SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic

The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic known as Soviet Lithuania or Lithuania, was one of the constituent republics of the USSR between 1940–1941 and 1944–1990. After 1946, its territory and borders mirrored those of today's Republic of Lithuania, with the exception of minor adjustments of the border with Belarus. During World War II, the independent Republic of Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet army on 16 June 1940, in conformity with the terms of the 23 August 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, established as a puppet state on 21 July. Between 1941 and 1944, the German invasion of the Soviet Union caused its de facto dissolution. However, with the retreat of the Germans in 1944–1945, Soviet hegemony was re-established and continued for forty-five years; as a result, many western countries continued to recognize Lithuania as an independent, sovereign de jure state subject to international law, represented by the legations appointed by the pre-1940 Baltic states, which functioned in various places through the Lithuanian Diplomatic Service.

On 18 May 1989, the Lithuanian SSR declared itself to be a sovereign state, though still part of the USSR. On 11 March 1990, the Republic of Lithuania was re-established as an independent state. Considered illegal by the Soviet authorities, the country was recognized by western powers prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union; the Soviet Union itself recognized Lithuanian independence on 6 September 1991. On 23 August 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which contained agreements to divide Europe into spheres of influence, with Lithuania falling into Germany's sphere of influence. On 28 September 1939, the USSR and Germany signed the Frontier Treaty and its secret protocol, by which Lithuania was placed in the USSR's sphere of influence in exchange for Germany gaining an increased share of Polish territory, occupied; the next day, the USSR offered Lithuania an agreement on the establishment of Soviet military bases in its territory. During the negotiations, the Lithuanian delegation was told of the division of the spheres of influence.

The Soviets threatened that if Lithuania refused to host the bases, Vilnius could be annexed to Belarus. In these circumstances a Lithuania–USSR agreement on mutual assistance was signed in Moscow on 10 October 1939, allowing a Soviet military presence in Lithuania. A total of 18,786 Red Army troops were deployed at strategically important locations within the country: Alytus, Gaižiūnai, Naujoji Vilnia; this move ended Lithuanian neutrality and brought it directly under Soviet influence. While Germany was conducting its military campaign in Western Europe in May and June 1940, the USSR invaded the Baltic states. On 14 June 1940, an ultimatum was served to Lithuania on the alleged grounds of abduction of Red Army troops; the ultimatum said Lithuania should remove officials that the USSR found unsuitable, replace the government, allow an unlimited number of Red Army troops to enter the country. The acceptance of the ultimatum would have meant the loss of sovereignty, but Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov declared to diplomat Juozas Urbšys that, whatever the reply may be, "troops will enter Lithuania tomorrow nonetheless".

The ultimatum was a violation of every prior agreement between Lithuania and the USSR and of international law governing the relations of sovereign states. The last session of the government of the Republic of Lithuania was called to discuss the ultimatum, with most members in favour of accepting it. On 15 June, President Smetona left for the West, expecting to return when the geopolitical situation changed, leaving Prime Minister Antanas Merkys in Lithuania. Meanwhile, the 8th and 11th armies of the USSR, comprising a total of 15 divisions, crossed the border. Flying squads took over the airports of Kaunas, Radviliškis, Šiauliai. Regiments of the Red Army disarmed the Lithuanian military, took over its assets, supported local communists. Under pressure from Moscow, on 17 June 1940, Merkys appointed Justas Paleckis Prime Minister and resigned soon after. Paleckis assumed presidential duties, Vincas Krėvė was appointed Prime Minister; the Communist Party was legalized again and began publication of its papers and staging meetings to support the new government.

Opposition organizations and newspapers were outlawed, ties abroad cut. On 14–15 July, elections to the People's Parliament took place; the only contender was the Union of Working People of Lithuania, founded by far-left radicals and their supporters. Citizens were mandated to vote, the results of the elections were falsified. At its first meeting on 21 July, the new Parliament declared that Lithuania had expressed its will to become part of the USSR. Resolutions to start the country's sovietisation were passed the same day. On 3 August, a Lithuanian delegation of prominent public figures was dispatched to Moscow to sign the document by which Lithuania acceded to the USSR. After the signing, Lithuania was annexed to the USSR. On 25 August 1940, an extraordinary session of the People's Parliament ratified the Constitution of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, which in form and substance was similar to the 1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union. On 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany occupied all of Lithuania within a month.

The Lithuanian Activist Front, a resistance organisation founded in Berlin and led by Kazys Škirpa whose goal was to liberate Lithuania and re-establish its inde

St Mark, Ipswich

St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church is a Catholic church on the Chantry Estate in Ipswich, it is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia. It opened in May 1959. Prior to the establishment of St. Mark's, the area was within the parish of St Pancras Church, Ipswich, it was served by the Franciscans at East Bergholt, who ministered at Brantham. Around 1973 most of the friars moved from East Bergholt to Canterbury, while a few set up small friary at Ipswich; the Franciscans withdrew in 1994. There is a Roman Catholic Primary School attached to the parish called St Mark's, which opened in 1967. In 2018, St. Mark's School won the Suffolk Junior Schools Mock Trial Competition; the Catholic Church of the Holy Family in the village of Brantham is served from St Mark’s. St. Mark's Parish website

Sedgley Urban District

Sedgley Urban District was a local government district within Staffordshire, created in 1894 from the western half of the manor of Sedgley. The Urban District, formed in 1894, consisted of the historic villages of Sedgley, Cotwall End, Gospel End, Upper Gornal, Lower Gornal and Woodsetton; the UDC built many new houses within its boundaries. The first developments included the Beacon Hill Estate in Sedgley and smaller developments off Dudley Road in Upper Gornal and Summer Lane in Lower Gornal, which were built in the 1920s; these developments were expanded in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Post World War II developments included the Sedgley Hall Estate near Gospel End Road, the Bramford Estate at Woodsetton and a smaller development at Cinder Road in Gornal Wood. Flats and bungalows were built in large numbers during this era. Interwar estates including the Beacon Estate were expanded after 1945; the houses on the Sedgley Hall Estate were built from concrete panels just after the end of World War II, are still standing some 70 years even though Sedgley UDC intended to replace them with brick-built housing by the 1960s.

By 1966, the district had developed into a town due to extensive housebuilding since 1920, was dissolved to be absorbed into three neighbouring authorities. The bulk of the district was absorbed into the County Borough of Dudley, while the Gospel End area was absorbed into Seisdon Rural District and Goldthorn Park was absorbed into Wolverhampton; the introduction of post code districts locally in 1966 means that much of Woodsetton now has a Dudley DY1 post code rather than Sedgley DY3, although Gospel End comes within the DY3 postal district - as do the villages of Himley and Swindon, which were never within the same local authority at Sedgley and are no longer in the same county. The Urban District Council built many schools. Roberts Street Schools were built in Upper Gornal in 1894 - the year the Urban District Council was formed. Queen Victoria Schools were opened in Bilston Street in 1897. Dormston School, adjacent to Queen Victoria School, opened in 1935, replacing the former senior schools at Queen Victoria and Sedgley National Schools.

Bramford Primary School in Woodsetton was built during the 1950s. Flax Hall Primary School in Upper Gornal was opened in 1950s and remained open until 1989. Mass house building in the west of Sedgley during the 1950s and 1960s made it necessary for new primary school's to be built in order to accommodate Sedgley's growing population - Cotwall End infant and junior schools were opened in 1962 and on the nearby Northway Estate, Alder Coppice Infant and Junior Schools were opened in 1963. High Arcal Grammar School was built in the Woodsetton area of Sedgley in 1961, while in the Lower Gornal area Ellowes Hall School opened in 1964 to replace the former senior schools at Robert Street and Red Hall. Sedgley UDC had plans to build a new primary school to serve the new Straits Estate, these became reality when Straits Primary School opened in 1968, by which time the UDC had been absorbed into an expanded County Borough of Dudley. With the exception of Flax Hall, all of the schools built by Sedgley UDC remain in existence today, although Roberts Primary was replaced by a new building in 2001, many of the other schools have been expanded or rebuilt since their opening.

Dormston School, for instance, had just one building on its opening, by 2008 it had five classroom blocks and incorporated an arts and leisure complex. High Arcal's status changed from grammar to comprehensive in 1975, in the same year that Ellowes Hall and Dormston switched from secondary modern to comprehensive; the 19th century buildings of Sedgley's only Roman Catholic school, St Chad's, were replaced between 1957 and 1969. The council offices were built on High Holborn in 1882, after Sedgley UDC was disbanded were taken over by Dudley council, who used it as a Social Services department until 2000, ending 118 years of local authority use, it was subsequently converted into flats. Working Class Housing in Sedgley: 1900-1923, Alan Aitcheson Dudley News