A Tale of Two Poppies

It’s that time of year again where people across the world don a poppy as a sign of remembrance. The most common poppy you will see is the red one, but increasingly over the last few years people have taken to wearing a white poppy instead. But what is the difference? 

Happy Australia Day!

To all our members in Australia, and to all Australia members elsewhere in the world, Happy Australia Day! 

Happy Birthday Millicent Fawcett

To celebrate the birth of renowned British suffragist Millicent Fawcett, on 11 June 1847, whose statue was recently unveiled in Parliament Square, ROSL looks back at an article she penned for Overseasin 1917 entitled 'When we have the vote'. 

Happy St Andrew's Day

A very happy St Andrew's Day to all our Scottish members; how will you be celebrating this year? 

New Zealand Celebrates Waitangi Day

Today New Zealanders are celebrating Waitangi Day, which commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840, the nation's founding document. 

Today in History: 1517: Reformation

31 October is not just a day for dark things that go bump in the night. 500 years ago today Martin Luther famously nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, an action which started the Protestant Reformation movement that swept across Western Europe. 

Today in History: 1884: Oxford English Dictionary Published

1 February 1884 was the day the world's foremost authority on the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, was published for the first time. 

Today in History: 1917: Battle of Cambrai

On the 20 November 1917, the allies smashed a seven-mile wide, four-mile deep hole in the Germans’ toughest defences near Cambrai. In six hours, they had advanced further than they had in three months at Passchendaele. Yet by 1 December, after a German counter attack, both sides held roughly the same territory as at the beginning of the bloody battle. So, can we truly say this battle was a success? 

Today in History: 1917: Passchendaele

Today marks the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, which took part from 31 July to 10 November 1917, on the outskirts of Ypres. Allied troops faced stiff resistance from the German 4th Army, incredibly wet weather turning the area into a quagmire, and the onset of winter, made the battle incredibly difficult and it has remained controversial to this day. 

Today in History: 1918: 100 Years of Women's Suffrage

Today marks the 100th anniversary of The Representation of the People Act passing into law in British parliament. 6 February 1918 was the day all the work of the suffragette movement culminated in the right of women to vote. But the work didn't finish there. 

Today in History: 1918: The Battle of Haifa

23 September 1918 marked one of the last cavalry charges in modern military history, when Indian and British troops captured the Israeli city of Haifa from the Ottoman Army. 

Today in History: 1940: The Hardest Day

Today in 1940 The Battle of Britain raged in the skies over the UK, with Hitler using his air force to try and weaken Britain ahead of an invasion.18 August became known as the 'Hardest Day' as the Luftwaffe sought to completely destroy RAF Fighter Command, resulting in some of the largest aerial battles in history. 

Today in History: 1945: D-Day Landings

Today marks the anniversary of the largest seaborne invasion in history when Operation Neptune, the codename for the Normandy landings, saw Allied forces begin the invasion of Europe in France, during the Second World War. 

Today in History: 1947: Indian Independence

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the independence of India, which saw the British Raj partitioned into the majority-Hindu India and the majority-Muslim Pakistan on 15 August 1947, just two years after the conclusion of the Second World War.

Today in History: 1951: Festival of Britain Opens

On 3 May 1951, King George VI officially opened the Festival of Britain on London's South Bank, a fair and exhibition celebrating the achievements of the UK throughout history, which played host to 8.5 million visitors throughout the summer.

Today in History: 1953: Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on 2 June, 1953 in Westminster, following the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952. 

Today in History: 1953: The Top of the World

It was today 65 years ago that man finally reached the top of the world, with New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese sherpa Tenzing Norgay reaching the summit of Mount Everest. 

Today in History: 1960: BBC Television Centre Opens

The BBC's first ever purpose-built television studio complex opened on 29 June 1960, marking a new era in British broadcasting. 

Today in History: 1960: First Woman PM Elected

Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike, widow of Ceylon's assassinated prime minister Solomon Bandaranaike, became the world's first woman prime minister on this day in 1960, known for her emotional election campaign in which she became known as the "weeping widow". 

Today in History: 1961: Soviets Win the Space Race

Today in 1961 marked the culmination of years of fevered scientific research and technological advancement as Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, beating the US to the punch. 

Today in History: 1967: Life Before Brexit

Today in 1967, French President Charles de Gaulle said he would veto the UK's application to join the European Common Market, the precursor to today's EU, having already done so once in 1963. Half a century later and the UK's position in Europe is looking just as uncertain. 

Today in History: 1982: Raising the Mary Rose

On 11 October 1982, the flagship of Henry VIII's navy, the Mary Rose, was raised from the seabed for the first time in 437 years. 

Today in History: 1990: The Hyphen War

Following the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1990, which signalled the end of 41 years of Communist rule, the newly formed democratic government, made up of Czechs and Slovaks, could not agree on what to call the newly independent country, giving rise to the tongue-in-cheek name 'The Hyphen War'. 

Today in History: 1992: Betty Boothroyd Becomes Speaker

On this day in 1992, The House of Commons elected Betty Boothroyd as Speaker, the first time a woman held the post in its 700-year history. The Labour MP for West Bromwich West beat out Conservatives Peter Brooke and Sir Giles Shaw by a 134-vote majority, to become Speaker and hold that position while in opposition for the first time since the Second World War. 

Today in history: RAF Regiment opens its doors to women

Today marks a proud moment in the RAF’s history as they officially open all roles of the RAF Regiment to women. The Regiment is the Air Force’s ground fighting force, protecting RAF bases, aircraft and equipment at home and abroad. This means women can now apply for the positions of RAF Gunner and Officer.