Snippets of History: #OnThisDay in 1963, Britain’s “Great Train Robbery” took place as Ronnie Biggs and his criminal gang stole £2.6 mn (£38 mn in today’s money) https://t.me/acenewsgroup/16183 #AceHistoryD esk – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Aug.08: #OnThisDay in 1963, Britain’s “Great Train Robbery” took place as Ronnie Biggs and his criminal gang stole £2.6 mn (£38 mn in today’s money) #AceHistoryDesk reports

https://t.me/acenewsgroup/16183 http://pic.twitter.com/D6iVO0otky— AFP news agency (@AFP) August 8, 2017 #AceHistoryNews

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FEATURED: History of a Monarchs Consort as Prince Phillip retires after more than 65-years and takes a bow at his last public engagement today at just a mere 96-years of age – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Aug.02 For over 65 years, he has been the unwavering presence alongside Britain’s longest-serving monarch, the consummate consort and royal representative #AceHistoryDesk reports

On Wednesday Prince Philip will make his 22,219th — and final — solo public engagement. He will be meeting Royal Marines who have completed a 1,664-mile (2,678-kilometre) trek to raise money for charity.

After that, the Duke of Edinburgh will still appear at Queen Elizabeth II’s side — from time to time — as the 91-year-old monarch soldiers on. In the meantime, the man known for his quips and gaffes has already been joking about his big retirement day.

I’m discovering what it’s like to be on your last legs,” the 96-year-old Philip told celebrity chef Prue Leith at a recent palace event.

Philip is patron, president or a member of over 780 organizations, with which he will continue to be associated — but he won’t play an active role by attending engagements. The queen supported the decision, which was greeted with an international press flurry when it was announced in May.

The occasion marks a major landmark for the man born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in Corfu on June 10, 1921, to Princess Alice of Battenberg and Prince Andrew of Greece. Amid the upheaval of the military coup that overthrew his uncle, King Constantine, in 1922, the family fled.

King George V, the queen’s grandfather, sent a Royal Navy cruiser to evacuate Philip’s family and he was whisked to safety in a cot made from an orange box. Later, he rarely saw his parents and went to school in Germany and Britain.

Philip has had a long association with the military and had once had promising military career. He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and served during World War II, winning mention in dispatches for service aboard the battleship HMS Valiant at Cape Matapan, on Greece’s Peloponnesian peninsula. He rose to the level of commander.

Two years after the war ended, Philip married the future queen at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. He renounced his Greek title and King George VI made him the Duke of Edinburgh. His career came to an abrupt end with George’s death in 1952. At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb.” He settled into a life supporting Elizabeth in her role as queen and they had four children — Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

And ever since, the milestones just kept falling.

Philip has given 5,496 speeches, written 14 books and gone on 637 solo visits overseas.

He’s championed environmental and conservation issues, and has interests in science, engineering and industry. An accomplished sportsman, he played polo regularly until 1971. He earned his RAF wings in 1953, his helicopter wings in 1956 and his private pilot’s license in 1959.

All that activity has led to overall good health. But Philip has been admitted to the hospital on a number of occasions in the last few years for abdominal surgery, bladder infections and a blocked coronary artery.

Many of his health issues are related to sports. He has arthritis in his right wrist and broke a bone in his ankle from playing polo. He developed a rheumatic condition of the tendon in the hand after a taking a fall in polo.

He takes the stairs rather than elevators and can still fit into the uniform he wore for his wedding. He was only seen wearing hearing aids for the first time at a palace reception in 2014 at the age of 93.

The palace says his health wasn’t behind the retirement decision.

Philip, who enjoys a slightly wicked turn of phrase, has poked fun at himself and his advancing years. In a letter to The Oldie magazine in 2011, he said he appreciated being named “Consort of the Year.”

“There is nothing like it for morale to be reminded that the years are passing — ever more quickly — and that bits are beginning to drop off the ancient frame,” he wrote. “But it is nice to be remembered at all.” http://ti.me/2f7WmW2 #AceHistoryNews

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Snippets of History: #This_day_in_history On July 6, 1957 John #Lennon and Paul #McCartney met for the first time, three years before http://ift.tt/2tjTF8m – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – June.06: #This_day_in_history On July 6, 1957 John #Lennonand Paul #McCartney met for the first time, three years before forming the #Beatles #AceHistoryNews reports

http://pic.twitter.com/YCQ7HPzLeX — TASS (@tassagency_en) July 6, 2017 #AceHistoryNews

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Snippets of History: #OnThisDay in 2005, Bob Geldof is joined by Madonna, U2 for Live8 concerts aimed at persuading global leaders to eliminate poverty in Africa http://pic.twitter.com/KO2prZSJ19 – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – July.02: #OnThisDay in 2005, Bob Geldof is joined by Madonna, U2 for Live8 concerts aimed at persuading global leaders to eliminate poverty in Africa #AceHistoryNews reports

http://pic.twitter.com/KO2prZSJ19

— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 2, 2017 #AceHistoryNews

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STAFFORDSHIRE: Two friends and erstwhile ‘ Metal Detectives ‘ find Oldest’ Iron Age gold work just below the ground in Leekfrith last December – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Feb.28: Two friends have unearthed jewellery which could be the oldest Iron Age gold discovered in Britain.

Mark Hambleton, who went back to his metal detecting hobby on his father’s advice, made the find with Joe Kania on Staffordshire Moorlands farmland.

The three necklaces and bracelet, named the Leekfrith Iron Age Torcs, are believed to be about 2,500 years old.

Julia Farley of the British Museum said: “This unique find is of international importance.”

‘Invaluable insight’

‘Oldest’ Iron Age gold work in Britain found in Staffordshire Dr Farley, the museum’s curator of British and European Iron Age collections, said: “It dates to around 400-250 BC, and is probably the earliest Iron Age gold work ever discovered in Britain.

“The torcs were probably worn by wealthy and powerful women, perhaps people from the Continent who had married into the local community.

“Piecing together how these objects came to be carefully buried in a Staffordshire field will give us an invaluable insight into life in Iron Age Britain.”

The four torcs were found separately, about 1m apart, buried near the surface in Leekfrith last December.

Mr Hambleton said: “I used to go metal detecting with my dad when I was young and he said to me ‘why are you bothering fishing? You should be back in those fields’.

“I am so glad we took his advice and pleased of course that he got the chance to see these amazing pieces and prove he was right all along.”

The jewellery has been handed to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which is part of Birmingham Museums.

An inquest will decide whether the pieces are treasure and they will then be provisionally valued.

The friends said they would share any proceeds with the family living where the finds were made.

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LINCOLNSHIRE: A mass grave of bubonic plague victims has been uncovered at a medieval monastery in what arch aeologists are calling an “extremely rare” example of a plague pit – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Dec.14: Black Death ‘plague pit’ with 48 skeletons uncovered in England (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

A mass grave of bubonic plague victims has been uncovered at a medieval monastery in what archaeologists are calling an “extremely rare” example of a plague pit in Britain.

Archaeologists from the University of Sheffield made the gruesome find during a dig at Thornton Abbey, a former Augustinian monastery dating back to the 12th century.

Researchers had been anticipating uncovering further evidence of a medieval hospital at the historical Lincolnshire site. Instead, they discovered a rectangular pit containing the bodies of 48 men, women and children who all showed signs of the bacterial infection which wiped out millions during the 14th century plague epidemic.

According to Dr Hugh Willmott of the University of Sheffield’s Archaeology Department, large burial sites for bubonic plague victims is “extremely rare”.

The rows of bodies, including the remains of 27 children, suggest that the nearby rural community was unable to cope with the highly infectious disease, which swept through Europe in the 1300s.

Pulp from the skeletons’ teeth revealed the presence of the bacteria ‘yersinia pestis’, confirming the Lincolnshire inhabitants’ horrific demise from the plague, thought to have arrived in the area around 1349.

A tiny pendant thought to cure disease was found among the skeletons, Dr Willmott added.

“It is a Tau Cross and was found in the excavated hospital building. This pendant was used by some people as a supposed cure against a condition called St Anthony’s fire, which in modern day science is probably a variety of skin conditions.”

Researchers from the Sheffield university hope to figure out more about the individual lives of those buried in the plague pit.

“Once the skeletons return to the lab we start properly learning who these people really are,” Dr Diana Mahoney Swales said.

“We do this by identifying whether they are male or female, children or adults. And then we start to investigate the diseases they may have lived through.”

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The records of more than 1.1 million British Army officers, nurses, and other ranks reported as #killed in action, missing, or taken prisoner have been published online at Findmypas – @AceHistoryNews

#AceHistoryNews – Dec.03: Second World War British Army casualty lists available online
Image of a black and white photograph of casualties of the D-Day landings being loaded into vehicles at the pierheads, June 1944

Loading casualties of the D-Day landings at the pierheads, June 1944 (catalogue reference: DEFE 2/499)

The records of more than 1.1 million British Army officers, nurses, and other ranks reported as #killed in action, missing, or taken prisoner have been published online at Findmypast.

Released in association with The National Archives, the British Army casualty lists 1939-1945 (file series WO 417) are comprised of daily lists prepared by the War Office. Each list covers the various expeditionary forces serving in different locations across Europe, Africa and Asia. They also cover those killed or injured at home or at overseas stations outside theatres of war. In some cases, the lists also recorded casualties suffered at sea when transport ships were attacked by enemy vessels.

The records consist of fully searchable transcripts and scanned colour images of the original documents. Each entry lists the person’s name, rank, service number, regiment, status, and previous theatre of war. The image may also provide additional information such as a date of death or a notation on their previous status.

Data captured by the records reveals that the fiercest fighting took place in France, with more than 158,000 casualties reported. More than 104,000 military personnel were either killed, wounded or captured elsewhere in Northwest Europe. The jungles of Malaya and the Western Desert of Egypt and Libya also saw large numbers of British troops lost.

David Langrish, Military Records Specialist at The National Archives said: ‘At this time of year we unite to remember those who gave up their lives for our future.

‘These daily War Office casualty lists provide insight into the multitude of dangers faced by men and women serving with the British Army during the Second World War.’

Read our guidance to help with your research of First and Second World War casualties.

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