Archive for July, 2017

Monday 31st July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 31, 2017 by bishshat

1917-2017 Passchedaele

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The fields of Passchendaele in Belgium claimed the lives of 250,000 troops of the British Commonwealth between July and November 1917.

The battle was the heaviest bombardment of the war and few of its survivors are still alive. All Commonwealth troops sent to the trenches at Passchendaele – also known as the Third Battle of Ypres – marched through the Menin Gate.

Traffic is stopped there at 2000 BST (1900 GMT) every day for the local fire department to sound the Last Post. Once fighting began in earnest, it took the Allied troops 99 days to capture what was left of the village of Passchendaele in south-west Flanders.

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When the assault was planned in 1916, the British command expected to reach Passchendaele in two days, before advancing to drive the Germans behind the Rhine as part of the Big Push to end the war. Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary Force Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig never went to the Western Front and ignored reports of the appalling conditions there.

When his Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Sir Lancelot Kiggell, visited near the end of the campaign he reportedly broke down and said: “Good God, did we really send men to fight in that?”

There were nearly half a million losses on both sides. The British gained just five miles (8km) at a cost of around 35 lives per metre.

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War

Hedd Wynn

Gwae fi fy myw mewn oes mor ddreng,
A Duw ar drai ar orwel pell;
O’i ôl mae dyn, yn deyrn a gwreng,
Yn codi ei awdurdod hell.
Pan deimlodd fyned ymaith Dduw
Cyfododd gledd i ladd ei frawd;
Mae swn yr ymladd ar ein clyw,
A’i gysgod ar fythynnod tlawd.
Mae’r hen delynau genid gynt,
Ynghrog ar gangau’r helyg draw,
A gwaedd y bechgyn lond y gwynt,
A’u gwaed yn gymysg efo’r glaw

Bitter to live in times like these.
While God declines beyond the seas;
Instead, man, king or peasantry,
Raises his gross authority.
When he thinks God has gone away
Man takes up his sword to slay
His brother; we can hear death’s roar.
It shadows the hovels of the poor.
Like the old songs they left behind,
We hung our harps in the willows again.
Ballads of boys blow on the wind,
Their blood is mingled with the rain.

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Ellis Humphrey Evans (13 January 1887 – 31 July 1917) was a Welsh language poet, better known under his bardic name Hedd Wyn, who was killed during the battle of Passchendaele in World War I. One of eleven children, he enlisted so that a younger brother would not be conscripted. He was only one month in the trenches of Flanders before he was killed. Six weeks after his death, he was awarded the prestigious chair for poetry at the Welsh National Eisteddfod. Hedd Wyne is regarded as one of the foremost of 20th century Welsh language poets.

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Sunday 30th July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 30, 2017 by bishshat

It just shows you how things change and we do not really notice it until we look.
I went out to the Veg Shed to look at the lamp on the telegraph pole and see how it was fixed. I then noticed the transformer box was round not square like in my painting?
I stared at it taking pictures to compare it again when back in my shed.
Yes it was round and mine is square why and when did this happen?
Then I realised that the whole pole structure had changed.
In fact it had gone!
Yes it had gone and I had not noticed. This is why I paint what I do to capture an ever changing landscape. This is why I photograph the field to notice the changes in me and in it.

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Saturday 29th July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 29, 2017 by bishshat

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Thursday 27th July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 27, 2017 by bishshat

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Forest School Compton Verney Thursday 27th July 2017

They are a hardy bunch these forest school children
It takes a special breed to lead them
Those that lead are easily led
By those who are so keen to follow
Their excitement rubs off on you
Mud Soup, Tomato and Onion to taste
Owls from cones
Laughing at their own Jackson Pollock
Op art from squeeze bottles
Wellies coated in paint
Blankets holding more water than comfort
They stand in deep puddles
Even after a third fierce deluge
They hold on with freezing tiny fingers
To the special day that is Forest School

John Bish 27th July 2017

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Lion of the Desert

Lion of the Desert is a 1981 Libyan historical action film starring Anthony Quinn as Libyan tribal leader Omar Mukhtar, a Bedouin leader fighting the Regio Esercito (Italian Royal Army) in the years leading up to World War II, and Oliver Reed as Italian General Rodolfo Graziani, who attempted to defeat Mukhtar. It was directed by Moustapha Akkad and funded by the government under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Released in May 1981, the film was liked by critics and audiences[citation needed] but performed poorly financially, bringing in just $1 million net worldwide. The film was banned in Italy in 1982 and was only shown on pay TV in 2009.

In 1929, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (Rod Steiger) is still faced with the 20-year-long war waged by patriots in the Italian colony of Libya to combat Italian colonization and the establishment of “The Fourth Shore”—the rebirth of a Roman Empire in Africa. Mussolini appoints General Rodolfo Graziani (Oliver Reed) as his sixth governor to Libya, confident that the eminently accredited soldier and fascist Grande can crush the rebellion and restore the dissipated glories of Imperial Rome. Omar Mukhtar (Anthony Quinn) leads the resistance to the fascists. A teacher by profession, guerrilla by obligation, Mukhtar had committed himself to a war that cannot be won in his own lifetime. Graziani controls Libya with the might of the Regio Esercito (Italian Royal Army). Tanks and aircraft are used in the desert for the first time. The Italians also committed atrocities: killing of prisoners of war, destruction of crops, and imprisoning populations in concentration camps behind barbed wire.

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Despite their bravery, the Libyan Arabs and Berbers suffered heavy losses, their relatively primitive weaponry was no match for mechanised warfare; despite all this, they continued to fight, and managed to keep the Italians from achieving complete victory for 20 years. Graziani was only able to achieve victory through deceit, deception, violation of the laws of war and human rights, and by the use of tanks and aircraft.

Despite their lack of modern weaponry, Graziani recognised the skill of his adversary in waging guerrilla warfare. In one scene, Mukhtar refuses to kill a defenseless young officer, instead giving him the Italian flag to return with. Mukhtar says that Islam forbids him to kill captured soldiers and demands that he only fight for his homeland, and that Muslims are taught to hate war itself.

In the end, Mukhtar is captured and tried as a rebel. His lawyer, Captain Lontano, states that since Mukhtar had never accepted Italian rule, he cannot be tried as a rebel, and instead must be treated as a prisoner of war (which would save him from being hanged). The judge rejects this, and the film ends with Mukthar being publicly executed by hanging.

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‘Umar al-Mukhṫār Muḥammad

‘Umar al-Mukhṫār Muḥammad bin Farḥāṫ al-Manifī (Arabic: عُمَرْ الْمُخْتَارْ مُحَمَّدْ بِنْ فَرْحَاتْ الْمَنِفِي‎‎; 20 August 1858 – 16 September 1931), known among the Colonial Italians as Matari of the Mnifa,[4] was the leader of Native Resistance in Eastern Libya under the Senussids, against the Italian Colonization of Libya. Omar was also a prominent figure of the Senussi Movement, and he is considered the National Hero of Libya and a symbol of resistance in the Arab and Islamic Worlds. Beginning in 1911, he organised and, for nearly twenty years, led native resistance against the Colonial Italians. After many attempts, the Italian Armed forces managed to capture Al-Mukhtar near Slonta and hanged him in 1931.

Omar Al-Mukhtar also fought against the French Colonization of Chad and the British Occupation of Egypt.

‘Omar Al-Mukhtar was born in 1862 (or 1858) to a poor family in the town of Zanzur near Tobruk , belonging to the Mnifa Clan, in the region of Cyrenaica under Ottoman control, young Omar lost his father early on, and spent his youth in poverty, he was adopted by Sharif El Gariani, nephew of Hussein Ghariani, a political-religious leader in Cyrenaica, and received his early education at the local mosque, before continuing his studying for eight years at the Senussi university in Jaghbub,[5] the holy city of the Senussi Tariqa , He became a popular expert on the Quran and an imam, joining the confraternity of the Senussi, he also came to be well informed of the social structure of his society, as he was chosen to settle intertribal disputes.

Mukhtar developed a strong relationship with the Senussid Movement during his years in Jaghbub, in 1895, Al-Mahdi Senoussi traveled with him south to Kufra , and on another occasion further south to Karo in Chad, where he was appointed as sheikh of Zawiyat Ayn Kalk, when the Colonial French advanced on Chad in 1899 he was sent among other Senussites to help defend from the invaders, as the Senussi considered their expansion dangerous for their Missionary activity in Central and West Africa. in 1902, Omar was recalled north after the death of Al-Mahdi, the new Senussi leader Ahmed Sharif as-Senussi appointed him as Sheikh of the troubled Zawiyat Laqsur in Northern Cyrenaica.

A teacher of the Qur’an by profession, Mukhtar was also skilled in the strategies and tactics of desert warfare. He knew local geography well and used that knowledge to advantage in battles against the Italians, who were unaccustomed to desert warfare. Mukhtar repeatedly led his small, highly alert groups in successful attacks against the Italians, after which they would fade back into the desert terrain. Mukhtar’s men skilfully attacked outposts, ambushed troops, and cut lines of supply and communication. The Regio Esercito (Italian Royal Army) was left astonished and embarrassed by his guerrilla tactics.

In the mountainous region of Jebel Akhdar (“Green Mountain”) in 1924, Italian Governor Ernesto Bombelli created a counter-guerrilla force that inflicted a severe setback to rebel forces in April 1925. Mukhtar then quickly modified his own tactics and was able to count on continued help from Egypt. In March, 1927, despite occupation of Giarabub from February 1926 and increasingly stringent rule under Governor Attilio Teruzzi, Mukhtar surprised Italian troops at Raheiba. Between 1927 and 1928, Mukhtar reorganised the Senusite forces, who were being hunted constantly by the Italians. Even General Teruzzi recognized Omar’s qualities of “exceptional perseverance and strong will power.”[this quote needs a citation] Marshal Pietro Badoglio, Governor of Libya from January 1929, after extensive negotiations concluded a compromise with Mukhtar (described by the Italians as his complete submission) similar to previous Italo-Senusite accords. At the end of October, 1929, Mukhtar denounced the compromise and re-established a unity of action among Libyan forces, preparing himself for the ultimate confrontation with General Rodolfo Graziani, the Italian military commander from March 1930. A massive offensive in June against Mukhtar’s forces having failed, Graziani, in full accord with Badoglio, Emilio De Bono (Minister of the Colonies), and Benito Mussolini, initiated a plan to break the Libyan Mujāhideen:100,000 population of Jebel Akhdar would be relocated to concentration camps on the coast, and the Libyan-Egyptian border from the coast at Giarabub would be closed, preventing any foreign help to the fighters and depriving them of support from the native population. These measures, which Graziani initiated early in 1931, took their toll on the Senusite resistance. The rebels were deprived of help and reinforcements, spied upon, hit by Italian aircraft, and pursued on the ground by the Italian forces aided by local informers and collaborators. Mukhtar continued to struggle despite increased hardships and risks, but on 11 September 1931, he was ambushed near Slonta.

Mukhtar’s final adversary, Italian General Rodolfo Graziani, has given a description of the Senusite leader that is not lacking in respect: “Of medium height, stout, with white hair, beard and mustache. Omar was endowed with a quick and lively intelligence; was knowledgeable in religious matters, and revealed an energetic and impetuous character, unselfish and uncompromising; ultimately, he remained very religious and poor, even though he had been one of the most important Senusist figures.

Capture and execution

Mukhtar’s struggle of nearly twenty years came to an end on 11 September 1931, when he was wounded in battle near Slonta, and then captured by the Italian army. On 16 September 1931, on the orders of the Italian court and with Italian hopes that Libyan resistance would die with him, Mukhtar was hanged before his followers in the POW camp of Suluq at the age of 73 years.

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Marshal Rodolfo Graziani

1st Marquis of Neghelli primarily noted for his campaigns in Africa before and during World War II. A dedicated fascist, he was a key figure in the Italian military during the reign of Victor Emmanuel III.

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Graziani played an important role in the consolidation and expansion of Italy’s empire during the 1920s and 1930s, first in Libya and then in Ethiopia. He became infamous among the other colonial powers for repressive measures that led to high loss of life among civilians. In February 1937, after an assassination attempt during a ceremony in Addis Ababa, Graziani authorized a period of brutal retribution now known as Yekatit 12. Shortly after Italy entered World War II he returned to Libya as the commander of troops in Italian North Africa but resigned after the 1940-41 British offensive routed his forces. Following the 25 Luglio coup in 1943, he was the only Marshal of Italy who remained loyal to Mussolini and was named the Minister of Defense of the Italian Social Republic, commanding its army and returning to active service against the Allies for the rest of the war.

Graziani was never prosecuted by the United Nations War Crimes Commission; he was included on its list of Italians eligible to be prosecuted for war crimes, but post-war Ethiopian attempts to bring him to trial were resisted by Italy and Britain. In 1948, an Italian court sentenced him to 19 years’ imprisonment for collaboration with the Nazis, but he was released after serving only four months.

He died in 1955: at his funeral there were nearly twenty thousand mourners in attendance in a ceremony in Rome

Rodolfo Graziani was born in Filettino in the province of Frosinone. In 1903, he decided to pursue a military career. Graziani was stationed in Italian Eritrea and served in the Italo-Turkish War, where he was promoted to Captain. He saw action in World War I and became the youngest Colonnello (Colonel) in the Regio Esercito.

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In Libya

In the 1930’s, Graziani was appointed by the new Fascist government to be commander the Italian forces in Libya. He was responsible for suppressing the Senussi rebellion. During this so-called “pacification”, he was responsible for the construction of several concentration camps and labor camps, where thousands of Libyan prisoners died. Some prisoners were killed[3] by hanging, like Omar Mukhtar, or by shooting, but most prisoners died of starvation or disease. His deeds earned him the nickname “the Butcher of Fezzan”[4] among the Arabs, but he was called by the Italians the Pacifier of Libya (Pacificatore della Libia).

In 1930, he became Vice-Governor of Cyrenaica and held this position until 1934, when it was determined that he was needed elsewhere. In 1935, Graziani was made the Governor of Italian Somaliland.

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In Ethiopia

During the Second Italo-Abyssinian War in 1935 and 1936, Graziani was the commander of the southern front. His army invaded Ethiopia from Italian Somaliland and he commanded the Italian forces at the Battles of Genale Doria and the Ogaden. However, Graziani’s efforts in the south were secondary to the main invasion launched from Eritrea by Generale Emilio De Bono, later continued by Marshal of Italy Pietro Badoglio. It was Badoglio and not Graziani who entered Addis Ababa in triumph after his “March of the Iron Will”. But it was Graziani who said: “The Duce will have Ethiopia, with or without the Ethiopians.”

Addis Ababa fell to Badoglio on 5 May 1936. Graziani had wanted to reach Harar before Badoglio reached Addis Ababa, but failed to do so. Even so, on 9 May, Graziani was awarded for his role as commander of the southern front with a promotion to the rank of Marshal of Italy. During his tour of an Ethiopian Orthodox church in Dire Dawa, Graziani fell into a pit covered by an ornate carpet, a trap that he believed had been set by the Ethiopian priests to injure or kill him. As a result, he held Ethiopian clerics in deep suspicion.

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After the war, Graziani was made Viceroy of Italian East Africa and Governor-General of Shewa / Addis Ababa. After an unsuccessful attempt by two Eritreans to kill him on 19 February 1937 (and after other murders of Italians in occupied Ethiopia), Graziani ordered a bloody and indiscriminate reprisal upon the conquered country, later remembered by Ethiopians as Yekatit 12. Up to thirty thousand civilians of Addis Ababa were killed indiscriminately; another 1,469 were summarily executed by the end of the next month, and over one thousand Ethiopian notables were imprisoned and then exiled from Ethiopia. Graziani became known as “the Butcher of Ethiopia”. In connection with the attempt on his life, Graziani authorized the massacre of the monks of the ancient monastery of Debre Libanos and a large number of pilgrims, who had traveled there to celebrate the feast day of the founding saint of the monastery. Graziani’s suspicion of the Ethiopian Orthodox clergy (and the fact that the wife of one of the assassins had briefly taken sanctuary at the monastery) had convinced him of the monks’ complicity in the attempt on his life.

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From 1939-1941, Graziani was the Commander-in-Chief of the General Staff of the Regio Esercito.

At the start of World War II, Graziani was still Commander-in-Chief of the Regio Esercito′s General Staff. After the death of Marshal Italo Balbo in a friendly fire incident on 28 June 1940, Graziani took his place as Commander-in-Chief of Italian North Africa and as Governor General of Libya.

The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had given Graziani a deadline of 8 August 1940 to start to invade Egypt with the 10th Army. Graziani expressed doubts about the ability of his largely un-mechanized force to defeat the British and put off the invasion for as long as he could.

However, faced with demotion, Graziani ultimately followed orders and elements of the 10th Army invaded Egypt on 9 September. The Italians achieved only modest gains in Egypt and then prepared a series of fortified camps to defend their positions. In November 1940 the British counterattacked and completely defeated the 10th Army during Operation Compass, after which Graziani resigned his commission. On 25 March 1941, Graziani was replaced by General Italo Gariboldi, and Graziani remained inactive for the next two years.

Graziani was the only Italian Marshal to remain loyal to Mussolini after Dino Grandi’s Grand Council of Fascism coup. He was appointed Minister of Defense of the Italian Social Republic by Mussolini[6] and oversaw the mixed Italo-German Army Group Liguria (Armee Ligurien). Graziani was able to defeat the Allied Forces in the “Battle of Garfagnana” in December 1944, using a mixed Italian / German force including the “Monte Rosa” alpine division and the “San Marco” marine division.

At the end of the Second World War, Graziani spent a few days in San Vittore prison in Milan before being transferred to Allied control. He was brought back to Africa in Anglo-American custody, staying there until February 1946. Allied forces then felt the danger of his assassination or lynching had passed (many thousands of fascists were murdered in Italy in the summer and autumn of 1945), and returned Graziani to the Procida prison in Italy.

In 1948, a military tribunal sentenced Graziani to 19 years in jail as punishment for his collaboration with the Nazis, but he was released after serving only a few months of the sentence. He was never prosecuted for specific war crimes. Unlike the Germans and Japanese, the Italians were not subjected to prosecutions by Allied tribunals.

In the early 1950s, Graziani had some involvement with the neofascist Movimento Sociale Italiano, and became the “Honorary President” of the MSI party in 1953. In January 1955, Rodolfo Graziani died of natural causes in Rome, aged 72 years.

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Gadhafi wearing a picture of Umar al-Mukhṫār when visiting Rome in 2010.

Tuesday 25th July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 25, 2017 by bishshat

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Stop Stop Stop

The Hollies

See the girl with cymbals on her fingers
Entering through the door
Ruby glistening from her navel
Shimmering around the floor

Bells on feet go ting-a ling-a linging
Going through my head
Sweat is falling just-a like-a tear drops
Running from her head

Now she’s dancing, going through the movements
Swaying to and fro
Body moving, bringing back a memory
Thoughts of long ago

Blood is rushing, temperature is rising
Sweating from my brow
Like a snake, her body fascinates me
I can’t look away now

Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Give me time to breathe
Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Or I’ll have to leave

Now she’s moving all around the tables
Luring all in sight
But I know that she cannot see me
Hidden by the light

Closer, closer, she is getting nearer
Soon she’ll be in reach
As I enter into a spotlight
She stands lost for speech

Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Give me time to breathe
Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Or I’ll have to leave

Stop, stop, stop all the dancing

Give me time to breathe
Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Or I’ll have to leave

Now I hold her, people are staring
Don’t know what to think
And we struggle knocking over tables
Spilling all the drinks

Can’t they understand that I want her
Happens every week
Heavy hand upon my collar
Throws me in the street

Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Give me time to breathe
Stop, stop, stop all the dancing
Or I’ll have to leave

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28 October 1647

Agreement of the People

An agreement of the people for a firm and present peace upon grounds of common right and freedom, as it was proposed by the agents of the five regiments of horse, and since by the general approbation of the army offered to the joint concurrence of all the free commons of England

The names of the regiments which have already appeared for the case of the Case of the army truly stated, and for this present Agreement.
(Of Horse)

The General’s Regiment.
The Life Guard.
The Lieutenant-General’s Regiment.
The Commissary-General’s Regiment.
Colonel Whalley’s Regiment.
Colonel Rich’s Regiment.
Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment.
Colonel Harrison’s Regiment.
Colonel Twistleton’s Regiment.
(Of Foot)

The General’s Regiment.
Colonel Sir Hardress Waller’s Regiment.
Colonel Lambert’s Regiment.
Colonel Rainsborough’s Regiment.
Colonel Overton’s Regiment.
Colonel Lilburne’s Regiment.
Colonel Baxter’s Regiment.
Anno Domini 1647

An Agreement of the people for a firm and present peace upon grounds of common right

Having by our late labours and hazards made it appear to the world at how high a rate we value our just freedom, and God having so far owned our cause as to deliver the enemies thereof into our hands, we do now hold ourselves bound in mutual duty to each other to take the best care we can for the future to avoid both the danger of returning into a slavish condition and the chargeable remedy of another war. For as it cannot be imagined that so many of our countrymen would have opposed us in this quarrel if they had understood their own good, so may we safely promise to ourselves that when our common rights and liberties shall be cleared, their endeavours will be disappointed that seek to make themselves our masters. Since therefore our former oppressions and scarce-yet-ended troubles have been occasioned either by want of frequent national meetings in council or by rendering those meetings ineffectual, we are fully agreed and resolved to provide that hereafter our representatives be neither left to an uncertainty for the time, nor made useless to the ends for which they are intended. In order whereunto we declare:

That the people of England being at this day very unequally distributed by counties, cities and boroughs for the election of their deputies in parliament, ought to be more indifferently proportioned according to the number of the inhabitants: the circumstances whereof, for number, place, and manner, are to be set down before the end of this present parliament.
That to prevent the many inconveniences apparently arising from the long continuance of the same persons in authority, this present parliament be dissolved upon the last day of September, which shall be in the year of our Lord, 1648.
That the people do of course choose themselves a parliament once in two years, viz. upon the first Thursday in every second March, after the manner as shall be prescribed before the end of this parliament, to begin to sit upon the first Thursday in April following at Westminster or such other place as shall be appointed from time to time by the preceding representatives, and to continue till the last day of September then next ensuing, and no longer.
That the power of this and all future representatives of this nation is inferior only to theirs who choose them, and doth extend, without the consent or concurrence of any other person or persons, to the enacting, altering, and repealing of laws; to the erecting and abolishing of offices and courts; to the appointing, removing, and calling to account magistrates and officers of all degrees; to the making war and peace; to the treating with foreign states; and generally, to whatsoever is not expressly or impliedly reserved by the represented to themselves.
Which are as follows:
That matters of religion and the ways of God’s worship are not at all entrusted by us to any human power, because therein we cannot remit or exceed a tittle of what our consciences dictate to be the mind of God, without wilful sin. Nevertheless the public way of instructing the nation — so it be not compulsive — is referred to their discretion.
That the matter of impressing and constraining any of us to serve in the wars is against our freedom; and therefore we do not allow it in our representatives; the rather, because money (the sinews of war) being always at their disposal, they can never want numbers of men apt enough to engage in any just cause.
That after the dissolution of this present parliament, no person be at any time questioned for anything said or done in reference to the late public differences, otherwise than in execution of the judgements of the present representatives (or House of Commons).
That in all laws made or to be made, every person may be bound alike; and that no tenure, estate, charter, degree, birth, or place do confer any exemption from the ordinary course of legal proceedings whereunto others are subjected.
That as the laws ought to be equal, so they must be good and not evidently destructive to the safety and well-being of the people.
These things we declare to be our native rights; and therefore are agreed and resolved to maintain them with our utmost possibilities against all opposition whatsoever: being compelled thereunto, not only by the examples of our ancestors — whose blood was often spent in vain for the recovery of their freedoms, suffering themselves through fraudulent accommodations to be still deluded of the fruit of their victories — but also by our own woeful experience, who having long expected and dearly earned the establishment of these certain rules of government, are yet made to depend for the settlement of our peace and freedom upon him that intended our bondage and brought a cruel war upon us.

For the noble and highly honoured the freeborn people of England, in their respective counties and divisions, these:

Dear countrymen and fellow-commoners,

For your sakes, our friends, estates and lives have not been dear to us. For your safety and freedom we have cheerfully endured hard labours and run most desperate hazards. And in comparison to your peace and freedom we neither do nor ever shall value our dearest blood; and we profess our bowels are and have been troubled and our hearts pained within us in seeing and considering that you have been so long bereaved of these fruits and ends of all our labours and hazards. We cannot but sympathise with you in your miseries and oppressions. It’s grief and vexation of heart to us to receive your meat or monies whilst you have no advantage, nor yet the foundations of your peace and freedom surely laid. And therefore, upon most serious considerations that your principal right most essential to your well-being is the clearness, certainty, sufficiency and freedom of your power in your representatives in parliament; and considering that the original of most of your oppressions and miseries have been either from the obscurity and doubtfulness of the power you have committed to your representatives in your elections, or from the want of courage in those whom you have betrusted to claim and exercise their power (which might probably proceed from their uncertainty of your assistance and maintenance of their power); and minding that for this right of yours and ours we engaged our lives (for the king raised the war against you and your parliament upon this ground: that he would not suffer your representatives to provide for your peace, safety and freedom that were then in danger, by disposing of the militia and otherwise, according to their trust); and for the maintenance and defence of that power and right of yours, we hazarded all that was dear to us. And God has borne witness to the justice of our cause.

And further minding that the only effectual means to settle a just and lasting peace, to obtain remedy for all your grievances, and to prevent future oppressions is the making clear and secure the power that you betrust to your representatives in parliament — that they may know their trust, in the faithful execution whereof you will assist them.

Upon all these grounds we propound your joining with us in the agreement herewith sent unto you, that by virtue thereof we may have parliaments certainly called and have the time of their sitting and ending certain and their power or trust clear and unquestionable; that hereafter they may remove your burdens and secure your rights without oppositions or obstructions and that the foundations of your peace may be so free from uncertainty that there may be no grounds for future quarrels or contentions to occasion war and bloodshed. And we desire you would consider that as these things wherein we offer to agree with you are the fruits and ends of the victories which God has given us, so the settlement of these are the most absolute means to preserve you and your posterity from slavery, oppression, distraction, and trouble. By this, those whom yourselves shall choose shall have power to restore you to, and secure you in, all your rights; and they shall be in a capacity to taste of subjection as well as rule, and so shall be equally concerned with yourselves in all they do. For they must equally suffer with you under any common burdens and partake with you in any freedoms. And by this they shall be disenabled to defraud or wrong you — when the laws shall bind all alike, without privilege or exemption. And by this your consciences shall be free from tyranny and oppression, and those occasions of endless strifes and bloody wars shall be perfectly removed. Without controversy, by your joining with us in this agreement all your particular and common grievances will be redressed forthwith without delay. The parliament must then make your relief and common good their only study.

Now because we are earnestly desirous of the peace and good of all our countrymen — even of those that have opposed us — and would to our utmost possibility provide for perfect peace and freedom and prevent all suits, debates, and contentions that may happen amongst you in relation to the late war, we have therefore inserted it into this agreement that no person shall be questionable for anything done in relation to the late public differences after the dissolution of this present parliament, further than in execution of their judgement: that thereby all may be secure from all sufferings for what they have done, and not liable hereafter to be troubled or punished by the judgement of another parliament — which may be to their ruin unless this agreement be joined in, whereby any acts of indemnity or oblivion shall be made unalterable and you and your posterities be secure.

But if any shall inquire why we should desire to join in an agreement with the people to declare these to be our native rights — and not rather petition to the parliament for them — the reason is evident. No Act of parliament is or can be unalterable, and so cannot be sufficient security to save you or us harmless from what another parliament may determine if it should be corrupted. And besides, parliaments are to receive the extent of their power and trust from those that betrust them; and therefore the people are to declare what their power and trust is — which is the intent of this agreement. And it’s to be observed that though there has formerly been many Acts of parliament for the calling of parliaments every year, yet you have been deprived of them and enslaved through want of them. And therefore, both necessity for your security in these freedoms that are essential to your well-being, and woeful experience of the manifold miseries and distractions that have been lengthened out since the war ended through want of such a settlement, require this agreement. And when you and we shall be joined together therein we shall readily join with you to petition the parliament — as they are our fellow-commoners equally concerned — to join with us.

And if any shall inquire why we undertake to offer this agreement, we must profess we are sensible that you have been so often deceived with declarations and remonstrances and fed with vain hopes that you have sufficient reason to abandon all confidence in any persons whatsoever from whom you have no other security of their intending your freedom than bare declaration. And therefore, as our consciences witness that in simplicity and integrity of heart we have proposed lately in the Case of the army stated your freedom and deliverance from slavery, oppression and all burdens, so we desire to give you satisfying assurance thereof by this agreement — whereby the foundations of your freedoms provided in the Case of the army shall be settled unalterably. And we shall as faithfully proceed to — and all other most vigorous actings for your good that God shall direct and enable us unto. And though the malice of our enemies and such as they delude would blast us by scandals, aspersing us with designs of ‘anarchy’ and ‘community’, yet we hope the righteous God will, not only by this our present desire of setting an equal just government but also by directing us unto all righteous undertakings simply for public good, make our uprightness and faithfulness to the interest of all our countrymen shine forth so clearly that malice itself shall be silenced and confounded. We question not but the longing expectation of a firm peace will incite you to the most speedy joining in this agreement — in the prosecution whereof, or of anything that you shall desire for public good, you may be confident you shall never want the assistance of,

Your most faithful fellow-commoners now in arms for your service.

Edmund Bear
Robert Everard (Lieutenant-General’s Regiment).
George Garret
Thomas Beverley (Commissary-General’s Regiment).
William Pryor
William Bryan (Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment).
Matthew Weale
William Russell (Colonel Whalley’s Regiment).
John Dover
William Hudson (Colonel Rich’s Regiment).

Agents coming from other regiments unto us have subscribed the agreement to be proposed to their respective regiments and you.

For our much honoured and truly worthy fellow-commoners and soldiers, the officers and soldiers under command of his excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax
Gentlemen and fellow soldiers,

The deep sense of many dangers and mischiefs that may befall you in relation to the late war whensoever this parliament shall end — unless sufficient prevention be now provided — has constrained us to study the most absolute and certain means for your security. And upon most serious considerations we judge that no Act of Indemnity can sufficiently provide for your quiet, ease, and safety, because — as it has formerly been — a corrupt party, chosen into the next parliament by your enemies’ means may possibly surprise the House and make any Act of Indemnity null, seeing they cannot fail of the king’s assistance and concurrence in any such actings against you that conquered him.

And by the same means, your freedom from impressing also may in a short time be taken from you though for the present it should be granted. We apprehend no other security by which you shall be saved harmless for what you have done in the late war than a mutual agreement between the people and you that no person shall be questioned by any authority whatsoever for anything done in relation to the late public differences after the dissolution of the present House of Commons, further than in execution of their judgement; and that your native freedom from constraint to serve in war, whether domestic or foreign, shall never be subject to the power of parliaments — or any other. And for this end we propound the agreement that we herewith send to you to be forthwith subscribed.

And because we are confident that ‘in judgement and conscience’ ye hazarded your lives for the settlement of such a just and equal government that you and your posterities and all the freeborn people of this nation might enjoy justice and freedom; and that you are really sensible that the distractions, oppressions and miseries of the nation, and your want of your arrears, do proceed from the want of the establishment both of such certain rules of just government and foundations of peace as are the price of blood and the expected fruits of all the people’s cost; therefore in this agreement we have inserted the certain rules of equal government under which the nation may enjoy all its rights and freedoms securely. And as we doubt not but your love to the freedom and lasting peace of the yet-distracted country will cause you to join together in this agreement.

So we question not but every true Englishman that loves the peace and freedom of England will concur with us. And then your arrears and constant pay (while you continue in arms) will certainly be brought in, out of the abundant love of the people to you; and then shall the mouths of those be stopped that scandalise you and us as endeavouring anarchy or to rule by the sword; and then will so firm an union be made between the people and you that neither any homebred or foreign enemies will dare to disturb our happy peace.

We shall add no more but this; that the knowledge of your union in laying this foundation of peace, this agreement, is much longed for by,

Yours, and the people’s most faithful servants.

Postscript

Gentlemen,

We desire you may understand the reason of our extracting some principles of common freedom out of those many things proposed to you in the Case of the army truly stated and drawing them up into the form of an agreement. It’s chiefly because for these things we first engaged against the king. He would not permit the people’s representatives to provide for the nation’s safety — by disposing of the militia, and other ways, according to their trust — but raised a war against them; and we engaged for the defence of that power and right of the people in their representatives. Therefore these things in the agreement, the people are to claim as their native right and price of their blood, which you are obliged absolutely to procure for them.

And these being the foundations of freedom, it’s necessary that they should be settled unalterably, which can be by no means but this agreement with the people.

And we cannot but mind you that the ease of the people in all their grievances depends upon the setting those principles or rules of equal government for a free people; and, were but this agreement established, doubtless all the grievances of the Army and people would be redressed immediately and all things propounded in your Case of the army stated to be insisted on, would be forthwith granted.

Then should the House of Commons have power to help the oppressed people, which they are now bereaved of by the chief oppressors; and then they shall be equally concerned with you and all the people in the settlement of the most perfect freedom — for they shall equally suffer with you under any burdens or partake in any freedom.

We shall only add that the sum of all the agreement which we herewith offer to you is but in order to the fulfilling of our Declaration of 14 June wherein we promised to the people that we would with our lives vindicate and clear their right and power in their parliaments.

Edmond Bear
Robert Everard (Lieutenant-General’s Regiment).
George Garret
Thomas Beverley (Commissary-General’s Regiment).
William Pryor
William Bryan (Colonel Fleetwood’s Regiment).
Matthew Wealey
William Russell (Colonel Whalley’s Regiment).
John Dober
William Hudson (Colonel Rich’s Regiment).

Agents coming from other regiments unto us have subscribed the agreement to be proposed to their respective regiments and you.

Sunday 23rd July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 23, 2017 by bishshat

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Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love

Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser

If I had to live my life without you near me
The days would all be empty
The nights would seem so long, with you I see forever
Oh, so clearly, I might have been in love before

But it never felt this strong
Our dreams are young and we both know
They’ll take us where we want to go

Hold me now
Touch me now
I don’t want to live without you

Nothing’s gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
One thing you can be sure of
I’ll never ask for more than your love

Nothing’s gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
The world may change my whole life through but
Nothing’s gonna change my love for you

If the road ahead is not so easy
Our love will lead the way for us
Like a guiding star
I’ll be there for you if you should need me

You don’t have to change a thing
I love you just the way you are
So come with me and share the view
I’ll help you see forever too

Hold me now
Touch me now
I don’t want to live without you

Nothing’s gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
One thing you can be sure of
I’ll never ask for more than your love

Nothing’s gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you
The world may change my whole life through but
Nothing’s gonna change my love for you

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Summer in February

Summer in February is a 2013 British romantic drama film directed by Christopher Menaul. Novelist Jonathan Smith adapted the screenplay from his 1995 eponymous novel. The film stars Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning, Dan Stevens, Hattie Morahan and Nicholas Farrell and focuses on the early 20th century love triangle between British artist Alfred Munnings, his friend Gilbert Evans and Florence Carter-Wood. It was released in the United Kingdom on 14 June 2013.

Summer in February was shot during January and February 2012.
The cast and crew spent four weeks filming in Cornwall from 15 January. Shooting locations included Penzance, Lamorna and Prussia Cove. National Trust beaches Holywell and Porthcurno provided “a dramatic setting” for a horse-race sequence and a beach party scene respectively.
Producer Jeremy Cowdrey explained “We could have filmed it anywhere in the world but we were determined to do it here, where it all happened. It’s a true story and, because it’s about a Bohemian artists’ colony, the exciting thing is to recreate it, splash Cornwall and bring the county alive.”

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Summer in February, Jonathan Smith’s novel relating the turbulent events in Lamorna on the eve of the First World War, is an absorbing read. A film of the same title is due to be released in the UK later this year. Penlee House’s latest offering is a beautifully crafted show which links the two, locating both book and film within the context of a unique artistic community whose members are pictured at work and play.

The exhibition was opened last week by Jonathan Smith, who has written the screenplay for the film adaptation. A window display at the Gallery’s entrance includes stills from the forthcoming film, together with the wedding dress worn by the actor Emily Browning.

A delicately rendered landscape in watercolour entitled ‘The Moor’ testifies to the fact that Florence Carter Wood came to Cornwall to study art. This image, a rare canvas by the aspiring painter, is the first of many visual delights which offer an intimate look into the lives of the Lamorna artists and their friends during the closing years of the Edwardian era. ‘Lamorna Cove’ below, by one of the earliest residents of the valley, Samuel ‘Lamorna’ Birch, is undated yet conveys the atmosphere of an era of innocence which was soon to disappear forever.

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The community had grown since the founding in 1899 of the Forbes School of Painting in nearby Newlyn. The active involvement of Stanhope Forbes’ wife Elizabeth made the school particularly appealing to women seeking art tuition, and Florence was one of several female students attracted by its reputation. A further incentive for Florence was the fact that her brother Joey was already studying under Stanhope Forbes. Among her fellow students she found companionship and acquired the unflattering nickname ‘Blote’.

Much of the detail of Florence’s life remains undocumented. She is best known as the subject of a number of portraits by the artists of Lamorna. A pair of oils by Harold Knight (one dated 1911) show her in profile, a fine-looking young woman in her early twenties, whose bearing is somewhat aloof. Those who knew Florence found her introverted and prone to depression. Harold was a man of few words who enjoyed working quietly in his studio, so it is likely that the two were comfortable in each other’s company. Laura Knight, while deeply committed to her art, was in many respects the opposite of her husband. She was an extrovert and loved being part of a social circle whose pursuit of pleasure included a great deal of late-night revelry, in which the flamboyant Alfred (AJ) Munnings played a conspicuous role. Florence’s quiet beauty proved irresistible to Alfred, with whom she shared a love of riding. She proved ideal as a model for his equestrian paintings, most famously in ‘The Morning Ride’ on loan for this exhibition, which forms the cover image of Jonathan Smith’s novel.

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The narrative of Summer in February unfolds from the point of view of Captain Gilbert Evans, who kept diaries of his time in Lamorna. The highly respected and well-liked local land agent, he was torn between loyalty towards his friend Alfred Munnings and his growing love for Florence, in whom he found a kindred spirit. But his lack of confidence prevented him from declaring his feelings for her, and he was devastated when the pair announced their engagement. It was evident not only to Gilbert that Alfred and Florence had little in common. They were considered an ill-matched couple by Lamorna Birch, and by the Knights. Beneath his brash charm Munnings could be insensitive and cruel. Spending a great deal of time away in London or visiting his family roots in Suffolk, he led the life of a carefree bachelor, leaving Florence behind in Lamorna, where Gilbert could be relied upon to keep her spirits up. Gilbert and Florence were in the habit of taking walks together in the beautiful Lamorna valley or along the clifftops, and it was one of these occasions, described in his diary as taking place on a ‘summer’s day’ but dated in February, which inspired the title for the book.

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The companion piece to ‘The Morning Ride’ is ‘Portrait of Florence Munnings at Sunset’ by her husband, painted soon after their marriage. Clad in a pale flowing dress, the subject sits atop a stone wall, scarcely distinguishable from her surroundings, flecked with the last rays of the dying sun. The loosely applied brushwork lends her form a remote, ethereal quality.

Florence was already deeply unhappy in her marriage. During Alfred’s frequent absences she and Gilbert found solace in each other’s company. Gilbert’s background comes to life in the exhibition through photographs of him posed with fellow players in the 1st XV rugby team at school (c.1899) and later as a member of the Monmouth Militia. Displayed in a cabinet are his medals, including those awarded for service during the Boer War. Also on show are his regimental sword and his fishing rod.

Although his love affair with Florence remained a secret to all but a few, Gilbert was finding the situation intolerable. Early in 1914 he resolved to resign from his job in Lamorna, to join the colonial service in Nigeria. On the eve of his departure, he and Florence met in London. A poignant memento of this occasion was retained by Gilbert. It is the receipt for their lunch, headed ‘14.4.1914, Trocadero Restaurant, Piccadilly Circus’. Afterwards, Florence accompanied him to Paddington Station, where they parted. His diary continues the narrative: ‘I went to the train alone and very sad.’ Later, he added: ‘This was the last time I saw her alive.’

Photograph of Edith Florence Carter-Wood by Photographer Unknownportraitofflorence

No longer able to bear her husband’s dismissive attitude towards her, Florence Munnings took her own life on 24 July 1914. A few weeks later Gilbert Evans received the news in Nigeria. In September 1914 Britain was plunged into war with Germany. The sorrow borne by Florence’s family was compounded when Joey Carter Wood was killed in battle in France the following year.

In her autobiography ‘Oil Paint and Grease Paint’ Laura Knight referred to the tragedy thus: ‘Suddenly the death of a much-loved member of our colony put an end to all joy.’

In 1920 Alfred Munnings married Violet McBride, a renowned horsewoman. In later life he wrote an autobiography in three volumes, in which there is no mention of Florence.

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Gilbert Evans became the Deputy Surveyor General of Nigeria. There he met his future wife, Joan, with whom he had two sons. He retired in 1933 and returned to Lamorna, where he died in 1966.

Gilbert was not an artist, and yet the exhibition is infused with his quiet spirit. A selection of artworks given to him by his artist friends testifies to his popularity. A watercolour entitled ‘A Winter Landscape’ was a Christmas present from Joey Carter Wood in 1913. Flanked by Harold Knight’s portraits of Florence, described above, is a beautifully understated charcoal drawing on paper entitled simply ‘Florence’. The signature ‘MCF’ indicates that the artist was her fellow student Madeleine ‘Madge’ Fawkes. This gift to Gilbert from their mutual friend was discovered years after his death, carefully concealed behind a framed drawing of a fisher boy. After Florence died Alfred Munnings, in acknowledgement of his friend’s relationship with her, left ‘The Morning Ride’ with the Knights – a gift for Gilbert on his return. This must have been a bitter-sweet moment for the recipient.

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Laura Knight was one of the most prominent members of the Lamorna community. Professional models and friends would pose for her in all sorts of weather conditions, as she loved nothing better than to paint ‘en plein-air’. A large canvas ‘The Flower’ depicts four female figures out of doors. One is believed to be the professional model, Dolly Snell, while the figure on the right is presumed to be Florence. Prior to the outbreak of war Knight developed a fascination for the ballet and theatre. ‘The Dancer’, a work in oil on paper, was given to Gilbert at this time.

A close friend to both the Knights was the beautiful Ella Naper. The show includes nude photographs of Ella, taken on Bodmin Moor, which were used by Harold for his numerous portraits of her. Alongside is one of the products of a joint artistic venture – Laura and Ella’s tiny, delicate ‘Dancer’ in enamel.

Ella, a ceramicist and maker of exquisite jewellery, is the subject of Laura Knight’s ‘Self & Nude’. Painted in 1913, it attracted a great deal of controversy as it was the first time a woman artist had depicted herself with a nude. The painting was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1971 and is one of their most treasured artworks. Alison Bevan, director of Penlee House Gallery, told me: ‘We have tried to borrow ‘Self & Nude’ on several previous occasions, without success, so we are absolutely delighted finally to have been able to bring it back to Cornwall. It is such a stunning painting and is particularly relevant for this show not only because it depicts two of the close friends of the story’s main protagonists (Laura Knight and Ella Naper), but its production was marked by a party, a souvenir of which appears in Gilbert Evans’s scrap book, on show as part of the exhibition.’

The Newlyn School

The Newlyn School was an art colony of artists based in or near Newlyn, a fishing village adjacent to Penzance, Cornwall, from the 1880s until the early twentieth century. The establishment of the Newlyn School was reminiscent of the Barbizon School in France, where artists fled Paris to paint in a more pure setting emphasizing natural light. These schools along with a related California movement were also known as En plein air.

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Newlyn had a number of things guaranteed to attract artists: fantastic light, cheap living, and the availability of inexpensive models. The artists were fascinated by the fishermen’s working life at sea and the everyday life in the harbour and nearby villages. Some paintings showed the hazards and tragedy of the community’s life, such as women anxiously looking out to sea as the boats go out, or a young woman crying on hearing news of a disaster. Lamorna Birch was the prime mover behind the colony and the work done there. The later Forbes School of Painting, founded by Stanhope Forbes and his wife Elizabeth in 1899, promoted the study of figure painting. A present-day Newlyn School of Art was formed in 2011 with Arts Council funding providing art courses taught by many of the best-known artists working in Cornwall today.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Lamorna, a nearby fishing village to the south, became popular with artists of the Newlyn School and is particularly associated with the artist S. J. “Lamorna” Birch who lived there from 1908.

 

Saturday 22nd July 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on July 22, 2017 by bishshat

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