Posts Tagged With: British

1890s Young Winston Churchill The British Bulldog when he was just a puppy…..


1899

Churchill during his service in the South African Light Horse.

IMAGE: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

Nothing in life is so exhilarating
as to be shot at without result.
WINSTON CHURCHILL, 1898

1895

Second Lieutenant Winston Churchill of the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars.

Former UK prime minister Winston Churchill left school in 1893 at the age of 19, and immediately entered the military.  Except it took him three attempts before he passed the entrance exam to the Royal Military College in Sandhurst, England.

Although Churchill was well paid as a second lieutenant in the 4th Hussars, he regularly overspent his salary, as well as a further and greater sum paid to him by his mother. In order to boost his income, Churchill began war correspondence for a range of London newspapers.

In 1895, Churchill was commissioned by London’s Daily Graphic (now defunct) to write about the conflict between Spain and Cuban guerillas.  This was to be a significant incident in the young Churchill’s life for more than one reason. It was the first time he came under fire (for which he would receive a Spanish medal), and it also introduced Churchill to an object which would become his lifelong companion: the Havana cigar.

1899

Churchill during his service in the South African Light Horse.

1897

Churchill on horseback in Bangalore, India.

1900

Churchill standing at the opening of his tent as a war correspondent during the Second Boer War, in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

1904

Churchill portrait by Russell & Sons.

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Canadian Gold and Treasure caches


The leading gold producing province of Canada is Ontario and the Porcupine Region is the premier district in which to find gold. . In the area about 45 miles from Fort Frances on the new highway to Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) can be found good outcroppings of wire gold in quartz. Ore samples coming from this area have been assayed at 6 ounces of gold, 5 ounces of copper and 15 ounces of silver to the ton of ore.. The Isle of Fellow Sands in Lake Superior is said to contain a cache of treasure made by British soldiers around 1778 that has never been recovered.. According to some believers, the $12,000 in gold once aboard the French shallop Criffon in 1679, is buried somewhere along the rocky shoreline of Birch Island, 5 miles from Thessalon.. The Spanish conquistador Cortez supposedly buried a packtrain of treasure somewhere near Sarnia.. There is a cache of buried bullion and papers from an unknown party somewhere near Sarnia.. An iron chest full of gold coins was buried by David Ramsey in 1771 at the west end of Long Point Village just within the confines of Long Point Provincial Park. It has never been found.. In 1870, a Red River expedition payroll in an iron chest was lost overboard when canoes dashed against the rocks in the first rapids past Mattawa Station on the Mattawa River in Northern Ontario. In the early 1960s, five or more men from Montreal robbed a bank at Havelock, Ontario of $260,000. The bandits had a great deal of difficulty with their getaway car and took to the bush on foot in the Havelock area, carrying with them the money and their guns. However, when they were picked up coming out of the bush, they had neither. They were all sent to prison where one died and another killed a man while imprisoned there. It is believed the treasure cache has never been recovered and remains hidden somewhere in this area.. According to legend, an army paychest remains buried east of Toronto on the old site of Fort Rouille. During the War of 1812, the British sloop Mary Ann was transferring the military paychest from Kingston to York at the head of Lake Ontario where a post was maintained at Burlington Heights. It was pursued by American vessels, and being unable to fight them, put into the pond west of the present-day pumping station at Oshawa. Here, the Mary Ann was grounded and the crew carried the paychests ashore containing $100,000 and buried it. The Americans followed the vessel and burned it, but the paychests were never recovered.. At the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in Lake Ontario lies Hart Island. Built on this tiny strip of land is the fabulous Boldt’s Castle and hidden somewhere on the grounds or in the woods of this small estate is a cache of treasure attributed to Basil Hyde-Stafford, descendant of British aristocracy. It consists of a fortune in emerald gems and jewelry, miniature English antiques, goblets, dinnerware, rare coins, family heirlooms and rare jade carvings from India, all contained in a medium-sized trunk. The cache was made in the early 1900s and has never been found even though many diligent searches have been conducted. A cache of gold attributed to the gang of Jesse James is rumored to be buried in Milmur Township.

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A Fortune in Missing Kruger Rands…..Lost Treasure


During the Second Anglo-Boer War the South African descendants of the Dutch settlers, the Boers, realised that their capital, Pretoria, would soon be captured by British troops so they swiftly commandeered as much gold as they could from government reserves, banks and the mines. They also minted many thousands of new gold coins. Much of this gold is believed to have travelled with the Boer President, Paul Kruger, as he journeyed eastwards through Middleburg, Machadadorp and Waterfal Boven towards Mozambique to escape the advancing British. He departed, by ship, for France on the 19th of October 1900. The gold remained behind, hidden somewhere in the bushveld of the North Eastern Transvaal. It has never been officially found although it is a popular ‘scam’ for con men to try and sell the whereabouts of the gold to gullible tourists. Claims that the treasure (or part of it) was discovered in 2001 close to Ermelo are generally considered somewhat dubious.
Lost: 1572
Current Estimated Value: $250,000,000.00
Contents: Gold coins, ingots, gold dust, silver ingots & coins.
kruger-treasure

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Pa. field holds secrets of 1780s British POW camp…….


The mud of a south-central Pennsylvania cornfield may soon produce answers about the fate of British prisoners of war — and the newly independent Americans who guarded them — during the waning years of the American Revolution.
A few miles east of York, the city that briefly served as the fledgling nation’s capital after the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia, more than a thousand English, Scottish and Canadian soldiers were imprisoned at what was then known as Camp Security.
The fight to preserve the plot where those soldiers and their captors worked and lived has lasted almost twice as long as the Revolutionary War itself. And the end is in sight — if its backers can raise the last few hundred thousand dollars needed to pay for it.
“This is an extraordinarily important site, because so few of these camp sites survived,” said Steve Warfel, a retired curator of archaeology at the Pennsylvania State Museum who is involved in the project. “It’s a very important piece for understanding the revolutionary period, and how people were treated when they were incarcerated.”
A 1979 archaeological study found numerous artifacts that confirmed local lore about the prison camp’s location. Two years ago, the local government, Springettsbury Township, took possession of an adjacent, 115-acre property and last year The Conservation Fund paid a developer nearly $1 million for the 47-acre parcel. Now the Friends of Camp Security faces an August deadline to pay off the fund so it can turn the smaller plot over to the township as well.
Nothing about the property today suggests it was once teeming with prisoners. The first group arrived in 1781, four years after their 1777 surrender at Saratoga, N.Y. More arrived the next year after the battle in Yorktown, Va. By April 1782, there were 1,265 men at the camp, along with 182 women and 189 children — family members and others who accompanied the prisoners.
The first group was kept under less strict conditions and could be hired out to nearby farms, where among other things they were put to use chopping firewood and hunting wolves. The Yorktown veterans were much more strictly confined, kept inside a circular stockade that had been constructed from 15-foot-high log posts.
The 1979 dig, which focused on a small area, produced metal items such as buckles and buttons that are associated with British soldiers of the period, suggesting that could have either been the Camp Security stockade or the adjacent Camp Indulgence village where low-risk prisoners stayed.
That survey also turned up 20 coins and 605 straight pins that may have been used by prisoners to make lace.
Ken Miller, an associate professor of history at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., said Camp Security’s historical significance comes from its role in a network of camps in Pennsylvania and elsewhere that held more than 10,000 prisoners during the war.
“Nobody’s really appreciated the extent to which the war reached the American interior in places like York and Lancaster and Reading and Winchester, Va., and Frederick, Md.,” Miller said. “These prisoners put the war on America’s doorstep, even when the battles were far away.”
Researchers recently found lists of Camp Security prisoners in the British National Archives. And an 18th century account of camp life by a British surgeon’s mate described a “camp fever” that may have killed some of the prisoners, who were buried on-site.
If there was a cemetery — there may be two or more — it has not been found. Some believe graves may be under what is today one of the neighborhoods that encircle the property.
Les Jones, the English-born former chairman of Dentsply International Inc., a York manufacturer of dental equipment, and a member of Friends of Camp Security, said interest in his home country has not been great, possibly because the British military had been so active around the globe during that period.
“There was hardly a year when they weren’t fighting somewhere,” Jones said. “I think the problem is they’re just swamped with wars. This is a little niche kind of thing.”
But in York, the fate of Camp Security raised alarms about 14 years ago, after a developer announced plans to put about 100 homes on part of the property. That began a long court fight and a seemingly endless series of contentious local meetings.
At one point, the developer floated a price of $4.5 million, a figure that included projected profits from the development. But by the time the housing bubble had burst and The Conservation Fund stepped in, he sold it for $938,000.
The Conservation Fund wants to turn the property over to Springettsbury Township, as occurred with the adjacent farmland. But for that to happen, the Friends of Camp Security needs to raise more money. The group plans a major fundraising event in York in a few weeks.
“The fact that at least this much of it has remained intact is just mind-boggling,” said Carol Tanzola, president of the Friends of Camp Security. “Come hell or high water, we’re going to get this piece of property.”
Assuming that occurs, they’ll need to figure out what to do next. The Friends of Camp Security leaders seem to agree the first step should be an archaeological survey to pinpoint the location of major features and any human remains, and recover whatever artifacts they can.
In December, the property was scanned with a powerful magnet that gave them an idea of where to start looking, but for a 162-acre site, it will be an ambitious undertaking. Even with volunteer labor, Warfel said, the cost could easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The township plans to allow such research and convert the properties to some sort of parkland.

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Burma Spitfire hunters discover crate……


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British experts looking for a cache of World War II Spitfire planes believed to be buried in Burma say they have discovered a crate.

The team has lowered a camera into the crate in the Kachin state capital Myitkyina, but says muddy water has stopped them identifying the contents.

Project leader David Cundall described the development as “very encouraging”.

The team believes that more than 120 unused Spitfires could be buried in sites across Burma.

“We’ve gone into a box, but we have hit this water problem. It’s murky water and we can’t really see very far,” Mr Cundall told reporters in Rangoon, Burma’s main city.

“It will take some time to pump the water out… but I do expect all aircraft to be in very good condition,” he added.

Team member Stanley Coombe, 91, says he saw Spitfires being buried in Burma
Mr Cundall said a survey was being carried out at the site to locate any modern-day obstacles like electricity cables. He said they hoped to begin excavating within days.

The team hopes to find about 18 Spitfires in Myitkyina, where it has been digging since last month.

It is planning further excavations at Rangoon international airport, where it believes 36 planes are buried, and in the central city of Meiktila

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The the Great Escape Tunnel has been Found !!


Untouched for almost seven decades, the tunnel used in the Great Escape has finally been unearthed.

The 111-yard passage nicknamed ‘Harry’ by Allied prisoners was sealed by the Germans after the audacious break-out from the POW camp Stalag Luft III in western Poland .

Despite huge interest in the subject, encouraged by the film starring Steve McQueen, the tunnel remained undisturbed over the decades because it was behind the Iron Curtain and the Soviet authorities had no interest in its significance.But at last British archaeologists have excavated it, and discovered its remarkable secrets.

Many of the bed boards which had been joined together to stop it collapsing were still in position.

And the ventilation shaft, ingeniously crafted from used powdered milk containers known as Klim Tins, remained in working order.

Scattered throughout the tunnel, which is 30ft below ground, were bits of old metal buckets, hammers and crowbars which were used to hollow out the route.

A total of 600 prisoners worked on three tunnels at the same time. They were nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry and were just 2 ft square for most of their length.

It was on the night of March 24 and 25, 1944, that 76 Allied airmen escaped through Harry.

Barely a third of the 200 prisoners – many in fake German uniforms and civilian outfits and carrying false identity papers – who were meant to slip away managed to leave before the alarm was raised when escapee number 77 was spotted.

Only three made it back to Britain . Another 50 were executed by firing squad on the orders of Adolf Hitler, who was furious after learning of the breach of security.

In all, 90 boards from bunk beds, 62 tables, 34 chairs and 76 benches, as well as thousands of items including knives, spoons, forks, towels and blankets, were squirrelled away by the Allied prisoners to aid the escape plan under the noses of their captors.

Although the Hollywood movie suggested otherwise, NO Americans were involved in the operation. Most were British, and the others were from Canada , (all the tunnellers were Canadian personnel with backgrounds in mining) Poland , New Zealand , Australia , and South Africa .

The latest dig, over three weeks in August, located the entrance to Harry, which was originally concealed under a stove in Hut 104.

The team also found another tunnel, called George, whose exact position had not been charted. It was never used as the 2,000 prisoners were forced to march to other camps as the Red Army approached in January 1945.

Watching the excavation was Gordie King, 91, an RAF radio operator, who was 140th in line to use Harry and therefore missed out.

‘This brings back such bitter-sweet memories,’ he said as he wiped away tears. ‘I’m amazed by what they’ve found.’
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Boy Finds WWII Bomb With Metal Detector………….


Boy-Finds-WWII-Bomb
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A metal detector received as a Christmas gift led a young boy to find a WWII bomb buried in a British field.

Parents do not typically expect a stocking stuffer, this one a metal detector from National Geographic, to make the headlines. This holiday present is worthy of attention for leading to the discovery of a WWII bomb buried in a field in Norfolk, England.
During his first jaunt with the detector, seven-year-old Sonny Cater was scanning a field near his home when he discovered the metal capsule. The boy, accompanied by his parents and brother, was alerted to the buried object when the metal detector began beeping.

According to an article by The Daily Mirror, the family had no idea what the mud covered object was until they brought it home for closer inspection. The boy’s mother, 39-year-old Tracey Wood, said the following:

“It was a big muddy lump when it came to the surface so we stupidly thought, ‘Let’s take it home’. We feel a bit silly now we know it could have potentially been dangerous but its not often you go exploring and end up with a bomb.”

Bringing the object to their home and washing the mud away, the boy’s father became concerned and placed a call to authorities. Bomb experts from RAF Wittering quickly converged on the family’s Kings Lynn residence.

The Telegraph reports that the device was identified as a “10lb British practice bomb from WWII” before it was taken away for safe disposal. Thought to have been used for British practice runs during the war, the bomb still contained internal wiring. Fortunately, the device was not found to hold any explosive material.

Flight Lieutenant Donald Earl, an RAF Wittering spokesman, urges the public to alert authorities to any such objects found rather than trying to move them. He points out that this particular finding is a bit unusual:

“We find a lot of bombs in Afghanistan with metal detectors but we don’t tend to find them in the UK.”

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England…WWII carrier pigeon message discovered in Surrey chimney…..



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Government code-breakers are working on deciphering a message that has remained a secret for 70 years.

It was found on the remains of a carrier pigeon that was discovered in a chimney, in Surrey, having been there for decades.

It is thought the contents of the note, once decoded, could provide fresh information from World War II.

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Obama so Loves the Poor, He created MILLIONS More!!


THE BRITISH DON’T MISS A BEAT WHEN IT COMES TO SHOWING HOW OBAMA REALLY IS……

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U.S. Relied on Firm Using Unarmed Guards for Diplomatic Security in Libya….


The State Department’s decision to hire Blue Mountain Group to guard the ill-fated U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, entrusted security tasks to a little-known British company instead of the large firms it usually uses in overseas danger zones.
The contract was largely based on expediency, U.S. officials have said, since no
one knew how long the temporary mission would remain in the Libyan city. The cradle of last year’s uprising that ended Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, Benghazi has been plagued by rising violence in recent months.

Security practices at the diplomatic compound, where Blue Mountain guards patrolled with flashlights and batons instead of guns, have come under U.S. government scrutiny in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Federal contract data shows that the Benghazi security contract, worth up to $783,284, was listed as a “miscellaneous” award, not as part of the large master State Department contract that covers protection for overseas embassies.

“Blue Mountain was virtually unknown to the circles that studied private security contractors working for the United States, before the events in Benghazi,” said Charles Tiefer, a commissioner at the Commission on Wartime Contracting, which studied U.S. contracting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Several British government sources said that they were unfamiliar with Blue Mountain, which is based in Wales. They said British authorities used a different contractor for security protection in Libya.

Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence at the Stratfor consulting firm and a former U.S. diplomatic security agent, said he did not know Blue Mountain, but it likely got State Department work because it was already working in Libya.

“They may have been the path of least resistance,” he said.

Blue Mountain was able to work in Libya because it forged a business alliance with a local security firm, as required by Libyan regulations.

Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer for the U.S. Embassy in Libya, testified at a congressional hearing last week that contracting out for security in the eastern Libyan city “was largely based on our concern of how long we would be in Benghazi. We were concerned that if we retained or brought on board full-time employees we would have to then find a position for them if that post ever went away.”

In describing the challenges of hiring private security at Benghazi, he added: “It’s my understanding that there was a very high turnover with those people.”

GUARDS OF BENGHAZI
Blue Mountain hired about 20 Libyan men – including some who say they had minimal training – to screen visitors and help patrol the mission at Benghazi, according to Reuters interviews.

Some of the guards sustained injuries and said they were ill-prepared to protect themselves or others when heavily armed militants last month stormed the rented villa that was serving as the mission.

They also described being hired by Blue Mountain after a casual recruiting and screening process.

State Department security officials had their own concerns about some of the guards at the mission months before the recent attack, according to emails obtained by Reuters this week. One guard who had been recently fired and another on the company’s payroll were suspected of throwing a homemade bomb into the U.S. compound in April. They were questioned but not charged.

The State Department has declined to comment on the company other than confirming it was the contractor in Benghazi. Blue Mountain did not respond to numerous emails and phone calls, and a person answering the phone at its office in Carmarthen, Wales, said the company would not discuss the issue.

Previously known as Pilgrim Elite, Blue Mountain says on its website that it offers security services and professional training and has operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.

The website once listed General Motors as a client, and a GM spokeswoman in Detroit told Reuters that Blue Mountain’s work for the company was “on a very limited basis and mostly in the UK.”

A Blue Mountain recruiter posted a notice on a security website in 2011 seeking employees with visas to work in Libya.

The State Department contract for “local guard” services in Benghazi took effect in March 2012. Several of Blue Mountain’s Libyan employees told Reuters that they had no prior security training or experience.
“I was never a revolutionary or a fighter, I have never picked up a weapon during the war or after it,” said Abdelaziz al-Majbiri, 28, who was shot in the legs during the Sept. 11 assault.

The Libyan commander in charge of the local guards at the mission was a former English teacher who said he heard about Blue Mountain from a neighbor. “I don’t have a background in security, I’ve never held a gun in my life,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety.

When hired, the commander said he was told “you have great English and get along with everyone and are punctual; we want you to be a guard commander.”

The unarmed guards were told to sound the alarm over the radio and then run for cover if there was an attack, a Libyan who acted as a supervisor for the Blue Mountain local guard team at the mission said during an interview with Reuters.

He also displayed a medal embossed with “Department of State” and a horseman carrying Libyan and U.S. flags. “They thanked us for our help and also gave us this medal as an appreciation,” he said.

Despite their inexperience, the Blue Mountain guards said they feared the Americans were not concerned enough about security.

“We used to tell the Americans who spoke to us on many occasions that we needed more support in security, because it felt thin on the ground. But they didn’t seem to be so worried, and (were) confident that no one will dare to come close to the consulate,” one guard said.
‘DOWN IN THE WEEDS’

Tiefer, who is also a government contracting law professor at the University of Baltimore, said the Benghazi contract paled in comparison to other State Department security awards.

“This is down in the weeds,” he said in a telephone interview.

Most State Department work goes to eight large private security firms with vast experience.

In the late summer of 2011, after Libyan rebels took control of Tripoli, Blue Mountain guards were seen working security at the Corinthia Hotel and its sister Palm City residential compound in the Libyan capital.

A United Press International report indicated that Blue Mountain and its local partner, Eclipse, also were competing for contracts guarding oil fields.

Blue Mountain and Eclipse parted ways in the spring over problems with Tripoli contracts, several sources familiar with the matter said.

The severed relationship may have prevented Blue Mountain from getting additional work in Libya, which required the local affiliation.

On a social network website earlier this year, a Blue Mountain official described the firm as “one of the few companies certified and legally allowed to work in Libya.”

Blue Mountain Chief Executive Officer Nigel Thomas, a former British special forces member, did not respond to emails or phone calls.

© 2012 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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