Sister Selina Lily (Lil) Mackenzie – 1st Australian General Hospital (Heliopolis)

The Victoria Museum holds a small collection bequeathed by Rosemary McArthur in 2010 commemorating the life of Sister Selina Lily ‘Lil’ Mackenzie which provides an interesting insight into the role of women (in this instance nurses) serving in Egypt during World War I.  Portrait of Sister Lil Mackenzie with a Friend, Egypt, 1915-1917 Lil returned to her hometown after the outbreak of war, and on 5 October 1915 … Continue reading Sister Selina Lily (Lil) Mackenzie – 1st Australian General Hospital (Heliopolis)

‘To collect or not to collect that is the question’ – The purchase of War Souvenirs

Evidence of looting (private property taken from a combatant or a third party, dead or alive, in war), and trophy taking (anything serving as a token or evidence of victory, valour, or skill) on Egyptian territory can be found today in museums and archives all over Britain and its former dominion territories. Attitudes to looting and trophy taking in 1882 were as complex as the … Continue reading ‘To collect or not to collect that is the question’ – The purchase of War Souvenirs

2/1st East Lancashire Field Ambulance 42nd Division

This week I managed to purchase a wonderful image of the 1st / 2nd East Lancashire Field Ambulance which was taken at Giza, Egypt in October 1914. Assistance to identify the unit shown in the image was generously given by Andrew Mackay, co-Author of Burnley & the Royal Edward Disaster – ‘The Story of Callam’s Own’.  The 1/1st, 2/1st and 3/1st East Lancashire Field Ambulances which … Continue reading 2/1st East Lancashire Field Ambulance 42nd Division

A.S.T.E.N.E Conference – University of East Anglia (21 – 24th July 2017)

The Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East will hold its twelfth biennial conference at the University of East Anglia and Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich, from Friday 21 July to Monday 24 July, 2017. I’ll be speaking on Sunday 23rd of July during session 10 Tourism and Perceptions of the Other on Soldiering In Egypt. My paper will aim to … Continue reading A.S.T.E.N.E Conference – University of East Anglia (21 – 24th July 2017)

‘Views of an Antique Land’ Project Conference (20th May 2017)

I was so pleased to be invited to speak at the closing ‘Views of an Antique Land’ project conference which is being held on the 20th May at Cardiff University. My paper ‘Recollections and Representations of Cairo (1914/18) – The Egyptian Expeditionary Force’ will include a brief overview of the strategic importance of Egypt and the logistical challenge of housing, feeding and caring for the large numbers of Commonwealth … Continue reading ‘Views of an Antique Land’ Project Conference (20th May 2017)

I do love a nice research mystery …

This week, knowing my research interests, my Dad presented me with a set of postcards which he felt may be of interest. The first image, taken by S Sarkis, Garrison Photographer from the Kasr-el-Nil Barracks in Cairo is of a funeral procession described as ‘Fusiliers’.  Now I’m going to make some assumptions here with regard to the cemetery. I’m 90% certain that this is the … Continue reading I do love a nice research mystery …

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