And so endeth The Genealogist’s A-Z and yesterday, many of you were left wondering what Monday would bring …. in more ways than one! In fact, others had considered the impending end of the alphabet earlier in the week. Well, now Monday is here and the wait is over.
But before going any further, today is 11 November 2013. At 11am, 95 years ago today, the guns fell silent. After over 9 million deaths in one of the most terrible conflicts in history, the Great War was finally over. Today we fall silent in their honour. It is perhaps appropriate that day is also St Martin’s Day, or Martinmas, the feast day of St Martin of Tours, patron saint of soldiers.
As you may have gathered towards the end of The Genealogist’s A-Z, we could fill dozens of blogs with crazily named individuals through the centuries. We could also set our readership numerous challenges to track down those people who seem to suddenly disappear from the national record.
Instead, we have decided to highlight some historic events which are frequently overlooked. Like today, which in 1953 saw the first edition of Panorama broadcast on the BBC. Daily Mail reporter Pat Murphy was the original presenter but, after accidentally broadcasting a technical mishap in the first episode, Max Robertson took over for a year. The programme originally had a magazine format and included arts features.
The following year, J.R.R. Tolkien published The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. How many people even know what his J.R.R. stands for? John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was his full name and Wikipedia offers a fascinating biography of his life.
There are seven blue plaques in England that commemorate places associated with Tolkien: one in Oxford, one in Bournemouth, four in Birmingham and one in Leeds. One of the Birmingham plaques commemorates the inspiration provided by Sarehole Mill, near which he lived between the ages of four and eight, while two mark childhood homes up to the time he left to attend Oxford University. The Oxford plaque commemorates the residence where Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and most of The Lord of the Rings.
What happened in history on 12 November?….