Monthly Archives: October 2012

Day job

Doyle’s Guide has been kind enough to rate me for the purpose of what I do most days.

Unlike some of these guides, Doyle’s do not ask for cash in order to get a ranking.  Nor do their people expect to be taken out to lunch, or otherwise sweetened, for the purpose of getting favourable mention. Which makes their guide a good deal more reliable than some others. Continue reading

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Violent Death and Bastille Day

I was horrified to see that Jamie’s school here in Adelaide was celebrating Bastille Day, even to the point of the head of the Junior School wearing a red beret.

It could have been worse.  They could have been celebrating Kristallnacht as the harbinger of the 60 million deaths in World War 2. Or the 16th July, being the anniversary of the murder of the Romanov family in a cellar in Ekaterinburg in 1918, thereby the unleashing of civil war that killed 9 million Russians, not to mention the millions more murdered at the psychopathic whim of the communist hierarchy thereafter.

The storming the Bastille led directly to The Terror, in which perhaps about a million Frenchmen were killed, and then Continue reading

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Bizarre Scottish Names

A Serving Suggestion

One of the stronger candidates must be Captain Elliot Elliot Eliott RN (1712 – 1745).

He was a younger son (probably the 6th) of Sir Gibert Eliott, 3rd Baronet of Stobs, and Eleanor Elliot, the daughter of William Elliott of Wells.

His older brothers had more normal names like John and William, but presumably by the time they got to six boys, they had run out of normality. Anyway, his oldest brother took the title of 4thBaronet, Continue reading

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El Alamein + 70 years

70 years ago, my father would have been just getting ready for the Battle of El Alamein, in Eygpt.  He was then a newly-promoted Lieutenant of the 169th Battery, 57th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment of the Royal Artillery, and had just finished a stint protecting the Helipopolis Aerodrome – just outside Cairo – from Luftwaffe attack.

It must have been extraordinary. 1/3 million men, over a thousand warplanes, 1/2 million landmines and huge numbers of tanks and artillery pieces.  It was a decisive victory for the Allies (Brits, Australians, New Zealanders, Indians etc).  Within a couple of weeks, the 8th Army (including father) was in Tobruk; they pushed the Germans back to Western Libya at the rate of about 100 miles a week.  The Luftwaffe in North Africa was in shreds.  The tide of the war turned. Continue reading


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Australia and Rwanda now on UN Security Council

The Labor Party Press Office ABC has been trumpeting Australia’s success in gaining a seat on the UN Security Council.  There had been some criticism of the Australian Government spending millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on junkets for overseas bigwigs in order to buy facilitate their votes.  Bob Carr reckons the campaign has been worth every penny.

But Rwanda also got elected at the same time.  Presumably without a similar disgorgement of public funds. Continue reading

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Athens of the North

There is to be a referendum in Scotland as to whether Scotland wants to leave the United Kingdom. Only Scots get to vote, which is as it should be.  The polls suggest that the vote will be about 2-1 in favour of staying in the UK; we shall see.  The Scottish Independence Party are confident of gathering more support between now and the referendum itself.

But an interesting question arises as to what the English think of all this. It might be more likely that the independence motion would get up if the English were included: many English would probably be in favour of independence for Scotland, if they bothered to think about it at all.  Not so much because the English dislike the Scots (by and large, the English view is that the Scots are bit boring and grumpy, but generally unobjectionable) but for these reasons: Continue reading

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Rich Great etc Grandfather

I see that my 29th great grandfather, William de Warren, has just been named  by Celebrity Net Worth as one of the 25 richest people who have ever lived, on an inflation adjusted basis.  He comes in at number 13.

Which is nice.

My 3oth great grandfather, William the Bastard (aka William I, or William the Conqueror) comes in at number 7.  Which is rather less heart-warming; he was not a nice man.

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Destroy the Joint

There is a somewhat odd website being touted on the social media at the moment called Destroy the Joint. It is odd because, while it purports to be against sexism, it is the work of a rabid misanthrope trade unionist called Sally McManus.

We need not guess about her views, for she has been clear about them. She is a totalitarian of the old school, in the mould of the early Russian communists Continue reading

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Major Ian Fenwick, SAS

I came across Ian Fenwick this year.  Not in person, of course; he is dead. A distant cousin.  But rather admirable.

He was the son of Captain Harry Fenwick. His big thing was cartoons: he contributed to a number of magazines in the 1930s, and a few book of his cartoons were published, including Enter Trubshaw.  His drawings are both well-drawn and funny, if distinctly of their time. Continue reading

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I have been slowly making progress on my family history book, 500 Fenwicks.  This is what I have on Bitchfield:

Bitchfield, also known as Bichfield, West Bitchfield, or Beechfield, is a few miles north-east of Fenwick.

In the 15th century, a pele tower was built by the Middleton family, who sold it to the Harbottles in 1502[1]. The Harbottles were rather grand; directly descended from King Henry II and, before him, William the Conqueror. Two years later, in 1504, my great etc grandfather Ralph Harbottle died, and the property was inherited by his daughter Marjorie, who married my great etc grandfather Sir John Fenwick of Fenwick Tower (i.e. the place that is today called Fenwick; see page 28 above.  Continue reading


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