jump to navigation

Gordon Selby: The Luckiest Survivor of WW2? April 2, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Gordon Selby: The Luckiest Survivor of WW2?

Long, long ago I did an article on the unluckiest individuals in history. But spurred on by the Gannet Club I’ve started to think in terms of the luckiest and I’ve come across an absolute winner, Gordon Selby, a much decorated son of a Wiltshire farrier. GS (obit 2007) was twenty when the Second World […]

The Most Exciting School Trip in History: 21 June 1919 February 19, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Most Exciting School Trip in History: 21 June 1919

School trips are often fairly maudlin affairs: go to a local zoo, don’t pet the lions; walk through a city park, buddy up as you pass the homeless people; polish the sun-washed floors of the local museum with fifty infant feet… But one school trip that any of us would have wanted to be on […]

The Royal Navy and Dogs of War January 29, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Royal Navy and Dogs of War

Military services are closed societies with their own rules, sensible, silly and bizarre by turn. Few of these military cliques have, however, the traditions to rival the UK’s senior service, the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy, indeed, had everything from the banal (piping officers aboard), to the curious (the different toasts on different nights of […]

Spitfires and Radars in 1944 November 12, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Spitfires and Radars in 1944

Beachcombing has a terrible record of not respecting anniversaries. But today, in part to subvert all the 11.11.11 nonsense (has the meteor already gone by?) and in part to assuage his own guilt at not having a red poppy in his lapel (the price of living in Italy) he thought he would remember, through an […]

Naval Blunders August 20, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Naval Blunders

Beachcombing has been having a bit of a naval season and it was in celebration of this that he picked up Naval Blunders by Geoffrey Regan. Now, of course, books on blunders in history are commonplace. But this is arguably the best of all those with which Beach is familiar, in part because of the […]

Taxis in the Mid Atlantic August 19, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Taxis in the Mid Atlantic

Haunting scene from the Battle of the Atlantic