1951: Stories of the Korean fighting. told when the Glorious Gloucesters arrived home, revealed that men from Faringdon were among the heroes of the Imjin River Battle, in which the battalion was reduced to 41 men. Sgt John Hall, of Buckland Marsh, Faringdon, helped to lead the survivors to safety, despite a wounded knee.

1961: The Christmas tree outside the west door of St Lawrence Church, Lechlade, was the rallying point for a choir on three evenings conducted by Dr D J Stephens.

1971: Britain’s super highway, the 140 miles of the M4 built at a cost of £1m a mile and passing Swindon’s front door, opened. The ceremonial tape was cut in Maidenhead by Parliamentary Under Secretary Of State Michael Heseltine, who opened the last stretch of 50 miles to Badbury.

The world

1715: James Stuart, the ‘Old Pretender’, landed at Peterhead to lead a Jacobite rebellion. It failed.

1716: Lincoln’s Inn Theatre, London, put on England’s first pantomime, which included Harlequin, Columbine and Pantaloon.

1895: Wilhelm Roentgen made the first radiograph, or X-ray - of his wife’s hand.

1916: The British Ministry of Pensions was established.

1938: A fish identified as a coelacanth, thought to have been extinct for 65 million years, was caught by a fisherman in South Africa.

1989: A Romanian revolution overthrew president Ceausescu.

BIRTHDAYS: Noel Edmonds, TV presenter, 69; Ralph Fiennes, actor, 55; Dan Petrescu, former footballer, 50; Gary Anderson, darts player, 47; Vanessa Paradis, actress/model, 45; Leigh Halfpenny, Welsh rugby player, 29; Jordin Sparks, singer, 28.