The Green Hell of Hurtgen by Paul Hannah

If someone refers to a battleground as “A Green Hell” the normal assumption is that they would be talking about jungle warfare, perhaps Borneo, Kokoda or Vietnam. But on this occasion it refers to the battle of Hurtgen Forest. It is the most important battle few people have heard about. Hurtgen Forest lies on the […]

Roman Triumph by Paul Hannah

This is a beautiful Triumph motorcycle. A symbol of fine British engineering. The Triumph must be one of the most important brand names in Britain, recognised around the world, it stands with Rolls Royce, Harrods and Stephen Fry as one of the great British icons. It might be a surprise to discover that it was […]

Rescued by Richard Carroll

1824 Moreton Bay, Qld On a bright September day, the 148-ton Amity rounded the northern end of Moreton Island and entered the much calmer waters of the bay. The Amity, built in New Brunswick, Canada, was a two-masted square-rigged brig, seventy-five feet six inches long. She was a pretty boat with pleasant clean lines, and […]

The Night We Nearly Killed Wernher by Paul Hannah

When Neil Armstrong took that “One small step” he had an appreciation for the thousands of scientists and engineers that put him safely there. However, he probably didn’t know that the principal scientist in the Apollo program, Dr Wernher Von Braun, was himself very lucky to be alive, because some twenty-six years earlier, on the […]

The Australian Billy-can Has an Interesting History by Richard Ross

THERE is an interesting history connected with the Australian billy-can. The story dates back to the early gold-mining days of Victoria, when food was fairly difficult to procure and still more difficult to take to the diggings. It was found necessary to import from abroad large supplies of preserved pro-visions—tinned meats, stews and soups, &c. […]

Queen Eleanor of Castile by Paul Hannah

Now that a Duchess is once again set to provide the world’s magazines with something more to gush over, it might be appropriate to consider one of her ancestor’s attempts at doing the same thing. Queen Eleanor of Castile was married (at 13 or 14) to King Edward I. By all accounts it was a […]

Waltzing Matilda: Australian Song with a Great History by Tony Cole

Waltzing Matilda – the song everyone thinks of as soon as the word “Australia” is mentioned. OK, what does it mean?  Where does it come from? And why is it so important in the Australian psyche? I am not sure I can answer the last point, but I can have a go at answering the […]

Wartime Madness by Paul Hannah

I maintain that the Second World War brought up lots of crazy people of every nationality. I offer these in evidence for my position. Scotland. When Lord Lovat waded ashore on D-Day, he brought along his personal piper, Bill Millin, and instructed him to play. Virtually unarmed, and in the front of his entire group […]

Singapore – Colonial Memories

I had the curious experience of living in Singapore while it was still a British Colony… Here are some of my memories of that time which might amuse you……. Back in the late 40’s and early 50’s of the last century, our family lived in Singapore, which in those far off days , was of […]

A Hold-Up. By Mary Mageau.

A Hold-Up A beautiful autumn morning greeted four passengers as they waited near their Cobb & Co coach. It was a new model, pulled by a team of four powerful horses.     ‘Good morning folks,’ the driver summoned the waiting group toward him. ‘Bring your baggage forward for Jess to stow on the roof rack. […]