Sonya Olschanezky is another of those ordinary brave men and women who risked and gave their lives in resisting the German occupation of Europe during the Second World War.
Olschanezky was born in Chemnitz, Germany, in 1923. Her parents were secular Jews, her father a Russian-born chemical engineer and her mother from a moneyed German family. Read more ›››
Much has been made of the athletes who cheat by using drugs to enhance their performance, but there are all sorts of cheat and one such is the Olympian Boris Onishchenko.
Onishchenko was a modern pentathlete who had already won medals at the Mexico and Munich Olympic Games before the events that brought about his disgrace took place at the 1976 games in Montreal. Read more ›››
The idea of Japanese soldiers continuing the fight long after World War Two ended is something of an obvious cliché, but it did happen and one of the best known of those post-war warriors is Hiroo Onada who carried on his one-man campaign until 1974.
Onoda was born to a family of the samurai warrior class in 1922. His father was a sergeant with the 4th Cavalry Brigade until he was killed in China in 1943. Read more ›››
Queen Victoria was most definitely not amused on the seven occasions that an attempt was made on her life and the first would-be regicide was the baby-faced assassin Edward Oxford.
Oxford was born in Birmingham in 1822, the third child of Hannah Marklew and George Oxford. His father worked in the city’s jewellery trade as a gold chaser, but died when his son was aged seven… Read more ›››
In 1854, the vessel Bella disappeared at sea off South America. On board was Roger Charles Tichborne, heir to the Tichborne estates and baronetcy, who was declared dead – lost at sea.
And yet his mother never gave up hope that he might have survived. She placed advertisements in newspapers around the world seeking information about her son’s fate, and it seemed her faith was rewarded when she received news from Australia. Read more ›››
Titus OatesTitus Oates was one of the most odious figures from history – a self-serving liar, bully, coward and fantasist whose vindictive conspiracy theories brought death and vilification to countless Catholics.
Oates was born in 1649, the son of a Church of England clergyman and even as a child he was hard to like. He was sickly with a permanently runny nose and dribbling mouth and as he grew he developed an annoying manner of speech, somewhere between a bark and a whine. Read more ›››
Charles O’Hara was a British soldier who had the dubious distinction of surrendering to both George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte.
He was born in Lisbon 1740, the illegitimate son of General James O’Hara and his Portuguese mistress. He was educated at Westminster School, but joined the army as a cornet at the age of twelve. Before he was 16 he was commissioned as a lieutenant, just as Europe was about to enter another of its interminable wars. Read more ›››
You may not know the name Phoebe Ann Moses, but you will recognise her by her stage name – Annie Oakley, sharpshooter and star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Her name is synonymous with the world’s view of life in the American west, but she is also the subject of one of the more intriguing ‘what ifs’ of history. Read more ›››