On This Day in 1949; Germaine Leloy-Godefroy, last French woman to face the guillotine.

She was the last woman in France to face the dreaded 'Timbers of Justice.'

I wrote a book.

  It's been quite some time since I last posted ere, but I have been extremely busy with paid work and earning a living. Part of that has been writing my first book. Criminal Curiosities is a collection of crooks, all with something about their crime, trial or punishment that is singular to them. The … Continue reading I wrote a book.

Papillon – The Butterfly Pinned..?

Meet Henri Charriere. Frenchman, Venezuelan, career criminal, transportee to Devil's Island, denier of the murder that sent him there, happy to claim to have committed a murder while he was there and general storyteller and writer. Also known as 'Papillon (due to a butterfly tattoo on his chest) and writer of the eponymous book turned … Continue reading Papillon – The Butterfly Pinned..?

The First World War – The ‘Ace’ Myth.

We had a strict code of honour. You didn't shoot down a cripple and you kept it a fair fight. Captain Wilfred Reid May, Royal Flying Corps, 13 victories Fighting in the air is not sport. It is scientific murder. Captain Edward "Eddie" Rickenbacker, U.S. Air Service, 26 victories Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock, René Fonck and … Continue reading The First World War – The ‘Ace’ Myth.

Leaving Le Mans

The race is over, but the flags are still flying, the airhorns are blowing and the fans are cheering.. The crowd will drift back to the campsites soon, either heading back tonight on the ‘ferry dash’ or for one last night on the beer before it’s all over for another year. The winning drivers have … Continue reading Leaving Le Mans

Graham Hill’s Last Hurrah (and Triple Crown).

Graham Hill, AKA 'Mr. Motor Racing' and 'Mr. Monaco', twice winner of the Formula One World Driver's Championship (1962 and 1968), winner of the Indy 500 at his first attempt (1966), five-time winner of the Monaco Grand Prix (1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969), winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours (1972) and the only driver … Continue reading Graham Hill’s Last Hurrah (and Triple Crown).

The First World War: A War Of Words.

A while ago I posted something on the etymology of execution, how the death penalty has found its way into modern conversation via phrases and expressions used every day when so many of us have no idea of their origin. Today we'll be looking at the etymology of war, the First World War, specifically words … Continue reading The First World War: A War Of Words.

The Le Mans Start.

       One of the highlights of my year. 56 cars and a combined 30,000 horsepower blasting by me only feet away. The Le Mans Start. It’s always a little different at Le Mans. For starters, fans are still treated like fans, not as walking wallets like at Grand Prix. You also get more racing in 24 hours than … Continue reading The Le Mans Start.

The Brits Who Fought For Hitler.

The SS motto - 'My honour is loyalty.'   As a freelance scribbler and long-time student of military history I love finding the more overlooked or forgotten aspects of the subject. For instance, the popular narrative of the Second World War holds that the British people pulled together, fighting as one for a common cause. … Continue reading The Brits Who Fought For Hitler.

Archie Scott Brown: Racing’s Forgotten Hero.

A while ago I combined two big interests, true crime and motorsport. Today I'll mix motorsport with another passionate interest, disability. Archie Scott Brown was Scottish, born in Paisley, Renfrewshire on May 13, 1927. His mother contracted Rubella (German measles) during her pregnancy, leaving Archie with serious physical handicaps. He had only one hand and … Continue reading Archie Scott Brown: Racing’s Forgotten Hero.