Pill Boxes in the South West: a Neglected Heritage?

"While popular memory associates the summer of 1940 with debonair young men in Spitfires duelling the Luftwaffe in the sky, there was frantic building activity going on below in preparation for the expected German invasion. Eugene Byrne looks at some of the defence works made in anticipation of the ground war in the west of England".

A Mystery at the Eleventh Hour

"Of the carefree outings that were possible in 1914, that balmy final Saturday in June witnessed some of the last of a passing age. The following day, Sunday 28 June, is remembered for the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie Chotek von Chotkova, the killings in Sarajevo widely regarded as starting the countdown to the Great War. Having stepped out that Saturday wearing white shoes, just over a thousand miles away from the expectant scene of those globally momentous events, Flora Roscoe’s 49 year old husband had uncharacteristically gone missing.In this article, Brian Edwards reopens the book on an unexplained disappearance".

Bristol’s War at Sea

This article is about how Bristol's involvement in each of the World Wars affected the atmosphere in the city, especially as a port city it played a key role in proceedings with supply transportation. Furthermore, Byrne emphasises the effect that the German U-Boats had, providing an invisible enemy to be wary of whilst the city played its part in bolstering the war effort.

‘Freedom of Soul’: Bristol and Opposition to the First World War

"In the first decade of the 20th century, the Bristol Socialist Rambling Club had better things to think about than the possibility of world war. On their expeditions, they recorded, tea was ‘partaken of at a pre-arranged beauty spot’, ‘games were participated in’ and a choir‘delighted all by rendering of part songs and glees". Colin Thomas looks at the actions taken by the Left in Bristol in the run-up to World War One, and what paths were taken as the conflict loomed over Bristol.

‘This vile place’: Stanely Spencer in Bristol 1915-1916

Artist, Sir Stanley Spencer RA CBE, worked at the Beaufort Military hospital in Bristol during the First World War. Paul Gough retells Spencer’s experience at the hospital (now UWE’s Glenside Campus), through his diary entries and other primary sources. During his time in service, Spencer recorded in his diary a personal revelation which transformed his outlook and attitude to his work. This revelation would inform his later artwork which came to be celebrated at Newbury.

‘No time for cuddles?’ The Wartime residential nurseries at Dyrham Park

During the Second World War, children flocked to the country from cities across Britain as evacuees. Many of the large country houses became nurseries for children below school age; Dyrham Park Manor in Gloucestershire was one of these homes. In this article, Hyla Holden uncovers the story of the Dyram Park nursery for evacuees which was run by Lady Islington.

Scouting in Weston-Super-Mare and the War: a local study of the 24th Weston-Super-Mare boy scout troop during World War II 1942-45

War time Britain saw the decline of ‘Scouting’ on a national level, but the boy-scout group at Weston-Super-Mare thrived. In this local study, Duncan Biddulph explores the factors that contributed to the success of the Hill Road Scout Troop. A sense of comradeship between the boy-scouts and their leaders, most of whom had close ties with local churches and schools, seems to have been a key aspect. This article offers a window into life in Weston-Super-Mare during the war, highlighting its strong community spirit.