Friday, April 25, 2008

Harold RANDALL and Samuel SMITH

Harold RANDALL and Samuel SMITH both appear on the War Memorial, but I don't have any further information on either man. Does anyone out there know anything more about their service details?


Here in NZ it is ANZAC Day, the equivalent of the UK's Remembrance Day. I'll be finalising the military pages ready for the May update, and continuing to read Juliet Gardiner's "Wartime - Britain 1939 to 1945". For anyone who didn't live through it, this book is a fat but engrossing read and I recommend it.

I may even make some ANZAC biscuits to nibble on while I read.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Crying over spilt milk

I guess it's more blood than milk though - I've been going through the WO363 War Office records reading the WWI records of some of the Wing men. As with other records, there's always a sense of amazement that the records survive at all so you can learn these intimate snippets about someone's life. Some things that brought a tear to the eye:

Thomas CAPP, so keen to do his bit he'd signed up during the Boer War, then later done some Territorial service, then signed up again in WW1, spending 9 months in France even though he was 49 at the time.

Horace John CLARK, a driver with the Royal Engineers who was disciplined after being so tired at the end of one day he had neglected to clean his harness (and then lied to his commanding officer about it)

The letter from Esther BANDY requesting that the medals awarded to her late son Albert BANDY be publicly presented to her.

It is a shame that loss of life from such conflicts continues today. My condolences to the families of the two RAF men who were killed serving in Afghanistan a few days ago, and perhaps we should honour the dead by urging the powers-that-be to ensure that everything possible is being done to minimise the risk of injury to those who serve.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Keeping track

I think I need a better system for keeping track of Wing-related enquiries. I keep intending to look further into a particular family or topic, then get sidetracked by a different enquiry and before I know it I have a collection of half-finished documents and I can't remember where I was up to, what I was trying to achieve, and who I was going to "report back" to!

If you're waiting patiently for me to get back to you on something, it might be an idea to send me a quick email to remind me :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008


If you have ancestors or connections who may have served with the Australian forces in WW1, be sure to check the Australian War Memorial databases.
Australian War Memorial

I have just been reading Private Sydney FOUNTAINE's Red Cross file. He was initially missing and there is a lot of correspondence from Mrs Leopold de ROTHSCHILD's staff enquiring on the Fountaine family's behalf trying to establish what happened to him. He was eventually confirmed killed in action.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ancestry/Rootsweb message boards

If you seeking inspiration, why not check out the Ancestry/Rootsweb message boards? These are one and the same (Rootsweb is a free genealogical site hosted and controlled by the same parent company as Ancestry, which is a paid site for the most part), but can be accessed for free via either site. There are message boards for most surnames as well as locations. As they've been established for such a long time be sure to use the search function to increase your chances of spotting anything relevant.

I've recently made contact with a fellow reseacher for my CRUTCH line there (not a Wing line for once!) as well as volunteering to admin the CRUTCH board - not an onerous task given that until this month there'd been three messages in six years!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April update

The 1863 directory for Duttons has been transcribed, and the entries incorporated into the consolidated index of directory names.

Some minor things:
* Another bankrupt in the miscellany
* A DIMMOCK, GOODMAN and PRINCE charged with being lazy, more or less, in 1679 on the Crimes page
* Spellings has been updated for Radwell variants
* The link to the online version of the Feet of Fines document from the Buckinghamshire Record Society has been located and corrected

I do have some more things ready to go but I'm expecting a very busy April offline so I'm going to hold those back for the May update just in case I don't find any spare time before then!

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