escape to safety as the Royalists continued their charge forward. “Our bodies are theirs, our souls are God’s,” he boomed as a hit-squad…

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Filth and more filth: The Leicesters at Vimy 1916

  The 4th Leicesters had sat in trenches overlooked by the Boche on the Messines Ridge and at Hill 60. And now at Vimy the enemy were at the top of the ridge again thanks to those responsible for our shortage in guns and munitions. If you had wished to…

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46 interesting facts about Leicestershire…

    Leicester City FC won the league in 2015/16. But what do you know about the city and county which spawned them?   1. Leicestershire is the Spiritual Home of Rock Music. It started back in 1980 with the first Monsters of Rock at Donington Park. It continues today…

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Lilian Lenton – the Leicester suffragette who the Home Secretary wanted stopped

  Lilian Lenton in court in Doncaster with co-accused Harry Johnson in June 1913.     Lilian Lenton’s prison photograph sits in a display case at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The sepia image, now more than a century old, was taken covertly by police when she was among…

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In need of TLC. New and old pics of Leicester’s listed Western Park Open Air School

      With vandals on one side and the elements on the other, Western Park School – formerly Western Park Open Air School – has taken a bit of a kicking in recent years. Shut in 2005, this elegant 1930s building – Grade II listed and one of very…

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There’s a new film Suffragette – here are some suffragists, they’re usually less camera shy

  “Always and always facing toward the light.” They’ve not seen Poltergeist, have they? Here are some magnificent suffragists standing proud in Bowling Green Street. I don’t know their names but I’d like to buy each of them a drink. Which they’d most likely turn down, cos they’re probably part…

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