‘The Helix Park Thirty Metre High Horse Head Sculptures ‘

#AceBritshHistoryNews – SCOTLAND (Grangemouth) – June 30 – The Helix is an exciting new parkland providing activities such as cycling, walking, water-sports and much more. The Helix is also home to The Kelpies, two 30-metre-high horse head sculptures which are a true feat of engineering.

The Helix is a new attraction located between Falkirk and Grangemouth. Described as ‘A place for everyone’ there is so much to discover.

There are currently 500km of connected cycle paths which provide the ideal way to explore the parkland and surrounding area. Discover one of many routes including the 16-mile core route, Helix Around Town Tour (HArTT) starting at The Helix and heading to The Falkirk Wheel, Callendar Park and back to The Helix using cycle ways, towpaths and parkland. The paths are multi-use if you prefer to explore by foot. The Helix is linked by two National Cycle Routes as well as the new John Muir Trail making it incredibly accessible and the ideal base to explore from.

Read More : The Helix 

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Bishop Asser informs us that Alfred had a great love of jewelled ornaments. His crown, which unfortunately no longer survives, is listed in an inventory of jewels melted down by Oliver Cromwell at the establishment of the Protectorate, it is described as being studded with emeralds.

#AceBritishHistory – June 06 – English Monarchs – Kings and Queens of EnglandAlfred the Great.: http://englishmonarchs.co.uk/saxon_6.htm

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On June 6, 1944, Allied Troops Landed on the Beaches of Normandy, France to fight Nazi Germany ‘

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Robert Capa, Normandy, Omaha Beach, June 6th, 1944

Robert Capa, Normandy, Omaha Beach, June 6th, 1944 (Photo credit: dr jk)

– June 06 – D-Day Landings   

Archival Footage of D-Day | Smithsonian: Read More: 

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` Gordon Welchman’s Team at Bletchley Park improved the Enigma Code-Breaking Machine but Became a Security Threat ‘

#AceBritishNews – BRITAIN – April 26 – Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was warned a World War Two codebreaker had become a security threat 40 years after his “influential” work.

Gordon Welchman’s team at Bletchley Park improved the Enigma code-breaking machine, widely credited as shortening the war by two years.

Newly released papers show that in 1982 Mrs Thatcher was told of the threat when Mr Welchman wrote a book.

The Hut Six Story included details that were “still classified”, she was told.

Cabinet secretary Sir Robert Armstrong’s memo to the Tory leader is among documents that have been given to the Bletchley Park Trust after being held in Mr Welchman’s son’s attic for 26 years.

“The book goes into very considerable technical detail about the method developed for this work,” Sir Robert said.

Mr Welchman, who died in 1985, devised a system to deal with thousands of messages a day sent by the German Enigma machine.

The Cambridge graduate saw that the Bombe code-breaking machine needed enhancing and drew up a production line system which became the centre’s wartime working model.

His biographer, Dr Joel Greenberg, said this had been “revolutionary” and made him one of the centre’s “most important figures”.

In 1941, Mr Welchman and four other men known as The Wicked Uncles – including Alan Turing – personally delivered an influential letter to Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill asking for more resources for Bletchley Park.

Mr Welchman then became the head of Hut Six, which was responsible for breaking German Army and Air Force Enigma ciphers, and was the first to detail the work of the code-breakers in his 1982 book.

A 1948 letter from GCHQ director Sir Edward Travis shows his appreciation for Gordon Welchman’s “outstanding” contribution to World War Two code-breaking

The book was not banned but Mr Welchman lost his US security clearance and was forbidden to discuss his book or his wartime work, with the media.

Three years after its publication, a letter was sent from GCHQ Director Sir Peter Marychurch accusing Mr Welchman of damaging security.

The trust said the documents and possessions would help tell the story of a man whose work was “crucial” to Bletchley Park’s success but of which “most people have never heard”.

Mr Welchman’s daughter said: “I was unable to throw away almost anything relating to my father and I’m enormously grateful that someone else was interested in him.”

BBC News

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` 125 Years Today a Man Who Made Us Laugh by Saying Nothing and Expressing Everything was Born ‘

#AceBritishHistory – LONDON – April 16 – Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, film-maker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona “the Tramp” and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry.

His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death at age 88, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.

Charles Chaplin – (IBN) – They foiled plots and cracked Nazi codes, but Britain’s spies were unable to solve the mystery of Charlie Chaplin’s birth.

Although the entertainer is celebrated as one of London’s most famous sons, declassified files reveal that Britain’s MI5 domestic intelligence service found no records to back up Chaplin’s claim that he was born in the city on April 16, 1889. Chaplin’s life is a Dickensian rags-to-riches story.

Raised in London in a family of music-hall entertainers, he moved to the United States in 1910 and became one of Hollywood’s first megastars with his shabby, bowler-hatted every-man persona, the Little Tramp.

He was a box office sensation in movies such as ‘The Gold Rush,’ ‘City Lights’ and ‘The Kid,’ but his left-wing friends and activities alarmed the FBI, which began tracking the actor in the early 1920’s.

He was married four times, twice to 16-year-old girls.

He eventually became Sir Charles Chaplin in March 1975, two years before his death at age 88. Here are 10, full length Chaplin movies available on YouTube you need to watch to celebrate 125 years of the master. (Inputs from AP)

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` George Smiley and his ` Hidden Inertia ‘ of the World Around Him ‘

#AceBritishHistory – BRITAIN – March 29 – Although Smiley has no concrete biography beyond that offered briefly at the beginning of Call for the Dead, le Carré does leave clues in his novels.

Smiley was probably born around 1906 (or 1915 on the revised chronology) to middle class parents in the South of England, and attended a minor public school and an antiquated Oxford college of no real distinction (in the 1982 BBC television adaptation of Smiley’s People, he refers to himself as a fellow of Lincoln College), studying modern languages with a particular focus on Baroque German literature. In July 1928, while considering post-graduate study in that field, he was recruited into the Secret Intelligence Service by his tutor Jebedee.

He underwent training and probation in Central Europe and South America, and spent the period from 1935 until approximately 1938 in Germany recruiting networks under cover as a lecturer. In 1939, with the commencement of World War II, he saw service not only in Germany, but also in Switzerland and Sweden. Smiley’s wartime superiors described him as having “the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin”.

In 1943, he was recalled to England to work at MI6 headquarters, and in 1945 successfully proposed marriage to Lady Ann Sercombe, a beautiful, aristocratic, and libidinous young lady working as a secretary there. Ann would prove a most unfaithful and rather condescending wife. In the same year, Smiley left the Service and returned to Oxford. However, in 1947, with the onset of the Cold War, Smiley was asked to return to the Service, and in early 1951 moved into counter-intelligence work, where he would remain for the next decade. During that period, Smiley first met his Soviet nemesis, Karla, in a Delhi prison. Karla proved impossible to crack, and he took Smiley’s lighter, a gift to Smiley from his wife.

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Dedicated to Brittius

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` The Terrorism Act 2006 ‘

#AceBritishHistory – The Terrorism Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that received Royal Assent on 30 March 2006, after being introduced on 12 October 2005.

People observing a two-minute silence in Trafa...

People observing a two-minute silence in Trafalgar Square on the evening of 14 July 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Act creates new offences related to terrorism, and amends existing ones. The Act was drafted in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, and some of its terms have proven to be highly controversial.

The government considers the Act a necessary response to an unparalleled terrorist threat; it has encountered opposition from those who feel that it is an undue imposition on civil liberties, and could increase the terrorism risk.

The Act has drawn considerable media attention, not least because one of the key votes resulted in the first defeat of the government of Tony Blair on the floor of the House of Commons, and the worst such defeat for any government since 1978.

Home Secretary’s Letter

On 15 July, shortly after the London bombings, the Home Secretary Charles Clarke wrote to the spokesmen for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, David Davis and Mark Oaten respectively, to ask their views on proposed terrorism legislation, in an attempt to seek consensus. His letter made it clear that the proposals were already under consideration before the bombings. It first proposed new criminal offences to allow police and intelligence agencies to intervene before the precise details of a planned terrorist act are known.

The second proposal was to criminalise indirect incitement to commit terrorist acts, and would enable the United Kingdom to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (Article 5). The third proposal was to criminalise the providing or receiving of terrorism training, again in line with the Council of Europe Convention (Article 7). Clarke followed up this letter with a statement in the House of Commons on 20 July.

Ambulances at Russell Square, London after the...

Ambulances at Russell Square, London after the 7th July bombings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prime Minister’s Statement

On 5 August, Tony Blair made a statement at his regular monthly news conference which included a mention of the proposed legislation. He said:

“… there will be new anti-terrorism legislation in the Autumn. This will include an offence of condoning or glorifying terrorism. The sort of remarks made in recent days should be covered by such laws. But this will also be applied to justifying or glorifying terrorism anywhere, not just in the United Kingdom.”
The statement “the sort of remarks made in recent days” was generally taken as a reference to Omar Bakri Muhammad who had received a great deal of publicity for his reaction to the London bombing. There had been other statements, made by a number of controversial figures, about the 11 September 2001 attacks and attacks on US and UK forces during the Iraqi insurgency. These figures also include Muslim clerics such as Abu Qutada and Abu Hamza al-Masri.

Locations of the bombings on a Central London ...

Locations of the bombings on a Central London tube map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Home Secretary’s Second Letter 

On 15 September, Clarke published draft clauses of the intended bill in a further letter to David Davis and Mark Oaten, writing that he would like their comments on them. He also announced further proposals for the bill, including a power to proscribe groups that glorify terrorism, and one to tackle dissemination of “radical written material by extremist bookshops”.

The draft clause 2 would make it illegal to publish a statement which “glorifies, exalts or celebrates the commission, preparation or instigation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of acts of terrorism”. This wording was criticised for being vague, and for potentially stifling legitimate debate about government policy and the causes of terrorism. The clause only covered terrorist events which occurred more than 20 years ago if they directly relate to current events; a list of events occurring more than 20 years ago which would be covered was to be prepared by the Home Office. This provision was criticised as entirely subjective, and giving the Home Office the right to decide who was a terrorist and who was a freedom fighter.

Part 1 – Offences 

This Part creates a series of new criminal offences intended to assist the police in tackling terrorism. They are:

  • Encouragement of terrorism (section 1): Prohibits the publishing of “a statement that is likely to be understood by some or all of the members of the public to whom it is published as a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to them to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism or Convention offences.” Indirect encouragement statements include every statement which glorifies the commission or preparation (whether in the past, in the future or generally) of such acts or offences; and is a statement from which those members of the public could reasonably be expected to infer that what is being glorified is being glorified as conduct that should be emulated by them in existing circumstances.”[3] In England and Wales, a person guilty of this offence is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to a fine, or to both, or, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, a person guilty of this offence is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to a fine, or to both, or, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.
  • Disseminating terrorist publications (Section 2): Prohibits the dissemination of a publication which is either (a) likely to be understood as directly or indirectly encouraging terrorism, or (b) includes information which is likely to be understood as being useful in the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism. The maximum penalty is seven years’ imprisonment.
  • Preparation of terrorist acts (Section 5): Prohibits anyone from engaging in any conduct in preparation for an intended act of terrorism. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.
  • Training for terrorism (Section 6): Prohibits anyone from training others in terrorist activities, or from receiving training. The maximum penalty is 10 years’ imprisonment.
  • Attendance at a place used for terrorist training (Section 8): Prohibits anyone from being at a place where training is going on (whether in the United Kingdom or abroad), provided the person knew or reasonably believed that it was happening. The maximum penalty is 10 years’ imprisonment.
  • Making and possession of devices or materials (Section 9): Prohibits the making or possession of any radioactive device (i.e. a dirty bomb). The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.
  • Misuse of devices or material and misuse and damage of facilities (Section 10): Prohibits using radioactive materials or a radioactive device in a terrorist attack, and the sabotage of nuclear facilities which causes a radioactive leak. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.
  • Terrorist threats relating to devices, materials or facilities (Section 11): Prohibits anyone from making threats to demand that they be given radioactive materials. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.
  • Trespassing etc. on nuclear sites (Section 12): Extends a previous ban on trespassing, imposed by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, to cover any nuclear site.

The encouragement, training, and preparation offences are extraterritorial offences. So persons who engage in any of these activities outside the United Kingdom, commit an offence which is triable before the United Kingdom courts. The Act also extends the maximum length of imprisonment for ‘possession for terrorist purposes’ from 10 years to 15 years, and for threatening to damage a nuclear power station to life imprisonment. The proposal that only those who intended to incite terror could be prosecuted was defeated by two votes in the House of Commons (300-298) – this was reported at the time as 300-299, but the clerks of the house confirmed the list of Aye names (of which there are 298) to be accurate.[4] It has been pointed out that the Government’s resistance to the inclusion of the requirement of intention is somewhat two-faced, given that the reason offered for creating the offence was the need to comply with Article 5 of theCouncil of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism which expressly requires specific intent.[5]

Part 2 – Miscellaneous provisions 

This Part deals with miscellaneous provisions. It gives wider power to the Home Secretary to proscribe terrorist groups and amends the law to allow the proscription to continue when the group changes its name. The most controversial portion in the Act, relating to detention of terrorist suspects for questioning, was in sections 23 and 24. However, as originally introduced, the clauses made little change beyond allowing Police officers of the rank of Superintendent to authorise longer detention for terrorist suspects.

Other provisions in Part 2 give greater flexibility to search warrants by allowing them to cover other premises under the control of the same suspect, and by allowing searches where the possession of terrorist publications is suspected. The powers of the Intelligence services are extended and warrants to intercept communications are given more wide-ranging effect.

Section 25 – Expiry or renewal of extended maximum detention period 

The following orders have been made under section 25(2):

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http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/11/pdfs/ukpga_20060011_en.pdf

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