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Commonwealth

1606 – The Union Flag is adopted

April

The precursor to the ‘Union Jack’, the Union Flag is adopted in this year as a consequence of the personal union of the crowns of England and Scotland.

Continue reading “1606 – The Union Flag is adopted”

1625 – Charles I becomes King of England, Scotland and Ireland

27 March

Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from this day in 1625 until his execution in 1649. Continue reading “1625 – Charles I becomes King of England, Scotland and Ireland”

1936 – Edward VIII becomes King of the United Kingdom

20 January

Edward VIII (23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December the same year. Continue reading “1936 – Edward VIII becomes King of the United Kingdom”

1909 – Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole

16 January

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was a polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, and one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Continue reading “1909 – Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole”

1900 – The Hopetoun Blunder: the first Prime minister of Australia

19 December

The Hopetoun Blunder was a political event immediately prior to the Federation of the British colonies in Australia. Continue reading “1900 – The Hopetoun Blunder: the first Prime minister of Australia”

1939 – WWII: Battle of the River Plate

13 December

The Battle of the River Plate was the first naval battle in the Second World War and the first one of Battle of the Atlantic in South American waters. Continue reading “1939 – WWII: Battle of the River Plate”

1948 – Malayan Emergency: Batang Kali massacre

12 December

The Batang Kali massacre was the killing of 24 unarmed villagers by British troops on this day in 1948 during the Malayan Emergency. The incident occurred during counter-insurgency operations against Malay and Chinese communists in Malaya – then a colony of the British Crown. It was described as “Britain’s My Lai” in Christopher Hale’s Massacre in Malaya: exposing Britain’s My Lai. Despite several investigations by the British government since the 1950s, and a re-examination of the evidence by the Royal Malaysia Police between 1993 and 1997, no charges were brought against any of the alleged perpetrators.

1899 – Second Boer War: The Battle of Magersfontein

11 December

The Battle of Magersfontein was fought on this day in 1899, at Magersfontein near Kimberley on the borders of the Cape Colony and the independent republic of the Orange Free State. British forces under Lieutenant General Lord Methuen were advancing north along the railway line from the Cape in order to relieve the Siege of Kimberley, but their path was blocked at Magersfontein by a Boer force that was entrenched in the surrounding hills. The British had already fought a series of battles with the Boers, most recently at Modder River, where the advance was temporarily halted. Continue reading “1899 – Second Boer War: The Battle of Magersfontein”

1936 – Abdication Crisis

11 December

In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire arose when King-Emperor Edward VIII proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who was divorced from her first husband and was pursuing a divorce of her second. Continue reading “1936 – Abdication Crisis”

1648 – “Pride’s Purge”, a military coup d’état ends the Long Parliament

6 December

Pride’s Purge was an event that took place in December 1648, during the Second English Civil War, when troops under the command of Colonel Thomas Pride forcibly removed from the Long Parliament all those who were not supporters of the Grandees in the New Model Army and the Independents. It is arguably the only military coup d’état in English history. Continue reading “1648 – “Pride’s Purge”, a military coup d’état ends the Long Parliament”

1864 – Great Fire of Brisbane

1 December

The Great Fire of Brisbane was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of Brisbane in the Colony of Queensland (now a state of Australia) on this day in 1864. Continue reading “1864 – Great Fire of Brisbane”

1950 – Korean War: British and Australian forces halt advancing Chinese

5 November

The Battle of Pakchon fought on this day in 1950, took place ten days after the start of the Chinese First Phase Offensive, following the entry of the People’s Volunteer Army into the Korean War. Continue reading “1950 – Korean War: British and Australian forces halt advancing Chinese”

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