U.S Marines fighting the Boxers
At the start of the 20th century countless ceremonies are held all over northern China, to demonstrate to villagers that the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists, called by foreigners “the Boxers “- are impervious to harm from weapons. China is the Middle Kingdom – to the Chinese the civilized world – where the gods controlled destiny – the will of Heaven. The emperor is the interpreter of Heavens will, and he resided in the Forbidden City in the centre of Peking, the nations capital. For over 10 centuries no foreigner had gazed on the emperor’s face, but by the end of the 19th century the empire had a population of four hundred million, and the increasingly powerful western countries wished to further open up this vast market to trade. Read more
Mark Twain said” “Heaven goes by favor; If it went on merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
Most of us love animals, and the affection and undivided loyalty some species show, especially dogs. Even today, all over the world we hear about courageous animals saving people or doing extraordinary service on battlefields – searching out bomb for instance. In 1943, the founder of the People Dispensary for Sick Animals, Maria Dickin, created an award for any animal within the British Commonwealth armed forces and civil emergency services who had helped preserve human life. However the scope expanded and in addition to British animals, there are American, Canadian, Australian and Egyptian winners of this unique award. It is the Dickin Medal – the animal’s Victoria Cross. Unfortunately, in South East Asia, too many deserving recipients are overlooked or die together with their human friends. Here are those who won the prestigious award in South East Asia. Read more
The British Crown colony of Hong Kong was attacked on the same day that bombs fell on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and from this time the desperate struggle of the Hong Kong garrison against superior forces was overshadowed by the news of the struggle of her allies in various other parts of Asia. The battle for Hong Kong lasted only 17 days – the Japanese were massed on the land border of Hong Kong’s New Territories, but there was a spirited defence even though the British Prime Minister Churchill regarded it as indefensible, although original plans said the colony could hold for five months.