The Little Sepia Photograph

Look at the scuffed little sepia photograph below. It depicts young white/European primary school children in Salina, Kansas, USA in 1895. The children seem to have an average age of about ten or eleven — some some are obviously much younger.

The photo was sent to me, along with an educational archive, by a friend who devotes her retirement years trying to help youngsters in prison achieve a rudimentary education so that they might be able to be useful members of society when they regain their freedom. I expect the photo and the accompanying text has ‘done the rounds’.

A high proportion of the children in the photo will have had ancestors from the British Isles. They certainly look very similar to photos of British schoolchildren in village schools in 1895. I’m sure you could Google-up such pictures. I bet they played the same kind of playground games handed down to them by their forebears over centuries (see books by Iona and Peter Opie, especially this one from Amazon.

Read Lark Rise to Candleford, available from Amazon through this link, which recounts the lives of English village folk (in rural Oxfordshire) in about the same period. The chapter devoted to the village school is especially revealing. Lark Rise and numerous archives of English school childrens’ work from that era provide an amazing (and shocking) contrast with what British children were expected to achieve — and did achieve — before they left school aged 14 (or younger!) with the scope of work produced by 17 year-old school leavers today — often ‘achieving’ A* GCSE grades!!

Have you ever read the well-written, fluent and moving letters home of teenage British lads from humble backgrounds sent from the trenches of the First World War? They knew history, the songs of their ancestors and poetry as well as having a good grasp of arithmetic, spelling and other practical skills.

Contrast their output with the monosyllabic pseudo-‘Afro’ grunts of teenagers today, who know nothing about anything, except how to play the latest computer games featuring explosions, car chases and mass murder.

But back to the 1890s in the USA: Could any of us have graduated from the 8th grade at the standard set in 1895?

The eighth-grade final exam below was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

All this should make us wonder: What are the ideas, the laws and the social changes which have caused British, American and other European nations and cultures to disintegrate? Why are we continuously called-upon to ‘celebrate’ that disintegration? What — or who — has implanted in our folk and kindred peoples a Death-Wish?

Martin Webster.

8th Grade Final Exam:
Salina, Kansas – 1895
GRAMMAR (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,’ ‘play,’ and ‘run’.
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the
practical use of the rules of grammar.

ARITHMETIC (Time, 1 hour 15 minutes)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet Long, and 3ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs, what is it worth at 50 cts/bushel, deducting 1,050lbs for tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent per annum.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. HISTORY (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus .
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States .
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas .
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

ORTHOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

GEOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)

1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco .
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

The Titanic Disaster – 100 Years On

This is being uploaded to this blog just over 100 years to the day since RMS Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic on 14th April 1912 and sank just 2 hours and 40 minutes later.

In those 160 minutes a high drama was played out in which all human frailty and weakness, strength and heroism, came to the fore. The largest ship afloat at the time, embodying the epitome of all the White man’s technology in his quest to tame the forces of nature, and which was widely believed to be unsinkable, succumbed to a skirmish with a solitary iceberg and sank to the deepest part of the ocean with the loss of over 1,500 lives.

It has been defined as the moment when the twentieth century lost its innocence. That century certainly consisted of a series of disasters for the White race, and perhaps the sinking of the Titanic portended that.

It has all the elements of an enduring story. People will never tire, it seems, of new books, films, documentaries and conspiracy theories relating to that one ship.

It had everything – fabulous wealth on board (even, some say, a cursed ancient Egyptian mummy), the strictly structured class system of the British Empire in microcosm, a swaggering confidence (it seemed) in its own invincibility, a background of being built in a Belfast shipyard where Catholics and Protestants acted out their ancient hatreds of each other, many dramatic deaths among the ship builders in the process of building and launching it, the White Star line gambling all it had on this one ship to save itself from financial ruin, a captain on his last voyage before retirement allegedly seeking a place in the record books for the fastest maiden crossing of the Atlantic, and so it goes on and on.

There are even stories of how the owners planned to have the ship sunk anyway before it reached New York, though not with the loss of any lives, in order to claim the insurance money and inject some much needed cash into the White Star bank account.

Who was to blame? There were so many unlikely events that came together to cause the tragedy that it’s uncanny.

Shipping reports warning of ice came into the telegraph room, but were not taken up to the bridge for the captain’s attention because there was a huge volume of outgoing messages from the rich First Class passengers, mostly of a shallow and frivolous nature.

The binoculars that should have been in the lookout’s possession had been mislaid (though some say that they wouldn’t have made much difference anyway).

When the iceberg was sighted the officer in charge made the worst possible decision in ordering the ship to steer to starboard, thereby making a glancing collision (the kind of collision most likely to cause fatal damage to the hull) almost certain. It would have been better to plough head-on into the iceberg because, while this would undoubtedly have caused major damage and some injuries, the hull would not have been sliced open the way it was, paving the way for an unending flood of water that sealed the ship’s doom. The Titanic could have remained afloat at least until help arrived.

Instead, the iceberg sliced open five of the sixteen water-tight compartments below the water line. That was enough, even for the mighty Titanic. It went down in the deepest part of the ocean – over 2 miles deep. It was too far from neighbouring ships for rescue to arrive in time before it sank. In the minutes before it went down it exhibited the classic “sinking ship” picture of the stern coming up out of the water to nearly a vertical position before falling back and then submerging.

And of course the water was 2 degrees below freezing, making all hope of survival in it beyond a half minute or so impossible (something that most of the films we have been seeing about the disaster recently seem to have overlooked).

No-one could really have foreseen the incredible coincidence of a huge iceberg right in the path of Titanic. The chances of that happening, even in the Labrador current, must have been a million to one.

The mass media at the time, true to form, sought sensationalism rather than the truth about the disaster, and went searching for heroes and villains where, for the most part, there were only ordinary humans. William Hearst, a powerful US press magnate, had a vendetta against the White Star Line’s chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, who was on board but managed to escape the sinking ship in one of the lifeboats.

It was easy, therefore, to label him a coward who saved his own skin while 1,500 other passengers and crew died. The resulting media blitz on him ruined what was left of the rest of his life – he never lived it down, and probably soon wished he had gone down with the ship.

But it transpires that Mr Ismay only took a seat in the last lifeboat to leave when it was clear that the seat would otherwise have remained empty – there was no-one else around to take it, and the boat had to be launched without further delay. So could he really be blamed?

Captain Smith seems to have managed to avoid most of the blame. Going down with his ship at least salvaged his reputation as the ship’s captain. But he should have resisted pressure from the owners to sail at full speed into an ice field. He should also have acted on the ice warnings that were coming into the telegraph room that night, assuming, that is, that he was aware of them.

No doubt the one hundredth anniversary of the disaster will not by any means mark the end of all the speculation, the books, the films and the conspiracy theories. There will be plenty more.

But let’s hope that all the lives lost and ruined, all the heroism and self-sacrifice, will not have been totally in vain. Let the Titanic live on as part of the Anglo-Celtic story, its triumphs and tragedies.

John Northwind

Save Our Ancient Games

For hundreds of years villagers in many parts of England (and possibly Ireland, Wales and Scotland too) have taken part in traditional games at certain times of the year. These usually involve kicking bottles or anything else that is an excuse for a mass rugby-style scrum resulting in a huge amount of fun.

For example, at Ashbourne in Derbyshire, each year at Shrovetide two teams, the Up’ards and the Down’ards, compete against each other in trying to hit a cork-filled ball against a post at either end of the town. Pointless? Maybe, but nevertheless a terrific excuse to run around bashing everyone else in the way and end up soaking wet and covered in mud.

Similar activities take place on Shrove Tuesday at Sedgefield, Durham and at Alnwick, Northumberland. Probably an ideal opportunity to settle a few old scores.

In Lincolnshire there is an ancient game called Haxey Hood that dates back to the 14th century. It involves a scrum of 200 people attempting to “sway” a hood in the direction of one of four pubs, and it takes place at Haxey in the north of the county every January 6th (5th if the 6th is a Sunday).

At Atherstone, in Warwickshire, another ball game has been taking place each year for over 800 years, similar in nature to the Ashbourne game. And at Hallaton in Leicestershire there is a bottle kicking contest every Easter Monday in which teams compete to carry a barrel of beer (known as a bottle) across the village boundary into the neighbouring village of Medbourne.

These harmless games are an opportunity to bond friendships and build camaraderie among people who live and work in the same village. To let off steam and have a thoroughly good time. In short, to cement racial identity and build the kind of relationships that help propagate the White race as lords and masters of these islands.

No wonder, then, that these games have attracted the malevolent attention of leftists and race-mixers, who see them as an obstacle in the way of their diabolical schemes to destroy the White race and create a miscegenised mish-mash of compliant, worker-ant type zombies in our place.

As ever, they have made their attack obliquely, by way of “health and safety” issues. These rough games, they say, are too dangerous. There must be adequate safety measures and expensive insurance policies in place in case anyone gets hurt.

They know, of course, that these villagers, like most other working folk these days, don’t have the money to afford expensive, over-priced insurance cover. Nor can they comply with other demands relating to public safety and order, and, faced with huge financial costs and impossible demands from “health and safety” officers, they face having their ancient games closed down forever.

Or so the hate-filled race-mixers hope. That would be one more step towards breaking up any remaining race-consciousness among ordinary Anglo-Celtic folk, and make them ripe for slaughter on the alter of multi-racialism and miscegenation. After all, it would look rather out of place if any blacks or Asiatics took place in these ancient pagan games. Can you imagine it?

But our ancient traditions, and their current custodians, aren’t such a push-over. The organisers of these events are coming together to share resources in preserving these sacred customs, and defending them from their attackers.

The organisers of the annual Hallaton bottle kicking contest are joining forces with the organisers of the Ashbourne football game. People from Ashbourne visited Hallaton on Easter Monday in 2011 to watch their bottle kicking contest, and it looks like this will be a regular get-together.

Mike Betteridge, secretary of the Ashbourne event, said, “We enjoyed coming to Hallaton last Easter Monday.

“Our two events are survivors in a dwindling number of traditional sporting fixtures.

“Health and safety has become a very expensive overhead for us. We are pleased the Hallaton event is flourishing and look forward to maintaining ties.

“We also want to form a confederation of all the events around the country and I have written to them.”

More power to you, Mr Betteridge. May all of our ancient kingdom’s traditional events come together in the way you are pioneering, and be preserved forever.

And if the evil, faceless, miscegenocrats who want to destroy our traditions, our heritage, and ourselves, the White race, don’t like it then they can play a game of no-rules football over England’s green and pleasant land, and the survivors can then have their way.

John Northwind

Lines from JRR Tolkien

I Sit Beside The Fire And Think . . .

JRR Tolkien

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
Of meadow flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
With morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
In every wood in every spring there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
And people who will see a world that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.


Popular Sayings No. 1 – Black Sheep

This is the first in a series that examines how popular sayings came about in Anglo-Celtic culture. We start with “Black Sheep”.

From the time when the wool trade became established as the backbone of the English economy in the Middle Ages, black sheep were considered less valuable than white ones, because their wool could not be easily dyed.

Since most domestic sheep range in colour from white to light brown, black sheep have always been in the minority. By the eighteenth century, a ‘black sheep’ had come to mean a person out of favour, someone oddly different and therefore a renegade.

The idea of the ‘odd one out’ in a flock is still current when the least successful or admirable member of a family is referred to as ‘the black sheep of the family’.