Thursday, 10 December 2009

The top history moments of 2009

Andy Patterson:
‘I loved the story of the discovery of the lost Persian army in the sands of the Sahara. How careless of 50,000 people to lose themselves in the sand like that.’

Kathryn Hadley:
‘The death of Harry Patch was more than the death of just one man. Harry Patch was the last surviving Tommy and his death marked the loss of a whole generation of British servicemen who fought in the First World War. For the first time, this year, no British veterans were there to attend the Remembrance Day celebrations.
Harry Patch repeatedly featured in the news over the past year. He was awarded the French Legion d’Honneur in March and celebrated his 111th birthday on June 17th.
The only other two surviving British veterans, Bill Stone and Henry Allingham, who was an air mechanic during the First World War, both died this year. Allingham died exactly a week before Patch, on July 18th. Claude Choules is now the only surviving British veteran. He served in the Royal Navy during the First World War, but now lives in Australia.’

Paul Lay:
‘The discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard came at a moment when Anglo-Saxon England, arguably the most important period of the country’s history, was in danger of permanent neglect. It will inspire a new generation of Anglo-Saxon scholars.
Personally, I was also privileged to meet and interview Charles Arnold-Baker, author of the Companion to British History (Loncross Denholm) just a few months before his death. The CBH is a remarkable testimony to a remarkable and much loved man, and no home should be without a copy.’

Derry Nairn:
‘I enjoyed the News blog’s review of Moctezuma, at the British Museum. I neither visited the exhibition, nor am I an expert on the topic. But I thought Kathryn asked some pretty searching questions of both the curators, and of the British Museum's Great Leaders series.’

Shelia Corr:
‘It has to be the Staffordshire Hoard - an astonishing and breathtakingly beautiful collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and the rather cheering story of its discovery.’

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