Joint Matriculation Board

Examination boards in the United Kingdom (sometimes called awarding bodies or examining groups) are the examination boards responsible for setting and awarding secondary education level qualifications, such as GCSEs, Standard Grades, A Levels, Highers and vocational qualifications, to students in the United Kingdom. The Northern Universities Joint Matriculation Board later changed its name to the Joint Matriculation Board of the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham, though has always been known as simply the Joint Matriculation Board or JMB in everyday usage.


A Curriculum Vitae or a CV differs from a résumé in that it is appropriate for academic or medical careers and is far more comprehensive. A CV elaborates on education to a far greater degree than a résumé. Such content is inappropriate in a résumé as a prospective employer would usually deem this as burdensome. One of the key characteristics of a proper résumé is conciseness.


Philip Arthur Larkin, (9 August 1922 – 2 December 1985), was a British poet, novelist and jazz critic. He spent his working life as a university librarian and was offered the Poet Laureateship following the death of John Betjeman but declined the post. Larkin is commonly regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the latter half of the twentieth century. He first came to prominence with the publication in 1955 of his second collection, The Less Deceived. This was followed by The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows in 1964 and 1974, respectively. In 2003, Larkin was chosen as "the nation's best-loved poet" in a survey by the Poetry Book Society, and in 2008 The Times named Larkin as the greatest British post-war writer. Larkin was born in the city of Coventry, West Midlands, England. From 1930 to 1940, he was educated at King Henry VIII School in Coventry and, in October 1940, in the midst of the Second World War, went up to St John's College, Oxford, to read English language and literature. Having been rejected for military service because of his poor eyesight, he was able, unlike many of his contemporaries, to follow the traditional full-length degree course, taking a first-class degree in 1943. Whilst at Oxford, he met Kingsley Amis, who would become a lifelong friend and frequent correspondent. Shortly after graduating, he was appointed municipal librarian at Wellington, Shropshire. In 1946, he became assistant librarian at University College, Leicester and, in 1950, sub-librarian at Queen's University Belfast. In March 1955, Larkin was appointed librarian at the University of Hull, a position he retained until his death.

Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, the novel has become a common part of high school and college curricula throughout the English-speaking world; it has also been translated into almost all of the world's major languages. Around 250,000 copies are sold each year, with total sales of more than sixty-five million. The novel's antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion and defiance. The novel was chosen by Time among the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005, and by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged in the United States for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and teenage angst.


The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th century England by which the Church of England first broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider process of the European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement which affected the practice of Christianity across the whole of Europe during this period. Many factors contributed to the process: the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible texts, the transmission of new knowledge and ideas amongst scholars and the upper and middle classes. However the various phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion gradually accommodated itself. The stories of why and how some states of Europe adhered to different forms of reformed churches, remained faithful to the Holy See, or allowed different regions within states to come to different conclusions, are highly complicated and specific to each state and remain the subject of debate among historians. Based on Henry VIII's desire for an annulment, the English Reformation was, at the outset, more of a political than a theological dispute, but the reality of political differences between Rome and England nonetheless allowed growing theological disputes to come to the fore. Before the break with Rome, it was the Pope and general councils of the church that decided doctrine. Church law was governed by the code of canon law with final jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome and it was the Pope who had the final say over the appointment of bishops. The split from Rome made the English monarch the Supreme Governor of the English church by "Royal Supremacy", thereby making the Church of England the established church of the nation. Doctrinal and legal disputes now rested with the monarch and the papacy was deprived of revenue and the final say on the appointment of bishops. The structure and theology of the church was a matter of fierce dispute for generations. These disputes were finally ended by a coup d'état in 1688, from which emerged a church polity with an established church and a number of non-conformist churches whose members at first suffered various civil disabilities which were only removed over time, as did the substantial minority who remained Roman Catholic in England and Wales, whose church organization remained illegal until the nineteenth century. Different opinions have been advanced as to why England adopted a reformed faith, unlike France for instance. Some have advanced the view that there was an inevitability about the triumph of the forces of new knowledge and a new sense of autonomy set over-against superstition and corruption; others that it was a matter of chance: Henry VIII died at the wrong time; Mary had no child; reform did not inevitably mean leaving the Roman Communion; for others it was about the power of ideas which required only moderate assistance for people to see old certainties as uncertain; while others have written that it was about the power of the state over vibrant, flourishing popular religion; or that it was a 'cultural revolution'. Some, on the contrary, have argued that, for most ordinary people there was a continuity across the divide, which was as significant as any changes. The recent revival of scholarly interest may indicate that the argument is not yet over.

World War One

World War I, or the First World War (often referred to as WWI, WW1, The Great War and The War to End All Wars), was a global military conflict which involved the majority of the world's great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Entente Powers and the Central Powers. Over 70 million military personnel were mobilized in the largest war in history. In a state of total war, the major combatants placed their scientific and industrial capabilities at the service of the war effort. Over 15 million people were killed, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. The proximate catalyst for the war was the 28 June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by a Bosnian-Serb nationalist, Gavrillo Princip. Austria-Hungary's resulting demands against the Kingdom of Serbia led to the activation of a series of alliances which within weeks saw all of the major European powers at war. Because of the global empires of many European nations, the war soon spread worldwide. By the war's end, four major imperial powers—Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire—had been militarily and politically defeated, with the latter two ceasing to exist as autonomous countries. The revolutionized Soviet Union emerged from the Russian Empire, while the map of central Europe was completely redrawn into numerous smaller states. The League of Nations was formed in the hope of preventing another such conflict. The European nationalism spawned by the war, the repercussions of Germany's defeat, and the Treaty of Versailles would eventually lead to the beginning of World War II in 1939.

Chartered accountant

Chartered Accountant (CA) is the title used by members of certain professional accountancy associations in the British Commonwealth countries and Ireland. The term chartered comes from the Royal Charter granted to the world's first professional body of accountants upon their establishment in 1854. Chartered Accountants work in all fields of business and finance. Some are engaged in public practice work, others work in the private sector and some are employed by government bodies.


In Ancient Greece, a Hecatomb was a sacrifice to the gods of 100 cattle (hecaton = one hundred). In the Iliad hecatombs are described formulaically. The following is one instance, from Samuel Butler's translation:

"[T]hey ranged the holy hecatomb all orderly round the altar of the god. They washed their hands and took up the barley-meal to sprinkle over the victims [cattle], while [the priest] lifted up his hands and prayed aloud on their behalf ... When they had done praying and sprinkling the barley-meal, they drew back the heads of the victims and killed and flayed them. They cut out the thigh-bones, wrapped them round in two layers of fat, set some pieces of raw meat on the top of them, and then [the priest] laid them on the wood fire and poured wine over them, while the young men stood near him with five-pronged spits in their hands. When the thigh-bones were burned and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut the rest up small, put the pieces upon the spits, roasted them till they were done, and drew them off: then, when they had finished their work and the feast was ready, they ate it, and every man had his full share, so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, pages filled the mixing-bowl with wine and water and handed it round, after giving every man his drink-offering ... Thus all day long the young men worshipped the god with song, hymning him and chanting the joyous paean, and the god took pleasure in their voices."

National Front

The British National Front (most commonly called the National Front, and often known as the NF) is a far-right and whites-only British political party whose major political activities were during the 1970s and 1980s. It is widely considered a racist group, and the British prison service and police services forbid membership of the National Front (as well as the British National Party and Combat 18). The National Front states that it is not a Nazi party, as it is considered to be by some people, and that it is a democratic political movement. 'We believe in Social Justice, National Freedom and the introduction of a Bill of Rights for everyone.' The NF opposes all economic and cultural imperialism. 'Nations should be free to determine their own political systems, their own economic systems and to develop their own culture.'

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was an Irish born British figurative painter. Bacon's artwork is known for its bold, austere, homoerotic and often violent or nightmarish imagery, which typically shows room-bound masculine figures isolated in glass or steel geometrical cages set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. A late starter, Bacon did not begin painting until he was in his late 20s. He painted sporadically and without commitment during the late 1920s and early 1930s, when he worked as an interior decorator and designer of furniture and rugs. He later admitted that his career was delayed because he had spent so long looking for a subject that would sustain his interest. His breakthrough came with the 1944 triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, and it was this work and his heads and figures of the late 1940 through to the early 1960s that sealed his reputation as a chronicler of the grotesque. From the mid 1960's, Bacon mainly produced portrait heads of friends. He often said in interviews that he saw images "in series", and his artistic output often saw him focus on single themes for sustained periods (including his crucifixion, Papal heads, and later single and triptych heads series). Bacon began painting variations on the Crucifixion, and later focused on half human-half grotesque heads, best exemplified by the 1949 "Heads in a Room" series. Following the 1971 suicide of his lover George Dyer, his art became more personal, inward looking and preoccupied with death. The climax of this period came with his 1982 "Study for Self-Portrait", and his masterpiece, the 1985 triptych "Three Studies for a Self-portrait". Bacon was noted for his larger than life, but often severe, personality, and he spent much of his middle and later life eating, drinking and gambling in London's Soho with such people as Lucian Freud, John Deakin, Daniel Farson, Jeffrey Bernard, Muriel Belcher and Henrietta Moraes. Following Dyer's suicide he moved away from this circle and became less involved with rough trade to settle with his eventual heir John Edwards. Since his death, Bacon's reputation has steadily grown. He still draws admiration and disgust in equal measures; Margaret Thatcher famously described him as "that man who paints those dreadful pictures". Bacon was the subject of two major Tate retrospectives during his life time and received a third in 2008. He always professed not to depend on preparatory works and was resolute that he never drew. Yet since his death, a number of presumedly destroyed major works, including Popes from the early 1950s, and Heads from the 1960s, have surfaced on the art market which are considered equal to any of his "official" output. Sketches have also emerged and although the Tate recognised them as canon, they have not yet been acknowledged as such by the art market.


Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a civil servant. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method. Pascal was a mathematician of the first order. He helped create two major new areas of research. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen, and later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. Following Galileo and Torricelli, in 1646 he refuted Aristotle's followers who insisted that nature abhors a vacuum. His results caused many disputes before being accepted. In 1646, he and his sister Jacqueline converted to Jansenism. His father died in 1651. Following a mystical experience in late 1654, he had his "second conversion", abandoned his scientific work, and devoted himself to philosophy and theology. His two most famous works date from this period: the Lettres provinciales and the Pensées, the former set in the conflict between Jansenists and Jesuits. In this year, he also wrote an important treatise on the arithmetic of triangles. Between 1658 and 1659 he wrote on the cycloid and its use in calculating the volume of solids. Pascal had poor health throughout his life and his death came just two months after his 39th birthday.


Joseph Mallord William Turner RA(23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851) was an English Romantic landscape painter, water colourist and printmaker, whose style is said to have laid the foundation for Impressionism. Although Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, he is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivaling history painting.


Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (29 August 1780 – 14 January 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. Although he considered himself a painter of history in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David, by the end of his life it was Ingres' portraits, both painted and drawn, that were recognized as his greatest legacy. A man profoundly respectful of the past, he assumed the role of a guardian of academic orthodoxy against the ascendant Romantic style represented by his nemesis Eugène Delacroix. His exemplars, he once explained, were "the great masters which flourished in that century of glorious memory when Raphael set the eternal and incontestable bounds of the sublime in art ... I am thus a conservator of good doctrine, and not an innovator." Nevertheless, modern opinion has tended to regard Ingres and the other Neoclassicists of his era as embodying the Romantic spirit of his time, while his expressive distortions of form and space make him an important precursor of modern art.


Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a nineteenth-century German philosopher and classical philologist. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science, using a distinctive German language style and displaying a fondness for metaphor and aphorism. Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism and postmodernism. His style and radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth have resulted in much commentary and interpretation, mostly in the continental tradition, and some analytic philosophy. His key ideas include the interpretation of tragedy as an affirmation of life, an eternal recurrence (which numerous commentators have re-interpreted), a rejection of Platonism, and a repudiation of both Christianity and egalitarianism (especially in the form of democracy and socialism). Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. At the age of 24 he was appointed to the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel (the youngest individual ever to have held this position), but resigned in 1879 because of health problems, which would plague him for most of his life. In 1889 he exhibited symptoms of insanity, living out his remaining years in the care of his mother and sister until his death in 1900.


A gobbet is an extract of text, or image, provided as a context for analysis, translation or discussion in an examination. The Oxford English Dictionary contains no references to gobbets before 1912.

Zulu Wars/Boer Wars

The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Empire. From complex beginnings, the war is notable for several particularly bloody battles, as well as for being a landmark in the timeline of colonialism in the region. The war ended the Zulu nation's independence. Two Boer Wars were fought between the British empire and the two independent Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic), founded by settlers known as Voortrekkers who made the Great Trek from the Cape Colony. The war most commonly referred to as the "Boer War" is the Second Boer War. The Second Boer War (1899–1902), by contrast, was a lengthy war involving large numbers of troops from many British possessions, which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies (with a promise of limited self-government). These colonies later formed part of the Union of South Africa.


Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in Great Britain. Because of its great size, over time functions were increasingly undertaken by its subdivisions, which have been subject to periodic reform. Throughout these changes, Yorkshire continued to be recognised as a geographical territory and cultural region. The name is familiar and well understood across the United Kingdom and is in common use in the media, the military and also features in the titles of current areas of civil administration such as Yorkshire and the Humber and West Yorkshire. The Brigantes, the largest Celtic Briton tribe, held Yorkshire as their heartland. The Romans made Eboracum, later to be named York, from which the county derives its name, the capital of Britannia Inferior, one of the two provinces of third century Roman Britain; in the fourth century it was the capital of Britannia Secunda, one of four provinces. The area was an independent Viking kingdom known as Jórvík for around a century, before being taken by England. Most of the modern day large cities were founded during the Norman period. The county covered just under 6,000 square miles (15,000 km²) in 1831 and the modern day Yorkshire and the Humber region has a population of around five million. Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to both the vast stretches of unspoiled countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors and the open aspect of some of the major cities. Yorkshire has sometimes been nicknamed God's Own County. The emblem of Yorkshire is the white rose of the English royal House of York, the most commonly used flag representative of Yorkshire is the White Rose on a dark blue background, which after years of use, was finally recognised by the Flag Institute on 29 July 2008. Yorkshire Day, held on 1 August, is a celebration of the general culture of Yorkshire, ranging from its history to its own language.


Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. Described by Bertrand Russell as "the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived, passionate, profound, intense, and dominating", he helped inspire two of the twentieth century's principal philosophical movements: the Vienna Circle and Oxford ordinary language philosophy. According to an end of the century poll, professional philosophers in Canada and the U.S. rank both his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations among the top five most important books in twentieth-century philosophy, the latter standing out as "...the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations". Wittgenstein's influence has been felt in nearly every field of the humanities and social sciences, yet there are widely diverging interpretations of his thought.

Dissolution of the Monasteries

The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, denotes the administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, nunneries and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland; appropriated their income, disposed of their assets and provided for their former members. He was given the authority to do this by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England; and by the First Suppression Act (1536) and the Second Suppression Act (1539). Although some monastic foundations dated back to Anglo Saxon England, the overwhelming majority of the 825 religious communities dissolved by Henry VIII owed their existence to the wave of monastic enthusiasm of that had swept England and Wales in the 11th and 12th centuries; in consequence of which religious houses in the 16th century controlled appointment to about a third of all parish benefices, and disposed of about half of all ecclesiastical income. The dissolution still represents the largest legal transfer of property in English history, since the Norman Conquest.

Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, one of the events that triggered the start of the war. The other Central Powers on the German side of World War I were dealt with in separate treaties. Although the armistice signed on 11 November 1918 ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty. Of the many provisions in the treaty, one of the most important and controversial required Germany and its allies to accept responsibility for causing the war and, under the terms of articles 231-248, to disarm, make substantial territorial concessions and pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers. The Treaty was undermined by subsequent events starting as early as 1922 and was widely flouted by the mid-thirties. The result of these competing and sometimes incompatible goals among the victors was compromise that left none satisfied: Germany was not pacified, conciliated or permanently weakened. This would prove to be a factor leading to later conflicts.

Weimer Republic

The Weimar Republic was the democratic and republican period of Germany from 1919 to 1933. Following World War I, the republic emerged from the German Revolution in November 1918. In 1919 a national assembly convened in the city of Weimar, where a new constitution for the German Reich was written, to be adopted on 11 August. The attempt to re-establish Germany as a liberal democracy eventually failed 14 years later with the ascent of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in 1933. Although technically the 1919 Weimar constitution was never officially invalidated, the legal measures taken by the Nazi government in February and March 1933, commonly known as Gleichschaltung, destroyed the mechanisms of democracy. Therefore 1933 is usually seen as the end of the Weimar Republic and as the beginning of Hitler's "Third Reich". In its fourteen years the Weimar Republic managed to survive in spite of severe economic problems (including a disastrous inflation), political extremism and an unfavourable international situation. It overcame many discriminatory regulations of the Treaty of Versailles, reformed the currency, unified tax politics and the railway system. Its constitution was one of the most modern in the world. However, the republic is often seen only as a mere step between the reign of the Emperor and Hitler's dictatorship.


Sir Christopher Wren (20 October 1632 – 25 February 1723) was a 17th century English designer, astronomer, geometer, mathematician, physicist and one of the greatest English architects in history. Wren designed 53 London churches, including St Paul's Cathedral, as well as many secular buildings of note. He was a founder of the Royal Society (president 1680–82), and his scientific work was highly regarded by Sir Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal.


Nicholas Hawksmoor (probably 1661 - 25 March, 1736) was a British architect born to a humble family in Nottinghamshire. His career formed the brilliant middle link in Britain's trio of great baroque architects. Hawksmoor was characterised by Howard Colvin as "more assured in his command of the classical vocabulary than the untrained Vanbrugh, more imaginative in his vision than the intellectual Wren." From about 1684 to about 1700 Hawksmoor worked with his teacher, Christopher Wren, on projects including Chelsea Hospital, St. Paul's Cathedral (London), Hampton Court Palace and Greenwich Hospital. Thanks to Wren's influence as Surveyor-General, the modest and diffident Hawksmoor was named Clerk of the Works at Kensington Palace (1689) and Deputy Surveyor of Works at Greenwich (1705). In 1718, when Wren was superseded by the new, amateur Surveyor, William Benson, Hawksmoor was deprived of his double post to provide places for Benson's brother, a bitter blow. "Poor Hawksmoor," wrote Vanbrugh in 1721. "What a Barbarous Age... What wou'd Monsr. Colbert in France have given for such a man?". He then worked for a time with Sir John Vanbrugh, helping him build Blenheim Palace for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, where he took charge after Vanbrugh's final break with the demanding Duchess of Marlborough, and Castle Howard for Charles Howard, later the 3rd Earl of Carlisle. There is no doubt that Hawksmoor brought to the brilliant amateur the professional grounding he had received from Wren, and in Colvin's words, "enabled Vanbrugh's heroic designs to be translated into actuality." In 1702, Hawksmoor designed the baroque country house of Easton Neston in Northamptonshire for Sir William Fermor. This is the only country house for which he was the sole architect, though he extensively remodelled Ockham House for the Lord Chief Justice King (now mostly destroyed). Perhaps fortunately, Easton Neston was not completed as he intended, for the symmetrical unexecuted flanking wings and entrance colonnade were very much in the style of John Vanbrugh; whereas the house as it stands is pure innovative Hawksmoor at his finest. Hawksmoor conceived grand rebuilding schemes for central Oxford, most of which were not realised. The idea was for a round library for the Radcliffe Camera but that commission went to James Gibbs. He did design the Clarendon Building at Oxford; the Codrington Library and new buildings at All Souls College, Oxford; parts of Worcester College, Oxford with Sir George Clarke; the High Street screen at The Queen's College, Oxford and six new churches in London. Although he did not live to see them built, Hawksmoor also designed the West Towers of Westminster Abbey. In addition, he superimposed on the medieval portal, and became Surveyor of the Abbey when Wren died in 1723. Unlike many of his wealthier contemporaries, Hawksmoor never travelled to Italy on a Grand Tour, where he might have been influenced by the style of architecture there. His ideas seem to derive from engravings, especially monuments of ancient Rome and reconstructions of the Temple of Solomon. But he was versatile in his work, and all the buildings he designed are distinctly different from each other. The influence of Italian Baroque architect Borromini can be detected in some.

Richard Rogers (architect)

Richard George Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside, (born 23 July 1933) is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs. He was born in Florence in 1933 and attended the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, before graduating from Yale School of Architecture in 1962.


The Second Battle of El Alamein marked a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of World War II. The battle lasted from 23 October to 5 November 1942. The First Battle of El Alamein had stalled the Axis advance. Thereafter, Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery took command of the British Eighth Army from General Claude Auchinleck in August 1942. Success in the battle turned the tide in the North African Campaign. Allied victory at El Alamein ended Axis hopes of occupying Egypt, controlling access to the Suez Canal, and gaining access to the Middle Eastern oil fields. The defeat at El Alamein marked the end of Axis expansion in Africa.


Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, (30 November 1874 - 24 January 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a Nobel Prize-winning writer, and an artist. During his army career, Churchill saw combat in India, in the Sudan and the Second Boer War. He gained fame and notoriety as a war correspondent and through contemporary books he wrote describing the campaigns. He also served briefly in the British Army on the Western Front in World War I, commanding the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. At the forefront of the political scene for almost fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of the Asquith Liberal government. During the war he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli caused his departure from government. He returned as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air. In the interwar years, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Conservative government. After the outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, he became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and led Britain to victory against the Axis powers. Churchill was always noted for his speeches, which became a great inspiration to the British people and embattled Allied forces. After losing the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition. In 1951, he again became Prime Minister before finally retiring in 1955. Elizabeth II offered to create him Duke of London, but this was declined due to the objections of his son Randolph, who would have inherited the title on his father's death. Upon his death the Queen granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of statesmen in the world.


Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax (16 April 1881–23 December 1959), known as The Baron Irwin from 1925 until 1934 and as The Viscount Halifax from 1934 until 1944, was one of the most senior British Conservative politicians of the 1930's, and served at the highest levels until after the end of World War II. He is often regarded as one of the architects of appeasement prior to World War II. During the period he held several senior ministerial posts in the cabinet, most notably as Foreign Secretary at the time of Munich Agreement in 1938. He succeeded Lord Reading as Viceroy of India in April 1926, a post he held until 1931. He subsequently served as British Ambassador in Washington.


Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976), often referred to as "Monty", was an Anglo-Irish British Army officer. He successfully commanded Allied forces at the Battle of El Alamein, a major turning point in the Western Desert Campaign during World War II, and troops under his command played a major role in the expulsion of Axis forces from North Africa. He was later a prominent commander in Italy and North-West Europe, where he was in command of all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord until after the Battle of Normandy.

General Gott

Lieutenant-General William Henry Ewart "Strafer" Gott (13 August 1897 - 7 August 1942) was a British Army officer during both the First and Second World Wars, reaching the rank of lieutenant-general when serving in the British Eighth Army. An officer in the King's Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC), Gott served with distinction with the BEF in France during World War I. His nickname was a pun on the phrase Gott strafe England. Arriving in Egypt in 1939 as a lieutenant-colonel commanding the 1st Battalion KRRC, he enjoyed a remarkably rapid promotion path - he was successively General Staff Officer, Grade I (ranked lieutenant-colonel), commander of the Support Group (brigadier), and commanding officer (major-general) of the famed 7th Armoured Division (the Desert Rats). Gott was promoted to lieutenant-general, given command of XIII Corps in early 1942 and led that formation in the battles of Gazala and First Alamein. A big man with an aggressive, outgoing personality, he was popular with soldiers under his command, but as a senior commander he was considered by some to be out of his depth. The South African official historian, J.A.I Agar-Hamilton, wrote of Gott:

"It has not been unknown for a commander to pass from disaster to disaster, but it is quite without precedent for any commander to pass from promotion to promotion as a reward for a succession of disasters."

In August 1942, Prime Minister Winston Churchill removed General Sir Claude Auchinleck as Commander-in-Chief Middle East and acting General Officer Commanding Eighth Army. Gott's aggressive, somewhat impetuous personality appealed to Churchill, and Gott was chosen to take over Eighth Army. This was despite the reservations of Auchinleck and General Sir Alan Brooke, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, who perceived shortcomings as a large-scale commander, highlighted by the confused see-saw of fighting before and during First Alamein. Whatever his skills as an inspiring battalion commander and divisional leader, he seemed unable to translate these into the operational sphere where planning, coordination, and cooperation between and among various fighting elements is essential. Before he could take up his post, Gott was killed when an unarmed transport plane - a Bristol Bombay - he had hitched a lift in, was shot down by a German fighter ace, Emil Clade, of JG27, while returning to Cairo from the battle area. There is speculation that the Germans were aware that he was on board the aircraft through signals interception but this has never been proved. The Bombay aircraft of 216 Squadron RAF was flown that day by the then 19-year-old Flight Sergeant Hugh "Jimmy" James. He was awarded the DFM for the action - his outstanding flying saved several lives - and survived the war. He recently (2006) told the full story of the incident, and the meeting, some 60 years later, of the pilot who had shot him down. This story is told here, and is based on a first-hand interview with him. Gott's replacement was Lieutenant-General Bernard Law Montgomery.

Roche Abbey

Roche Abbey is a now-ruined abbey located near Maltby, South Yorkshire, England. It is situated in a valley alongside Maltby Beck and King's Wood. The abbey was founded in 1147 when the stone buildings were raised on the north side of the beck. The co-founders of Roche were Richard de Busli, likely the great-nephew of the first Roger de Busli, the Norman magnate builder of Tickhill Castle, and Richard FitzTurgis. When the monks first arrived in South Yorkshire from Newminster Abbey in Northumberland, they chose the most suitable side of the stream that runs through the valley, on which to build their new Cistercian monastery. Twenty-five years later, at the end of the century, the Norman Gothic great church had been finished, as well as most of the other buildings. The control of the abbey was vested in the de Vesci family, lords of Rotherham, who in turn subfeuded the land to Richard FitzTurgis, lord of Wickersley (and who took Wickersley as his surname). From the start, the Abbey of Roche, built for the so-called White Monks, as the Cistercians were known, had an almost otherworldly air. It was, after all, built at the northern end of an area once covered by Sherwood Forest, and it was said that Robin Hood went to Mass here. (A diocesan pilgramage is still made today on Trinity Sunday.) Eventually, on co-founder FitzTurgis' death, control of the abbey passed to his son Roger, now 'de Wickersley,' and then eventually to a granddaughter Constantia, who married William de Livet (Levett), a family of Norman origin who were lords of the nearby village of Hooton Levitt (or Levett). The abbey continued in the Levett family until 1377, when John Levett of Hooton Levitt sold his rights in the abbey to the London merchant Richard Barry. By the time of the dissolution full control of Roche Abbey was held by Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, who came in for numerous grants at the Dissolution as he was married to the niece of King Henry VIII.


The Order of Cistercians, sometimes called the White Monks (from the colour of the habit, over which a black scapular or apron is sometimes worn) is a Roman Catholic religious order of enclosed monks. The first Cistercian abbey was founded by Robert of Molesme in 1098, at Cîteaux Abbey near Dijon, France. Two others, Saint Alberic of Citeaux and Saint Stephen Harding, are considered co-founders of the order, and Bernard of Clairvaux is associated with the fast spread of the order during the 12th century. The keynote of Cistercian life was a return to literal observance of the Rule of St Benedict. Rejecting the developments the Benedictines had undergone, the monks tried to reproduce life exactly as it had been in Saint Benedict's time; indeed in various points they went beyond it in austerity. The most striking feature in the reform was the return to manual labour, especially field-work, a special characteristic of Cistercian life. The Cistercians became the main force of technological diffusion in medieval Europe. The Cistercians were badly affected in England by the Protestant Reformation, the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII, the French Revolution in continental Europe, and the revolutions of the 18th century, but some survived and the order recovered in the 19th century. In 1891 certain abbeys formed a new Order called Trappists (Ordo Cisterciensium Strictioris Observantiae - OCSO), which today exists as an order distinct from the Common Observance.


Doncaster is a large town in South Yorkshire, England, and the principal settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster. The town is located about 20 miles (32 km) from Sheffield and is popularly referred to as "Donny". Doncaster shares an international airport with Sheffield, and in recent years its centre has undergone regeneration including the development of an Education City campus, currently the largest education investment of its kind in the UK. Doncaster has also recently extended the Frenchgate Centre, a shopping centre and transport interchange.


In grammar, the subjunctive mood is a verb mood typically used in dependent clauses to express wishes, commands, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity, or statements that are contrary to fact at present. The details of subjunctive use vary from language to language.

“Give him the money, Barney!”

A line from A Run for Your Money is a 1949 Ealing Studios comedy film starring Donald Houston and Meredith Edwards as two Welshmen visiting London for the first time. The supporting cast includes Alec Guinness, Moira Lister and Hugh Griffith.


In the English legal system, solicitors traditionally dealt with any legal matter apart from conducting proceedings in courts (advocacy), with some exceptions. Minor criminal cases tried in Magistrates' Courts, for example, and small value civil cases tried in county courts are almost always handled by solicitors. The other branch of the English legal profession, a barrister, has traditionally carried out the advocacy functions. Barristers would not deal with the public directly. This is no longer the case, as solicitor advocates may act at certain higher levels of court which were previously barred to them. Similarly, the public may now engage a barrister directly and without the need for a solicitor in certain circumstances