Questions tagged [united-kingdom]

Formally known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland these questions relate to the history of events that have happened in the countries that make up the United Kingdom; such as England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and various territories; or the United Kingdom's dealings with other sovereign nations around the world.

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0answers
171 views

Why are stamps put in the top-right corner of post?

I've recently been sending a few letters and one of them has not been delivered yet, and I don't think I stuck the stamp in the top-right corner of the letter. So does it matter if a stamp is not ...
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61 views

Did the British Cabinet agree, at first, to send their expeditionary force to Amiens in August 1914?

I was reading War by Timetable by A.J.P. Taylor, in which he presents his interpretation of how the elaborate timetables prepared by various governments as "contingency plans" took on a life of their ...
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148 views

What is the origin of the name of the street Kings Butts in London, and its lack of apostrophes?

I’m mainly interested in why there are no apostrophes in this name. If Butts refers to archery, then why not “King’s Butts” or “Kings’ Butts”? Are apostrophes commonly omitted in historical London ...
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470 views

Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2?

Did RAF fighter pilots wear ties while flying in WW2? It seems like that would be uncomfortable, if not dangerous, while you are experiencing high-Gs and low oxygen. However, the above movie includes ...
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1answer
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Where was the operation Market Garden UK planning headquarters?

Can someone remind me of the name of the house and country estate in southern England where much of Operation Market Garden was planned. I have even been on a course there in the 1980s, but can't ...
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1answer
415 views

Was there a bribery attempt by the UK to get the Ottomans to switch sides in World War I?

While perusing Wikipedia article on Gallipoli Campaign, I saw an intriguing statement: an attempt by the British to bribe the Ottomans to join the Allied side ... failed. Wikipedia citing an ...
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1answer
362 views

Why did the UK Parliament sit on Saturday 30 July 1949?

Good question by Andrew Sparrow on the Guardian Politics' live blog: According to the House of Commons website, the Commons has only sat on Saturdays four times since 1939. Three of those ...
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801 views

Why was compulsory vaccination abandoned in the UK?

There is currently talk in the UK of making school attendance conditional on vaccination. Similar schemes operate in various places around the world now. Vaccination against smallpox was compulsory ...
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423 views

What did it mean to be a “Jacobite” at the turn of the 20th Century?

I'm currently reading the Ursula Buchan's biography of John Buchan, the Scottish writer and politician. (Buchan, U, 2019, "Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan", Bloomsbury, London) ...
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1answer
175 views

When did London newspapers start to use typewriters in their offices?

I'm a French journalist writing a book, whose main character of is also a journalist working in the 1890's, but I lack some background. I wonder when typewriters started to get used in British ...
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216 views

Would newspapers in 1890 London have printing presses in their offices?

For a story I'm writing, taking place in London around 1889/1890, I'd like to know if the main newspapers, like the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Chronicles, who had their offices in Fleet Street, ...
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1answer
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Who was the most successful German spy against Great Britain in WWII, from the contemporary German perspective?

Reading up on this it appears to me many of Germany's spy operations inside the UK were pretty quickly shutdown. I investigated a half dozen spies who were captured by the end of 1942. Dorthy O'...
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1answer
4k views

Did the Americans trade destroyers in the “destroyer deal” that they would later need themselves?

In the fall of 1940, the U.S. and Great Britain made the so-called "destroyer deal," of 50 old American destroyers in exchange for the use of British bases ranging from Newfoundland to the Caribbean. ...
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1answer
267 views

Why might one think that Australia gained independence from the UK in December 1920?

I'm looking at a dataset claims that Australia gained independence from the UK in December 1920.† I found this puzzling and this could very well just be a mistake. But I'm wondering if there's any ...
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1answer
97 views

Did any UK declaration of war extend automatically to Australia?

On 1939-09-03, the UK declared war on Germany and Australia did the same. A New Zealand government website claims: In contrast to its entry into the First World War, New Zealand acted in its own ...
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186 views

Why were Elizabethan English concerned about vagabonds?

I have an assessment soon, and part of my revision is on poverty in Elizabethan England. This includes Explaining why Elizabethans were worried about Vagabonds. I am unsure on this topic, but I have ...
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2answers
304 views

Why were British laypeople more ready to challenge the government starting in the 1960s?

I rectified YouTube's transcript of former UKSC President Lord Neuberger's speech starting at 7:44. Please see the question in the title. I'm asking merely about the bolded phrase below. Are there ...
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1answer
259 views

Why did some people not get a UK Birth Certificate before 1982?

I was born in a major hospital in the UK prior to `1982.. But I never received a birth certificate. People always respond "that is weird" if I write or say that. So my research found [1] Prior to ...
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1answer
283 views

Did Britain call up veterinarians in World War Two?

My question is inspired by the final episode of "All Creatures Great and Small" where James Herriot gets his call up letter to fight for Britain in World War Two. My question is: was this realistic? I ...
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2answers
136 views

Was there religious content on the post-war BBC World Service?

At the beginning of Oranges are not the only fruit, Jeanette talks about listening to the radio with her mother as a child. Sunday was the Lord's Day, the most vigorous day of the whole week; we ...
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1answer
6k views

How long would it take to cross the Channel in 1890's?

For a story I'm writing, I'd like to know how long it would take to travel by ship from Calais to Dover in 1890's (as I read it was the easier way). Also, was it possible to take a boat from Calais ...
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2answers
253 views

The history of rivalry between US and Britain in late 19th Century and early 20th Century [closed]

I have read the references from Wikipedia. But they were mostly talking about the American oversea trade in the Europe market. But I am more interested in Britain's reactions to the challenge posed by ...
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1answer
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What is this metallic object with teeth in mouth, screw to tighten and a handle?

What is this metallic object with teeth in mouth, screw to tighten and a handle? I can't find out anything about it.
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1answer
158 views

Did the British screw Lee Kuan-yew over by withdrawing their naval presence earlier than intended?

This Reddit comment alleges Singapore, remember, gained its independence from Malaysia, not Britain outright, and the British even screwed Lee Kuan-yew over by pulling out their naval presence ...
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1answer
358 views

Can anyone identify this woman’s uniform?

Found this photo in a box of family pictures from England. Most photos were prior to WW1
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348 views

Is this a Masonic Ring?

I told by my Auntie that she had a Masonic ring that came from my Great Grandfather from my mum’s side of the family and I’m skeptical if this ring she sent a photo of is really a Masonic ring. I ...
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309 views

Did American colonists object to the protections of Catholicism in the Quebec Act?

One of the acts which helped precipitate the American Revolutionary War was the Quebec Act. This act was passed in the aftermath of the Seven Years' War (aka the French & Indian War), after the ...
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1answer
381 views

When were the Germans aware of British airborne radar during WWII?

During (and even before) WWII, the British developed Airborne Interception Radars. When were the Germans aware of these developments during WWII? I am asking partially because of curiosity and ...
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1answer
77 views

History from pop culture (novels): the UK in the 1910's [closed]

I'm trying to understand what is fictional and what is real history in a particular science fiction book. For instance, what 1917 represents for the Labour Party in UK? The book "The Lord of the ...
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5answers
643 views

What's the origin of the movement to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union?

Who first proposed that the UK should leave the EU, and why? How did this movement grow in support?
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1answer
252 views

How common was gun ownership by Londoners in the early 20th century?

By Londoners, I mean laypeople in London, England. I was reading about the Tottenham Outrage on Wikipedia which mentions policeman borrowing pistols from bystanders or the public three times, which ...
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2answers
321 views

Can anyone help to identify and date this uniform or the medals?

Found in my late Aunt's possessions. Photograph of unidentified uniform:
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4answers
2k views

Why did Jodrell Bank assist the Soviet Union to collect data from their spacecraft in the mid 1960's?

I've just listened to the short BBC News audio podcast clip How British academics spied on the superpowers: Tim O’Brien from the Jodrell Bank radio telescope discusses 50 year old recordings which ...
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1answer
182 views

What is the social history of British popular opposition to Thatcher over the miner’s strike?

I tend to watch a lot of UK panel shows and while most of the comedians are Labour/liberal I'm still surprised at just how much they seem to hate Margaret Thatcher. Particularly this seems to be about ...
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164 views

Are there any sources of historical land use/land cover data for the United Kingdom and Ireland?

Are there any sources of historical land use/land cover data for the United Kingdom and Ireland? (Not just Northern Ireland) I'm specifically interested in datasets that, for each point/area in the UK/...
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1answer
112 views

What was the inheritance tax rate in the UK during WWI and WWII?

I've read somewhere that rich people were heavily taxed during World War I and World War II. What was the inheritance tax rate like in the UK at the time?
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1answer
306 views

What was the income tax rate in the UK during WWI and WWII?

I found that the highest income tax rate was 99.25% during the Second World War, but I can't find anything related to the income tax during the First World War. Would you have some numbers to give ...
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1answer
754 views

Why did the British take Hong Kong instead of any other of the later treaty ports?

The aftermath of the first Opium War declared that Hong Kong and the island of Kowloon should be ceded to the UK as a port for refitting ships and storing cargo. It also meant there was easy access ...
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1answer
1k views

The WWI Christmas truce of 1914 resulted in no consequences, in spite of clear warnings against such beforehand - why were there no courts-martial?

British and German Soldiers photographed together during 1914 Christmas Truce. Source: The Daily Mirror, Friday January 8, 1915. Question What factors led to no courts-martial charges being pursued ...
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1answer
817 views

Did anyone face consequences (charges / court-martial) for the 1914 Christmas truce in WWI?

A copy of the Daily Mail from Dec. 31, 1914 reports on the Christmas truce. Source: The Star As a follow-up to this question about impromptu football / soccer games between troops from opposite ...
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2answers
9k views

In the “Christmas truce” of 1914 were there any football (soccer) matches between British and German troops?

British and German troops meeting in no man's land during the unofficial truce. Source: Wikipedia As the holiday season is upon us again this year, I am reminded of the 1914 Christmas truce (German: ...
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1answer
229 views

What is this soldier's regiment?

Could anyone please help me identify this soldier's regiment
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3answers
416 views

What did the post world war two civilian food ration consist of in the UK?

I can see rationing ended in 1954 and I can see some indication of what was being rationed per person during the war but what exactly did the post-war ration consist of? i.e. food items and ...
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3answers
4k views

Were women the property of men prior to 1919 in the UK? [closed]

It was suggested in a TV interview that I saw that prior to 1919 in the UK, women were owned by men. An example to solidify this, was women taking on their husbands last name. My question is: Were ...
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125 views

How many instances of the Writs of Assistance were there? Are there any documented instances?

I have been in general frustrated by the lack of easily available documentation surrounding the 1760 Writs of Assistance, and the Writs of Assistance as they appear today in UK legislation, as pointed ...
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1answer
246 views

Who Is to Be Served First, Duchess or Son?

Suppose this is England in the Victorian Era and there are two individuals, a duchess and her son, dining together. The son, roughly thirty or so years of age, is seated across the table from his ...
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1answer
83 views

Where was the site of Mary Seacole's store in Aldershot?

Mary Seacole is best known for running a boarding-house for officers and their families during the Crimean War. I have found a few reliable sources suggesting that on her return to England she briefly ...
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Why did public transport in London and Northern Ireland avoid privatisation?

In the 1980s Margret Thatcher embarked upon the privatisation of British industry. Part of this was the sale of previously state owned public transport across the country. However, this did not ...
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364 views

What were the last words of Charles the First, and Oliver Cromwell's response after his execution?

I need to know what Charles the First's last words were and preferably what Oliver Cromwell said afterwards.
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2answers
2k views

Nursing in Bude, Cornwall, UK during WW2

I am working on a writing project and the main character is a young nurse in Bude during WW2. I'm not quite sure how to put her there or get her there -- would there have been nurses stationed at RAF ...