Filial affection can be a dangerous thing, especially if that affection isn’t reciprocated – it can lead to all sorts of trouble.
Such was the case with William Henry Ireland. Born in 1777, his father regarded him as a waste of space, and even his mother denied that he was hers, claiming that she was just the housekeeper. Read more ›››
One of the iconic moments of the modern era took place on 12 April 1961 when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. But was he? Or does that honour belong to Vladimir Ilyushin as the conspiracy theorists would have us believe?
Vladimir Ilyushin was the son of Sergei Ilyushin, the pioneering aircraft engineer responsible for some of the most famous Russian military aircraft and deputy of the Supreme Soviet from 1937 to 1970. Read more ›››
Sir Charles Isham was a member of the landed aristocracy who lived a fairly blameless life tending his gardens, other than that he is also credited with introducing the ornamental gnome to the gardens of Britain.
Isham was born in 1819 at the family estate of Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire, the manor house built by his wealthy wool merchant forebear, John Isham, in 1568 Read more ›››
When I was a boy scout, one of our occasional activities would be the blindfold taste test. Blindfolded and holding our noses, things like sugar, coffee and fruit juice would be placed on our tongue and we had to guess what they were.
The point of the exercise was to demonstrate the importance of sight and smell to the taste experience, and also the way that our tongue has areas that sense the four basic tastes – bitter, sour, salt and sweet. Read more ›››
The term ‘old soldier’ would suit no-one better than George Ives who, when he died in 1993 at the age of 111, was the last surviving veteran of the Boer Wars.
Ives was born in Brighton in 1881 although the family moved to Bristol to work for the Tidmarsh family. As a boy, Ives trained to be a jockey but then worked in his father’s workshop. Read more ›››
Ivar Ragnussson was one of the Vikings leaders who with his brothers led the Great Heathen Army that invaded the East Anglia region of England in 865AD, but it is how he got the nickname Ivar the Boneless that is the mystery.
But first the history lesson. Ivar was the son of Ragnar Lodbrok who ruled large parts of what is today Denmark and Sweden. The young Ivar is portrayed as a warrior and had a reputation as a berserker. Read more ›››
If you take even a passing interest in aircraft, the Ilyushin is instantly recognisable as a Russian brand, and the company that manufactures them owes it all to the son of a peasant family, Sergei Vladimirovitch Ilyushin.
Ilyushin was born in the village of Dilyalevo in south-central Russia in 1894, the youngest of eleven children. Read more ›››
Elsie Inglis was a Scottish suffragette and pioneer of women in medicine and medicine for women.
She was born in Naini Tal, India, in 1864, the daughter of John Inglis who worked in the Indian Civil Service and she was fortunate that her parents were enlightened enough to believe that an education was just as important for their daughter as for their son. Read more ›››