22 July, 2009



Who were the true fighters of the Anguilla Revolution of 1967? I read in History Today News that a searchable database containing 250,000 service records of English soldiers who saw active duty in the latter phases of the Hundred Years War was published online yesterday, July 20th 2009. The database is part of a research project about soldiers in English royal armies between 1369 and 1453 led by Dr Adrian Bell at the International Capital Market Association, University of Reading, and Professor Anne Curry from the University of Southampton.

Based on the study of historic records, such as the proceedings of the Court of Chivalry, muster rolls records in the National Archives at Kew, and archives at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, researchers have created complex profiles of individual soldiers in what is now considered England’s first professional army. The database notably includes the names of many archers who served with King Henry V at Agincourt, details of where individual soldiers fought and for how long, which campaigns they fought in, how much they were paid, who was ill and unable to fight, who was knighted and who advanced in rank as a result of military success.

Is it not amazing this kind of detail can be reproduced after over six hundred years?

Can we in Anguilla put together a similar database of the local militia who fought in our Anguilla Revolution forty-two years ago?

In the Anguilla of today there is hardly anyone of the Revolution era who does not claim to have risked their life to defend Anguilla. How many of them are fraudsters who ran off to St Kitts with the Customs records or whatever?

Even if the Peacekeeping Committee of 1967 had had a formal army, with pay and other records, some civil servant would have burned them by now, claiming they were confidential. Or, perhaps the space was needed in the filing cabinets. The truly confidential records, like the day books containing the most detailed records of people’s intimate medical conditions, when they farted, and when they had a bowel movement, were abandoned at the Cottage Hospital when it was vacated. They were rescued and donated to the National Archives. I hope they are still there in the room behind the court house. How much longer will they survive neglect and carelessness?

Who would have known otherwise that Neil Rogers acted as Dr Arjoon Jagan’s surgical assistant as he washed his hands and operated on patients in what we now call the good old days?

1 comment:

  1. >Is it not amazing this kind of detail can be reproduced after over six hundred years?

    It is amazing. Today information would be put onto a computer and then stored on a tape or disk. Just 10 years later there might not be any computer around to read that type of tape or disk, which probably would not work anyway. Books last beter than floppies, in part because you don't need special floppy compatible hardware to read them.

    Digital photos people now have on their computers will be lucky to be around in 10 years. Old style pictures, like books, last well. I have pictures from my grandparents more than 50 years old.

    Most CDs last between 2 and 7 years. There are people coming out with ones that they claim should last 100 years. So things in the digital world should get better, but up till now long term digital storage has been rather pathetic.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.