Books of the year 2013: War

Private Alex Stringer, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was 20 when he was blown up in Afghanistan: "The reason I lost my left leg so high up is because the burning paint cooked my left leg all the way down to the bone. But if I hadn't set myself on fire, I would have bled out and died – as a result of it, all the arteries became cauterised".

Jeremy Paxman blasts David Cameron over WWI centenary comments

'What on earth is he talking about?' asks the Newsnight presenter

Troops from the 48th Royal Marines on Juno Beach, Normandy, during the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944

Normandy Voices: Why we're backing a campaign to record the memories of every D-Day survivor

The  pivotal battle is about to pass over the horizon of living memory

Museum staff go on strike

Two days of strike action at museums and galleries across Britain has begun in a long-running row over jobs, pay and pensions.

Former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft is to sign a pledge to give at least half of his estimated £1.2bn fortune to charity

Lord Ashcroft joins Bill Gates' pledge to give up half his fortune

The billionaire Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft is to sign a pledge to give at least half of his estimated £1.2bn fortune to charity, it emerged today.

Foyle's War

Anthony Horowitz: Current Foyle's War series will probably be the last

Foyle's War creator Anthony Horowitz says the current series of the detective drama will probably be his last.

Portrait of Winston Churchill 'in crisis' to go on public display

A life-size portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, which he said revealed his soul during one of his darkest hours, is going on public display after years spent hanging on the wall of the home of his late grandson.

David Cameron promises 'truly national commemoration' to mark First World War centenary

The Prime Minister said there would be events to mark 100 years since the outbreak of war in 2014, Armistice Day in 2018, and the dates of major battles in between.

Portfolio: Cecil Beaton

He is known as a documenter of high society and glamour: the man who shot the Windsors, Grace Kelly, Vivien Leigh; Picasso, Dietrich, Churchill, Twiggy; whose aesthetic sensibility was affronted by the newly coronated Queen's nose being too red, Audrey Hepburn's neck too scraggy and Great Garbo's hands as having done too much washing up.

Last Night's Viewing: Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC1
Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies, BBC4

You do sometimes wonder about the posthumous contributors to Who Do You Think You Are?, those sepia figures, so stiffly putting their best face forward, who peer out of dog-eared family photographs as their character and deeds are described on air.

Maria De Villota

F1 driver’s life-threatening injuries after freak crash

Maria de Villota collides with lorry in pits after test run at Duxford for British Grand Prix

Keane (left) says: 'I pretended to be a vegetarian for weeks. It drove him mad as it was so insincere'

How We Met: John Keane & Alexei Sayle

John Keane, 57

Historian made up glittering army career

A military historian who faked an illustrious Army career has been found guilty at Peterborough Crown Court of perverting the course of justice.

Portfolio: Jim Naughten

Simulated battles aren't everyone's cup of tea – but for those who take part (some 20,000 people in the UK), they are a serious business: call their uniforms "costumes" and you might find yourself on the sharp end of a bayonet.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Orchids – the rare, refined beauties of the plant world

Might the day ever come when it would be thought inappropriate to express open and unqualified admiration for an orchid – I mean for its beauty, its elegance and its glamour? Well, stranger things have happened.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there