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Tag: British Empire

A Very Noisy Silence: British War Films of the 1920s

Written by Mark Connelly.

Silence is absolutely crucial to our remembrance of the Great War. The thousands of sepia images we have of men queuing up to enlist, marching away to war, slogging through mud encumbered with kit, of women and children reading casualties lists pasted to billboards are curiously hypnotic due to their arresting power framed by, and etched into, the sepulchre silence of the tomb. As we know, everyone in the Great War is dead. In fact, the way we perceive it, they were preordained-doomed-dead in 1914 long before the first shots of the armies had been fired. Never such innocence again is synonymous with the crushing weight of silence; the silence of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday; the supposed silence of all memory – ‘dad never spoke about the war’ or ‘mum never spoke about dad or how he died’. ‘There we stand, alone in the world, mute before the meaning of the events that befell our generation’, as R.H. Mottram wrote in his article, ‘In Those Two Minutes’.

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Great Britain’s Danger: The Navalist Propaganda Campaign of 1888

Captain Lord Charles Beresford speaking in the Commons in 1888 (Memoirs, 1914, Volume II, p. 160)

Written by Peter Keeling.

On 10 May 1888 a notice headed ‘STRICTLY NON-POLITICAL – GREAT BRITAIN’S DANGER’ appeared in The Times. Placed there by a group of naval officers and city businessmen led by Captain Lord Charles Beresford and Admiral Sir Geoffrey Phipps Hornby, it asked ‘Englishmen of all classes and politics’ to consider the truth of the following statements:

The Naval and coast defences are quite inadequate to the absolute requirements of the nation.

The country is to-day unprepared for war, and would risk a serious reverse were such to occur.

Our commerce would be at the mercy of an enemy in the present weak state of the Navy.

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