Seventy years after the Second World War there is a second battle going on in Malta. As an amateur historian who studies the war I know Malta has earned its place in history. Now its time once again for the people of Malta to rise up in the defence of their island.
During the Second World War Malta was the most bombed place on earth as the RAF fought the Luftwaffe for control of the stategically placed island. Last year I saw a programme on the BBC about the battle in which the historian James Holland found the remains of a Spitfire still buried in a field. During the war the bravery of all the people was officially recognised by King George VI, who awarded the George Cross to the entire island.
This time the battle for Malta features real birds, not warbirds. Chris Packham is highlighting the illegal slaughter of migrating birds over the island by hunters in a project called ‘Malta massacre on migration’. Its a self financed project which is very close to Chris’s heart. Every day this week until saturday he will post a video on YouTube at 9pm UK time to publicise the slaughter. READ MORE
I’m currently taking a course at Stratford College on writing for newspapers and magazines. Each pupil was asked to write a feature on a specialist subject. This is Thailand by Richard-Neil Weatherhead.
Thailand, a backpackers paradise and the hedonistic capital of the world. A place that can pull you in and spit you back out again just as fast if you’re not paying close enough attention. From its stunning topical islands and beaches to its bustling cities, adventure lurks around every corner. It is the ultimate escape, everything you have heard about Thailand is probably true. There are an unlimited amount of places to explore and stories to be told. So when my friend Rory mentioned that he was going there for his scuba divers license, I knew that I couldn’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to tag along and see it all for myself. READ MORE
I’m currently taking a course at Stratford College on writing for newspapers and magazines. Each pupil was asked to write a feature on a specialist subject. This is A child’s war by Teresa Foot.
The media have recently been focusing on this year’s anniversary of the beginning of the WW1. Nostalgia, reminiscences, historical analyses and photographic reminders have all been on display, and rightly so. This reminds me of my own memories of WW2. Coincidentally, at the same time, my granddaughter’s teacher asks for my help. She wants me to go into school to talk to the children about my memories. I agree and it is arranged.
I have to prepare. I am used to addressing adult audiences, but children are something else. I start by jotting down some memories: the lack of food, the cold, the dark, the fear, the normality of it all, as I knew no other life. I decide that for this session a bit of action is better than a thousand words, so I trawl the internet for recordings of air raid warning sirens, aircraft noise and all clear sirens. As I listen my stomach knots up with a permanently imprinted fear reaction from seventy-two years ago. Once again I am a frightened little girl, dragged sleepily out of bed to go and crouch in a Morrison shelter, with the steady hum of aircraft passing overhead. I didn’t know it at the time, but they are on their way to bomb elsewhere, not my house. READ MORE
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