The Creation of Hangul


This post will focus on the creation of the Korean Alphabet, namely its creator, how it it is written and what was used before Hangul.

Statue of King Sejong in Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul. Note: King Sejong written in Hangul


The Creator-

Hangul was created by King Sejong the Great in the fifteenth century. He was the fourth King of the Joseon dynasty of Korea. It was a phonetic writing system to convey the Korean Language, in the hope that all social classes in Korea could read and write from the same script.
King Sejong wanted to encourage literacy amongst the lower classes in Korea who had little to no educational opportunities and to create a separate cultural identity for the Korean people.

How it is written-

When Hangul was created there were 28 letters, 17 consonants and 14 vowels. Over time this reduced to 24 in modern Hangul in South Korea. 
Hangul is written as syllabic blocks.  Each word that needs to be written is placed square dimension-ally with one symbol above/below the other. These texts were written right to left but nowadays the text is largely written left to right and western punctuation is common in some publications.


Here is an example of written Hangul today. Note: Seoul written in Hangul above the English term

What was used before Hangul?

Before Hangul was used the Upper classes used Hanja. Hanja uses Chinese characters to write. Chinese characters were borrowed and amalgamated to the Korean writing system. Hanja text was the means of written communication in Korea amongst the educated and elite. The less educated and lower classes could not read or write and did not use or understand Hanja.

The writing formation was very different to Hangul and 214 radicals were used. A radical is grammatical component which is a loose equivalent of the Latin alphabet. 

An example of Hanja. Note the differences between Hanja and Hangul.


There was some opposition when Hangul was introduced. The more privileged thought it was a threat on their positions in society. Some worried if more people from the lower classes were educated to use Hangul, it could diminish the influence of the minority elite. Nevertheless, the popularity of Hangul ensued, much to how King Sejong envisioned.

However, a century later in the sixteenth century Hangul was prohibited in publications when a document written in Hangul critised King Yeonsangun. He closed a temple and the royal university Seonnggyeongwang and converted it as a personal brothel. Not only this but he evicted large residential areas for hunting grounds and instigating involuntary labour for making these things possible. These actions made him very unpopular, particularly with those who used Hangul. His successor, half brother, King Jungjong closed a centre of research in Hangul, suggesting Hangul did struggle to gain acceptance amongst these rulers after King Sejong. This shows it was not a simple transition to Hangul without any problems.

Nonetheless, over time Hangul again became popular through a resurgence in poetry, increased Korean nationalism, government reforms and missionaries promoting Hangul literacy in education. It is now the official script in the Korean Peninsula as well autonomous regions in China and Baubau, a city in Indonesia in the Southeast Sulawesi province.

Photos courtesy of my sister.

An Ancient History of Rugby

Now with the Six Nations competition in full swing and with the Rugby World cup  around the corner in Japan, this post will trace the Ancient origins of the sport that is played and watched around the world today. 

Often, the modern game of Rugby is attributed to the English town of Rugby, specifically by William Webb Ellis, a pupil from Rugby school who was said to have ran and carried the ball during a football match. However, this has been heavily debated by Rugby hisorians and is largely viewed as a myth. That being said, there is more to the origin of modern day Rugby and in some shape and form similarities can be drawn from ball games played in the Ancient World.

Ball games in the Ancient World-

It is no surprise that when the ‘Ancient World’ is mentioned, the Greeks and Romans are arguably the most popular civilisations studied in Ancient times. Much in the way of Art, Culture and Philosophy is strongly attributed to Ancient Greece and Rome. Ball games played a role in both cultures.

The Greeks played many ball games, whereby participants could use their hands and feet, although not much evidence survives of these ball games, one game in particular is an interesting pre cursor. 
The Greeks played a ball game called ‘Episkyros‘ and appears to be depicted on ceramics. The game was played by 12-14 with one side pitted against the other. The rules allowed players to handle the ball.
The aim of the game was to frequently pass the ball and to push one of the opposing team behind the line at their end of the pitch. The game was regarded as being violent in nature, with many players landing up on the ground. This violent nature of the game was particularly noted in Sparta with the limited source material available.

Elsewhere, further west from Athens in Sparta, teams were divided into two and two white lines were drawn onto the pitch, with one line in front dividing the teams along with another line behind either team. It is interesting to note, although the lines are not the same as what is displayed on a rugby pitch today, the lines are not difficult to figure out. This is especially the case with the line behind the two teams indicating where to score. This is the case today in Rugby as one way to score is for either side to bring the ball past the opposing goal lines ahead of them for a try.

Additionally, women as well as men played, albeit being rare.
Later, the Romans adapted the game ‘Episkyros‘ as well as another Ancient Greek game called ‘Phaininda‘.  ‘Phaininda’ was another ball game that the Romans were known to have adapted. There are limited sources about the game in question. However, from the small amount of source material on offer, it is similiar to ‘Episkyros‘. The game involved two teams pitted against eachother, there was a central line dividing both teams and that the game was again considered to be violent when either side were attempting to win the ball. In this game the ball was small in size and looked as if more balls were used.

The Romans named their version of the game, ‘Harpastum‘. This ball game was played with a small ball, much smaller than a modern day Rugby ball and was similar in size to a modern day cricket ball or base ball. Unfortunately, much with the Greek ball games discussed previously very little is recorded about the rules and style of play. Nevertheless, this game was documented in contemporary Roman writings. The Greek Polymath, Claudius Galenus (129 AD- c. 200/216 AD) lived in the Roman Empire commented, 


‘This exercise is a very heavy, vigorous one involving much use of the hold by the neck and many wrestling holds’.   

     
In addition, Sidonius Apollinaris ( c.130 – 489 AD) a poet, diplomat and bishop from Gaul in the Western Roman Empire commented,


‘Filimatus sturdily flung himself into squadrons of the players, like Virgil’s hero’.


These accounts are in actual fact reminiscent to modern Rugby in that the game requires much strength, resilience and agility to enable either side to intercept, run with the ball and score. 

Petra: The Lost City


For the latest instalment on our lost cities theme I will be writing about the history of Petra. Petra is a historical city located in modern day Jordan, which is renowned for its archaeological heritage and now popular for tourists. It was designated as a UNESCO world heritage cite in 1985.
It was originally known as Ramqu. The area was thought to have been inhabited appropriately in the year as early as 9000BC. Petra was likely established in the 4th or 5th century BCE and is largely attributed to a nomadic Arab tribe, the Nabataeans. The Nabataeans settled the area as a prime trading route, particularly the spice trade, to buy and sell goods between the Mediterranean continent and Asia. This is where caravans of people would cross. 

Trade was relatively successful for the Nabataean inhabitants, until over time nautical trading routes proved more popular. Petra gained some attention from outsiders, notably the Greeks and Romans. One of the first written accounts of Petra was documented by  Greek historians. King Antigonus I a Macedonian ruler planned an invasion in 312 BC. 

The site’s population grew to approximately 10,000-30,000 inhabitants. The Nabataeans were prevailed in attempts to takeover their land. They knew the terrain very well and how best to defend it from outsiders, that was until the Romans invaded in 106CE. Petra, henceforth was incorporated into the Roman Empire as a province.Trade was still customary in those parts, particularly the spice trade. However, over time this particular route steadily declined in popularity. What’s more in 363AD Petra suffered a terrible earthquake which significantly damaged the area. This halted further developments to the area in terms of commerce and population increase. Another earthquake would follow in 551.AD

During the Byzantine era  Petra contained a number of Christian churches In the 7th century AD Petra was seized by neighbouring Muslims in Arabia. This was a significant time for the spread of Islam and its influence as Arabia was was unified by the prophet Muhammed in 622AD. During the Byzantine era  Petra contained a number of Christian churches as the old city was the capital of the Byzantine province, Palaestina III and as a result was a part of the Byzantine empire sandwiching the Mediterranean to the Levant. These churches were excavated at the site and attributed to the Byzantines. Later in the 12th century the was evidence to suggest the area was an outpost of the Crusades, military campaigns from Christian Europe to the Islamic territories in response to their rapid spread. From then there are no accounts from the West about the Petra. However, that is not to say the area was unknown territory completely. Outside of the western world there are accounts during the end of 13th century that Petra was often visited by Egyptian sultans who were interested in the sandstone formations. Nevertheless, there are little to no accounts after this, that is not to say non eurocentric accounts. Nomadic tribes continued to live in the area.  

Moving forward to the 19th century, The ‘discovery’ of Petra was attributed to a Swiss traveller by the name of Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. He was the first European to describe the sandstone structures. The remnants of tombs and structures at Petra were visualised by David Roberts, a Scotsman who painted them in 1839. Unfortunately over time the site of Petra was highly vulnerable, its structures were weak and this attracted the attention of thieves hoping to amass its treasures. Petra was surveyed and excavated properly in 1922 by archaeologists along with help from a Physician, expert in local folklore and a scholar. 

A number of scrolls written in Greek were found in the remains of a church, dated in the Byzantine era. These items were found 25 years ago in 1993. This discovery confirms Petra was not an isolated domain despite its land locked location. It shows other ethnic groups were interested in the area and remained for a time.

In the early twentieth century Petra was a focal point in the Arab-Ottoman conflict. In October 1917 during the First World War to intercept the Ottoman forces resources from the British advancement in Gaza, regarding the Sinai and Palestine campaign between the British and the Ottomans. The Arabs led a revolt from Petra against the Ottomans along with British support they managed to halt the Ottomans. Local Bedouin women also took part in the revolt.

Nowadays Petra is waiting to be discovered by tourists and is considered to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the world up with the likes of Machu Picchu in Peru and The Taj Mahal in India. 

Grand Tour: A guide to the Early Modern “Gap Year”

This piece will look at how (for those who could afford it) getaway and travel to the European continent from the British Isles in search of culture, experiences and exposure to perfect foreign languages, particularly in the 18th to 19th centuries. Usually they would be accompanied by tutors or a companion. This custom was known as a “Grand Tour”.

A Grand Tour was considered a rite of passage for mainly, young aristocratic gentleman upon completing their academic studies. This usually occurred when they were twenty-one years of age, although that is not to say this custom was only attributed to wealthy young gentleman to acquire ‘good taste’ in society. Sometimes wealthy young women, referring to debutantes partook in this venture, signalling she has come of age and old enough to marry. For others who could not afford this venture from both sexes, they might have been lucky enough to find a patron to sponsor them.

 

The Route-

 

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Typically, the route started from the Port of Dover and from then on to the Belgium coast at Ostend or the French coast at Calais. From there the journey took these young travellers to Paris, the Alps, Geneva, the Rhine to Basel and ultimately (for most) to Rome and Naples. However, it was not unheard of for travellers to go further west to Madrid or further east to Greece. To a large extent, Paris, Rome and Venice were the main cultural centres in Europe and for Paris in particular, French was the chief second language amongst the aristocracy and as such many wished to refine these language skills. Moreover, the roads were more developed towards Paris and Rome unlike further east and towards the Iberian Peninsula.

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What did they do?

Often travellers would venture to European cultural centres, chiefly in Paris, Venice and Rome, usually accompanied by their tutors from home to keep a watchful eye. Many were drawn to the historical sites of the Coliseum, Patheon, Pompeii and Herculaneum further south to name but a few. It was also a popular pastime to view renaissance style art in galleries and occasionally from some travellers have their portraits painted, depicting their time on the continent. It was typical for the traveller to travel for up to 3 years, which included six months of travelling and the rest of the time living in a European city.

Touring these sites in Europe was considered the epitome of high society as it enabled them to possess extensive knowledge of the classics and antiquity, namely art, culture and architecture. Acquiring this knowledge on tour largely helped with networking and obtain suitable marriage prospects. For aristocratic younger men, they needed to appear cultured to maintain their prospects in society, otherwise they would suffer. This extensive knowledge was used to distinguish a gentleman’s rank. Cultural pursuits were undertaken as they had the wealth and time to acquire it, thus distinguishing them from those who acquired their income by trade, whereas a gentleman’s wealth was inherited/made from the land.

Aside from the cultural aspects of the tour and immersing oneself into the sites, some traveller’s behaviour was nothing short of merry and ostensibly debauchery, which included drinking, gambling and romantic endeavours.

 

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Why did the custom end?

The custom came to an end during the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) when the French Empire fought a coalition of European nations, thus becoming too dangerous to travel. From this point the form of travel switched inwards to the wonders of Britain, namely The Lake District as made famous by the English poet William Wordsworth. When the conflict ended the custom resumed, again for those who could afford it from wealthy backgrounds. This was particularly evident for women to venture down towards the cultural centres of Paris, Venice and Rome. However, the duration was drastically reduced for days instead of months/even years and that it was considered more of a pastime for women travellers.

The Battle of Britain Bunker, Uxbridge

This post will feature the newly opened, Battle of Britain Bunker and Visitor Centre on the former site of RAF Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon. It is the only Second World War bunker to be preserved and open available to the public. The former RAF site was sold off for a new housing development in 2010. The Bunker was available for tours, booked in advance. Now however the site has been heavily invested by the financial backing of Hillingdon council and houses a new Visitor Centre adjacent to the Bunker, whereby prior booking is no longer necessary.  The Visitor Centre explains about the line of work that happened in the Bunker and features interactive exhibits and visuals relating to plotting, radar and collecting calls from telephones. It is also a good feature for those visitors who are less mobile as they can still see information and learn about what happened in the Bunker.

Outside the complex visitors are welcomed to the statue of New Zealander Keith Park (1892-1975), the Second World War Royal Airforce commander. He oversaw the running’s of the operation room at RAF Uxbridge for two years from 1940-1942. He was known as the “Defender of London” in Germany and for organising fighter patrols during the Dunkirk evacuation the Battle of Britain campaign. What’s more, the grounds also include a mock Hurricane, Spitfire and memorial close to the entrance of the Bunker immortalising the words uttered by Winston Churchill when he entered the Bunker on a visit in 16th August 1940, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed, by so many, to so few”.

 

The Bunker

Upon arrival visitors must report to the entrance desk at the Visitor Centre to collect tickets to visit the Bunker. The Bunker operates tours in the mornings and afternoons. Please ensure to take a ticket and keep it on your person until the guide leads you to the entrance of the Bunker, it is here where you hand your ticket to a steward. When entering the bunker, you go down a long flight of stairs so be watchful.

The Bunker was the location for No. 11 Group RAF’s operation which served as part of the Dowding system. The Dowding system served as the world’s first conception network on land to control airspace in the United Kingdom. It used a telephone network to gain intelligence as opposed to radar that could have been intercepted. This Bunker is most famous for controlling airfield operations during the Battle of Britain in 1940 and additionally the Dieppe raid of 1942 and the D Day Landings of 1944.

Geographically there were several fighter command groups stationed in the United Kingdom they were divided into different geographical locations. No. 11 Group which encompassed the South-East, No. 10 Group covering the South West, No. 12 Group covering the Midlands, No. 9 Group covering the North West, No. 13 covering the North East and lastly No. 14 Group covering Scotland. Focusing on No. 11 Group its headquarters was located at Hillingdon House at RAF Uxbridge. The group’s operating room was within the Bunker underground, to avoid detection. A previous bunker was built over ground in 1939 but the idea of having an operations room over ground was too obvious in case of an enemy air attack.

The commands that occurred in the Operations room within the Bunker was passed onto airfields within the group. These airfields were divided into 8 different sectors. The Operations Controller was seated above a plot map and a display on the wall relating to the other RAF stations within the group covering; RAF Tangmere, Kenley, North Weald, Debden, Biggin Hill, Hornchurch and Northolt. These were the stations were fighter squadrons were based. It is important to note that everything displayed in the Operations room was always suited to the view of the Operation Controller. Additional staff included; Army and Navy Officials, Plotters, telephonists and RAF officers, one of which was the late Hollywood actor Rex Harrison.

The map of the United Kingdom and northern France was displayed on a large board whereby the Operations Controller could see very clearly where plotters would update them with necessary information. This was a job carried out by plotters who were mainly women from the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce (WAAFs). They were fed information from Chain Home Radar stations monitoring approaching aircraft, it was the Royal Observer corps that detected aircraft that was friendly or hostile. This information was fed to a Filter room whereby the plotters in this room would breakdown the information and relay it to the plotters in the Operation room. The plotters used long thin rods that would move markers on the map indicating numbers of aircraft and how many feet they were in the sky. It also displayed friendly and hostile aircraft. Depending on what information they receive the would move the markers across the map to provide the Operations Controller an up to date understanding of affairs happening in the skies.

Going back to the display on the wall depending on the different stations lights will flicker to state whereabouts aircraft is and to show the Operations Controller a physical embodiment/tracking of their decision making from standby to action. It is also important to note that the visibility and weather balloons was also marked on the display, again providing the best view to the Operations Controller so they can be best informed to make decisions. The plotters job was important as they had to ensure the information was kept up to date, otherwise that could mean drastic consequences for aircraft and cause confound decision making for the Operation Controller. When changing shifts, the plotters had to standby the other plotter they are shifting with to see what information they were being fed to again make sure the information on the map was current. This was also true when a plotter needed to take a break, the covering plotter had to stand with the plotter wanting a break for approximately 10-15 to ensure all information fed to them was being kept up to date.

 

Location-

The location of the Battle of Britain Bunker is easy to get to, it is close to the Town centre of Uxbridge, Greater London and has good connections to the A40 and M40. It is an easily accessible day trip from London as the tube serves Uxbridge on both the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines. Additionally, the U2 is the nearest bus to serve the Bunker which will then take an extra 10-15 minutes to walk to the venue.

 

Practicalities-

Residents of Hillingdon Borough can visit for free (upon showing Hillingdon resident card) as with servicemen/women and ex-servicemen/women. Please check with the venue for exact proving to those visitors from outside the area.

 

All in all, the Bunker and Visitor centre is a great day out for history buffs, particularly those with an interest in the Battle of Britain.

Hamilton

A History of our time?

The forgotten founding father?

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Legacy, what is a legacy?
It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see[1]

 

I honestly could not resist writing a piece about Hamilton. Hamilton is the 2015 musical phenomenon written by Lin Manuel Miranda and inspired by R. Chernow’s 2004 biography titled Alexander Hamilton that has since reached London’s West End as of December 2017.

I have been extremely lucky to have watched the performance twice! Now I feel it would be appropriate to examine the historical significance of the musical about the man who is on the $10 bill and how it resonates to a present-day audience on both sides of the Atlantic. I will focus more on social and political matters as opposed to the economic and military. If you wish to see the musical in the future, please note I will make mention to some elements in the plot.

 

The Backstory

 

Alexander Hamilton’s Early Years

My name is Alexander Hamilton and there’s a million things I haven’t done just you wait, just you wait…[2]

Let’s start with the backstory. Alexander Hamilton was an American statesman who fought numerous battles in the Revolutionary War against Britain and became the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. The story narrates the life of Alexander Hamilton, an unlikely founding father who was born on the British island of Nevis (now St Kitts and Nevis) in January 1757/1755 as there is some debate amongst historians regarding this, although it is widely considered to be 1757. Born outside of wedlock, his father abandoning the family and his mother dying when he was still a child, his prospects on the face of it appeared dire.

Hamilton’s mother, Rachel Fawcett was married to Johann Michael Lavien before she met James Hamilton, the father of Alexander Hamilton. Lavien seized Fawcett’s estate in St Croix (now United States Virgin Islands) in probate court upon her death and sold off a sizeable portion of Fawcett’s items.

Hamilton later became a clerk at Beekman and Crugar, an import and export firm. The firm traded with the colonies of New England and New York. At 14/16, Hamilton was placed in charge of the firm when his employer was away at sea for five months. Hamilton’s cousin, Peter Lytton briefly looked after him and his brother, James Jr Hamilton before he committed suicide. From this point henceforth, the brothers were separated though remained on Nevis.

Hamilton (Alexander) was taken in the custody of Thomas Stevens, a local merchant and the older Hamilton (James Jr) became a Carpenter’s Apprentice. By this point Alexander Hamilton was well read and enjoyed writing in his spare time. In 1772 a devasting Hurricane hit St Croix, in response Hamilton (Alexander) wrote a letter to his father pertaining to the Hurricane in enormous detail and his thoughts on the destruction. The letter gained popularity after it was published in the Royal Danish-American Gazette by Journalist, Hugh Knox. This popularity garnished the attention of community leaders. This was a real turning point for Hamilton, as the news of his letter impressed the leaders so much they collected funds to send Hamilton to study in New York. This proved to be an invaluable opportunity for Hamilton, which no doubt paved the way to his military and to a higher extent, his political pursuits.  Much of these accounts from Hamilton’s early life are touched upon during the musical’s opening number, Alexander Hamilton.[3]

 

The musical synopsis

 

The story develops and looks at how he overcame these difficulties in early life looking at how he established himself in New York City; at King’s College (now Columbia University), his personal life, military /political exploits, his relationships with other founding fathers; John Laurens, Marquis de Lafayette, Hercules Mulligan, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and not forgetting his relationship with political rival, Aaron Burr, which ended in Hamilton’s death on 12th July 1804 as a result of the famous Burr-Hamilton duel on the day before.

This is all set at a time of revolution and increased animosity towards the British in the colonies, chiefly regarding taxation. This animosity occurred since 1765 and arguably more so after the Boston Massacre of 1770 when a group of American colonists were shot by soldiers who were stationed in Boston to control heighted colonial unrest, the capital of the Provence of Massachusetts Bay.

What Hamilton (the musical) does so well is create a visually stunning performance, amalgamating the history of a nation with the contemporary, a retelling of history, predominately in the form of hip-hop and casting actors from ethnic minority backgrounds in major roles within the production. This invariably is told as a history of our time, in other words to reflect the society of the US and the UK today.

 

The historical legacy

Ethnicity & Immigration in the United States

Let’s start with the casting. A conscious decision was made regarding the casting. The story is told by a diverse group of actors from different backgrounds. This is true in both the US and UK productions. Notably, the roles of the founding fathers; Hamilton, Burr, Laurens/Philip Hamilton, Mulligan/Madison, Lafayette/Jefferson and Washington were played by actors from an ethnic minority. This is also true of the Schuyler sister roles in the musical; Angelica, Elizabeth “Eliza” and Margarita “Peggy”. For reference, the Schuyler family were influential Dutch landowners that held much prominence in New York, Elizabeth Schuyler was a fourth generation American and the wife of Alexander Hamilton. They married in December 1780 and their courtship was acknowledged during the song Helpless.[4]

 

Immigrants we get the job done[5]

 

Essentially what the musical does is it tells the story about an immigrant trying to establish a place for themselves through hard work, grit and determination. These are traits not so different in people today. What Hamilton was doing back in the 1700s, hundreds if not thousands of immigrants since then have aspired to work hard for their livelihoods and prosper in their endeavours. Looking at the United States today many people can trace their ancestry back to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. This applies to the original Broadway cast. For instance; the Musical’s creator, Miranda who played Hamilton has Hispanic heritage from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Not to dissimilar from the character he was playing in that respect that they both had a personal connection to the Caribbean as Hamilton was born there. However, he was of Scottish and French Huguenot descent, although there is speculation that Hamilton’s mother was of mixed racial descent there is no substantial evidence to support these claims. Philippa Soo who originated the role of Hamilton’s wife, Eliza is of White European and Chinese descent and lastly another example would be Daveed Diggs who originated the role of Lafayette/ Jefferson whose mother was Jewish and his father, African-American.

These examples really do highlight and bring to prominence what America looks like today, by casting actors from an ethnic minority it really does bring life to the storytelling and above all accessibility. Yes, in real life the founding fathers were of White English, Scottish and Irish descent, yet despite that, the casting of Hamilton brings forth the idea of inclusiveness and allows for a more cathartic experience for audiences that resonate with them. This is a great way to promote history to more people that might otherwise feel alienated from this episode of history.

Looking beyond what race these characters were back then, now in the present day the United States is a melting pot of cultures from across the globe. In a traditional sense it is the primary and secondary source material found in archives, manuscripts and books to name but a few that provide us with the know-how. It is the power of theatre that allows us to look beyond the traditional historiography for a moment and build a bridge taking elements of the past and mixing it with the present to generate interest and come away thinking; it does not matter who you are or where you come from, we all have an opportunity to make a difference.

Consequently, looking at it in this sense, the story of Alexander Hamilton’s journey from orphan, to immigrant, to statesman serves as a timeless inspiration that immigrants past, present and future strive to better themselves and as a result shape society in enterprise, business, education, government, science, healthcare and as the musical reflects, the arts.

Much like analysing the first line in the American Declaration of Independence of 1776, “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal” as being true to a society where it was acceptable in some states; particularly the south to keep Black African slaves. Looking at this declaration by todays standards, there would be a consensus refuting that declaration. It is how a particular place in time within society can interpret events.

 

But how is this argument historically significant for the UK?

Very much so. The UK very much like the US has been a magnet for settlement throughout history, going further back in time before the formation of the UK some of the earliest setters came from the Roman Empire, Germanic speaking tribes; the Angles, Saxons and Jutes known collectively as the Anglo Saxons, the Vikings and the Normans and French Huguenots.

In more recent history since the 19th century immigration from outside of Europe started to take shape chiefly from British colonies. In the 20th century immigration started to become more pronounced after the decline of the British Empire and many people settled from former colonies and countries making up the Commonwealth from the East, Africa and the West Indes. The imagery used once more in the UK casting reflects the society of the UK today and at the same mirrors Hamilton’s own backstory. Strikingly, Jamael Westman who currently plays the title role of Alexander Hamilton has Irish roots from his maternal side of the family and Afro-Caribbean roots from Jamaica on the paternal side.

Other examples include; Rachel John who currently plays Angelica Schuyler, her mother immigrated to the UK from Trinidad, Michael Jibson who currently plays King George III hails from Yorkshire, Leslie Garcia Bowman who currently plays Charles Lee/Ensemble comes from New Zealand and Rachelle Ann Go who currently plays Eliza Hamilton was born in the Philippines to name but a few. In all essence the full cast does reflect modern British society, just as the Broadway cast does in the US. The subject content is largely on American history and that this episode in history is not as well known in the UK, the idea nonetheless remains the same. By bringing forth historical content to the stage it serves as a virtual source to appeal to those that would not necessarily read about the content. What’s more the diversity of the cast has more of an impact resonating with members of society that are not always included in retellings of history, much like the argument that was put forth previously under Ethnicity & Immigration in the United States.

Knowing Brixton is a short distance from Victoria, the London home for Hamilton, just shy of 37 years the Brixton Riot occurred in April 1981. This was at a time when recession hit, those of Afro-Caribbean descent living in the area were particularly affected by lower job prospects and public services. Hamilton justly serves as a history of our time told by society as it is today, all backgrounds coming together to tell the story of a struggling immigrant intent to shape the future and leave a legacy, two things that are not to dissimilar to the actual narrative.

 

The “forgotten” Hamilton

A wife’s tale

I put myself back in the narrative… I’ll live another fifty years, it’s not enough[6]

 

There is much mention about the roles of women in Hamilton. However, for the purposes of this piece I will examine the role of Eliza Hamilton nee Schuyler, Hamilton’s wife of 21 years before his death. A fundamental conclusion to the musical details a wonderous segment, regarding Eliza Hamilton’s role in preserving the legacy of her husband, Alexander Hamilton. After Hamilton’s death Eliza along with the help of her son John Church Hamilton organised and arranged his political writings in view of publication. This was to ensure his legacy in American politics was not forgotten by the people. What the musical does so well is it attributes Chernow’s school of thought, that Eliza Hamilton’s role was significant in preserving Hamilton’s memory and conveys this with such vigour. This is considering she was left widowed, having to settle Hamilton’s debts and knowing that he had an affair with Maria Reynolds (this was publicly declared by Hamilton himself in the self-published, “The Reynolds Pamphlet” in 1797). The musical suggests Eliza Hamilton, upon hearing the news of Hamilton’s affair burns her correspondence with her husband in the song titled Burn.[7] Although it is not certain Eliza Hamilton burnt her letters, the musical nevertheless supports Chernow’s school of thought that she did destroy her letters but there was no evidence to suggest how.

Her passion and devotion to keeping Hamilton’s memory alive really hits home when her contribution to Hamilton’s legacy is explored in Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story[8], knowing that Eliza Hamilton lived in a male dominated society in commerce, politics and education, she was able to rise above her station and truly make a difference by getting Hamilton’s “story” out there for all to see and hear.

Eliza Hamilton did not stop there, not only did she ensure Hamilton’s writings were preserved, she also ensured to help orphans in New York city. Hamilton himself was an orphan, this in part must have played a large role in Eliza Hamilton’s efforts to help orphaned children. Together Alexander and Eliza Hamilton had eight children and one known foster daughter, having been caring for eight children and bringing in a foster daughter into the Hamilton household, it was apparent Eliza Hamilton cared deeply about children.

Eliza Hamilton helped to establish the first private orphanage in New York city in 1806 along with her friend Joanne Bethune. Eliza Hamilton was the Vice-President of the organisation and continued her support well into her nineties. It was called the Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New York, this organisation still exists to this very day by helping to care for children ensuring access to education, health care and support. Today it is named Graham Windham. This is where the whole idea of legacy intertwines, by preserving Hamilton’s legacy and crafting a legacy of her own.

Hamilton’s death must have been a horrible prospect for Eliza Hamilton to have dealt with but reviewing her contribution after his death, some goodness has come out of it by helping the next generation of orphans in a city where as a child orphan himself, Alexander Hamilton thrived. Though Hamilton could not live to see his legacy, Eliza Hamilton lived for another 50 years after her husband’s death in that time ensured others could see it.

 

My personal thoughts on Eliza Hamilton’s significance

Writing as a 21st century woman it is incredible to think that Eliza Hamilton achieved a great deal in her own right at a time, considering women’s suffrage was not on the agenda at the time of the Orphan Asylum Society of the City of New York’s creation and when she was organising Hamilton’s writings for preservation. As with the section on Ethnicity & Immigration, we see many women in professions doing what Eliza Hamilton did; women historians, women social workers and women carers to name but a few. That is another great legacy to add to mix, we see her character in many of the women of today, very much a living history of our time.

To end on, the musical really does highlight Eliza Hamilton’s prominence regarding Hamilton’s legacy. The staging was beautifully crafted, whereby during the first Act Hamilton was centre stage in the story. Eliza Hamilton, on the other hand was not standing on the main stage, she was staged with the characters; Maria Reynolds and Angelica Schuyler, seemingly fighting to declare their love for Hamilton during the musical’s opening number but for it to be bellowed by them at the same time, “I loved him”.[9] However, at the end of the second Act, Hamilton casts himself aside from the spotlight but close to his wife to reveal much of his legacy is owed to Eliza Hamilton, where she is the one standing in front of the legacy she preserved. Alexander Hamilton is often credited as America’s “forgotten” founding father, the end piece almost appears as if there was a forgotten behind the forgotten in the form of Eliza Hamilton.

 

 

 

[1] L. Manuel Miranda, “The World Was Wide Enough” as performed by L. Manuel Miranda & L. Odom Jr. in Hamilton: An American Musical Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack

[2] L. Manuel Miranda, “Alexander Hamilton” as performed by The Original Broadway Cast in Hamilton: An American Musical Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack

[3] Ibid; “Alexander Hamilton”

[4] L. Manuel Miranda, “Helpless” as performed The Original Broadway Cast in Hamilton: An American Musical Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack

[5] L. Manuel Miranda, “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” as quoted by D Diggs and L. Manuel Miranda in Hamilton: An American Musical Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack

[6] L. Manuel Miranda, “Burn” as performed by P Soo in Hamilton: An American Musical Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack

[7] Ibid; “Burn”

[8] L. Manuel Miranda, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” as performed by The Original Broadway Cast in Hamilton: An American Musical Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack

[9] Ibid; “Alexander Hamilton”

 

Woodrow Wilson & the 14 Points

This January is the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points. Wilson addressed to congress a 14-point programme to aid with universal peace on January 8th, 1918. These peace negotiations were intended to take affect after World War I. On the face of it, the 14 points looked as if they were a “cure” to fully eradicate aggression, hostility and above all out war amongst nations. However, this was not meant to be. This post will look at what kick started the 14 points, what they were and the lasting impact of them.

 

What kick started the 14 points?

The United States of America entered World War I in April 1917, three years after the war was started. The entry into the war was heavily due to unrestricted warfare on submarines and that American ships were sunk. Unrestricted submarine warfare allowed vessels like freighters and tankers to sink from submarines without warning. Germany initiated this in early 1915 when they considered the waters surrounding Britain to be a war zone and as a result attacked ships, including merchant and neural ships. It was a type of naval warfare and considering that Britain and Germany were two prominent colonial powers, they relied heavily on colonial imports for produce, another reason why this warfare was lucrative. This warfare occurred in the surrounding waters of western Europe. For one thing the British ship, Lusitania, despite mainly being a passenger ship also carried munitions. This was enough for the German navy to justify the sinking. 1,201 lost their lives and drowned at sea, including some 128 Americans. When the United States and other neutral countries   put pressure on Germany, they stopped.

However, this suspension was not to last. Germany, not wanting to appear passive wanted to adopt unrestricted submarine warfare again. On January 8th, 2017, a year before the 14 points were addressed, Kaiser Wilhelm was persuaded by navy leaders that this warfare should go ahead, despite some reservations from the German chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg who did not attend discussions. On February 1st, 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare was resumed by the German navy and the United States entered the war 2 months later.

With the help of some geographers, historians and political scientists, Wilson arranged these professionals under the watchful eye of Edward M House, Wilson’s advisor. They were put to work to study and analyse topics of discussion likely to appear in peace talks, concerning American and European (Allied) interests of international relations, economics and society. It was from these studies that Wilson’s speech came about, the 14 Points.

 

The 14 points

The 14 points advocated acts of diplomacy and addressed what the causes for war are in his opinion. He also alluded to how war could be avoided in the future. The list of the 14 points are listed before-

1.

To abolish secret treaties between nations. An organisation should be set up, involving different countries and its members would constitute talks to solve international problems.

 

2.

Freedom of navigation outside territorial waters, unless otherwise specified by an international agreed convention.

3.

Equality of trade relations and eliminating trade barriers as much as possible between nations.

4.

To reduce armaments, to ensure greater international safety.

5.

Colonial claims to be adjusted, relating to all European nations who hold colonial territories.

6.

The evacuation of all Russian territory in Eastern Europe and to the Ottoman Empire, this later became known as the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, when Soviet Russia exited the war.

7.

To restore sovereignty in Belgium.

8.

French territory taken should be restored to them, particularly Alsace Lorraine.

9.

To realign Italian borders in the north, whereby the Italian speaking areas are within its own borders.

10.

Self-determination for the peoples of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

11.

Occupied areas of Eastern Europe; Montenegro, Serbia and Romania should be restored and free from occupation. Serbia should not be land locked and allowed sea access.

13.

Secure sovereignty for Turkey but other areas that make up the Ottoman Empire should have the right to Self-determination such as Bulgaria and territories in the Middle East. Free passage of the Dardanelles to be permitted.

14.

An independent Poland, free from occupation and allowed sea access.

 

The speech was very nearly not made at all as Wilson knew that the British Prime minister, David Lloyd George made a similar speech on January 5th, 1918, outlining very similar aims to Wilson’s intended 14 points. These aims were then known and agreed to by the British dominions. After some persuasion from House, Wilson made the speech as planned and proved to be a very successful precursor to the eventual Armistice later in the year and the Paris Peace Conference, the following year

 

Aftermath

When news of the speech spread to Europe it garnished much support in general. Wilson knew that these 14 points were integral to American interests as they were fundamental for global commerce and safety to the American people. Events preceding the war had brought about a spat of aggression and domination. In addition, a new school of thought under the Bolsheviks was looming and proved successful in the October revolution of 1917, when Imperial Russia became but a memory. In this sense, the United States had to abandon its Isolationist principles for a time.

However, in Europe the two allied leaders of the time were rather sceptical of Wilson’s idealism. The British and French leaders, David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau held reservations regarding the applicability of all 14 points. For it to be successful, the 14 points had to apply to all nations, the Allied and Central powers alike and Wilson was not entirely sure how these points would be administered. The 14 points were translated into German and distributed to their readership. No hostility came about because of it and it was said that these points inspired a call for surrender.

 

Evaluation

Looking back at this event which took place 100 years ago, the remnants do appear in the modern world today, as International cooperation is a commonplace to ensure universal peace, suffrage and trading relations. However, Wilson’s notion of the ill-fated League of Nations was not to last as another international conflict soon ensued in 1939, World War Two. Essentially, not knowing the damage of what the war repatriations on Germany could do in the not to distant future appears unfortunate. The harsh realities of the reparations appeared to be a catalyst for what was to come in 1930s Germany, nevertheless that on its own is not enough to justify a single cause for further conflict. Putting the counterfactual to the side for a moment, what resulted after World War 2 was another call for peaceful resolutions on an international scale, the United Nations. Although, there is certainly a long way to go to reach the end goal for international peace, conflict has taken many guises under the Cold War and the War on Terror, nevertheless it is hard to deny that the 14 points and the aim to provide peaceful diplomacy has done much to pave the way to fruition.

The Road to Rebellion- Zanj Rebellion

To start off, I wish all a happy and prosperous new year to those who read and take an interest in our blog. My first post of 2018 will look at the enslaved Zanj peoples of East Africa and reasons as to how rebellion ensued from 869 to 883 AD. for this January’s African History month.

 

An African History in Mesopotamia

The term Zanj is a name of Arab origin which is loosely translated to “Land and Black” and was coined by Muslim geographers in the Medieval period. The area was in and around the region of the East African coast, now modern-day Kenya and Tanzania and settled by Black Africans of Bantu heritage. Trade was prominent in this region with the Arab world that involved lucrative goods such as ivory and gold.

The slave trade of the Zanj peoples also dominated. They were shipped and important to work on the marshlands in the surrounding area to Basra in Mesopotamia, now Iraq and sold to Wealthy Arabs to cultivate the land, primarily for sugarcane. Basra was an important port city in the region, so it was accessible to transport the produce from the land and to import slaves. These marshlands were left for some time due to flooding, wealthy Arabs saw an opportunity to implement a plantation based economy by converting the disused land for arable farming, using intensive labour. This was why the Zanj peoples were considered and that the East African coast was near the Arab world. Some Zanj peoples worked in Salt flats close to Basra. It was not just in the region of Basra that Zanj peoples were imported for slavery, some were shipped to other Arab speaking regions that bordered the Indian Ocean.

 

The struggle of the Zanj peoples

The lives of the Zanj peoples were harsh and miserable with many accounts indicating punitive treatment from their masters. The living and working conditions is a major factor that contributed to the Zanj rebellion, but it was not necessarily the only standing factor.

 

Anarchy of Samarra (861-870 AD.)

The ruling Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate was heavily marred and weakened by internal discord relating to the Caliphate’s succession and struggle inevitably ensued. This period was known as the Anarchy of Samarra, seeing as court was held at Samarra at this time. The succession of the Caliph’s was violent seeing as they were killed, disposed, exiled or overthrown. This anarchy allowed rebels to implement their own policies of governance that replaced the existing system. This greatly affected taxation from provinces, the central government would otherwise have had and in turn created a loss. With less revenue from taxation it meant there was less money to pay for resources should external or internal conflict ensue. This, in a way swayed attention from the Zanj slave trade as it meant there was no ruling stability in the Caliphate and it greatly affected the prestige of the central government. As a result, it perhaps allowed a chance for rebellion.

 

The role of Ali Ibn Muhammed   

So how did Ali Ibn Muhammed attract support from the Zanj peoples in Mesopotamia? As explored previously, the Zanj peoples clearly lived and worked in terrible conditions and that at the time of the Anarchy of Samarra it weakened the ruling system and as such it appears as if the last factor discussed in the form of Ali Ibn Muhammed ties together the previous two factors contributing to the rebellion.

Ali Ibn Muhammed did benefit from hearing the news concerning warring factions, particularly in Basra. Ali Ibn Muhammed eventually seized the opportunity to gain Zanj support in return for their liberation because of this, although initially he struggled to gain support. Some accounts note him as enquiring about their living and working conditions cultivating the land. To some Zanj, this appeared to be the opportunity for freedom, a life free from slavery. He managed to recruit a sizeable amount of Zanj slaves who were willing to rebel for the cause, along side other ethnic groups unhappy with the regime.

Prehistoric Thailand- Ban Chiang

Ban Chiang is a prehistoric archaeological site situated in Thailand with UNESCO world heritage status since 1992. It is famous for its red pottery designs that depict swirling lines. It is specifically located in the Nong han district within Udon Thani Province. The site was discovered by Steven Young, an Anthropology student at Harvard college in 1966.

The site was found to contain an array of pre-historic objects, the oldest some of which were said to have dated back to 2100 BC. It was suggested that Ban chiang came about in the Neolithic age however when humans were not working with metal tools, then through to the Bronze and Iron ages. Using technology; including radiometric dating, over time the timeframe of this site has become more defined.

Farm tools, jewellery, ceramics and pottery were all discovered as well as skeletal remains. The jewellery was found to contain bracelets, anklets and rings that were made of bronze. The tools were found to contain blades, spears, axes and hooks. This strongly implies that the people who lived at Ban Chiang were farming the land considering the tools that were found. This was particularly evident upon the discovery of rice fragments at the site too, suggesting this was what the settlers at Ban Chiang cultivated and included in their diet. There was also evidence to suggest the settlers during this stage held domesticated animals, which again heavily implies are farming community once thrived at Ban Chiang.

It was suggested that the discovery was found to contain a cemetery initially, but it was eventually found to be a burial dwelling, whereby the deceased were buried near or beneath their dwellings. This means that a lot of the artefacts found were buried with the skeletal remains. The makes sense considering the fine pottery, ceramics and jewellery that was found as this strongly implies the culture and burial practices of the people at Ban Chiang. However, it was also probable that they were used for personal wear.

Today Ban Chiang is a pivotal insight into Thailand’s prehistoric past and is said to be one of the greatest prehistoric discovered sites in all South-East Asia. The site heavily implies what life was like for the people who lived at Ban Chiang in terms of human evolution, social, agricultural and manufacture.

Although the site might not be as popular as Sukhothai Historical Park in Lower Northern Thailand it is still a captivating site that has  helped to shape our understanding of Thailand’s prehistoric past to the world since the 1960s.

The Path to Operation Anthropoid

This post will document the Czech/Slovak resistance to Nazism in Czechoslovakia during the Second World War. It was a time of great struggle for the people of Czechoslovakia under the Munich Agreement of 1938 the area of Sudetenland (today in the Czech Republic) on the borders of Bavaria, Saxony and Lower Silesia now Poland was amalgamated into Nazi Germany. It was in September of that year in 1938 that Adolf Hitler wanted to take Sudetenland. The area of Sudetenland had many German speakers residing there and many of the population suffered greatly during the Great Depression. Much of the population were employed in export dependent industries including; paper making, textiles, toy manufacturing and glass manufacturing. Many Sudeten Germans wanted answers to their problems and as a result they turned to more extreme movements to rectify this. One as such was Fascism. The Munich Agreement was a conference attended by Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy. Czechoslovakia was not invited to the conference and as a result felt betrayed by the United Kingdom and France, hence the name the Munich betrayal. All parties signed the agreement on 30th September 1938, however it was dated on 29th September that Hitler was permitted to take Sudeten lands in Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovakian government was exiled to London. Fast forward a year and the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia was a separate pro-Nazi republic and Hitler proceeded to seize the rest of the area including Moravia and Bohemia where Prague is located. This fundamental decision on Hitler’s part ended appeasement. Later in 1939 Germany invaded Poland and propelled Europe into another war, The Second World War that would last another 6 years.

Resistance occurred in the form of boycotts and mass protest demonstrations at the start of the Second World War. Operation Anthropoid was a planned assassination of a high ranking Nazi Official by the name of Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich was head of the Reich Main Security Office , General of Police and later Acting Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. He was notoriously attributed to the “Final solution” to the Jewish question, helping to organise Kristallnacht and quash resistance in Czech/Slovak lands, this involved suppressing their culture. When he was in Prague he did not hesitate to eliminate any threat to Nazi rule. 92 people were assassinated shortly after Heydrich’s arrival to Prague and placed c.5000 people into concentration camps. Heydrich did not hide his intentions that he wanted the Czech lands to become German. The Czech people were an exploited labour force for Nazi Germany.

The Czech government in exile in London agreed that Heydrich was to be assassinated. Jan Kubis, a Czech and Jozef Gabcik were chosen to lead the operation and it was initiated by the Head of Czech Intelligence Frantisek Moravec and approved by Czechoslovakian President, Edvard Benes. They were trained by the British Operations Executives in order to carry out the operation. Kubis and Gabcik arrived via parachute in December 1941 and were in hiding whilst planning and conducting the assignation attempt. In this time they came into contact with anti-Nazi organisations and families that helped them and prevent them being thwarted. It was intended that they were to arrive in Pilsen, however this never happened due to navigation issues. This included doing background research that included Heydrich’s routine in order to paint a reliable picture for them to aid with their mission. It wasn’t until May 27th 1942 that they were successful. Kubis and Gabcik eventually settled on a plan to assassinate Heydrich in Prague.

On May 27th 1942 Heydrich left for Prague from his home in Panenske Brezany. The area that Kubis and Gabcik ambushed Heydrich was at a curvature of a tram line. This area was used because the curvature allowed for Heydrich’s car to slow down making the ambush seemingly easier to perpetrate. Kubis and Gabcik were stationed 100 metres from each other and when Heydrich’s car approached the curvature, it was Gabcik who opened fire at Heydrich with a sub machine gun but it wasn’t functioning properly. Heydrich ordered the car to stop to apprehend the assailant and tried to shoot Gabcik with his luger pistol. Upon witnessing this Kubis threw a grenade at the car. Shrapnel was scattered from the grenades collision through the car’s right rear bumper and hit Heydrich’s border (the shrapnel). Kubis and Gabcik shortly attempted to shoot in the direction of Heydrich but missed their target. Heydrich attempted to chase and shoot Gabcik but he collapsed and was bleeding heavily from his injuries. Heydrich’s driver attempted to apprehend Gabcik after Kubis left the scene by bicycle. However Gabcik wounded the driver and he too escaped. Initially it was thought on both Kubis and Gabcik’s part that the operation was a complete failure. Heydrich was later taken to hospital and operated on and needed blood transfusions. On 4th June Heydrich died from his injuries and contracted sepsis.

The consequences were that Heydrich’s death was the only successful assassination attempt of a high ranking Nazi official. Gabcik and Kubis managed to lay down low from preying Nazi eyes. In the meantime Nazi Intelligence linked the assailants to the village of Lidice and or Lezaky where the entire village was completely obliterated to the ground. Many inhabitants died. Intelligence officers alluded to the fact many Czech soldiers who were in exile in the United Kingdom originated in Lidice and so was concluded the assailants had connections there.

For a time it proved difficult for the Nazi’s to get a lead on who perpetrated the assignation. The bounty was set for 1million marks in exchange for where the assailants were hiding. A fellow exiled Czech soldier, Karel Curda who arrived along with 3 other exiled soldiers for their own mission to sabotage gasworks in Prague in 1942 as part of a resistance group Out Distance betrayed the operation and led the Nazis to those who provided help to Kubis and Gabcik. Those who offered help to the resistance were tortured, sent to concentration camps and killed. The torture for one young man, Ata was truly deplorable as after he was beaten his torturers showed the decapitated head of his mother. Ata resisted any attempts to reveal information for some time and continued to uphold his silence on the matter very bravely in the face of adversity. However, he later broke his silence under the torture and revealed to the Gestapo what they needed to know.

Nazi Intelligence found out that Kubis and Gabcik were residing in the Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Prague. A shootout ensued which resulted in the death of Gabcik and other resistance fighters. Kubis alongside other resistance fighters committed suicide in the crypt. The Bishop Gorazd and other senior church leaders were shot by firing squad. In a noble fashion Bishop Gorazd took the blame for what happened in the Cathedral to protect his flock. The man who betrayed his fellow comrades, Curda was a Gestapo collaborator for the reminder of the war but after the war was over he was tracked down and charged with high treason and for punishment was hanged.

It is certainly an enthralling piece of Czeck/Slovak history and one that is remembered for those who fought for freedom and justice to crush Fascism and tyranny. The bullet holes are still evident on the outside of the Cathedral today from the shootout and today a museum is housed in the Cathedral. I was lucky enough to visit Prague and was staying in the Manes area in the New Town, fairly close to Wenceslas Square and to this day the bullet holes remain on the exterior of the Cathedral. Although, please note the museum is not open on Mondays*

There are two films that base the events of what happened; Operation Daybreak released in 1975, starring Anthony Andrews and Timothy Bottoms and Anthropoid released in 2016, starring Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan that are both worth watching in order to gain more of an insight regarding the operation.

*correct at present time of publishing