Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Battle of Britain

On the BBC news this morning it was reported that there was going to be:
Battle of Britain: Flypast for 75th anniversary of 'Hardest Day'
Prime Minister Mr Winston Churchill stated on the 20th August 1940 in the House of Commons two days after the “Hardest day” the following:
We hope, we believe that we shall be able to continue the air struggle indefinitely and as long as the enemy pleases, and the longer it continues the more rapid will be our approach, first towards that parity, and then into that superiority in the air, upon which in a large measure the decision of the war depends. The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day, but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate, careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Provincial workhouses

When working with the House of Lords parliamentary papers I keep coming across some wonderful gems and very thought-provoking facts, I think this one in particular is enthralling in a rather gruesome way.

 “Offensive and disagreeable – there are three classes of cases which should be treated under this head and placed in separate wards, viz., the cases of old people who involuntarily pass their urine when in bed, or when dressed ; those of comparatively recent sore legs, in which offensive discharges still occur ; and those, as cancer of the face, in which not only the discharges are offensive, but the appearance of the person is exceedingly repulsive to others.  The rule should be rigidly maintained that cases which are offensive to others should not be mixed with ordinary cases.
This is an extract taken from a report by Dr Edward Smith dated the 15th day of April 1867 after visiting certain workhouses.  He is reporting upon the sufficiency of the existing arrangements for the care and treatment of the sick poor in these workhouses.
The report covers and goes into great depth on
·         dealing with the sick with different illnesses, like the itch
·         the officers in charge of the sick
·         the nurses
·         the medical officers
·         the character and construction of sick wards
·         furniture and medical appliances.
This report is full of fascinating information on the state of the workhouse. The appendix is very detailed and all his observations of the individual workhouses he visited are recorded in minute detail. It can be found in vol. XVIII session 1867-68 paper number 48.
It is another example of the remarkable reports to be found in the House of Lords parliamentary papers.