British history

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    The Battle of Hatfield Chase was fought on 12th October 633, near Doncaster. It resulted in a decisive victory for an alliance of Gwynedd and Mercia led by Cadwallon ap Cadfan and Penda against Northumbria led by Edwin.

    The period following the collapse of Roman rule in Britain left the Celtic Britons to fend for themselves. There appears to have been an on-going struggle for territory as kingdoms wrestled and allied themselves with other kingdoms, to define their borders. In the area we now know as Wales, apart from the internal conflict between the indigenous kingdoms, they had to deal with incursions from the Irish and the emerging threat of the Anglo-Saxon expansion from what is now England. In particular, the areas of Powys, Gwent and Gwynedd were constantly threatened by the Anglo Saxon kingdoms of Mercia, Northumbria and Wessex. The Battle of Hatfield Chase is typical of the inter-kingdom rivalry of the time.

    A timeline of significant events in the build-up to and the aftermath of The Battle of Hatfield Chase;

    c.623 - Edwin is baptised at the Royal Court of Gwynedd.

    625 - King Cadfan of Gwynedd dies and his son Cadwallon ap Cadfan succeeds him.

    c.626 - A rivalry between Edwin and Cadwallon, which has grown since childhood, reaches a climax. Edwin invades and conquers large parts of Gwynedd, including Anglesey. The defeated Cadwallon is besieged on Puffin Island (off Anglesey), from where he eventually flees to Brittany.

    c.630 - The Battle of the Long Mountain (nr Welshpool) King Penda of Mercia allies with Cadwallon who had returned from exile in Brittany and they re-took Gwynedd. Cadwallon then marches to Northumbria and ransacks the kingdom.

    633 - Battle of Hatfield Chase - Cadwallon in alliance with Penda, defeated and killed Edwin, which led to the temporary collapse of Northumbria and its division back into its constituent kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira. Cadwallon then slew both King Eanfrith of Bernicia and Osric of Deira rather than negotiate peace terms with them. Oswald succeeded in Bernicia and Acha in Deira.

    634 - Battle of Heavenfield (Hexham, Yorkshire, close to Hadrians Wall) Cadwallon marches a huge army north, up the old Roman road, Dere Street into Northumbria to take on Oswald. However, Cadwallon and his army were exhausted after their long journey and Oswald's men, alert and ready for the fight, seized the initiative and despite being outnumbered, killed Cadwallan and defeated his army.

  • Fascinating glimpse into history!

    There certainly are leaders today who’d love to have this option:

    Cadwallon then slew both King Eanfrith of Bernicia and Osric of Deira rather than negotiate peace terms with them.”

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    I'll try, but in the meantime some incredible words from Tennyson.

    (R.I.P. sad for your loss mate it gets hard when the same generation as you start crossing the bar. Bear up mate it's a draft we all must come to terms with.)

    Crossing the Bar
    Sunset and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!
    And may there be no moaning of the bar,
    When I put out to sea,

    But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
    Too full for sound and foam,
    When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turns again home.

    Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness of farewell,
    When I embark;

    For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
    The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have crost the bar.

  • I never knew the Romans had built a wall beyond Hadrian’s wall, unusual in itself because they normally used natural boundaries like rivers or mountain ranges, rather than constructing walls.

    Thanks for the interesting history.

  • I've always heard that the Romans were the ones that brought with them certain customs to the Saxon , Anglos, and other savages of the time such as the concept of bathing , beds, linen , road building and other contributions .....

    • Official Post

    An incredible story:

    Rammed by Destroyer - The destruction of U-93

    On the 15th January 1942 the Type VIIC U-boat ‘U-93’ under the command of Oberleutnant zur See (Lieutenant) Horst Elfe met her end in the Atlantic west of Cape St. Vincent, Portugal.

    The following is from a document titled ‘Interrogation of Survivors’ which is the official and at the time confidential report from the ‘Naval Intelligence Division, Admiralty’ in London. The document was subject to the ‘Official Secrets Act’ but is now available and reveals the history and fate of the submarine according to those who survived the sinking.

    After shadowing a British convoy for several days an enemy destroyer is suddenly heard on U-93’s hydrophones...

    "U 93" maintained contact with the convoy and by the evening of 14th January, 1942, she had probably been joined by two or three other U-Boats.

    A Petty Officer Telegraphist stated that at about 0130 on 15th January a W/T (wireless transmission) message was transmitted to the Admiral commanding U-Boats at Lorient, and he thought that this had given an enemy destroyer an opportunity to fix "U 93's" position. It was at about this time that a destroyer was heard on the hydrophones, and it seems that "U 93" fired one torpedo at periscope depth. No result was achieved, and soon afterwards hydrophone contact was lost. About half an hour later Elfe decided to surface and close the convoy at utmost speed.

    As soon as Elfe reached the bridge a destroyer was sighted on the starboard bow about 100 yards distant. Visibility was very poor, with some fog prevalent. There was also a considerable westerly swell.

    At 0210, soon after "U 93" surfaced, H.M.S. "Hesperus," acting in conjunction with H.M.S. "Laforey," obtained an R.D/F (radio direction finder) contact on "U 93," and one minute later obtained Asdic contact. At 0213 "U 93" was sighted and speed was increased from 14 to 25 knots. Fire was opened at 0216, but this was checked owing to its having a blinding effect on the commanding officer of H.M.S. "Hesperus," and no hits were obtained.

    At 0220 the U-Boat was fully illuminated by H.M.S. "Hesperus" searchlight, and two minutes later "Hesperus" rammed her on her port bow, at the same time dropping a pattern of five depth charges set to 50 ft. One charge passed right over the conning tower, and another landed on the casing. H.M.S. "Hesperus" opened fire with two of her guns; hits were obtained, but fire was checked when it was seen that the U-Boat's crew were abandoning ship.

    When "U 93" was rammed the impact threw Elfe and those who were with him on the bridge into the water. The engines were stopped and many of the instruments were smashed.

    The remainder of the crew who were below underwent what they described as a most terrifying experience. It seems that the force of the impact with H.M.S. "Hesperus" had caused the conning tower hatch to become jammed, so that it was impossible to open it. Some water entered the control room and elsewhere, and the depth gauges had been wrecked, so that the trapped men had no idea how deep they might be. They seemed certain, however, that they were still on the surface, since the water could be heard lapping on the sides of the boat. They worked feverishly to open the conning tower and after hatches. The water had by then reached the batteries, which had been cracked by the effect of the depth charges, and an escape of chlorine was noticeable. Escape apparatus was worn by every man.

    While these efforts at escape were in progress, the boat took a list to starboard and began to sink gradually by the bows. All vents were blown, so as to give the boat the best chance of remaining on the surface

    At last, after some 20 minutes' labour, the bolts surrounding the conning tower hatch were removed and the hatch was opened. The rest of the crew then assembled in the control room and made their way on to the bridge, whence they leapt into the water and were picked up by H.M.S. "Hesperus" and H.M.S. "Laforey." A bare two minutes after the last man had left her, "U 93" settled down slowly with a slight list to starboard and disappeared beneath the Atlantic swell.

    Out of the compliment of 46 officers and men 40 were saved including the captain. During her career U-93 completed 6 tours sinking 8 ships at 43,392 gross register tons. Horst Elfe and his crew became prisoners of war with Elfe passing away in 2008.

    • Official Post

    Did you know that in 1828, the Duke of Wellington rode his horse, Copenhagen, into Number 10, Downing Street when he became prime minister?

    Here is a fascinating history of Copenhagen, the horse that Wellington loved and rode all day at the battle of Waterloo in 1815.…ary-hero-of-waterloo.html

  • Burton had such an enormous talent reserve.

    He also personified the stage & film double standard. What lead female roles would be given to a woman with his ravaged complexion? Yet his acting ability landed him the leading male roles, and audiences rightly saw beyond his physical flaws. (So why not the same with women who aren’t glazed pastries?)

  • UK Man , you really don’t watch classic movies? Do you know who Elizabeth Taylor was? Vivian Leigh? The Redgraves? Sir Lawrence Olivier? Cary Grant?

    You didn’t strike me as a 21st century pop culture kind of guy?

    I was forced to watch the above when I was young which probably explains my lack of enthusiasm. ^^ You must be much older than me?

  • Touché! Yes, if I’m educating myself about the movie classics of the 30’s and 40’s, I must be ‘WAY old. And my 28-year-old niece must be, as well, as she adores these flights of fancy from her grandmother’s day.

    When we were children, we weren’t forced to watch movies of our parents’ era. We watched crap that for the most part, hasn’t stood the test of time. Then in my 20’s, I discovered Fred Astaire, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Audrey Hepburn. I watched oldies like Charlie Chan, Sherlock Holmes, The Thin Man, and even I Love Lucy. What a wealth of fantasy was delivered by Hollywood in the years just before, during, and just after WWII.

    So yes, I do appreciate the actors and films from before I was born, and I’ll have to say you’re the first person over 40 I’ve ever known, who hasn’t heard of Richard Burton.

    Who are your favorite stage and film stars? The UK has given the world so many -