Poppies to be planted across Britain to mark centenary of First World War


A scheme to plant millions of poppies across Britain to mark the centenary of the First World War has been saved. The Royal British Legion project, due to launch next month, will seek to encourage local authorities, businesses and the public to sow millions of seeds across Britain. The scheme, which had faced an uncertain future after an application for £92,000 was turned down by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), has been rescued by DIY chain B&Q.


Interactive map ‘contradicts slave uprising theories’


The great Jamaican slave insurrection of 1760-61 was a well-planned affair that posed a genuine strategic threat, and not a chaotic riot as was previously thought, according to a new interactive map put together by Harvard University professor Dr Vincent Brown. The map, which charts the greatest slave insurrection in the 18th-century British empire, claims to dispel the notion that black uprisings were little more than chaotic riots. Image Axis Maps.

History writers dominate Samuel Johnson Prize longlist

BBC History Magazine contributor Charlotte Higgins is among a number of history writers nominated for this year’s Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. Her book Under Another Sky, about the Roman legacy in Britain, is one of 18 competing for the £20,000 accolade.

‘Missing piece’ of Stonehenge Avenue uncovered

1 - The A344 and the visitor car park as they are now. (c) English Heritage

Archaeologists have uncovered a missing piece of the Stonehenge Avenue, the route leading to the prehistoric monument. During works to decommission the nearby A344, archeologists discovered two ditches belonging to the Avenue, buried beneath the roadbed. Image English Heritage

HMS Victory ship wreck footage released

First Rate HMS Victory, the forebear to Admiral Nelson’s ship of the same name, can now be explored online. Using footage captured by a remotely-operated vehicle, Odyssey Marine Exploration is giving a unique insight into the ship, which sunk in a storm near Plymouth in 1744 leading to the loss of 1,100 lives.

Researchers go into battle to test Bronze Age weapons


Researchers are to go into battle using replica Bronze Age weapons to help them understand how people at the time fought. Using imitation swords, axes, spears and shields, researchers at Newcastle University are to recreate Bronze Age combat. Image Gavin Duthie/Newcastle University.

Music used ‘to torment victims of torture in Pinochet’s Chile’ 

Music was used to torment victims of torture in prisons and concentration camps during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile, new research has found. Some 40 years after the dictator came to power, Dr Katia Chornik from the University of Manchester has revealed songs were played during torture sessions at high volumes, sometimes for days at a time. Image Francisco Aedo.


King Charles II’s oak tree ‘saviour’ to be honoured for first time

A memorial to Colonel William Carlos, the man credited with saving King Charles II by hiding him in an oak tree following his defeat at the battle of Worcester, has been unveiled in Chelsea. Carlos, a royalist officer of the Civil War, hid the fugitive king in the Boscobel Oak for more than 24 hours following his defeat at the battle in September 1651. Convinced Colonel Carlos was the main reason for his own – and thus the royal family’s – survival, Charles ordered the Colonel’s surname be changed to Carlos, Spanish for Charles.


Great Earl of Kildare ‘extended English rule over Ireland’

The Great Earl of Kildare, governor of Ireland from 1479 to 1492, extended English rule over Ireland and was not, as previously believed, instrumental in building a ‘blended race’ of Irish and English. That is according to professor Steven Ellis, head of humanities at the National University of Ireland, Galway.