Sunday, November 29, 2015

A little bit broken

If you are visiting the website you might get some 404s, or notice that page and image links are a bit squiffy. I've just moved server and there are still a few glitches to iron out. Hopefully I'll have everything tidied up soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


I've been reading through old issues of the Leighton Buzzard Observer and have transcribed some 1863 cricket reports for a new Cricketers page on the website. Sounds like Wing wasn't bad! Did any of your ancestors play? Some of these reports are particularly interesting as they are farm vs farm, meaning you may learn your ancestor's employer.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

An officer of Wing

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the WW1 death of William Godfrey Willoughby Garforth, estate agent to the Rothschilds. You can read about William on the website. He was a public schoolboy and I am very grateful to the Archivist of Charterhouse School who provided me with information and photos about William.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Twin brothers in arms

1914 only saw a couple of Wing-connected war casualties but unfortunately the same could not be said of 1915 and subsequent years. Today sees the 100th anniversary of the death of Harold Vallentine, the first to die in 1915, who served along with his twin brother Claud. Claud also died in the war in 1917, and a profile of the brothers is now available on the website.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A 1920s adoptee

We're looking for your help. John GREEN lived in Wing as a child and is believed to have been born in Wing in 1926. He was adopted (John Green is his adoptive name) and his adoptive family possibly lived in Wing through to the early 1940s. But that's all we know, or think we know, about John's early life - he went on to join the military in 1944, had a successful career and ten children, and has since passed away.

John's grandson is keen to see if we can find out any more. Perhaps you are a Wing old-timer and remember John and his family living in Wing? Perhaps you have an illegitimate baby boy born into one of your Wing families around 1926 who seems to disappear? Perhaps you have an orphaned boy and you don't know what became of him? If you have any information or potential leads, please email me. It doesn't matter how small, it may be just what we need to confirm or refute a theory or perhaps will fit together with other pieces of information to provide us with a breakthrough.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Football during WW1

I've updated the footballers page with the names of a few November 1914 players in a Linslade & District vs Yorks & Lancs Regt match. The newspaper report was useful on two counts as it demonstrates these three men were not currently serving in the war. It would be a more useful clue if Smith had been named in full - was he Samuel Smith from the war memorial?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

WW1 newspapers

I've recently been going through the WW1-era editions of the Bucks Herald. Some interesting changes in reporting during this time:

  • Any marriages of servicemen may include their regiment - handy!
  • The annual Flower Show/Fete at Ascott began to feature more war-related demonstrations (eg Red Cross), and was cancelled from 1916 since the August Bank Holiday was cancelled.
  • Oh, the woe - each year a letter to the editor would appear from the Master of the Hunt at Ascott asking farmers to take down wire so this year's hunts could proceed without injury. Once we hit WW1, the letter always included specific comment that the huntsmen now serving at the front were extremely keen to see that the hunts continue for the amusement of those at home (oh yes, I'm sure this was foremost in servicemen's minds) and so the horses and hounds didn't rust (I'm paraphrasing here).
  • Reports of military tribunals begin to appear - I'm sad (I'd say devastated but in the context of the overall tragedy of war that seems very selfish of me) that generally these don't name names, however in a number of cases the descriptions of the men seem specific enough that it might just be possible to identify one or two. 
  • There's many war-specific committees being established, including the Bucks Women's County War Agricultural Committee which was responsible for getting women to sign up for land work. Reports were periodically published stating the numbers signed up in each parish.
 And in other news, I've just published a page of some very early international immigrants to Wing found in 15th century  tax and fealty oath records.

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