Sunday, December 16, 2012

British paratrooper, pigeons and Saxons

Today’s stories:

Not too long ago, a World War II carrier pigeon was found dead in a chimney.  He was identified as such because of a coded message strapped to his leg.  The message had been undecipherable until identified by researchers in Canada.  Apparently the code was partially based on a First Word War artillery code book.  The message appears to have been sent by a Lancashire paratrooper Sergeant William Stott after parachuting behind enemy lines into Normandy.  Stott sent the message as a regular update and requesting information from HQ Bomber Command at RAF High Wycombe.  Stott’s possible mission was to assess German strength.   Stott was killed in action a few weeks after sending the message.  More here.

British paratroopers in Oosterbeek, 23 September 1944

Dr. Julius Neubronner’s patented miniature pigeon camera, 1909-1911

Researchers with the Canterbury Archaeological Trust discovered five Saxon graves in St Margaret’s.  The excavation was done ahead of planned construction work.  At least one of the graves held a warrior buried with a shield.  More Saxon graves may be present in the area.  More here. 
Pre-1066 illustration of Anglo-Saxon warriors on horseback

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