A Letter From Home, February 1918

A Letter From Home, February 1918

A few years ago I discovered a great-uncle I’d never known about had been killed a week before the end of the First World War, aged nineteen. Somehow he’d slipped entirely from the family narrative; even my dad didn’t know he’d even existed and...
The Silvertown Explosion, 19th January 1917

The Silvertown Explosion, 19th January 1917

One hundred years ago today, at 6.52pm, the Brunner Mond munitions factory in the Silvertown district of east London blew up. It was an explosion heard as far afield as Cambridge, Salisbury and Southampton and killed at least 73 people. My great-grandparents had a...
The Infinite Sparkle of Bap Kennedy

The Infinite Sparkle of Bap Kennedy

When news broke on Tuesday evening that Bap Kennedy had died it was as if the world took a blow to the solar plexus. It wasn’t entirely unexpected given the bleakness of his cancer diagnosis earlier this year, but the wave of grief that washed through social media...
The Thrill Of Europe & How To Make The Most Of It

The Thrill Of Europe & How To Make The Most Of It

In 1992 I went interrailing with my friend Paul. We’d spent most of our money on the tickets so planned to save what little cash we had left by sleeping on overnight trains whenever we could. We soon developed a routine of arriving at a station in the evening, looking...