She’s a Dover souler

Daily Mail - - Books/fiction -

QUES­TION News­pa­per ar­ti­cles of­ten re­fer to the singer Joss Stone as Devon-born. Are they cor­rect? NEWS­PA­PERS and web­sites that say the soul/ R&B singer-song­writer was born in Devon are in­cor­rect, though she was brought up in that county af­ter her fam­ily moved there.

She was, in fact, born in Dover, at Buckland Hos­pi­tal, on April 11, 1987, but spent her teenage years in the small ru­ral vil­lage of Ashill, near Cul­lomp­ton.

Joss Stone was born Jocelyn Eve Stoker to Richard and Wendy Stoker (nee Skillin), who parted in 2005 when Joss was 17. She has an elder sis­ter, a younger brother and an older half-brother who shares the same mother.

It is rel­a­tively sim­ple to check when and where some­one was born be­cause the birth in­dexes of the Gen­eral Reg­is­ter Of­fice for Eng­land and Wales from July 1837 (when civil reg­is­tra­tion be­gan) up to 2006 are on sev­eral web­sites, and any­one with a sub­scrip­tion can ac­cess them.

These show Jocelyn Eve Stoker’s birth was reg­is­tered at Dover, Kent, in May 1987. Some web­sites show her birth fore­names as Josce­lyn Eve, but the GRO record has her first fore­name as Jocelyn.

Roy Stock­dill, Ge­nealog­i­cal re­searcher, writer and

lec­turer, Wat­ford, Herts. QUES­TION As part of the ‘na­tion­build­ing’ process, does the Afghan govern­ment have a new na­tional an­them and flag? AFGHANISTA­N has had sev­eral an­thems over the past cen­tury. The first (1943-1973), dur­ing its time as a monar­chy, was per­formed on state vis­its by King Aman­ul­lah and had no lyrics.

Af­ter the monar­chy’s abo­li­tion in 1973, the Re­pub­lic of Afghanista­n was set up, and the first an­them with lyrics was adopted. It be­gan: ‘So long as there is the earth and the heav­ens; So long as the world en­dures; So long as there is life in the world; So long as a sin­gle Afghan breathes; There will be this Afghanista­n.’

In 1978, af­ter the Soviet in­va­sion of Afghanista­n, a Com­mu­nist-style an­them was adopted, ex­tolling the ben­e­fits of lib­er­a­tion.

Then came the es­tab­lish­ment of the Is­lamic re­pub­lic, 1992 to 1999, in which a new an­them, a Mu­ja­hedin bat­tle song com­posed in 1919, was used. It be­gan: ‘Fortress of Is­lam, heart of Asia, For­ever free, soil of the Aryans, Birthplace of great he­roes Fel­low trav­eller of the war­riors of the men of God, God is great! God is great! God is great! Ar­row of His faith to the arena of Ji­had, Re­mov­ing the shack­les of sup­pres­sion, The nation of free­dom, Afghanista­n, Breaks the chains of the op­pressed in the world. God is great! God is great! God is great!’ Dur­ing Tal­iban rule, from 1999 to 2002, Afghanista­n was unique in hav­ing no na­tional an­them, as the Tal­iban banned mu­sic.

In 2004, the new Afghan govern­ment in­sti­gated a world­wide con­test to cre­ate a new na­tional an­them to sig­nal a new era for the coun­try.

It stip­u­lated that the an­them had to be writ­ten in Pashto and con­tain the phrase Al­lahu Ak­bar (God is Great), and men­tion the names of the eth­nic groups in Afghanista­n. The win­ning com­po­si­tion was cre­ated by two Afghans liv­ing in Amer­ica — Ab­dul Bari Ja­hani (words) and Babrak Wasa (mu­sic): This land is Afghanista­n It is pride of ev­ery Afghan The land of peace, the land of sword Its sons are all braves This is the coun­try of ev­ery tribe Land of Balochs and Uzbeks Pash­tuns, and Hazaras, Turk­man and Ta­jiks With them, Arabs and Go­jars Pamirian, Nooris­ta­nian Bara­hawi, and Qizil­bash Also Ai­maq, and Pashaye This land will shine for ever Like the sun in the blue sky In the chest of Asia It will re­main as heart for ever We will fol­low the one god We all say, Al­lah is great, We all say, Al­lah is great, We all say, Al­lah is great.

Miss J. All­man, Leeds. AFGHANISTA­N had 19 dif­fer­ent na­tional flags dur­ing the 20th cen­tury, more than any other coun­try.

The cur­rent flag was first hoisted on De­cem­ber 7, 2004, at Pres­i­dent Karzai’s in­au­gu­ra­tion cer­e­mony.

This flag is sim­i­lar to that flown dur­ing the monar­chy up to 1973. The flag (pic­tured be­low) has three equal per­pen­dic­u­lar parts, in black, red and green, from left to right.

The na­tional em­blem is in the cen­tre; a mosque with its mihrab (niche in wall) fac­ing Mecca, en­cir­cled with two branches of wheat.

In the up­per-mid­dle part of the in­signia the sa­cred phrase ‘There is no God but Al­lah and Mo­ham­mad is his prophet and Al­lah is Great’ is placed along with a ris­ing sun.

The word ‘Afghanista­n’ and the year 1298 — the so­lar Is­lamic cal­en­dar equiv­a­lent of 1919AD in the Gre­go­rian cal­en­dar, the year of in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain — are in the lower part of the in­signia.

Navid So­hail, London W2. QUES­TION What is a Gadarene rush? FUR­THER to the ear­lier an­swer, there is not nec­es­sar­ily any con­tra­dic­tion be­tween the dif­fer­ent Gospel ac­counts of Je­sus’s heal­ing of the de­mon-pos­sessed man.

Matthew lo­cates the event in the area around the city of Gadara, six miles south-east of the Sea of Galilee, while Mark and Luke iden­tify it by the far larger ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion, whose cap­i­tal was Gerasa, about 35 miles from the lake.

Alan Cole’s Tyn­dale Com­men­tary on Mark points out that the name Gerasa has sev­eral vari­ants, and many schol­ars be­lieve the lake­side vil­lage now known as Khersa might have been the orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion.

The New In­ter­na­tional Ver­sion Study Bi­ble points out that about a mile south of Khersa there is a fairly steep slope 40 yards from the shore, and that about two miles from there are cav­ern tombs that ap­pear to have been used as dwellings. It is nor­mal for wit­nesses’ ac­counts of an event to vary ac­cord­ing to what each in­di­vid­ual saw or thought they saw.

That the Gospel ac­counts show some vari­a­tions (usu­ally rec­on­ciled with a bit of re­search) gives them an air of au­then­tic­ity.

Rick Tay­lor, Cum­nor, Ox­ford. QUES­TION An ear­lier an­swer stated that Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe was the best ac­tor never to have been nom­i­nated for an Os­car. Which other great ac­tors have failed to re­ceive a nom­i­na­tion? FUR­THER to pre­vi­ous an­swers, one of the best ac­tors never to be nom­i­nated was Joseph Cot­ten.

He gave a string of fine per­for­mances through­out the 1940s in some of the most fa­mous films ever made, in­clud­ing Cit­i­zen Kane and The Third Man.

Two per­for­mances in par­tic­u­lar de­served Os­car recog­ni­tion: his shell-shocked sol­dier in I’ll Be See­ing You (1944) op­po­site Gin­ger Rogers, and his doomed lover in Por­trait Of Jen­nie (1948) op­po­site Jen­nifer Jones.

Af­ter 1950, the qual­ity of his roles de­creased, along with his chance of any Os­car nom­i­na­tion.

Alan Hob­son, Wood­ford Bridge, Es­sex.

Diva: Joss Stone was born in Kent but brought up in Devon

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