Saturday, September 30, 2023

Capitol Rioter in Pink beret

A woman who is suspected of participating in the January 6, 2021 Capitol siege has been identified after her ex-boyfriend spotted her wearing a pink beret in a photo posted by the FBI on Twitter.

Law enforcement were finally able to identify Jennifer Inzuza Vargas of Los Angeles after a man who used to date the a woman recognized her as being his ex-girlfriend who he had dumped for reading Hitler's manifesto, Mein Kampf.

The man asked to remain anonymous over concerns him snitching could result in  harassment and threats against him.

Vargas was the 537th person added to the bureau's U.S. Capitol Violence webpage, which has functioned as a 'most wanted' list of January 6 participants since the investigation began more than two years ago.

Friday, September 29, 2023

The Berets by French Deal

French Deal was born at the crossroads of the hip-hop universe and a love for fashion and luxury. More than just a brand, French Deal is the brand that bridges three cultures: urban spirit, Black culture, and hip-hop. Blended with noble materials, African elements, and the classic tradition of the Western male wardrobe, each piece offers originality and authenticity.

Here, everything is a story of roots. Beautiful materials, rare know-how, and history are what the house of French Deal offers.

Beret made with the traditional loincloth of the Baoulé people

French Deal is seen as an elegant revenge, a way of bringing three cultures together, building up creative director Steeven Kodjia and pushing him to express his convictions through his art. Authenticity is uncompromising here. Yes, we are talking about success, but pulled up from one’s own boot straps. Yes, we tell the story of the richness of each object, but backed by the values of exceptional ancestral work.

Thursday, September 28, 2023


Driver is a rapper, producer, MC and beatmaker who has been a leader in the French hip-hop scene for over 20 years.

He is a regular member of the jury of the a cappella battles of the French league Rap Contenders.

Known for his stories and anecdotes, Driver hosts the show “Ride with Driver” on YouTube where he tells the lives of artists who have shaped the hip-hop music culture and the history of the major hip-hop labels founded by the culture’s players.

He also hosts the podcast “Featuring,” in which he hosts a special guest on each new episode for a conversation about rap.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Ewande Nelson

French dancer, choreographer and artistic director, Ewande Nelson is a major figure in the world of Hip-Hop dance, he excels in the discipline of Popping internationally. Concerned with transmitting his art and passion, he leads Popping workshops all over the world.

After winning several major dance competitions such as Juste Debout (2010, 2016, 2018), Kod World Finals (2011, 2018), World Dance Colloseum (2012, 2018), RedBull Bc 1 All Style (2017), he now takes part in these competitions as a judge, choreographer of artists and event organizer.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Jesie Nelson

Jessica Louise Nelson (1991) is an English singer who rose to prominence as a member of the girl group Little Mix from 2011 to 2020.

Before joining Little Mix, Nelson landed two acting roles as an extra in About a Boy in 2002 and in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, both of which are uncredited for.

As part of Little Mix, Nelson achieved five number-one singles on the UK Singles Chart and released a BBC One documentary titled Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, which documented her experiences with body image and online bullying. It won the Factual Entertainment Award at the 25th National Television Awards and also a Visionary Honour Award for Documentary of the Year.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Carlist Propaganda Postcard 1936

Carlist propaganda postcard depicting three generations of one family of Carlists aged 60, 40 and 17 years old.


Saturday, September 23, 2023

Beret Badges of the Māori Battalion

Over the course of two World Wars, a number of beret badges were in use by the Māori Pioneers and the Māori  Battalion. 

WWI Māori Battalion 
A WWI A Company Māori Pioneer badge.  The A Company were made up of predominantly Northern Māori and they never wore ornaments into battle - so they removed the necklace on their badges too.  If you look closely, you can see where it has been neatly removed.
The original badge, with necklace.
The Cook Island Company was formed from Pacific Islanders who joined the Māori Pioneer Battalion, but there is doubt that this badge was ever worn in WWI. It was certainly worn by the Rarotongan Home Guard in WW2.
The WWII "Onward" beret badge. 

Friday, September 22, 2023

Stuart Alexander Maireriki Campbell

Stuart Alexander Maireriki Campbell was born in 1923 on Tongareva, the northernmost atoll in the Cook Islands also known as Penrhyn Island. He served New Zealand as part of the 28th Māori Battalion in the Second World War. Between 1941 and 1945 he served in Greece, North Africa and finally Italy.

His younger brother was Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, who later became a successful poet, novelist and playwright.

To Stuart by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

Early spring, and a cold wet morning.
The wind mooches about outside,
planning a home invasion.
It’s Mary’s birthday, our Mary whom
you’d have loved had the Fates
spared you. I take you back
five years before you joined
the Maori Battalion, and six before you
died. I have many questions to put
to you, many that may not even have
an answer. Why being blessed with
enviable gifts did you abandon
your studies after only a year?
You could have made your mark
in any field that calls
for passion and imagination.
As a boy I followed you about
from match to match marvelling
at what you created with a
cricket ball. Your bowling
action and the flight of the ball,
gathering speed as it flew
towards its target, were to me
a work of art. As an admiring
younger brother, I celebrate
this image of what you promised
and never lived to fulfil.
‘Nature,’ wrote William Blake,
‘has no Outline, but Imagination has.’
I see you turn and run up
to the crease. I see your
arm swing over. I see the
ball in flight – and that is all.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Māori Battalion - Te Hokowhitu a Tū

The 28th Battalion, more commonly known as the Māori Battalion (Te Hokowhitu a Tū), was an infantry battalion of the New Zealand Army that served during WWII.

It formed following pressure on the Labour government from some Māori Members of Parliament and Māori organisations throughout the country which wanted to see a full Māori unit raised for service overseas. The Māori Battalion followed in the footsteps of the Māori Pioneer Battalion that had served (1915–1919) during the First World War (1914–1918) with success.

Joseph Takuta

Māori wanted the formation of a distinct military unit in order to raise their profile, and to serve alongside their Pākehā compatriots as part of the British Empire. It also offered Māori the opportunity to prove themselves and potentially secure autonomy.

Raised in 1940 as part of the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), the 28th (Māori) Battalion was attached to the 2nd New Zealand Division as an extra battalion that moved between the division's three infantry brigades.

The battalion fought during the Greek, North African and Italian campaigns, earning a formidable reputation as a fighting force which both Allied and German commanders have acknowledged. It became the most-decorated New Zealand battalion during the war.


Following the end of hostilities, the battalion contributed a contingent of personnel to serve in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force before being disbanded in January 1946.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Belgium & Luxembourg Brown Berets in the Korean War

The Volunteer Corps for Korea was a Belgian–Luxembourg military force sent to assist South Korea during the Korean War. Over the course of its existence, 3,171 Belgians and 78 Luxembourgers served in the unit.

After training, volunteers received their characteristic brown berets. Soldiers from Luxembourg who were trained alongside the Belgians were organised into 1st Platoon, A Company of B.U.N.C.

Veterans Gilbert Buchholtz, Robert Mores, Léon Moyen, Mathias Morgiel

The Belgian-Luxembourg Corps sailed from Antwerp to Pusan and arrived on 31 January 1951. The Volunteer Corps was dismantled in 1955.

The television show M*A*S*H (1972-1983) had an episode which included a wounded Luxembourg lieutenant entering the 4077.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023


A little known history of what was for a short time the "capital" of France. 

The Sigmaringen enclave was the exiled remnant of France's Nazi-sympathizing Vichy government which fled to Germany during the Liberation of France near the end of World War II in order to avoid capture by the advancing Allied forces. Installed in the requisitioned Sigmaringen Castle as seat of the government-in-exile, Vichy French leader Philippe Pétain and a number of other collaborators awaited the end of the war.

Scene from "Sigmaringen, capital of France"

The Castle received official designation from Germany as extraterritorialized to France and became a French enclave legally, complete with flag-raising. It was a matter of importance to gain legal recognition for the government in exile from other countries, however at Sigmaringen, there were only the embassies of Germany and of Japan and an Italian consulate which maintained a presence. The governmental commission was thus a legally French enclave from September 1944 through April 1945.

On 21 April 1945 General de Lattre ordered his forces to take Sigmaringen. The end came within days. By the 26th, Pétain was captured after voluntarily returning to France, and Laval had fled to Spain. Brinon, Luchaire, and Darnand were captured, tried, and executed by 1947. Other members escaped to Italy or Spain.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Simone Mirman

Simone Mirman (1912–2008) was a Paris-born milliner based in London, chiefly known for her designs for the British royal family.

Simone had an apprenticeship with Rose Valois, one of the leading Parisian milliners of the 1920s and 1930s, where she developed her talent for designing hats to suit the trickiest faces, considering her first success to be a design which worked for her mother's features.

In her early 1920s Simone met a Jewish medical student, Serge Mirman, whose communist beliefs made him undesirable to her parents. Despite neither speaking English, the couple eloped to London in 1937, but only married in 1939. 

During the Second World War the newly wed, impoverished Mirmans lived in a small attic on Spring Street in Paddington. Each morning, they hid the evidence of their real life and transformed the attic into a millinery salon for Simone to serve customers seeking off-ration hats. As clothing coupons were not required for hats, there was a steady demand for the designs Mirman created out of scraps and oddments.

In 1947, Mirman was able to afford better premises near Hyde Park. In 1952, she moved to Chesham Place, Belgravia, where her salon and workroom remained for the rest of her professional career.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Joseph Darnand

In the "Not A Role Model Series": Joseph Darnand. 

Joseph Darnand (1897 –1945) was a French collaborator with Nazi Germany during WW II. 

A decorated soldier in the French Army of World War I and early World War II, he went on to become the organizer and de facto leader of the Milice française, or French Militia, the collaborationist Vichy government's paramilitary police force. 

Darnand also served as an officer in the Waffen-SS. He was tried and executed after the war for treason.