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One of the Mariana islands, an archipelago in the north-western Pacific Ocean


Aegean port used as a British base from 1915. The First World War armistice with Bulgaria was signed here

Samuel Hoare, Sir

Conservative politician who served in government between 1922 and 1944. Best remembered for the secret Hoare-Laval Pact, a 1935 agreement between Britain and France giving Italy two thirds of Abyssinia following their invasion. It was widely denounced as appeasement and led to his resignation


Place 170km north of Baghdad on the Tigris River, in what is now Iraq


Philosophy of non-violent protest or passive resistance, developed by Mahatma Gandhi as a means of pressing for political reform. It involves refusing to submit to or co-operate with anything perceived as wrong and was deployed from 1917 in India during the struggle for independence

Seebohm Rowntree

Undertook three surveys of poverty in York in 1899, 1936 and 1951 which showed that absolute poverty was in decline, and it was assumed that the Welfare State would soon eradicate any remaining poverty. Philanthropist and pioneer of humane industrial relations, he campaigned for family allowances and a national minimum wage

Select Committee

Committee made up of a small number of parliamentarians appointed by the Prime Minister and reporting directly to him. Appointed to deal with particular areas or issues, it may be formed from the House of Commons, the House of Lords or as a 'Joint Committee' drawn from both Houses

Selwyn Lloyd

Conservative politician with a distinguished war record in the Second World War. Following a series of junior ministerial posts between 1951-1955, he became Foreign Secretary from 1955-1960 and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1960-1962, before being sacked in Macmillan's 'Night of the Long Knives'. Speaker of the House of Commons between 1971-1976. Made a Peer in 1976


Capital city of the Republic of Korea - the American supported, anti-communist south of Korea established after the Second World War when the country was split along the 38th parallel


Balkan state with its capital at Belgrade


City located in what is now northern Iraq

Sidi Barrani

Egyptian village close to the Libyan border

Sinai Peninsula

Geographical area which belongs to Egypt but is separated from it by the Suez Canal

Sinn Fein

Irish nationalist political party founded by Arthur Griffiths in 1907. Involved in the Easter Rising, it won 73 out of 108 seats in the 1918 general election. It split over the Anglo-Irish Treaty 1921. Intimately involved with the Irish Republican Army (IRA), it was central to the violence in Northern Ireland from 1969

Six Day War

Following the withdrawal of UN peace-keeping forces from Sinai in May 1967, Arab armies amassed around Israel's frontiers and an Egyptian blockade closed the Straits of Tiran blocking shipping to Israel. In retaliation, Israel launched an air strike against Arab forces, capturing the Sinai peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the Golan Heights


An Air-Launched Ballistic Missile (ALBM) developed during the late 1950s. Mounted on heavy bombers rather than in fixed missile silos, it provided a mobile basis for the American air force's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force. Cancelled in the mid 1960s after test failures and the development of Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs)


City on the west coast of Turkey, ceded to Greece by the Allies at the Treaty of Sevres in 1920


A word used by Attlee Governments from 1945-1951, meaning Nationalisation; replacing capitalism with a socialist state in which industries would be managed by the State for the good of all, leading to a fairer society


Egyptian port near the border with Libya


Autonomous region, part of the Somali republic located in the Horn of Africa

Southern Rhodesia

Former British African colony (modern Zimbabwe) extensively settled by whites and granted self-governing dominion status in 1923

SS Empire Windrush

A ship, and an important part of the history of multi-racialism in the United Kingdom. Carrying 492 passengers from Jamaica, the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury on 22 June 1948. It carried the first large group of West Indian immigrants to arrive in the UK after the Second World War

Stafford Cripps

Left wing Labour politician. Solicitor-General under Ramsay Macdonald and MP from 1931 but refused to join the National Government. Minister of Aircraft Production between 1942-1945, he gained a reputation for efficiency. President of the Board of Trade and Chancellor of the Exchequer in Attlee's government, he resigned due to ill-health in 1950

Standing Advisory Committee

Independent committee appointed by a minister to advise on issues relevant to that department. It may also, from time to time, be given specific terms of reference to report and investigate

Stamfordham, Lord

British soldier. Private Secretary to Queen Victoria in the latter years of her reign and George V. During the General Strike the King took exception to suggestions that the strikers were 'revolutionaries' saying, "Try living on their wages before you judge them."

Stanley Baldwin

Three times Conservative Prime Minister, he cultivated the image of a common-sense approach to politics. An early advocate of appeasement, but a determined opponent of the 1926 General Strike. Played a key role in removing Lloyd George in 1922. Died in 1947

Stanley Bruce

Australian soldier in the First World War and Prime Minister between 1923-1929. Supported the League of Nations and pushed a 'White Australia' policy. Led the Australian delegation to the Ottawa Imperial Conference in 1932 and became High Commissioner in London between 1933-1945. Served in the Imperial War Cabinet during the Second World War. Made a peer in 1947

Statute of Westminster

A 1931 Act of Parliament establishing the political independence of self-governing dominions of the British Empire. It established their legislative independence once the Act had been ratified. A few residual powers were vested in the Crown, but only with the consent of the relevant dominion

stock farming

Farming that focuses on keeping and raising animals, often sheep, cattle and pigs either intensively, in specially-built sheds, or extensively, out of doors. An example is sheep farming on hills unsuitable for crop growing


Name commonly given to the Protestant-dominated parliament for Northern Ireland which sat in Stormont Castle outside Belfast after partition in 1922. Suspended in 1972 when the British Conservative government introduced direct rule from Westminster, it is now the seat of Northern Ireland's assembly

straits of Messina

Narrow sea lane separating Sicily from Italy

strategic weapons

A strategic nuclear weapon refers to a nuclear weapon which is designed to be used on targets as part of a strategic plan, such as nuclear missile locations, nuclear bomber bases, military command centres and large cities. It is a political weapon that targets a state's will and military as well as economic ability to wage war. The weapons typically have a very high yield (nuclear explosive force) and a very long range. Examples of British strategic nuclear weapon systems (actual and planned) include the V-bomber force, Blue Streak, Skybolt, Polaris submarines and Trident submarines.

Stresa Front

Agreements made between Italy, Britain and France in August 1935, condemning the reintroduction of conscription and rearmament in Germany contrary to the Treaty of Versailles and pledging to resist any other unilateral repudiations of the treaties. It was undermined by the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and the Italian invasion of Abyssinia


Largest African country in North East Africa, with a predominantly Muslim north and Christian south

Suez Canal

Opened in 1869, linking the Mediterranean and Red Sea. It was regarded as the 'jugular vein of the Empire' and was the shortest route from Britain to the Far East. British troops protected it from 1883 onwards

Suez Crisis

Major international incident in 1956 caused by Egyptian nationalisation of the Suez Canal after funding arrangements for a new Egyptian dam broke down. Britain and France sent troops to reverse the Egyptian action, but were condemned by America and the USSR, and withdrew, ending their era of imperial strength

Sun Yat-sen

Often regarded as the father of Modern China, Sun was instrumental in the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, and was first provisional president of the Chinese Republic 1912. Later he co-founded the Kuomintang, attempting to unite the country by overcoming the power of the warlords

surface raiders

Warships or armed merchant vessels given free-reign to roam the oceans sinking enemy merchant vessels. Tactic adopted by the German and Italian Navies in the Second World War, causing damage but also causing disproportionate resources to be allocated to finding and destroying them

Swinton, Lord

Conservative politician from 1920s-1950s. Held ministerial posts in the 1920s. Was prominent in the National Government formed in 1931. Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1931-1935 and Secretary of State for Air from 1935-1938. Also Minister for Civil Aviation during the Second World War. Served in Churchill's cabinet from 1951-1955 as Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations

Sydney Silverman

Labour politician. Imprisoned in the First World War as a conscientious objector, becoming an MP in 1935. Strong supporter of Jewish rights and strongly anti-Fascist. Fervent opponent of capital punishment, his Private Members Bill in 1956 passed the Commons but was defeated in the Lords


Believes all participants in an organized trade share should have equal ownership of its production. Believes therefore that all deserve equal earnings and benefits within that trade, regardless of position or duty. Increasingly popular in the 1920s, stressing industrial rather than political action

Syngman Rhee

Controversial first President of South Korea between 1948-1960. Regarded as an anti-Communist strongman, he was backed by the US and led South Korea throughout the Korean War. He resigned in 1960 following popular protests against his disputed 4th election victory. He died in exile in Hawaii