A Tribute to Second Lieutenant Hugh Gordon Langton- killed at Passchendale October 25th 1917

One of many iconic images of the Passchendaele battlefield in 1917Passendaele (Passendal) is a small village five miles north-east of Ypres in Belgium and is the name by which the final stages of the Third Battle of Ypres are better known. Along with the Somme, it has come to symbolise the Great War for many. ...

Frederick Innes OBE (1864-1921): Silvertown Explosion 1917

Contemporary newspaper illustration of the Silvertown explosionClose to the Ivy Road pathway in Ladywell cemetery enveloped in its chitinous grassy embrace lies the Innes family grave of Frederick Innes, who died aged 57 years on the 14th December 1921.  Grandfather to FOBLC stalwart Ron Innes,  Frederick was intimately connected to the biggest explosion ever to ...

The Somme Revisited

On Monday 25th April I accompanied three of my FOBLC colleagues Geoffrey Thurley (the Chair), Mick Martin and Peter Mealing (the driver) across the channel, following the route that General De Gaulle once called the 'fatal avenue', the sweep of low lying country in Northern France heading towards the much visited Somme battlefield (the Somme is the name ...

Socialist Opposition to World War I – exhibition and talk in Blackheath

Interesting event coming up next week:'St George's Church in Westcombe Park is pleased to host a showing of a free educational exhibit entitled "Socialist Opposition to World War I". The exhibit runs all day on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 April in the nave of the church, located on Glenluce Road in Blackheath, SE3 7RZ. ...

THE DAY TSAR NICHOLAS II MET BROCKLEY AVIATOR

Russian aviator and inventor Captain Sergei Alexandrovich Oulianine (aka Ulyanin) 1871 -1921Part hidden off the pathway heading towards the near seamless boundary between Ladywell and Brockley cemeteries, topped by a broken cruciform headstone, lies the final resting place of the distinguished Russian aviator and inventor Captain Sergei Alexandrovich Oulianine (aka Ulyanin) 1871-1921.   He lies buried ...

Welcome To Hell: The battle for Lone Pine

PRIVATE HAROLD GREENAWAY AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY KILLED IN ACTION7th AUGUST 1915 GALLIPOLIOn the pathway heading away from the Ladywell Chapel just before the wall of remembrance (Heroes Corner) lies the family grave of Private Harold John Greenaway who was killed in action on Saturday 7th August during the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign of 1915. Born in Catford in 1893, Harold ...

1915 London Tram Strike in New Cross

A hundred years ago this week, tram workers in London were sacked for going on strike and sent off to war. The London tram strike was prompted by the rising cost of living - the 7,000 strikers demanded a 'war bonus'.  The response of the employer, London County Council (LCC), was to sack all men ...

Peace meetings in First World War Lewisham

Opposing the First World War was a difficult business, with harassment from the authorities and from pro-war mobs. In 1916, Nellie Best of the Women's Anti-Conscription League was jailed for 6 months for deterring recruiting, and the Lewisham Borough Peace and Anti-Conscription Council passed a resolution demanding her release (Daily Herald,15 April 1916).Sylvia Pankhurst, the ...

A look back at the tragic sinking of the HMS Good Hope

With the hundred year anniversary fast approaching of  one of Britain's worst naval disasters, there is something quite mournful about the leaf covered wording on the side of the Hawkes family grave a few yards from busy Brockley Road. It records the death of Able Seaman Reuben Ernest Hawkes, son of George and Amelia of Woodpecker Road ...

World War One: the first local deaths

Thousands of people from the Lewisham area were killed in the First World War. If you want to get an idea of the sheer scale of the devastation have a look at the Commonwealth Graves Commission site. It includes a fairly comprehensive list of casualties from both world wars and on their 'Find War Dead' ...