My own books. For years I devoured reassuring histories about heroic leaders and military campaigns and our seemingly unique self-sacrificing role in the world.

I love history because you can learn so much from it and even more from what historians choose to forget. Such is my obsession that I have spent the last three years shunning family and friends in preference for rummaging through the indexes and files of archives and libraries. The focus of my interest has been my research for a book – Rogue Nation: 1001 forgotten anniversaries that shame Britain. I don’t use the phrase ‘rogue nation’ in the glib propaganda manner in which we label our enemies, but rather in the literal sense that Britain has routinely pursued its interests by force or by collaborating with repressive regimes, often without any respect for international norms or even international law.


J.M.W. Turner – The Slave Ship – 1840

Some anniversaries in British history are deemed worthy of any orgy of commemoration. They are often royal occasions favoured by round the clock live media coverage, while other darker moments are either forgotten or deliberately suppressed.

Some shameful centenaries of 2020 unlikely to be commemorated

[ click on text for more details ]

21.01 – R.A.F. biplanes strafe and bomb Dervish settlements and sheep

21.01 – Churchill – ‘The majority of the (Bolshevik) leaders are Jews.’

07.02 – Waziristan villages ‘utterly destroyed’ – villagers left to freeze

08.02 – Churchill blames the Bolshevik terror in Russia and Europe on Jews

19.03 – British security forces assassinate the Lord Mayor of Cork

06.04 – ‘Recalcitrant’ Waziri villages burned

03.05 – R.A.F. biplanes machine gun and bomb cattle to starve the Nuer of Sudan

03.05 – Churchill backs gas warfare to preserve the Empire

24.05 – Young Iraqi thrown in prison for reading out a nationalist poem

09.06 – A ‘punitive column’ ravages the ancient Iraqi town of Tel Afar

18.06 – Winston Churchill backs top general’s attack on critic of poison gas

01.07 – Churchill recommends using the RAF to bomb Irish rebels

18.08 – General Haldane obtains Churchill’s approval to use chemical weapons

20.08 – General on his troops ‘burning every village within reach’

24.08 – Churchill – Egypt ‘will do all she is told’

29.08 – Churchill urges the RAF to consider using mustard gas in Iraq

03.09 – Coroners courts replaced by army run inquests in ten Irish counties

04.09 – English visitors to Ireland warned of danger from British troops

06.09 – Top general on our ‘counter terror… cutthroats’ in Ireland

20.09 – British auxiliary forces sack the Irish town of Balbriggan

23.09 – British Army’s murderous rampage through three Irish towns

24.09 – Churchill recommends strafing crowds of Irish nationalists

27.09 – British auxiliary forces sack the Irish town of Trim

25.10 – Lord Mayor of Cork dies on hunger strike in Brixton prison

31.10 – ‘Moderate’ minister praises British reprisals against Irish civilians

21.11 – 14 shot dead by British led armed police at Dublin football stadium

29.11 – Gertrude Bell on teaching the Arabs a ‘lesson’ by ‘burning villages’

11.12 – British soldiers and auxiliaries sack the city of Cork, burning down 300 homes

21.12 – Village of Ballinalee ‘burned out by forces of the crown’

27.12 – British introduce death penalty in Ireland for any civilian in army uniform

Please return regularly as I continue to post more day to day anniversaries of some of the ugliest crimes of British imperialism.

© 2018 – 2020 Alisdare Hickson All rights reserved

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