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  • Audio contentA photograph of the cover of a members book for the Caravan Club, 1934. Catalogue reference: DPP2-224

    Sexuality under scrutiny in 1930s Soho

    In 1934, homosexual acts between men – in public and in private – were illegal in the UK. Police surveilled a number of social spaces across London suspected of permitting what the state then considered to be ‘immoral activity’ and in August conducted […]

  • Audio contentA photograph of a note addressed to Oscar Wilde. Catalogue reference: CRIM 1/41/6/1895

    Oscar Wilde’s trial and imprisonment – a short play

    This short play explores the trial and imprisonment of Oscar Wilde. In 1895 the celebrated author and playwright was found guilty of gross indecency and sentenced to two years imprisonment, with hard labour. The words are taken directly from records […]

  • Audio contentBombs,-bulls-and-civilian-bravery

    Bombs, bulls and civilian bravery

    In this podcast The National Archives’ Principal Military Specialist reveals some of his favourite stories about civilian gallantry from the First and Second World Wars, from the bravery of the youngest recipient of the George medal to a bizarre tale involving a bomb and some table […]

  • Audio contentA photograph of a newspaper clipping detaiing the first  VD prosecution

    ‘A Bit of a Scratch’, a radio drama about the battle against Venereal Disease during the First World War

    ‘A Bit of a Scratch’ explores the first recorded prosecution under the Venereal Diseases Act 1917. The legislation was introduced due to the large numbers, roughly 5%, of UK troops returning from the First World War with venereal diseases and to […]

  • Audio contentMedieval-treason-and-magic

    Medieval treason and magic

    In this podcast, two of our records specialists tell us about treason and necromancy in The National Archives’ medieval records. The first part, narrated by Paul Dryburgh, tells the story of a band of men from Coventry who planned to kill King Edward II […]

  • Audio contentAn image of the front cover of the book Dadland.

    ‘Dadland’: the father who was also an undercover guerrilla agent

    Keggie Carew discusses her book ‘Dadland’, a story about a madcap English childhood, the poignant breakdown of a family, and dementia. The novel centres upon her father Tom Carew, an enigmatic, unorthodox character, who was an undercover guerrilla agent during the […]

  • Audio contentA photograph of a 'Boycott Apartheid' bus

    Black British politics and the Anti-Apartheid struggle

    In 1948, from the introduction of apartheid in South Africa, racial discrimination galvanized the international community into protest. British people and black communities in particular attempted to lead the global opposition against apartheid. Historian Dr Elizabeth Williams (Goldsmiths, University of […]

  • Audio contentSomme to Arras

    From the Somme to Arras

    Andrew Lock discusses the progress made by the British Expeditionary Forces between the battles of the Somme (1916) and Arras (1917). Although lessons were learned during the Somme campaign, Arras clearly exposed command and preparation deficiencies, leading to setbacks and […]

  • Audio contentA photograph of Peta, the Home Office cat

    Bureau-cats: A short history of Whitehall’s official felines

    Public interest in the cats of Whitehall began long before Larry, Palmerston and Gladstone graced our front pages and Twitter feeds. In this podcast, records specialist Christopher Day reveals his favourite anecdotes from the ‘Home Office Cat’ files, including the story behind the […]

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