25th of October – On this Day Special

World War 1

25th of October 1917

VC Hero at Passchendaele


The third battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) is now into a third month. The British currently hold Hill 60, a spoil heap on the Ypres-Comines railway. It was during this battle that 2nd Lieutenant Hugh Colvin from Burnley Earned his Victoria Cross. Colvin started his military career as a Private in the 8th (Royal Irish) Hussars serving in India and retired from the Army as a Major having earned his commission on the battlefield in 1917. He was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion the Cheshire Regiment, and attached to the 9th Battalion in which he won his V.C. for taking command of two companies when their commanding officers were killed and leading them in an assault against German machine gun posts under heavy fire.

World War 2

25th of October 1940

RAF Coastal Blitz

AVRO Manchester

RAF bombers swept the coast of occupied France in the biggest blitz to date. Aircraft were over occupied France for more than an hour protecting a convoy from German long range guns. At the same time, German Aircraft attacked the convoy, and the escorting ships opened up with everything at their disposal including anti-aircraft guns and Lewis Guns. None of the ships suffered a direct hit.

25th of October 1941

Naples Ablaze for Fourth Successive Night

RAF Wellington Bomber

Fires burning in the Italian city of Naples are still burning for a fourth successive night, as RAF bombers continue their campaign. For more than six hours the RAF kept up the attack dropping thousands of pounds of High Explosives. The port and railway were the main targets, the reason for which is though to be to prevent the city from being used as a supply depot for German and Italian forces in Libya.

25th of October 1942

Allies Smash Rommel’s Lines

British Tanks in Egypt

After the biggest artillery barrage of the war so far, British, Dominion and Allied infantry have smashed through Rommel’s outer defences in Egypt. Tanks have been brought up and fierce fighting is now under way inside the German lines. The artillery barrage was described by an eye witness as the biggest since the Battle of the Somme.

26th of October 1943

Red Army on the Hunt

Red Army Armour

The Germans are in full retreat in the East as an avalanche of Russians tanks pursue them. Reports say that the German soldiers are ditching weapons and even loot on the roadside as they flee the Red Army’s armour.

In other News

25th of October 1950

Atomic Scientists Show of Loyalty

Many foreign born scientists now working in Britain on Atom splitting and Atomic weapons projects have handed in their passports confining themselves to Britain in a show of loyalty to their adopted nation. Following the disappearance of one scientist, and the discovery that another was betraying secrets, a group of scientist met and decided on the gesture in order to prove their loyalty and dedication to the work.

25th of October 1960

Queen in near miss with Luftwaffe

Luftwaffe Sabre Fighter Aircraft

Three dramatic moves have been made following the news that two German Sabre jet fighters narrowly missed a 1000 m.p.h. collision with an aircraft carrying the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The West German Government issued a formal apology through its embassy in London to the Queen on behalf of the Luftwaffe; a joint investigation was set up involving the RAF and the Luftwaffe to investigate the incident, and finally the Luftwaffe have opened an internal inquiry to identify the pilots, telling all officers to stand by, all night if necessary.

25th of October 1970

Freed Briton in “Spy” Riddle

Ship’s Officer Peter Crouch , held by the Chinese for two-and-a-half years, flew back to Britain and freedom and immediately became the centre of a “spy” mystery. The riddle that he posed on his homecoming; was he or was he not spying for the Navy?

At first he said that he was and that he had made notes on Chinese warships and that the Navy had asked him to, but he later changed his mind and said that the Navy hadn’t asked him to spy, and that his actions were all carried out on his own initiative.

October 16th, On this Day in…

Navy Wipes out a Convoy, Hits Port

October 16th, 1940

Big Guns of the Royal Navy

The Navy has shown it’s power again. It has wiped out an entire German convoy, including the escorting Kriegsmarine vessels. After blasting Cherbourg last week they have now turned their big guns on Dunkirk, blasting the port and starting fires.

The admiralty spokesman stated: “A German convoy of three supply ships and two escorting vessels accompanying them has been destroyed. One Merchant vessel was around 7,000 tons one of the others, which were smaller, exploded before sinking.” “In addition another vessel of around 7,000 tons has been successfully attacked and hit with three torpedoes.

Two Plotted to Aid Enemy

October 16th, 1941

Enemy Ears are Listening

After evidence by a witness had been heard, two men were sentenced at the Old Bailey yesterday on charges accusing them of “Intent to assist the enemy.”

Four men were on trial; Wilfred Gordon Snape, 41, grocer; James Chapman Winn, 46, engraver; Joseph Ashmore Thumwood, 50, fireman, and Ernest Wyatt, 34, decorator. It was alleged that they conspired to produce and distribute written and printed materials concerning enemy wireless communications with intent to assist the enemy.

Winn and Wyatt were found not guilty and discharged. Snape and Thunwood were found guilty and were each sentenced to three years penal servitude.

Midnight Bid to Sail Channel to Join Axis Army

October 16th, 1942

Folkestone Harbour

An attempt by two young men, British subjects of Italian parentage, to cross the Channel in a fishing boat with the object of reaching Italy to join the Italian Army, had a sequel a Folkestone.

Lorenzo Ogni, 20, and Nicodemo Vannucci, 18, were each sentenced to three months hard labour for the theft of a fishing boat; three months for going to a destination outside of the United Kingdom without leave, and three months for unlawfully attempting voluntarily to enter enemy territory.