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Recorded history of mankind in restored and colourised black and photos



Canadians, Englishmen, and Americans affected the tides of the war by storming the beaches of Normandy! Many young men knew they might never return home once they joined the fight. Sgt. Jensen worked with the 626th engineer light equipment company. He said that other soldiers didn’t even know where they were going until they arrived. It told us everything we needed to know. It really surprised us to be heading to Normandy. We were either at high school or jobs after high school. We were not soldiers, at least not yet.

Teenage German Soldier In Distress After His Capture

It is difficult to find WWII photos that are not emotionally charged. Look at this photo of 16-year-old German soldier Hans-Georg Henke. He was captured on April 3, 1945, by the US 9th Army. It seems his parents died a year earlier, and that tragic event made him join the Luftwaffe. John Florea, the photographer, described the boy as shocked and crying. He was a young boy who went through the worst of the war.

A German Soldier In A Dugout During The Great War

The war was a massive trench fight. In the Civil War, soldiers dug trenches to provide defense and give them a place to fight from. In Belgium and France, soldiers had to stay in the trenches for weeks on end resulting in “trench foot” and assorted other diseases. Rats were constant companions. Further, the trenches offered only limited protection from heavy artillery shelling and no protection at all from poison gas attacks. Soldiers had to rise from the ditches to engage the enemy. Unfortunately, in front of them was usually an open field (often mined) with little cover, and they were likely to be wounded or killed as they advanced. Note in the photo that this soldier has apparently cut a helmet in half and attached a portion to his neck and lower face area in hope of protecting these areas from shrapnel and bullets. He also carries a “potato masher” hand grenade on his belt and a formidable bayonet attached to his rifle.

Paratroopers Of Easy Company Chilling At Adolf Hitler’s Home

You see men laughing and having a great time. It is even better than you thought. The soldiers in Easy Company had been chilling in Hitler’s castle in the Bavarian Alps. In the miniseries “Band of Brothers”, you will see this particular scene. Hitler purchased many homes across Europe, including this one in Berchtesgaden. It was bombed on April 25, 1945. On May 4, SS troops set the hiding bunker on fire just hours before U.S. troops entered the bunker through secret tunnels. The soldiers rewarded themselves by stealing the beer and getting drunk.

Lawrence Of Arabia In Real Life

Lawrence found himself in an unlikely position during the Great War. He was a British demolition artist who worked with Arab rebel allies to destroy isolated Ottoman bridges. Lawrence of Arabia, he was. He committed assaults on 79 bridges on the railway and demolished them. Railways were so damaged that some parts still show traces of the attacks.

Japanese Military Commander

In Traditional Armor

A photo by Felice Beato in 1863. It was hand-colored in the original version. He took full-length portraits in the studio because he was intrigued by traditional costumes and cultural traditions. His photos of Japan came with vignetting that made them more painterly. This photo was taken of Koboto Santaro, a Japanese commander. We don’t know what he has in his hand, but stay away.

The Red Army Liberated The Auschwitz-Birkenau

When the Soviet Army arrived at Auschwitz on January 27th, 1945, they found a warehouse of belongings. They found syringes, needles, prosthetic limbs, and shoes. Then they found out it was full of sick and starving people the Nazis had left behind. Elisavetskii was one of the first soldiers to go into the camp, “They rushed toward us, shouted, fell on their knees, kissed our boots, and threw their arms around our legs.”

A Soldier Heading Home After

The War

Ernst Haas, in a photo essay called “Homecoming,” showed the desperation and confusion in Europe in the aftermath of the Holocaust. A Soldier

A Civil War Veteran In Pennsylvania

The Civil War veterans were still around in the 20th century. In 1956, the last one of them passed away. If they could follow orders and hold a gun, they went to war regardless of their age. The survivors were able to tell a lot of stories to the kids in their later years. This photo was taken in 1935.

Cornet Winston Churchill In

The 4th Queen’s Hussar’s Cavalry

Winston Churchill is best known for his dedication to England. As a young man, he was part of the 4th Queen’s Hussar’s Calvary. He was 21 years old in this photo.

The Seaforth Highlanders And Dog In French Trench

The Great War was unmatched in its brutality and carnage. Soldiers from all over the world were often extremely underprepared for war. However, The Seaforth Highlanders of Scotland stepped up to fight. They became known as the Northern Scottish Brigade after the merger of the 78th Highlanders and the 72nd Highlanders. The men originally served in India, but were reassigned to France. Later moved to Palestine and Iraq.

A Young Woman Called Eunice Hancock With A Compressed-Air Grinder In An Aircraft Plant

Men were in the war against Germany and Japan. Women filled in the voids in the job market by taking jobs in utilities, transportation, and manufacturing. Almost 2 million women went to work to make armaments and machine parts for the war effort. The working women in the labor force increased from 27% to 37%. A Young

Mata Hari Was A True Icon

The lovely Mata Hari was a spy and dancer storming the planet. People named her a democrat, a courtesan, and more! This is what the National Ballet director and choreographer Ted Brandsen has to tell about her: “What intrigued us is the tale of a woman with an intense lust for life and a strong instinct to live, reinvent and change herself. She had a lot of terrible stuff happening to her, and she tried to spin it somehow to find her way out.”

Mata Hari Blew The French Firing Squad A Kiss

Mata Hari became a spy during the Great War. She combined sex and espionage in her life. She started out with some talent for impersonation. During her early career, she masqueraded as Lady MacLeod, the child of an English lord. As a spy she only lasted a few days. On the 15th of October, she was shot to death by a firing squad. She wore no blindfold and blew a kiss to the men.

Men Of The 1st Infantry Division Leaving England For Normandy On D-Day

The Battle of Normandy went on from June 1944 to August 1944. The parties in Western Europe battled for supremacy, and the fight was not easy. We doubt that the 156,000 soldiers knew that the fighting would go on for nearly a month. It began on June 6 but was meant to begin earlier. The operation was delayed due to bad weather. Eisenhower’s final speech was to the brave troops, “You’re about to embark on the Great Crusade.” Your eyes are upon the world.

Dutch Resistance Fighters On The Streets Of Breda After Its Liberation

The world was shocked when Germany invaded Europe in 1939. The Nazis were much faster and more violent than anyone imagined. Resistance fighters from different regions banded together to help liberate their countries. The Dutch underground provided intelligence, radio communications, and household sabotage. In 1944, the south was liberated. The north was not liberated for another 8 months.

King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania In Dover, England

Marie of Romania was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in the year 1875.

It was only 18 years later that she married Crown Prince Ferdinand and became an Eastern European monarch. Researchers have found that she was extremely influential in Ferdinand choosing to ally with the British rather than the Germans. They spent over two decades in Romania before they travelled over to Western Europe to perform royal duties on a diplomatic tour. It was 1924 when they visited Belgium, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. “Apart from the common aims, which we pursue, there are other and dear ties between us. Her Majesty the Queen, my dear cousin, is British born,” King George V offered when speaking about the couple.

Princess Elizabeth Wanted To Help With The War Effort

It was the peak of WWII, and everyone was feeling patriotic, wanting to help with the war effort. Even Princess Elizabeth is no exception! She nagged her father, the King, into allowing her to help out. After turning 18, she obtained the permission she needed to train as a truck driver and mechanic, as a part of the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service. Now the Queen of the United Kingdom (among other territories), we think it is awesome that she desired so greatly to do physically help her country back then.

A German Soldier Duo And Their Donkey

We all know how pig a part animals played during the war. They were used to carry injured soldiers, weaponry and ammunition back and forth and between checkpoints. They were also used to clear out the land. Horses, donkeys, mules, dogs among many other animals were all used during the horrific events of war. The soldiers pictured were prepared for their upcoming battle; even their horse was prepared also.

A Russian Sniper

The Russian sniper pictured below is Roza Georgiyevna Shanina. She was an active sniper during WWII and was only one of many Russian women active in the military at the time. She was special however. A volunteer, she was a sharpshooter. By the end of war she had 59 confirmed kills, some feat. She was tragically killed in 1945 during the East Prussian Offensive.

Princess Elizabeth, 1940

Prior to becoming the Monarch of the UK, Elizabeth was very much once a Princess, and a teenager. If you look below, you can see a photograph of her reading a book in a beautiful day-off frock, casually relaxing by a window. The attention to detail by the coloring of this photo is pretty amazing.

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Life style

It all began in the late 19th Century…



During the time of British Imperialism when the Sinhalese were on the verge of losing their innate Sinhala Buddhist identity, and with the growth and expansion of the Christian missionary education in Ceylon, the need arose to educate them by combining the English language as a medium of education.

Amid religious restlessness, Sinhala Buddhist elites, some of who were heavily influenced by the Theosophical Society, stepped forward and became the life-blood of the Sinhala -Buddhist revival movement. Realizing the need and the necessity to empower young Buddhist girls on par with the missionary education, Mr. William de Abrew, a philanthropist and an affluent member of the Theosophical Society, followed by his son Mr. Peter de Abrew took the initiative to form a new structured educational institute in Cinnamon Gardens. They recognized the talents and administrative skills of the German born Educationalist, Mrs. Marie Musaeus Higgins who was also a part of the Theosophical society to commission the school, which they named, Musaeus Buddhist Girls’ School.

In 1891, Musaeus College was born in a simple mud hut with a thatched roof, with 12 girls. With time, it evolved into a grand edifice formed on a firm foundation laid by our Founders, Mrs. Marie Musaeus Higgins, Mr. Peter de Abrew, Col. Henry Steel Olcott and Ms. Annie Besant. At present, Musaeus College houses over 6,500 students and an academic faculty of 362. Both the National and British Curricula are followed by giving our students an opportunity to expand their horizons in this fast-paced competitive world.

Musaeus College amidst challenges and obstacles

The Easter Sunday attacks in April 2019, followed by the pandemic situation soon after, disrupted the smooth functioning of schools and created a standstill in all aspects of our lives. Being visionaries, the management of Musaeus College, had already implemented digitalization of teaching and learning of the school, by purchasing Smart Boards and offering teacher-training, unaware that this will be a blessing in disguise during this unforeseen time. Thirty Master- Teachers had already been given training in this field and were well- geared to this challenge of using online platforms for teaching, learning and testing, by the time Covid 19 afflicted our island. Since the teachers were well equipped with the tech- knowledge, within a short span of time Muasaus College launched Microsoft Teams as their digital platform as soon as lockdowns were imposed. With this, Musaeus College became a pioneer and a model school where a virtual, structured, and formal teaching plan was implemented from the Lower Nursery classes to the Advanced Level classes.

By this time the College was in the forefront in completing the academic curriculum and received much praise from the school community and the general public.

We went a step ahead by introducing an evaluation system for all grades, paying special attention to students who were preparing for National and International academic examinations such as GCE O/L, GCE A/L, Cambridge, and Pearson Edexcel examinations.

The constant lockdowns at different time periods restricted our functioning and this had a huge negative impact on our students whose carefree school life had come to an abrupt halt. The teachers, understanding their students’ plight, took the initiative to continue with the extra-curricular activities and sports training through virtual platforms. Presently the school has more than 25 clubs and societies and many of these organized virtual Intra-school and Inter-school events. The students participated in International Competitions and won World Prizes.

A virtual Vesak festival, Debating Competitions, most Inter-House Competitions, Young Inventors, Wild Life Conservation seminars, five-day virtual Guide Camp, motivational sessions, and student Power Hours etc. were continued uninterrupted. Further, many other activities such as text book distribution, admission interviews, plant distribution for the newly admitted Grade 1 students and even an all-night Pirith Ceremony in memory of our Founders were conducted virtually and Drive Thru modes. The highlight of this was the ‘Drive Thru Prize Giving’ where 742 students received their prizes.

As Musaeus College reaches another milestone in her long epic journey of 130 years, we pledge to continue to carry forward the vision and legacy of our Founders into the future.

Long live Musaeus College.

Musaeus College celebrates

130 years of excellence

By Principal, Mrs. Nelum Senadira

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Life style

The Garden School



Musaeus College in the 1970s shrouded and static in time, when my mind voyages among the gossamer memories of girlhood, to scale those high and hefty walls of that stronghold of discipline – that kept the girls locked in, (and perhaps, any romantic notions locked out?)

Beyond the ice dome of the Shrine Room with its single Wathusuddha plant, through the emerald green Tunnel alongside the Courtyard of exotic orchids the Reception Counter with its black dial-up telephone to the right; always alert – to the Parlor and Principal’s Office beyond opposite the cream-tiled Dining Hall; now regaled by the cords of a piano from the Western Music Room

(with its elaborate white metalwork cage); fronting the five-storied new building – its top floor inviting surreptitious morning siestas with an eye open for raids by prefects and teachers.

Thereafter, arrested,

by the aroma of deep-frying Chinese Rolls; to taste that distinctive Onion and Green Chili Fish Paste of the Tuck Shop Sandwich…

Then, in the distance, lecture theatres

and science laboratories outfitted with Bunsen Burners and a myriad of glass: beakers, droppers, test tubes, cylinders and syringes; overlooking the washing of white and navy blue cotton hung to dry.

Following the fawn grounds of the Tennis Courts to the left, across the walkway of a charming mosaic design to the Quadrangle of grass (lush at the beginning of term but somewhat threadbare towards the end – with the toll of dreaded PT, athletics, netball, and hockey); bordered by a pastel rainbow of classrooms, to halt – by that perimeter of flora and foliage

(a no-go, no-girls’ land for us).

Between the ornate wrought-iron palisade

(visited by a black Koha with a steadfast scarlet eye) and the simple white paling – a kaleidoscope of tropical tones and tinctures: riotous Bougainvillea and Hibiscus of every hue, the golden cascades of Ahala, swatches and strips of Barbertons, Ixora, Das Pethiya; faces and tongues of candy-red Anthuriums; fiery Heliconia hanging down; where once a Peacock was perched on the Takarang roof.

The spectacle too lurid to my liking at the time, but now recalled with the attachment of loss.

Passing by old Parakumba (or was it some unknown mysterious sage?) holding a sheaf of Ola leaves (which the girls chose to see as a slice of Papaya), shaped out of the gloomy-grey, phony-rock beside the pink lotus pond – was it to epitomize the education of men?

Even then, it occurred to me where were the role models of erudite women?

Then, the solid wooden doors of the Art Room en route to the lime-green radiance of the two-storied Library Chamber lined with books upon books upon books, with the central spiral staircase leading to more worlds of words, long before the universe of the world wide web and internet.

Turning left to the Nursery adorned with characters of rhymes across from the shrubberies and greenery surrounding the half-circle of the white lotus pond, to the line of classrooms in the Western Boundary and sometime later, to the abundant vegetable beds of tender Ladies’ Fingers, deep-coloured Egg Plants, red Chilis as well as Plantain Trees laden with ripening Bananas.

Turning right to the Main Hall, the wooden stage which had seen the performances of many fledgling singers, orators, actors, dramatists, debaters and dancers; flanked by the pure white marble busts of Marie Musaeus Higgins and Colonel Henry Steele Olcott (enclosed in glass cabinets); and a sepia photograph of Peter de Abrew, but not of Annie Beasant – surprisingly missing…

The Theosophists whose philosophical vision led to the realization of a school for girls in the year 1891 – an autonomous citadel with its own hostel, kitchens, laundry, sickroom, sewingroom, potteryroom, boutique and bakery.

With that – I leave you with a topography of Musaeus, that garden school – now effaced and even replaced …. but perennial – in my mind.

Maithree Wickramasinghe

Past Pupil

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Life style

Lihini Fernando – being the change she wants to see



by Zanita Careem

Lihini Fernando does not come from a political family, neither does she have political wealth to sustain her. However, it did not deter her from pursuing her passion to be the change she yearned to see in Sri Lanka.

An attorney-at-law, Lihini believes in empowering women as an empowered woman is living statement. Meeting her offers an opportunity to be amazed at a person who has enormous energy and infectious enthusiasm.

She traces her interest in politics from her school days. “I have always been vocal about discrimination in society and the injustice caused to women and children. Heading her own legal firm- Velox Partners, with a few other lawyers, as well as being an achiever at the 2021 Women in Management Awards in which she was awarded the ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’ award for the category; Emerging Woman Politician, she also works in the family business of advertising and furniture.

What is remarkable about her is her belief that women have the capability to ‘stretch themselves’ above and beyond the status quo.

Passion for politics

Lihini also spoke on what inspired her to become a politician. Today she is a Municipal Councilor from Moratuwa. “I took up politics because of my passion for it and the passion for change,” said Lihini, emphatically quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s words- ‘be the change you wish to see in this world.’

Working with people at the grass root level and advocating social causes is indeed rewarding says Lihini. “Only honest, committed educated and capable people can change the political landscape of women in politics,” says Lihini calling for more women to take the centre stage in politics.

Specifically in Sri Lanka’s 2019 post-COVID context, the brunt of the ethnic war is borne by women who lost their loved ones across the ethnic divide, suffering debilitating loss whether psychological or economic. The real challenge for Lihini is the need to build up women for political leadership in order to foster and inculcate a capable and emphatic government. She strongly believes that women are the live wire, the decision maker, the strength of every family and hence they have the potential to be a decisive factor in decision making be in politics or the corporate sector.

Lihini is confident that Sri Lanka can address gender related issues. Women make up more than half of the population and in terms of eligible voters they lead men at 56% and outnumber males at Universities at 54%. Despite these impressive statistics, the representation of women in the active labour force is just 35%, reflecting the disappointing scale of gender inequality and discrimination against women, laments the young social and political advocate.

“There is very little done to address the wide discrimination against women or to provide them protection and empower them to be equal partners in the country’s growth and progress,” reflected Lihini emphasizing that women can support any decision-making role in the country and can even change dynamics of politics as well if given a chance.

As to why female representation in the economy and even politics is low, she responded: “the main reasons for that is the conventional stereo typical roles assigned and imposed on women as wives and mothers. We take pride in having the first woman Prime Minister in the world but our society still assigns separate roles for women and men and hence place severe constraints. We need to be encouraging and supporting, so women do not feel intimidated by politics perpetuated by the ruling class. There is nothing better than to see more women representation in Parliament. Sri Lanka still has hope. People can and must eradicate corrupt officials and hold leaders to account. Your right is not limited to a vote,” remarked Lihini in conclusion.

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