Military History and Colonialism: The Pigeons of Denshawai

The Denshawai Incident is the name given to a dispute which occurred in 1906 between British Military officers and the locals villagers of Denshawai, Egypt. Denshawai was one of many small cruelties of colonialism, but the arrogance of the British response gave a new impetus to the growing sense of Egyptian nationalism. Though the incident itself was fairly small in terms of the number of casualties and injuries, the … Continue reading Military History and Colonialism: The Pigeons of Denshawai

The Ethics of Collecting Medals – ‘Private James Tilbury’ of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Military medals are becoming increasingly valuable, but its the story of courage behind the award that ultimately counts. Whenever I  have seen personal medals for sale either at a dealers or for sale on sites such as eBay I have often wondered about the circumstances that brought them to be for sale. Over the years many sets are bequeathed to Regimental Museums or Associations however … Continue reading The Ethics of Collecting Medals – ‘Private James Tilbury’ of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment

‘Egypt’ The Interwar Years: The Funeral of Richard Gurney Peckover

For most of its operational life R.A.F Abu Sueir near Port Said in Egypt was associated with training. Opening in September 1917 the station hosted the No 4 Flying Training School from 1 April 1921 which remained at Abu Sueir until 2 September 1939 when it moved to RAF Habbaniya in Iraq. The images I received this week are from the funeral of Pilot Officer Richard Gurney … Continue reading ‘Egypt’ The Interwar Years: The Funeral of Richard Gurney Peckover

Major Adrian Gilbert Scott and Cairo’s Lost Cathedral

Major Adrian Gilbert Scott M.C (1882 – 1963), Royal Engineers, who served in the first World War at Gallipoli and in Palestine was the grandson of Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878), one of the leading English architects of the Victorian age. In July 1928 the Egyptian government authorised the sale of a plot of land just to the north of the Kasr al-Nil barracks on the … Continue reading Major Adrian Gilbert Scott and Cairo’s Lost Cathedral

‘Vigilans’ a look at the iconic photograph featuring the men of the 11th Battalion

On the 10th of January 1915 Officers and men of the 11th Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces posed on the Great Pyramid of Giza for what would become an iconic photograph. The 11th Battalion did much of their war training in Egypt and would be amongst the first to land at Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915. In the five days following the landing, the battalion suffered 378 … Continue reading ‘Vigilans’ a look at the iconic photograph featuring the men of the 11th Battalion

Lieutenant General Vyvyan Vavasour Pope CBE DSO MC and Bar (Cairo War Memorial Cemetery)

Vyvyan Vavasour Pope was born on the 30th of September 1891 the only son of James Pope and Blanche Holmwood (nee Langdale) Pope. He was educated at Ascham St Vincent School in Eastbourne and at Lancing College where he was in Seconds House from September 1906 to December 1910. He was a member of the Football XI in 1910 and was a Sergeant in the … Continue reading Lieutenant General Vyvyan Vavasour Pope CBE DSO MC and Bar (Cairo War Memorial Cemetery)

Staff Nurse Louisa Bicknell ‘As brave as any fighting soldier’

Louisa Bicknell was the first Australian nurse to die whilst on active service in Egypt. ‘Louie’ as she was known, was born at Elmore in 1879 to Eliza Bicknell of Abbotsford, Victoria.  She departed from Sydney on HMAT Kyrarra A55 on the 13th of April, 1915 for Egypt and was posted to the No. 1 Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis.  Within a few weeks of her arrival … Continue reading Staff Nurse Louisa Bicknell ‘As brave as any fighting soldier’

Sister M.T. Martin and her visit to the Great Pyramid

Sister Mary Theresa Martin (1881 – 1929), an Australian Nurse who served with the 2nd Australian General Hospital in Cairo, Egypt. She sailed from Sydney on the 28th November 1914 on the Kyarra, a steel cargo passenger and luxury liner requisitioned and converted into a hospital ship (HMAT A.55 Kyarra) for the purpose of transporting Australian medical units to Egypt. Mary Martin’s life was probably no different from … Continue reading Sister M.T. Martin and her visit to the Great Pyramid

To sew or not to sew? that is the question …Sewing Soldiers and Historical Textiles

The pocket sewing kit originated in the middle of the 18th century. The ‘housewife’ holdall or pouch was an essential component of a soldiers equipment. It contained all that he would require to carry out repairs to his clothing when necessary. Inside, it would contain a range of items such as a thimble, needles, balls of darning wool to repair socks, darning thread to repair his … Continue reading To sew or not to sew? that is the question …Sewing Soldiers and Historical Textiles

Interpreting Egypt’s War Cemeteries – Holders of the Victoria Cross (WW2)

To conclude my previous post on Egypt’s V.C burials  we shall now look at the holders of the remaining five awards cited during the course of the Western Desert campaigns of WW2, the recipients being three members of the Australian Infantry, a member of the Durham Light Infantry and a member of the General Staff. WX10426 Private Percival Eric Gratwick V.C Date of Death: Between … Continue reading Interpreting Egypt’s War Cemeteries – Holders of the Victoria Cross (WW2)