Policemen guarding house in Sidney Street, East London
Policemen guarding the devastated house in Sidney Street, East London, after the Sidney Street Siege (popularly known as the Battle of Stepney) in East London. The siege took place when it was discovered that a gang of Latvian anarchists responsible for the deaths of three policemen during an attempted robbery were living at 100 Sidney Street. The street was cordoned off and the two sides fired at each other for some time. The siege ended with a fire inside the house, and the deaths of two of the gang. The involvement of the Guards was authorised by the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, and caused some controversy. The leader of the gang, Peter the Painter, also known as Peter Piaktow (or Piatkov, Pjatkov, Piaktoff), was never found, and there is confusion over his true identity.
© Mary Evans Picture Library
The Great Halifax (Nova Scotia) Explosion (4/4)
Disaster at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on 6th December 1917, when a French cargo ship, the 'SS Mont-Blanc' caught fire in the harbour and drifted inland, whereupon it exploded (it was carrying a cargo of benzoil and picric acid), resulting in the death of approx. 2000 people and the utter devastation of a wide area. This card shows an actual view of the section of the harbour where the explosion occured with the SS Imo in the background. Date: 1917
© Mary Evans / Grenville Collins Postcard Collection
Princess Victoria Melita and Grand Prince Kirill
Victoria Melita ('Ducky'), formerly Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg (1876-1936) pictured with her second husband, Grand Prince Kirill, son Vladimir and younger daughter Kira at St Briac in Britanny in 1928. Victoria Melita's first marriage to her cousin, Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt ended in mutual unhappiness seven years later. Her decision to divorce Ernst Ludwig and marry Kirill shocked the family on both sides. The couple escaped Russia because Kirill took an oath of allegiance to the Provisional Government before the Tsar's abdication. He was next in line to the throne after the deaths of the Tsar, Tsesarevich and Grand Duke Mikhail, the Tsar's brother and was persuaded to state his own claim: in 1922 as 'Curator of the Thone' and in 1924 as 'Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias'. The shock of revolution took its toll on Kirill's health and his mental state fragile. The couple lived in Coburg for a time and were attracted to the Nazi party in its early days.
© Charlotte Zeepvat/ILN/Mary Evans Picture Library