On 19 November 1994, a television programme was broadcast that marked a watershed in Britain’s long history of gambling and lotteries. On this Saturday evening, Noel Edmonds presented the first draw of The National Lottery. The first draw saw 15 million people buy £1 tickets that gave them a chance of winning an estimated £7 million jackpot.
The Army Reserve underwent a major restructuring in 1908 in the reforms introduced by Richard Haldane, the Secretary of State for War. The previously civilian-administered Volunteer Force was combined with the mounted Yeomanry, while the militia was renamed the Special Reserve.
London, in its first incarnation, was a trading post of the Roman Empire. The area was carefully chosen for its estuarine location, where the trade and distribution of goods could easily be maintained. In subsequent centuries, as London grew, street trading became its lifeblood, creating an unparalleled number of markets, each serving its own communities and each offering a different character.
The explicit rationale of the workhouse was that you’d be prepared to put up with just about any kind of living hell rather than go there. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 – the most radical restructuring of welfare support that Britain had seen – envisioned the workhouse as the ultimate deterrent.
Heraldic visitations, which began in 1530, regulated coats of arms of the gentry and nobility as well as boroughs in England, Wales and Ireland until 1688. They also recorded family pedigrees, and the records that were generated can be a valuable source for genealogists wanting to find out more about their well-heeled ancestors in the Tudor and Stuart period. Many of them are online at online at TheGenealogist.co.uk.
From 1917 British soldiers who were deemed too unfit or old for frontline service were given a different duty, one that still left them very much within range of German guns for weeks and months at a time. These soldiers were made to undertake labouring tasks such as digging, construction and demolition. The vital yet largely unreported role played by these brave soldiers was crucial to achieving victory in 1918.
Sussex has three main geographic sub-regions, each oriented approximately east to west. In the south-west of the county lies the fertile and densely populated coastal plain. North of this lie the rolling chalk hills of the South Downs, beyond which lies the well-wooded Sussex Weald. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Sussex; the modern division into East and West counties only dates from 1974. The region is rich in prehistoric and Roman remains.
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