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Posts under ‘Military Covenant’

Western publics are usually supposed to admire their military forces. This admiration may not be as strong as is often supposed, and it certainly doesn’t extend to military campaigns.

Stanley North WW1 “Child’s ABC”, 1914

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / On art / On books on 25 August 2014. No comments.

Sometime during the autumn of 1914 (I am presuming), my grandfather, Stanley North produced these marvellous images to illustrate Geoffrey Whitworth’s “Child’s ABC of the War”. It was in the spirit of much of the artistic and literary response to the declaration of war.

Here is a gallery of the complete work…

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  • SKN ABC T_resize and cropped

79th Armoured Div souvenir, 1945

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / On art on 25 August 2014. No comments.

Gillian Parnell came across this remarkable cigarette box, presumably made in Hamburg in 1945 by or for the 79th Armoured Division. As of 25 August 2014, she has it on sale at eBay. Pix below…. More »

Selsey’s fine homage to “Journey’s End”

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / On theatre / Politics & campaigns on 9 August 2014. No comments.

Last evening I saw the very moving show, The End of the Journey, A promenade performance about WW1. It was staged in the same, small Pavilion Theatre in Selsey High Street where R C Sherriff took a keen interest in a late 1933 amateur production of his play, Journey’s End, the hugely successful and influential West End hit of 1929. More »

1940: Poetic fighter pilots

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / On books on 22 February 2014. No comments.

I am working on portraits of various modern warriors, starting with memoirs by people who fought in WW1 or WW2, or – importantly – both. Two such strike me as breath-taking. They are accounts of the young pilots of the beginning of WW2. More »

“Shady Lady” (2012): a brilliant low-key movie

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / On movies on 25 January 2014. No comments.

This summer, I saw Shady Lady: Mission accomplished… running on empty at the Chichester Film Festival and thought it marvellous. I nabbed a DVD of the film on my way out, and some others from Fact Not Fiction Films, and settled on a stormy British winter afternoon to be transported to 1943 and the longest range bombing mission ever then attempted, from Darwin, to  Balikpapan, on the island of Borneo, 1300 miles away. More »

“The Railway Man”: Oddly unconvincing

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / Mind & body / On movies on 17 January 2014. No comments.

Most middle-aged people with any sense of history have had plenty of opportunities to try to get to grips with the horrors of the Japanese exploitation of their prisoners of war. On the face of it, the extraordinary real-life story of Eric Lomax’s journey from victim to forgiveness would have made a wonderful film. But it hasn’t, I think…. More »

RDN at BCS digital access debate

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / Mind & body / Politics & campaigns on 8 November 2011. No comments.

The British Computer Society asked me to be one of two responders at a debate dinner featuring Trevor Phillips of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (7 November 2011).

The question was: will it be possible for someone to be a full citizen without digital access? More »

Rory Stewart’s Occupational Hazards

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / Politics & campaigns on 9 October 2010. No comments.

Better late than never, I read this memoir which is destined to be a classic, surely. More »

Doug Beattie’s fine “An Ordinary Soldier”

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / On books on 18 August 2010. One comment.

A little late, I know, I picked this book up whilst hanging around to see a movie. It might have been The Hurt Locker or The Ghost, and either is relevant. More »

The Hurt Locker: Gritty, sure. But realistic?

Posted by RDN under Military Covenant / On movies on 8 March 2010. 2 comments.

The courage of EOD – bomb disposal – staff is well worth celebrating and Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker does it brilliantly. Still, this is perhaps not all that accurate an account of the trade. More »

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