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.

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor