Thursday, 14 February 2013

Monday, 11 February 2013

Pablo Neruda's body to be exhumed

A Chilean judge has ordered that the remains of poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda should be exhumed in an investigation into whether he died of cancer as commonly believed or was killed by agents serving Augusto Pinochet. The exhumation was announced by the foundation that manages his literary legacy. The leftist poet, who died twelve days after the 1973 military coup that ousted socialist president Salvador Allende and brought General Augusto Pinochet to power, was long believed to have died of prostate cancer, but officials in 2011 started looking into the possibility he was poisoned by agents of the Pinochet regime, as claimed by Neruda's driver and aide. Neruda is best known for his love poems as well as his Canto General - an epic poem about South America's history and its people. 
This story will no doubt be of great interest for those who were at the special showing of Il Postino at the Cottage Road Cinema almost a year ago, which is about how the poet was forced into exile in Italy. Read the review here:

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wartime Hospital at Beckett's Park

UPDATE - website for published book Stories from the War Hospital is at

Thanks to all those who have been in touch offering (and requesting) information. We are now realising that a separate website for our project on the 2nd Northern General Hospital at Beckett's Park during the Great War 1914 - 1918 would be a good idea, so one should appear online in the next couple of weeks, if all goes well. The URL will be put on the blog. The original press release  from when we started can be found if you simply scroll down a little.

There are so many names of people who were there, particularly members of the RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps). We are hoping that there are plenty of searchers trawling the web for information on their ancestor, who might have been a nurse, or a wounded soldier, or...  so if we put plenty of names online, along with a few photos, we'll get results.

In the meantime, here are just a couple of photos which might bring results:

1) The cigarette case. An articial limb race so many years before the Paralympics! Do you know anything about either Douglas Longmate or CQMS (Company Quartermaster Sergeant) G W Browning? Below is a photo of an engraved silver cigarette case sent to us by a retired antiques dealer who wants to give it to any descendants we find:

2) The Irish Nurse. The granddaughter of a Red Cross Nurse who served at Beckett's Park between 7 August 1917 and 31 March 1919 sent us this photo from Ireland. It is of Mary (Polly) Dunne. She had two sisters, Kitty and Josephine, all of whom came from a small rural community and trained in England (St Alban's) as nurses. Do you know anything about nurses from Ireland in the Great War generally?

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