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St Michael's Isle

St Michael's Isle, more referred to as Fort Island, is an island in Malew parish in the Isle of Man, noted for its attractive ruins. It covers an area of 5.14 hectares, is about 400 metres long from west to east, is connected to the Langness Peninsula, near Derbyhaven, by a narrow causeway. The island itself is made of rocky slate and the soil is acidic, it has important communities of maritime plants. There is evidence for human activity on the island from the Mesolithic period onwards and there are two ancient buildings on the island. Both are in a state of ruin and closed to the public, though there are a number of walks which allow visitors to explore the surroundings. St Michael's Chapel, a 12th-century chapel, is on the south side of the island; this Celtic-Norse chapel was built on the site of an older Celtic keeill. The island is the site of two great battles for the control of the Isle of Man in 1250 and 1275, when England and the Manx were fighting for control of the island; the Manx won the first battle, but 25 years they lost control to Scotland.

Derby Fort, a 17th-century fort, is at the eastern end of the island. It was built by James Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby and Lord of Mann in 1645, during the English Civil War, to protect the busy port of Derbyhaven; the island is a bird sanctuary. Www.isleofman.com - Information about Fort Island St Michael's Isle Jon Wornham's galleries include photographs of Fort Island at http://www.island-images.co.uk/Year2001/0106070834.html - Derby Fort 7 Jun 2001 http://www.island-images.co.uk/Year2003/0311060830.html - Chapel and Fort 6 Nov 2003

Avraham Shifrin

Avraham Shifrin was a Soviet-born human rights activist, author and Israeli politician who spent a decade in Soviet prisons for spying for the US and Israel. Avraham Shifrin was one of the world’s top authorities on the Soviet system of prisons and slave labor camps. Shifrin's testimonies before Internal Security Subcommittee of the Senate and other congressional committee, provided the world with the major listing of Soviet slave labor camps. Avraham Shifrin was born on October 1923 in Minsk, USSR into a Jewish family, his father, Isaak Shifrin, was arrested in 1937, sentenced under false charges to ten years of corrective labor in Kolyma. During World War II, Avraham Shifrin fought in Shtrafbat, Soviet penal battalion, where he was drafted as a son of the Enemy of the people. Within days, ninety percent of his unit was dead or wounded and Shifrin had been wounded twice. Participated in the Battle of Königsberg, was awarded the Medal "For the Capture of Königsberg"; as a lawyer, in 1949–1953, he worked for the Soviet Ministry of Defense and at the same time participated in the Zionist movement.

In 1953 was falsely sentenced to death. The death sentence was changed to twenty five years in Gulag, five years of exile to remote regions, five years of revoking civil rights. In 1963 Shifrin was released from prison. Shifrin testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in 1973 that American prisoners of war were being held in Soviet prison camps. According to Arnold Beizer, a Hartford lawyer, the testimony was corroborated by Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1992, who said American soldiers had been transferred to Russian labor camps. According to Avraham Shifrin's research, massive Russian Gulag concentration camp has been found on the Russian Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean; the camps on Wrangell were revealed in the 1982 book "The First Guidebook to Prisons and Concentration Camps of the Soviet Union," by Avraham Shifrin. His research institute interviewed hundreds of escapees from Soviet gulags. In his 1973 testimony before the U. S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, Shifrin described three concentration camps with thousands of prisoners, in one camp was an atomic reactor used in radiation experiments on live prisoners.

American prisoners of war may have been on Wrangell. The Russians are reputed to have taken American and other military prisoners from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War to Siberian slave labor camps; the famed World War II hero Raoul Wallenberg was seen in a camp on Wrangell Island in 1962, according to testimony of imprisoned Soviet SMERSH officer Efim Moshinskiy in Shifrin’s book Avraham Shifrin claimed that according to the investigation of his Research Centre for Prisons and Forced Labor Concentration Camps of the USSR, KAL 007 landed on water north of Moneron Island, the passengers disembarked on emergency floats. The Soviets collected them and subsequently sent them to camps with the children "separated from their parents and safely hidden in the orphan houses of one of the Soviet Middle Asian republics". According to Michel Brun this theory is not preposterous. In his book he analyses the first news, communicated by CIA and South Korean government: that KAL 007 landed in Sakalin and all passengers are safe.

In his careful searches, he discovered the source of this first information. It was published in a Japanese newspaper: Mainichi Shinboun September 1, 1983. According to him, this observation came from Wakkanai radars. So, he considers that another aircraft military, landed at Sakhalin during the "Sakhalin battle" and that its passengers, American and/or South Korean, were jailed in the Soviet Union. Avraham Shifrin was married to the Israeli politician Eleonora Shifrin; the fourth dimension USSR Labor Camps. Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of by Avrrham Shifrin. Human Cost of Communism The First Guidebook to Prisons and Concentration Camps of the Soviet Union by Avraham Shifrin. Enemy of the Gulag The New American. June 8, 1998 Шифрин Авраам Исаакович Воспоминания о ГУЛАГе и их авторы Четвертое измерение Франкфурт/Майн: Посев, 1973. – 452 с. Soviet Russia Inside Out. John F. McManus interviews Mr. and Mrs. Avraham Shifrin.

The John Birch Society/Liberty News Network. Russian Gulag Found On American Wrangell Island State Department Watch Where Are They Now? The International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors, Inc. February 14, 2002

HMS Girdle Ness

HMS Girdle Ness was a Beachy Head-class repair ship constructed for the Royal Navy that entered service in 1945. Named Penlee Point, the vessel was designed as a maintenance ship for landing craft in the Pacific Theatre of World War II but used as an accommodation ship at Rosyth Dockyard. Renamed Girdle Ness, the ship was taken out of service in 1953 and converted for use in support of missile trials in the development of the Seaslug missile in the early 1960s. After trials of the missile were completed, Girdle Ness was placed in reserve before becoming an accommodation ship as part of HMS Cochrane; the vessel was stricken in 1970. Following setbacks in the Pacific theatre of operations which led to the loss of naval bases, the Royal Navy required more depot and repair ships for the fleet to replace shore facilities; as part of the war construction programme, the Royal Navy ordered a series of vessels based on standard mercantile designs and modified them to fit their expected roles. Repair and maintenance vessels were ordered from Canadian shipyards with the escort maintenance ships intended to service smaller types of warships, in the case of Girdle Ness, landing craft.he ships of the class had a standard displacement of 8,550 long tons and 11,270 long tons loaded.

They were 441 feet 6 inches long overall and 425 feet 0 inches between perpendiculars with a beam of 57 feet and a draught of 20 feet. The vessels were propelled by one shaft driven by a reciprocating triple expansion steam engine powered by steam from two Foster Wheeler water-tube boilers, creating 2,500 indicated horsepower; this gave the vessels a maximum speed of 11 knots. Dominion Engineering Works of Montreal, Quebec provided the machinery for Girdle Ness. During the war, the vessels were armed with sixteen single-mounted 20 mm Oerlikon cannons. Girdle Ness was ordered as HMS Penlee Point, she was built by the Burrard Dry Dock Co. Ltd. at their yard in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as one of twenty-one Beachy Head-class repair ships. These were Canadian Fort ships, similar to the US Victory ships, modified for use as auxiliary ships. Penlee Point was laid down on 7 December 1944 and launched on 29 March 1945; the ship was commissioned on 5 September 1945. The hull was completed at the South Yard of the Vancouver Dry Dock Company.

On entering service she was used as an accommodation ship at Rosyth Dockyard from 1946 to 1952, being placed in reserve in 1951. A trials ship was needed to support the Seaslug missile development program. Initial tests were carried out from a shore-based launcher but there was a need to test the missile under realistic conditions, to gain experience of handling a large missile at sea. In February 1953 Penlee Point was moved to Devonport Dockyard, for conversion into a trials ship; the conversion began in May 1953 and was completed in 1956, she was re-commissioned as Girdle Ness on 24 July. During her conversion the entire superstructure was removed and most of the forward part of the hull gutted to provide space for the missile launcher and its attendant magazines; when she was completed in her new guise she had a large, boxy bridge structure, forward of, a triple Seaslug launcher. One of the reasons why Girdle Ness was chosen for conversion was a result of a 1950 Admiralty Ship Design Policy Committee recommendation.

The committee proposed that three missile-equipped types of ship would be required by the Royal Navy: A: Task Force Ship, capable of 30 knots, armed with two triple Seaslug launchers B: Ocean Convoy Escort, capable of 17 knots, armed with two triple Seaslug launchers C: Coastal Convoy Escort, capable of 12 knots, armed with a triple Seaslug launchersGirdle Ness was chosen to be a prototype for the Type C: Coastal Convoy Escort, although this idea was dropped before she came into service. Seaslug's guidance was a beam riding system, with the missile following a beam projected from the launching ship; this required the installation of a large radar set, for both target acquisition and the control beam. The following equipment was installed: Parabolic telemetry antenna Type 901 radar Type 960 radar Type 983 height-finding radar Type 982 radar Seaslug was first tested at RAE Aberporth, on the Welsh coast of Cardigan Bay. Aberporth hosted the land-based launcher, the Clausen Rolling Platform or HMS Rock'n'Roll.

Trials were carried out in the Mediterranean, based on Malta. Seaslug was the UK's first ship-based surface-to-air missile, it used four solid boosters a solid sustainer rocket. Once the boosters were dropped and the sustainer fired, four large control surfaces were used to control the missile under beam-riding guidance. Seaslug was a large missile and required mechanical handling to transfer the rounds from the magazine to the trainable launcher; the large magazine was highly automated for its age. During trials, the ship was crewed by a naval crew, with the missile operators being the first naval staff under training as missile operators; the Recording Room manned by civilian members of the RN Scientific Service analysing the performance of the Seaslug. In 1959 RFA Retainer was used for trials of replenishment at sea, transferring the two-ton complete missile rounds by highline breeches buoy. During the course of her life as a missile trials ship Girdle Ness fired 209 Seaslug missiles; when the trials ended, she returned to Devonport and was paid off on 5 December 1961.

She was reclassified as an accommodation ship, after her return to Rosyth she was re-commissioned on 1 December 1962 and served alongside HMS Duncansby Head, another Beachy Head-class ship, at Donibristle as part of HMS Cochrane. HMS Girdle Ness was decommissioned in early 197

Jay Battle

Jay Battle, ARBS is a Canadian/British sculptor, born in Toronto. Battle now lives and works in Salisbury, England, UK. Included in his figurative work are the series of new statues he sculpted for the West Front of Salisbury Cathedral which were created between 1998 and 2008; these figures are the largest set of statues from one sculptor to be added to the Cathedral's West Front since James Redfern in the 19th century. His abstract sculpture, Pendant Line, has been shown inside Salisbury Cathedral in the exhibition,'Liminality', in 2010, he is represented by Adam Gallery and is an associate of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.'Vanishing Point'- Canary Wharf'Standing Divide' - University of Winchester Charles Baile de Lapierriere. Who's Who in Art: Biographies of Leading Men and Women in the World of Art in Britain Today, Morven Press, ISBN 978 0904722 444. Official website Listing with Royal British Society of Sculptors

Fergie Sutherland

Fergus "Fergie" Sutherland was an Irish National Hunt trainer and soldier, best known for training Imperial Call to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1996. Sutherland was named after Fergus Bowes-Lyon, a brother of the Queen Mother, killed during the Battle of Loos. Although Sutherland was born in London he spent most of his childhood in Scotland near the town of Peebles, he spent his summers at the Somerset seaside village of Porlock where prominent trainer Dick Hern taught him how to ride. He received his education at Sandhurst, he was posted to the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. During service with the regiment in the Korean War he lost his left leg in an explosion. Sutherland recounted the event: "Going up a hill, one of the four troops I was with tripped the wire of a landmine and set off the blast. I was the only one badly injured". A soldier, with him declared'You're OK, Mr Fergie, it's only the leg'. "I knew that because I had checked". After a period of convalescence Sutherland was posted to Egypt.

He refused to allow his disability to affect his quality of life and commissioned artificial legs for specific activities – for instance, he had different legs for horse riding and dancing. In 1957 he began his horse training career at Carlburg Stables in Newmarket as assistant to Geoffrey Brooke. In addition, he worked for Joe Lawson. Following Lawson's retirement, Sutherland's father purchased the Newmarket yard. During his initial season he enjoyed a considerable degree of success, his first winner coming when Tribune won at Wolverhampton in April 1958 and saddling a winner at Royal Ascot when A.20 won the Queen Mary Stakes 1958. She was ridden by Bill Rickaby, owned by H. Clifton, started at odds of 5/1. In 1967 Sutherland moved to Co Cork in Ireland, when he heard his mother was contemplating selling Aghinagh House in Killinardrish, he transformed the dairy and pig farm into one of the country’s most successful small racing stables. After an impressive start to the 1996 racing season, Imperial Call ridden by Wexford born Jockey Conor O'Dwyer, beat Master Oats by six lengths to win the Hennessy at Leopardstown.

That year he captured the Gold Cup at Cheltenham. He was Sutherland's first runner at the festival and became the first Irish-trained horse since Dawn Run ten years to capture the "blue riband event", he retired in 1996 but resumed training for two years in 2000. Sutherland was awarded Irish Horse Racing Personality of the Year in 1996. During his retirement he enjoyed shooting and fishing. In April 1954 Sutherland married Judy Ranger in London; the reception was held in The Savoy. The couple had four children. After a brief second marriage he married for a third time to Ann; the marriage produced one daughter. He died on 31 October 2012 at the Marymount Hospice in Co. Cork