Category Archives: East End at war

Thomas Rainsborough, the Levellers and the English Civil War

Roundheads versus Cavaliers, Parliament versus Royalty. In the popular mind the English Civil War is a simple conflict of two clearly opposing factions, which will end with the beheading of one king — and unfold a decade later with the … Continue reading

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Dock deaths and the Poplar Hospital

THE NAME of the infirmary was tellingly blunt. The ‘Poplar Hospital for Accidents’ suggested that the East End of the 1800s was a dangerous place where bad things happened. And though it would become a refuge for East Enders suffering … Continue reading

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Strikes in the East End of London during World War 1

The years before the First World War saw more strikes in the East End of London than ever before, and it was little wonder that unrest centred on this part of London. A centre for industry and imports, with a … Continue reading

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Digging for victory in wartime London

As the price of fresh food goes through the roof, many East Enders are heading for the shed and digging out long forgotten trowels, spades, rakes and … what exactly do you call that thing with the hollowed-out triangle on … Continue reading

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War hero Geoffrey Harold Woolley

It’s the stuff of Boys’ Own stories. A young officer, seeing his superior officers cut down by enemy fire and his own troops thinned by machine gun fire, defies overwhelming odds to hold the line against the Germans. Victory is … Continue reading

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Peter Kuenstler at Oxford House

View Peter Kuenstler at Oxford House in a larger map By the time of Peter Kuenstler’s arrival a lot had changed since the pioneering days of the East End settlements. In the 1880s, social reformers such as Samuel Barnett had … Continue reading

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Cable Street – 74 years on

In 1936 a battle took place on the streets of the East End that was to focus the eyes of Britain on the growing threat of fascism in its midst. A plaque on a wall in Dock Street tells the … Continue reading

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Zeppelin air raids on London

Everybody knows the hardships the East End endured during the Blitz bombing of the Second World War – Mile End was the victim of the first flying bomb of World War II. But what many forget is the suffering inflicted … Continue reading

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Women at war

The outbreak of hostilities in 1939 was when war really came home to the East End. Up till then, conflicts had largely been fought far away, with news of victory and defeat dribbling back slowly. Of course the East End … Continue reading

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Boudicca and the fall of London

It was the seventh year of the reign of Emperor Nero, The year AD61. A brutal rebellion of Celtic tribesmen erupted in the newly conquered, but still unpacified Roman province of Britain. The Iceni tribe of Norfolk were roused to … Continue reading

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