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  • Nine Moments When the Axis Lost the War August 10, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Nine Moments When the Axis Lost the War

    The sequel to Beach’s seven reasons why Germany lost the Great War. 1) When Germany didn’t destroy the British Expeditionary Force: at the end of May 1940 about a third of a million British servicemen, the Empire’s entire European army was trapped in a small pocket on the northern French coast. Demoralised, with their equipment […]

    British and Irish Wild Men August 9, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    British and Irish Wild Men

    There follow nineteenth-century reports of wild men from Britain and Ireland: can anyone add to the list, drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com (fiction is good too) 1851: Co Limerick (Ireland), a rumour was doing the rounds that a wild man with no clothes lived in the wood there. He had been carrying off and killing […]

    Foundling Names August 8, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Foundling Names

    We recently offered a post on the names given to bastard children. Here is a related and far nicer post on the names given to foundlings, who seem to have been treated, perhaps strangely, with rather more respect by society. Today, if an anonymous individual turns up, he is, in the US, referred to as […]

    Victorian Urban Legend: the Pickpocket’s Diamond Ring August 7, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Victorian Urban Legend: the Pickpocket's Diamond Ring

    Beach has offered a series of Victorian and Edwardian urban legends in the last weeks, some of which he has his doubts about. This one though is a slam dunk of the best kind. First, it is the clear ancestor of the stories where an honest person accidentally steals something from a stranger: though in Beach’s […]

    Return to Trenches at Death August 6, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Return to Trenches at Death

    There follows a very fine ghost story from the British press. It would be fascinating to track down the sources here: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com At the beginning of the war a famous regiment left England for France. The colonel that regiment was a man beloved of all his men, idolised by his young […]

    When Spain Was Nigeria: the Origin of the Email Scam August 5, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    When Spain Was Nigeria: the Origin of the Email Scam

    Here is an early instance of the 419 scam. Was Spain nineteenth-century Nigeria? For some months a number of persons in several parts of Europe have had letters addressed to them in French, in Spanish, and in German, bearing different signatures, but all of almost similar purport. Were they in bad French, English and German? The […]

    Wedding Ring Superstitions August 4, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Wedding Ring Superstitions

    Everything to do with weddings attracts superstitions and rings are no exception: as the most visible material sign of the bond between man and wife it is only natural that they were included in rituals. The following folklore (all we have in our files) comes from Britain and Ireland, all but one are from nineteenth-century […]

    In Search of Misha’al August 3, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    In Search of Misha'al

    Misha’al bint Fahd al Saud was a princess who was, 15 July 1977, shot several times in the head in a carpark in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 1977: Misha’al was the granddaughter of Muhammad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the power behind the Saudi throne and one of the original Saudi playboys. Moments after Misha’al’s death her […]

    Baby Loving Snakes August 2, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Baby Loving Snakes

    There are many stories about snakes getting into cradles or generally just hanging around children. Here are a few crude, and possibly in some cases factual instances from pre-war British newspapers. The 18 months-old son of Mr and Mrs Howell of Mainchlochog, Pembrokeshire, walked into the house yesterday with a snake coiled round its neck. […]

    Beachcombed 62 August 1, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Beachcombed
    Beachcombed 62

    Dear Reader, August. All the stress of the audit continues: poor Mrs B is desperate… The bill has just arrived. Beach is playing Russian roulette with the management of the university where he teaches: they are trying to get him to teach two weeks more a year gratis (ain’t happening). However, now the holidays. Beach […]

    History Roundup 474 including Zombie Rose and Zombie Pie Fight July 31, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 474 including Zombie Rose and Zombie Pie Fight

    Today’s links follow. 1) Zombie Rose: England 2) Zombie Pie Fight: Hollywood 3) Pyramid Tomb: Mesoamerica 4) Horrible History Hates Historians: Library 5) Bizarre North Korean Polish Relations: Diplomacy… 6) Welcoming Nazi to Ireland: Ulster 7) Amazing Pictograph: Turkey 8) Civil War Sword: England and from the archives 9) Hitler and Lenin Play Chess Other […]

    The Index Biography #20, Prize a Good Book July 31, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Index Biography #20, Prize a Good Book

    ***Gary V got this, apparently the prostitutes gave it away… Spool down for the answer*** The Index Biography is a new form of biography pioneered by this blog and introduced in a previous post. The writer must find a biography of a famous individual from history, they must turn to the index and write down eight […]

    Daily History Picture: Prayer in Victory July 31, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Prayer in Victory

    Picture of the month.  

    History Roundup 473 including Historical Dog Names July 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 473 including Historical Dog Names

    Today’s links follow. 1) Viking Spindle: Scotland 2) Thracian Valley of Kings: Bulgaria 3) Spectral Bombers: Britain 4) The First Film-maker: France 5) 19 Cent Dog Names: the Kennel 6) Risorgimento Venice: Italy 7) Ceramic Vase Print: Denmark 8) Fishy Foods: New Zealand and from the archives 9) Mad Coin Burying  Halliday Other links: Rememberance, […]

    The Earliest Telephone Call from the Dead July 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Earliest Telephone Call from the Dead

    The telephone call from the dead apparently dates back to 1964 and an episode of The Twlight Zone entitled: Night Call. It transpires that the freaky calls that a woman is getting are from the grave of her dead fiancé. Beach, however, recently ran across an earlier example that he wanted to share with readers. It […]

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