Tag Archives: WW1

Wakefield Express WW1 – J W Mann, East Ardsley

J W Mann, East Ardsley found in the Wakefield Express

In the recent months I have gathered quite a few photocopies of sections of the Wakefield Express for periods during WW1.  I have extracted the information I needed but there are still little snippets of information surplus to my requirements, but could be of interest to others.

Here goes with the first snippet:-

EAST ARDSLEY SOLDIER KILLED – Information has been received that Private J W Mann, of the Green Howards, who formerly lived with his parents at Bradford Road, East Ardsley, and who had been previously reported as missing since Aug. 21st 1915, was killed on that date. Deceased who was 21 years of age, enlisted soon after the outbreak of the war.  He was an engine cleaner at the G.N.R. shed at East Ardsley.  He was a good worker in the Weslyan Sunday School, and at the time of his  enlistment he was Secretary of the Hope of Thorpe Juvenile Temp(?), Independent Order of Rechabites. His father, Lance-Corporal C H Mann is now serving in France.

Wakefield Express 10 February 1917

Not a lot to go on, but I know which regiment he served with, where he lived and worked and who his father was.  I also know where his religious leanings were.

Where to look first, to me there seems be a couple of places, but which one to search first? Commonwealth War Graves Commission – not many to chose from, but his entry may only have his initials. It may not parental information listed.  He could be entered under another regiment (if he was transferred) – retreat and recover!  Looks like the 1911 census is next for a visit.

Here he is!  Joseph William Mann, the son of Charles Henry Mann and his wife Mary Jane Hornsey, whom he married in the autumn of 1894, their marriage taking place within the York Registration District.  Their first two children, our Joseph and his sister Dorothy were born in York in 1896 and 1900 respectively. Their third child, Doris was born in Carr Gate in 1905. Charles, born in York, worked as a house painter.  Mary, one year her husband junior, was born in Newcastle. The census form has the family living at 2 Binks Buildings, east Ardsley.

Now we are on first name terms with Joseph, I stand a better chance of finding him in the CWGC  – there are two Joseph William Manns, both are Private’s, but here they differ.  One is aged 35 and the other is 20 – the 20 year old seems to fit the bill with our Joseph being 15 in the 1911 census.  Now we have access to his service number.

Helles Memorial, CWGC

Helles Memorial, CWGC

Joseph Mann, born in York, enlisted in Leeds. He served in the Yorkshire Regiment or Yorkshire Hussars (Queen Alexandra, Princes of Wales’ own) 6th Batt., as Private 10567.  Joseph was sent to the Balkans and it was there on the 21st of August 1915 that he was Killed in Action.  Back to the CWGC entry for Joseph and we find that he is remembered on the Helles Memorial, panel 55-58.  Additional information for Joseph, gives his parents and their address of 22 Gordon Street, Heslington Road, York – looks like they moved back to were Charles and two of his children were born – after Joseph’s death but before the details were collected for the CWGC.

The Register of Soldier’s Effects gives information we already know and  a little more – The entry tells that he was in the M.E.F. (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force), entering the Balkans on 14th July 1915.  His date of death is given, 21st August, 1915, with the following note:- Death pres? His parents are again listed as being granted his monies in 1919.

St cuthbert's War Memorial.  http://yorkandthegreatwar.com

St cuthbert’s War Memorial. http://yorkandthegreatwar.com

Although, Joseph had lived in the village of East Ardsley, he is not remembered on the village memorial.  He is however, mentioned in The King’s Book of Yorkshire Hero’s, held in a locked case in York Minster, and St Cuthbert’s War Memorial.

A little more information has now been added to that in the newspaper regarding Joseph, but what happened to Charles, his father.  Well, as he is mentioned in his sons entry in the CWGC and not entered as ‘the late Charles………..’ I feel it is safe to say he came home to his family.  There is a possible death entry for him in the September Quarter of 1953 in York.

Golf Club Professional Killed in Action

Wakefield Golf Club Professional killed in action

While doing a little research into a Wakefield soldier killed in World War One, I came across a newspaper article that mentioned he had been a member of Wakefield Golf Club, Sandal. Finding that information was the catalyst for another diversion!

Wakefield Golf Club Golf Professional, killed in the Great War

CWGC headstone logo of King’s (Liverpool) Regt., from a headstone in my collection

This morning – two lots of washing have been done, the dishwasher is going, the cats have been fed and watered and so have I! I thought a few minutes to tidy the newspaper articles, so very kindly copied from the libraries collection of Wakefield Express newspaper by a friend, and I would then start getting organised. The plan being to file each article away in the corresponding soldiers file………….did I start, well I filed one away, then I noticed one of the names of those killed in the Great War, who were members of previously mentioned golf club, had died on June 20th. I thought a small bit about him would not lead me astray too far.

George Ernest Skevington – George was one of over 100 members of the Club who served in the Great War, with 20 never coming home to their families and friends.

Who was George?  He was born in 1888 in Brough, the son of Charles W Skevington, a rural postman, born in Arlesey, Bedfordshire and his wife Annie, who was from Little Ouseburn. The family in 1891 lived at Hawthorne Cottage, Broughton Road Elloughton with Brough.

Ten years later in 1901, the family were at Hawthorne Cottage, Elloughton with Brough, the cottage now seemed to be on Welton Road.  George, was now one of nine children, the majority of which were born in Brough.

In 1911, the family were still at Hawthorne Cottage – Charles was now 57 and still a postman. His wife, Annie, was 51 and had been married 26 years, borne 11 children, with eight living to be named in the census.  George, now 23 gives his profession as ‘Pro Golf Club’ with ‘assistant professional’ written above in a different hand – it is possible that George was employed at Brough Golf Club.  Between 1911 and his enlistment in Dewsbury in the October of 1915, George  took up his position as Club Professional at the golf club in Sandal.

He served originally as 15586, in the Army Cyclist Corps., being transferred The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, 18th Battalion and now becoming Private 57660. While George was away ‘doing his bit’, Wakefield Golf Club still continued to pay him 10s per week. George served in

Wakefield Golf Club Golf Professional, killed in the Great War

Railway Dugouts Burial Ground from Google maps

Belgium and was Killed in Action, by a shell,  on the 20th of June 1917 aged 30, and rests along with over 2,450 others who gave their lives For King and Country, in Railway Dugouts Burial

Ground, some 2kms west of Zellebeke.

The monies owing to George, from the military, were eventually paid to his father, Charles and were finalised by August 1919.  Charles would also have received George’s medals.

By 1918, a replacement had been found for George, Mr S H Lodge, from Barton-on-Sea Golf Club, Hampshire.

The Club in 2000 were able to purchase a hickory shaft putter, made by George, while he was a Professional, at Woodthorpe.

Wakefield Golf Club Golf Professional, killed in the Great War

War Memorial C Sklinar copyright 2015

Although, George rests in Belgium, he will always be remembered as his name is engraved on the Golf Club memorial and the memorial in his home town.  The memorial on Welton Lane, Brough, not only bares his name, but also, that of his younger brother 2nd Lieut. William Percy Skevington, who died on the 8th of September 1918.  He rests in Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, near Bailleul, France with over 1200 other identified casualties plus 400+ who are known only unto their God. William had enlisted into the East Yorkshire Regiment going through the ranks, as Sapper 62, 12423, then Private 10/111, later to become a 2nd Lieutenant.  William had entered the Egyptian Theatre of War on 22nd of December 1915.

William Percy, was not with his family in the 1911 census, he was in fact a lodger at Bosworth

Wakefield Golf Club Golf Professional, killed in the Great War

Trois Arbre CWGC cemetery

Avenue, Fountain Road, Hull – he worked as a Railway Porter.

In just over twelve months, Charles and Annie Skevington had, like so many other families, had seen two of their children killed in Action.

Event – Life on the Home Front

Life on the Home Front Weekend

18-19 July 2015   10am – 4pm

Cusworth Hall Museum and Park

Doncaster, DN5 7TU

An event organised by Doncaster MDC, under the ‘Doncaster 1914-1918 At Home, At War‘ umbrella and funded by the Lottery Heritage Fund.

The organising group are are pleased to announce this, the biggest event in the area of this summer, and with FREE entry, and FREE activities it looks like it could be a wonderful day out for all members of the family.

Life on the Home Front Weekend

Life on the Home Front Weekend

The front lawn at Cusworth Hall will be taken over with a huge range of activities, including:

– Visit First World War nurses and meet their patient
– Get hands-on with First World War objects and try on uniforms
– Sample and learn more about First World War cooking
– Experience a soldier’s training camp
– Find out about wartime Doncaster, rationing and thrifty fashion
– Family-friendly crafts and activities

The timings for the events at Cusworth are still being finalised so keep checking in on their website facebook page and their Twitter link – have a good time!

This event is one of a series entitled ‘The Great War on Tour’, which visits a variety of places including St Oswald’s Church, Kirk Sandall on the 20th of June ; Edlington Library on the 22 of June and ‘Doncaster at War 1914-1915’ again at Edlington Library on 29th of May through to 25th of June.

Doncaster 1914-18 on Facebook  and on Twitter 

Doncaster1914-18 on the web

A Letter sent home

Letter sent from the Front during World War 1 – could this be written to your family member?

While researching for a project, I came across an article in the Wakefield Express issue of the 3rd of March 1915. Instead of continuing, as I should do with the project, I ended up going off on a tangent and finding out who the soldiers were…………Not, I might add, good for the project, but my curiosity would be fulfilled!

NOT CLICKED A GERMAN BULLET.

FIFTY SOLDIERS IN A HOT BATH

The following is an extract from a letter from Ernest Turner, one of the two sons of Mr Joshua Turner, of Woolley Colliery, who are both serving with the R.A.M.C. at the front. Ernest is in the Field Ambulance Section, belonging to the 27th Division of the R.A.M.C. :-

     “We go down for a rest shortly for three weeks, I believe, so you see it is A1 now.  We are not hard worked up here, still a rest won’t do us any harm.  I am pleased to tell you that I am in very good health.  Thank God, I haven’t clicked a German bullet yet.  I now know where poor Jack Melson is buried, but I daren’t go to his grave; it is too dangerous, but it is marked with a cross.  We had a bathing parade before we came here; I mean hot baths.  Just fancy about 50 of us in together and the fun we had.  We are then given a complete change of underclothing.  I felt a different man afterwards.  I have been helping to fetch the wounded in for a while now.  There is plenty of mud out there.

     “Poor Jack Melson said to his sergeant “Is my hour up yet, sergeant?” and the sergeant replied “No, you have 20 minutes more duty yet.” Just then a shrapnel shell came up, and killed them both.  Poor Jack got caught in the side with one of the bullets”

     Melson was in the King’s Royal Rifles and was brother to A Melson, of Woolley Colliery.

Letters printed in the Wakefield Express during World War 1 - is this from someone in your family tree?

Long Row, Woolley, source unknown but acknowledged

Who is mentioned in the above article – Ernest Turner, Jack Melson and his brother A Melson, lets start with Ernest Turner, our very clean soldier.  We know from the article in the Wakefield Express that he is the son of Joshua Turner of Woolley Colliery. But from 1901 the census – there are two Joshua Turners living in Woolley.  One of the Joshua’s is from Barugh, and the other from Hoyle Mill.  One has a family and the other is just listed with this wife, and would seem to be older that I presumed him to be, aged 61, especially with young children…..but not impossible!

The second Joshua is 38 years old, his wife Charlotte E  is also 38 and their children range from 15 down to 1 – this seems more like it!  The census has Charles E Turner, could this be Ernest?  A brother is also mentioned.  I am going to eliminate the youngest brother, Frank, aged 1.  So that leaves Earle aged 7 and George Bennett aged 15.

A Service Record survives for George Bennett Turner – the article said ‘both brothers are serving in the R.A.M.C.’  George is serving in the Coldstream Guards (service no. 16667), was living at the time of enlistment at the Villas, Darton, Barnsley, with his wife Mary (nee Overend, who he married in June of 1911) and daughter Eileen Mary, when he attested in August of 1915.  George survived The Great War, even though he had been gassed in May of 1918, and was demobilized on the 9th of February 1919.

Looks like ‘the other brother’ is Earle, who served as Private, No. 54, in the Royal Army Medical Corps.  Earle, like his brother’s seemed to survive the war and he married Ivy Ellis in the summer of 1920.

Letters printed in the Wakefield Express during World War 1 - is this from someone in your family tree?

Menin Gate Last Post © C Sklinar

The Wakefield Express letter also mentions that Ernest is sending home news of a friend, or someone from the village – Jack Melson, well after looking for Jack and drawing a blank I started looking for John Melson (Jack and John being interchangeable), and there he was.  John Melson.  John served as Rifleman 9530 in the K.R.R.C., into which he enlisted in Huddersfield.  He was Killed in Action on the 25th of January 1915 and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial, after entering France in December 1914.  He certainly won’t have been lonely this year, always busy at 8pm, the last couple of years have seen many

Letters printed in the Wakefield Express during World War 1 - is this from someone in your family tree?

Menin Gate © C Sklinar

more visitors drop by and look at the enormous panels of names to remember and reflect.

Who had John been in life?  John was the brother of A Melson, but from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, we now know that Alfred was his name.  So, in 1911 John was already a serving soldier, aged 20 he was in the New Barracks, Gosport with over 300 others, including 5 women.  The Medal Card for John/Jack tells – his medals earned, his entry into France and his demise.  The Soldiers Register of Effects confirms

Letters printed in the Wakefield Express during World War 1 - is this from someone in your family tree?

Menin Gate © CWGC image

already known information, but also includes how much was owed to him by the Army and the recipients were ‘Mo & Fa joint Regotees Norah and Alfred Giggal’, who in 1915 received £7 8s 9d and later in 1919 shared another £5.

The war memorial in Woolley, does not bear the name of John Melson.

Alfred, there is an Alfred in the R.A.M.C., service no. 41962. Alfred according to his Medal Card, had started service in Egypt in June 1915 and was eligible for the three medals – 1915 Star, British and Victory Medal (Pip, Squeak and Wilfred).

As to who the parents of John and Alfred were, there are a few entries in the census but nothing that gives a perfect clue to the family – if anyone knows, why don’t you drop me a line!

Voluntary Aid Detachment volunteers

Over 90,000 people volunteered for the British Red Cross at home and overseas during the Great War, providing vital aid to naval and military forces and caring for the sick and wounded. County branches of the Red Cross had their own Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) made up of both men and women. The VAD’s work included such jobs as nursing, transport, rest stations, working parties and auxiliary hospitals. They ran libraries, did air raid duty, and a service that is still being used today – Missing and wounded service.

As women volunteered for jobs normally undertaken by men prior to the war it enabled over 11,000 men to be released for military service of some sort.

Agatha Christie record. London Evening Standard

Agatha Christie record. London Evening Standard

Did you know that Agatha Christie, volunteered for the Red Cross before publishing her first novel in 1920 and worked in a Torquay hospital. Her work, dispensing drugs, gave her an insight into poisons – this information she used in her books. Vera Brittain, famous for her ‘Testament of Youth’, joined the VAD in 1915 and by 1917 was working in France. Enid Bagnold, of National Velvet fame, served in London. Did you also know that E M Forster, novelist, critic and essayist, was a pacifist and instead of fighting he worked with the Red Cross. Lady Diana Manners, mentioned in an earlier article, – reputedly the most beautiful woman in England at the time and it was expected that she should marry the Prince of Wales. Her mother was not enamored at her joining the VAD. Diana stated in her memoirs, The Rainbow Comes and Goes. “She explained in words suitable to my innocent ears that wounded soldiers, so long starved of women, inflamed with wine and battle, ravish and leave half-dead the young nurses who wish only to tend them,” The Duchess relented “… knew, as I did, that my emancipation was at hand,” Diana says, and goes on to admit, “I seemed to have done nothing practical in all my twenty years.” The VAD plunged her and other young ladies into four years that would change their lives forever. I’ll dot in a few more volunteers further down the page.

Deaths – even though the VADs were non-combatant, they suffered many deaths. During the war,it is estimated that 128 nursing members and over 100 other VAD members not all directly working for the Red Cross died or  were killed. The Roll of Honour contains records of the deaths of 498 Joint War Committee members. This figure includes 8 VADs who died as a result of the sinking of the SS Osmanieh on 31 December 1917. The vessel was contracted by the British navy and was struck by a mine laid by the German submarine UC34 and sank, killing 199 people. They are remembered at the Alexandria (Hadra) War memorial cemetery. The most common cause of death of the VADs was pneumonia caused by Spanish flu.

An obituary in the Red Cross Journal, 1918 stated:

Miss Elger died on February 10th from pneumonia following influenza… For two and a half years she was a devoted and conscientious worker at Clayton Court Hospital, where her loss is felt most keenly by all who knew her. Clayton Court, it will be remembered, was most generously placed at the disposal of the Red Cross by Mr and Mrs Elger early in the war. After doing so much to help their country, it seems hard that they should have to bear this further personal sacrifice”.

The Red Cross has recently transcribed personnel records and at the moment surnames starting with the letters A and B are currently available to search. Volunteers are still working to update the site with more names. One such volunteer was Achsah Bradley of Westbourne, St Andrews Avenue, Morley. Her record card shows that she had originally lived at Denshaw, Morley. Achsah served from March 1917 to January of 1919. Her work as a Special Service Probationer, a pantry worker, was at Roundhay Auxiliary Military Hospital, Leeds, where she worked part time. In total she worked 3,920 hours, which roughly equates to nearly 40 hours per week for her 2 years’ service.

Thornes House, Wakefield home of the Milne-Gaskell's

Thornes House, Wakefield home of the Milne-Gaskell’s

Another volunteer was Lady Constance Milnes Gaskell, of Thornes House, Wakefield.

One of the gentlemen who volunteered was Retired Major Ernest James Gibson Berkley of 70 Camberwell Road, London, S.E.5.  Major Gibson served from June 1918 until June of the following year, working as a Divisional Inspector, with duties at the P.M.O. Hospital, and Southward V.A.D. Hospital.  He had been awarded the M.B.E. and O.B.E.  Major Berkley, in 1911 was aged 49.  He gave his occupation as ‘SURGEON MAJOR R A M C T CAPTAIN HUNSBURY’. Information about him can be found in The Gazette here and here.  Probate for Major Berkley tells that he died on 30th of April 1928 and Probate (to Barclays Bank) revealed that he left £20813 5s 7d. His wife will can be found here.

Source – The Red Cross archives

Four years of our war website

Batley Lads – Roll of Honour of Batley Grammar School – Book Review

We recently published an article by Guest Blogger, Philip L Wheeler, who wrote about Drighlington ‘pub lads ‘ who gave their lives during WWI.  Well I am pleased to say that Philip, with three others has written a book about the lads from Batley Grammar School, who died in the Great War 1914 – 1918, with the support of the National Lottery, Heritage Lottery Fund.

Batley Lads cover

Batley Lads cover

The paperback book, A4 in size contains over 300 pages. Before you visit the pages of the young men, you are invited to become familiar with life in Edwardian Batley and Batley Grammar School at the time leading up to 1914 enlistment and the period when the ‘old boys’ started to enlist.

You are then introduced to the 61 fallen boys and one headmaster from the school who paid the ultimate sacrifice, by a full colour page bearing their rank and name, lifespan and regiment, with at least one image per entry. Each of these pages has a selection from a poem or prose for example:-

“Earth has waited for them, All the time of their growth Fretting for their decay: Now she has them at last! In the strength of their strength suspended—-stopped and held.” Isaac Rosenberg 1917.

The book is easy to read, and is overflowing with information about the men and their families; what was happening during their war and where they now rest.   One of the men mentioned and highlighted on the back cover is Private Horace Waller, V.C., born in 1896, he served in the KOYLI 10th Batt.  Horace died on the 10th of April 1917 aged 20 from wounds received while throwing bombs at the enemy.  It was a result of these actions and actions earlier in the day that he was awarded The Victoria Cross.  Another young man was Corporal Gilbert Pattison, who served in the Royal Flying Corps.

The Epilogue, goes on to tell how the school and other schools continued after the war and bringing the school to the future, hoping that the current pupils will visit the cemeteries of their fallen.

Finally, there are the resources and index.

If you have a connection to Batley Grammar School, or the Batley area, this is a wonderful book to ‘pop in and out’ of.  All in all, this book has been researched in depth by Philip, an ex-pupil of Batley Grammar School and his co-writers – this is a book to be proud and well worth the £10 price tag!

If you would like a copy of this very informative book please email :  info@projectbugle.org.uk

It’s May – an eventful month

Well, only a few days into the merry month of May and so much has happened.

We have see the birth of another great grandchild to Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, but that will have to wait for another blog.  There has also been celebrations taking place for the end of the war in Europe – V E Day.

We have see the commemorations to those who lost their lives in the sinking of the Lusitania, 100 years ago and we have seen an election which I don’t think anyone predicted the outcome of.  But enough of politics, so back to the Lusitania a more fitting subject for this blog.

RMS Lusitania - Wikipedia

RMS Lusitania – Wikipedia

She, RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner and holder of the Blue Riband (an unofficial accolade given to passenger liners crossing the Atlantic at a record high speed – of 35 holders of the Blue Riband, 25 were British).  She was launched on 7th of June 1906, becoming part of the Cunard Line.  RMS Lusitania was the biggest passenger ship – for a short time.  Built by John Brown & Co., at Clydebank, she weighed in at 44,060 tons. She had 9 passenger decks, provided approx. 50% more passenger capacity that any other ship at the time.  The ship was equipped with lifts, electric lights, wireless telegraph and her first class accommodation and decks were magnificent in their furnishings.

The Lusitania left New York on the 1st of May 1915 for the port of Liverpool with 1962 people onboard including a crew of 850.

Advert from American papers - Wikipedia

Advert from American papers – Wikipedia

By this time the German Government had declared that all Allied ships would be in danger of being attacked in British waters.  Submarine activity was intensifying around the Atlantic making any vessel in our coastal waters a target for attack.  It is said that the German Embassy in the United States placed an advertisement in newspapers warning passengers of the danger of being a passenger on the Lusitania.

On the 7th of May, RMS Lusitania, was off the coast of Ireland ready to complete her 202nd crossing and was due to dock in Liverpool later that afternoon.  A course running parallel to the south coast of Ireland,  and roughly 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale when the liner crossed in front of U-20 at 14:10hrs. The Commanding Officer of U-20, Schwieger, gave the order to fire one torpedo, which struck the Lusitania on the starboard bow – just beneath the wheelhouse.  Shortly after, a second explosion came from within her hull, and the ship began to founder with a prominent list to starboard.

The crew rushed to launch the lifeboats but the position of the vessel and the conditions made their deploy quite difficult and in some cases almost impossible.  As it was only six of the 48 boats were launched.

Eighteen minutes after the torpedo struck, the bow touched the seabed, with the stern still visible above the surface of the water – finally, sliding beneath the waves to her grave.

Of the 1962 passengers and crew on board the Lusitania 1,191 lost their lives, 405 members of the crew lost their lives including John Henry Lowrie Hayes .

 The Lusitania had signalled her distress which brought Irish rescuers to the scene.

By the following morning the news if the sinking, of this unarmed passenger liner,  had spread worldwide.  Most of the passengers were either British of Canadians, there were 128 Americans on the passenger list who lost their lives and this outraged many in their country.

Dr. Bernhard Dernburg, a German spokesman published a statement saying that the Lusitania carried ‘contraband of war’ and also she was ‘classed as an auxiliary cruiser’ Germany had the right to destroy her regardless of any passengers on board.  He also stated that because of the published warning in American papers that Germany were relieved of any responsibility for the deaths of the American citizens.  He stated the ammunition and military goods listed as her cargo, which included an estimated 4,200,000 rounds of rifle cartridges, 1,250 empty shell cases and 18 cases of non-explosive fuses.

Cunard denied that she was carrying munitions but admitted her transportation of small-arms ammunition.

100 years later on the 7th of May 2015, Cunard’s MS Queen Victoria underook a voyage to the site of the sinking to lay a wreath to remember those who lost their lives on that day.

Previous commemorations had taken place, including  a lifeboat crew rowing the 12 miles to the site of the disaster.

Albert Edward Shepherd

A few years ago my cousin and I were jointly researching branches of our family tree.  I was doing the internet side by looking at census, military service records and other online sources.  He was going the ‘old school’ route by visiting the archives and viewing the church records on microfilm.  Normally, on a Sunday morning we would have a long chat on the telephone, compare notes and decide what other routes to go down and people to search out………..It worked for us and we found a lot of information about our joint relatives, their spouses and children.

It was while researching a joint relative – nearer to him than me by just a little, we ventured into the Shepherd line.  There were a few ups and downs and a few hiccoughs along the way but with a joint effort we got there.

And so it was that in 2010, one sunny but cool Sunday afternoon I ventured forth with car keys, camera, spare batteries and music for my journey a few miles down the road.  But before I tell about that day, it may be good to know who Albert was.

Albert Edward Shepherd was the son of Noah Shepherd and Laura Darwin born in 1897 in the small town of Royston near Barnsley.  Albert was not our main interest, it was his brother Jabez born in 1905 that was the direct relative.  But you know how it is with family history, you start of in a nice orderly fashion then off you go at a tangent.  It seemed that Albert was our tangent, but at least some of the information fitted them both.

Noah was a Shropshire man, a miner by trade and it looks like he followed the coal fields ending up in Royston where he met Laura who was from Hoyland Common.   The couple married in 1896 and went on to have 6 children born between 1897 and 1908 in and around Royston.

1901 the family were living at 2nd 5th Hallam Street, Brightside Bierlow, Sheffield.  By the time the 1911 census came around Noah was a widower bringing up his children in Royston.  Not only had he lost his wife but one of their six children had also died.  Albert was working like his father, down the mine.  Also in living in the house was Thurza, Noah’s mother;  Percy his 15 year old brother and Joseph Darwin, his father in law, also a widower.

One source says that while he was working at New Monkcton Colliery, his main sources of recreation were boxing and running.

sheherd a e picAlbert enlisted, but some say it was on the first day of the war, while others say it was  on the 4th of August 1915, but his Medal Card says he enlisited on 18th of August 1915 being drafted into one of Lord Kitchener’s service battalions, the 12th King’s Royal Rifle Corps – that regiment all are agreed upon.  Again I seem to be highlighting a member of this regiment, but this time it is not intentional.  During his service he was seriously wounded in the arm and gassed twice – thus qualifying for a Silver War Badge and an Army Pension.

He was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal on 28 August 1916 and became acting Corporal one month later on 28 September 1916. He was still a young man, but had taken part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the Battle of Passchendaele in late 1917.

His love of running served him in good stead as it was while a company runner that he was awarded the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces – The Victoria Cross.

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

Villers Plouich, France, 20th November 1917-

The citation reads:

No. R/15089 Rflmn. Albert Edward Shepherd, K.R.R.C. (Barnsley).

For most conspicuous bravery as a company runner.

When his company was held up by a machine gun at point blank range he volunteered to rush the gun, and, though ordered not to, rushed forward and threw a Mills bomb, killing two gunners and capturing the gun. The company, on continuing its advance, came under heavy enfilade machine gun fire.
When the last officer and the last non-commissioned officer had become casualties, he took command of the company, ordered the men to lie down, and himself went back some seventy yards under severe fire to obtain the help of a tank.
He then returned to his company, and finally led them to their last objective.

He showed throughout conspicuous determination and resource.

—London Gazette, 13 February 1918
DSCF1794

Rosezillah Shepherd, headstone in Royston Cemetery. Copyright C Sklinar

The Great War, the war to end all wars, came to an end for Albert on the 2nd of January 1919, when he was discharged and he returned home to Royston. He went back to the colliery as a caretaker and on 17th of February of 1919 he married Rosezillah Tillman.  Rosezillah died in September of 1925 and rests in Royston Cemetery.

On the 6th of November 1926 Albert married for the second time, this time to Gladys Maud Lees.

He later joined the Corps of Commissionaires.

croix de guerre

Croix de Guerre

In early 1920 he heard that he had been awarded the French Medaille Militaire, followed a few months later in January of 1921 he had been awarded the Croix de Guerre.

As well as the Silver War Badge, for being injured,  his tally of military and civilian medals added up to quite a few:-

mdaille militaire

Medaille Militaire

 * Victoria Cross
* 1914 – 15 Star
* British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
* Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
* King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
* Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
* Croix de Guerre ( France )
* Medaille Militaire ( France )

In June of 1920 he attended the Buckingham Palace garden party, given by King George V for Victoria Cross Recipients.  His Majesty was accompanied by The Queen and other members of the Royal Family. The recipients assembled at Wellington Barracks and marched to the Palace via Birdcage Walk.  The King inspected the Victoria Cross Recipients who later filed past his Majesty and all had the honour of being presented to The King and Queen. Nine years later was a guest at the Prince of Wales’ House of Lords’ dinner on 9th of November 1929.  He retired in 1945 and the following year attended the Victoria Cross dinner at the Dorchester.  It was his normal practice to attend most of the Victoria Cross / George Cross functions, one of which was the Hyde Park Review in june 1956 and the review f the Corps of Commissionaires in May three years later.

The Imperial War Museum has within its vast collection invitations and souvenir programmes for the Victoria Cross Garden Party.

Albert E Shepherd VC

Albert E Shepherd VC

Albert Edward Shepherd, V.C. died at his home in Oakwood Crescent, Royston on 2rd of October 1966 aged 69.

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Albert Edward Shepherd V.C. copyright C Sklinar

He was given a full military funeral at St John the Baptist Church, Royston.  His cortege as it made its way to the church was given a guard of honour.  The Union Flag was draped across his coffin and his Victoria Cross and Croix de Guerre were proudly laid upon his countries flag.  The Last Post and Reveille were played at his graveside.

In 1968 his second wife, Gladys presented his Victoria Cross and his other medals to the Royal Greenjackets at Winchester.

It is said that a vicar in the 1980’s used part of the DSCF1812archway, which bares Alberts memorial, as part of a washing line – needless to say it did not go down well with the local British Legion.

And so………..back to that day when I ventured forth with keys and camera.  I eventually found the cemetery and proceeded to walk up and down scanning the headstones, but Alberts could not be found. I had found Rosezillah’s headstone, but no Albert.  There were quite a few people around mostly using the cemetery as a short cut.  I asked many of them if they knew where Albert was, after explaining why I was looking for him and why he was special to Royston.  Sadly, not one of them had heard of him or knew where he rested.  Finally, I spoke to a man who suggested I spoke to a couple who were just making there way down the path.  With a quick turn around and the couple in my site – I found him, within feet of where I stood, and therefore, did not need the couple proceeding down the path.

A few weeks ago, I spoke to Barnsley local studies, wondering if they had any information that had eluded me.  I was told that Barnsley were very proud of Albert – my previous experience led me to take that with a very big pinch of salt.  I came to the conclusion that money had been made available in the form of a grant and like a lot of other councils, schools etc., have got on the 100 year bandwagon.  But, how long with they remember after 2015 or even 2018 I ask?

Many groups, associations and individuals have been remembering for much longer and will remember long after 2018 – personal rant over!

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The inscription on the arch ‘This memorial was erected with monies raised by public subscription and by his regiment the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. to the memory of Albert E Shepherd, V.C., Croix de Guerre, Medaille Militaire who died 23rd October 1966.

Although the arch looks a little worse for wear these days, with the varnish crackling and the wood rotting a little, but the memorial stand proud.  If you take a walk to the back of the memorial that now stands to the rear of the War Memorial, you will see the original gate that someone covered over with what looks like plyboard.

shepherd memorial new

Memorial to A E Shepherd V.C. on Royston War Memorial copyright C Sklinar

Lord Robert William Orlando Manners, C.M.G., D.S.O.

Lord Robert William OrDSCF4425lando Manners, C.M.G., D.S.O.

Last year while in France on holiday, I put aside a day for visiting a few CWGC cemeteries to photograph headstones of local men who fell in the Great War.  While in the cemeteries, I also had a mooch around looking for men and or women who had unusual names or who had been awarded medals.

While mooching around one of the cemeteries I found such a headstone.  I noticed it from a distance as there was more wording that usual on the greyish headstone, with just a tinge of green algae slightly hiding the wording below the simple cross.

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Lord Robert W O Manners copyright C Sklinar 2014

The headstone marks the final resting place of Lieutenant Colonel Lord Robert W O Manners, C.M.G., D.S.O. of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, Commanding the th Northumberland Fusiliers.

Robert was the son of John James Robert Manners, 7th Duke of Rutland KG, GCB, PC and his second wife, Janetta Hughan.  In 1871, the family were at Lees, 5 Royal Terrace, Folkestone – John J R Manners, head of the household was aged 52 and gave his occupation as Privy Councillor and M.P.  Robert aged 1, was one of 4 children to Janetta.  Also in the household were nine servants including a Housekeeper.

By 1881, Robert was now aged 11 and a student at

3 Cambridge Gate, London

3 Cambridge Gate, London

Sandhurst Military Academy. while the rest of his family were recorded at 3 Cambridge Gate, London.

 In the autumn/winter of 1902 Robert married Mildred Mary Riddell (the daughter of Revd., Charles P Buckworth and the widow of Major Henry Edward Riddell, who died on 16th March 1900 on active service.  He has seen action in the Boer War and served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.,), in St Georges, Hanover Sq., Registration District. Robert and Mildred had a daughter, Elizabeth K J Manners,  born in 1904 who married John Norman Pulteney Lascelles in 1934 and again St Georges, Hanover Sq., Registration District and the couple appear to have had one child, Rupert John Orlando Lascelles born in February of 1935.

Back to 1911 when Robert and Mildred have been married 7 years – Lord Robert Manners aged 4, Major in the Reserve of Officers, is in the home of his sister-in-law, Violet, the Duchess of Rutland, Belvoir Castle.  Also in the census are the Ladies Diana and Marjorie Manners, daughters of the Duchess.  Lady Robert Manners has had her name struck through – was she somewhere else on the night of the census? The Revd., Fred W Knox, Private Chaplain to Due of Rutland, Established Church.  Captain H Lindsay, brother to the Duchess, was also an Officer in the army reserves.  The Marquis of Granby (John Henry) a 2nd Lieutenant in the Leicestershire Territorials.  Lord Windsor aged 22 was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Worcestershire Yeomanry.  The Hon. Wilfred Egerton was living on private means.  H Patrick Shaw-Stewart was noted as being a law student. Way down the list is Miss Betty Manners, remember her, Elizabeth K J Manners, the daughter of our Robert  and Mildred. Finally, there are three visitors who were all born in the United States of America, namely, if I can read their entry – better still I will let you decide who they are!  And if you can work it out please let me know.

1911 census names

 During the next few years Robert continued with his political career, then in 1914 war was declared.  As we know he served in the K.R.R.C. but was in command of a Northumberland Fusiliers regiment and in 1917 the regiment saw action in the battles of Messines, Menin Road, Polygon Wood and the Battles of Passchendaele but  by the 11th of September 1917 he had been killed.

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The Huts Cemetery, Dikkebus copyright C Sklinar 2014

Lord Robert William Orlando Manners, C.M.G., D.S.O., rests in the Huts Cemetery, Dikkebus with over 1080 other casualties.

The cemetery takes its name from huts that lined the road from Dikkebus to Brandhoek, which were used by field ambulances during the 1917 offensive.  Nearly two-thirds of the burials are of gunners as many artillery positions existed nearby.  The cemetery was closed in April 1918 when the German advance (the Battle of the Lys) brought the front line very close. The advance was finally halted on the eastern side of the village, following fierce fighting at Dickebusch Lake, on 8 May.

Extracted from the local paper :-

MELTON AND THE WAR” – LORD ROBERT MANNERS KILLED IN ACTION. The Duke of Rutland received information on Saturday that his half brother, Lieutenant Colonel Lord Robert Manners, D.S.O., Northumberland Fusiliers, was killed in action in France the previous Tuesday. On Wednesday week, Sir Douglas Haig reported that Northumberland troops had extended their gains north-west of St. Quentin, and on the previous Sunday they had taken 600 yards of trench. Lord Robert Manners, who was born in 1870, was formerly in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps., and served in South Africa, being mentioned in despatches and gaining the D.S.O. He was the youngest son of the late Duke of Rutland (who was so well known as Lord John Manners) by his second wife. He married in 1902 Mrs Buchanan-Riddell, widow of Major Henry Buchanan-Riddell, and leaves one daughter aged 14. Deceased lived at Red House, Knipton and was well known throughout Leicestershire, particularly in the Vale of Belvoir. For several seasons he officiated as Field Master of the Duke of Rutland’s hounds, and when Sir Gilbert Greenall resigned in 1912 he accepted the joint Mastership with Major T. Bouch, retiring in 1915 owing to his military duties. Deceased took a keen interest in hunting, and was very popular with the farmers. His loss will be very widely mourned, and the deepest sympathy will be extended to the bereaved widow and daughter. Lord Robert Manners was awarded the C.M.G. in the New Year honours for the Navy and Army, and he was reported wounded on July 23rd last. On Friday October 5th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “MELTON AND THE WAR” – THE LATE LORD R. MANNERS. The Duke and Duchess of Rutland and other ladies of the family, Lord Cecil Manners, the Marquis of Granby, the Belvoir huntsmen and whips (in their scarlet coats). Mr C. J. Phillips, one of the deputy masters, and many others attended a service in the private chapel at Belvoir Castle on Saturday in memory of Lieut. Colonel Lord Robert Manners, M.F.H. (Northumberland Fusiliers), who was killed in action on September 11th. On Friday October 12th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “LATE LORD ROBERT MANNERS” – MEMORIAL SERVICE. A service was held yesterday week at St. Peter’s Church, Eaton Square, London, in memory of the late Lieut. Col. Lord Robert Manners, major of the King’s Royal Rifles, commanding a battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who was recently killed in action. The vicar officiated, with the assistance of the Rev. F. W. Knox, chaplain to the Duke of Rutland, and other clergy. The hymns were “For all the Saints,” “O love that wilt not let me go,” and “Fight the good fight.” The service concluded with the National Anthem, the “Last Post” sounded by buglers of the 60th Rifles, and the Dead March in “Saul.” Among those who attended the service were the widow and brother of the late officer (Lady Robert Manners and the Duke of Rutland), Viscount Sandhurst (Lord Chamberlain to the King), Major Reginald Seymour (Equerry to his Majesty), the Hon. Sir Arthur Walsh (the King’s Master of Ceremonies), Lord and Lady Manners, Lady Clementine Walsh, a deputation of non commissioned officers and riflemen from the King’s Royal Rifles and the 60th Rifles (this deputation came specially from their depot), a deputation of officers from Lord Robert’s old regiment, the 3rd Leicester’s, Colonel Viscount Hardinge, the Dowager Lady Jersey, Lady Jekyll, The Dowager Marchioness of Bristol, Lady Mary Hervey, Lady Augustus Hervey, Lord Cecil Manners, Colonel Gretton, Lord Leopold Mountbatten, Captain Liddel (representing Prince and Princess Christian), Captain Atkinson Clark (representing Major General the Earl of Scarborough), Lord Fairfax, Sir Philip Burne-Jones, Miss Viola Tree, Lady Tree, the Marquis of Granby, Miss Cicely Manners, Brigadier General Page Croft M.P., and many other members of the family, military officers, and personal friends of the Late Lord Roberts. He is commemorated on a private brass engraved memorial plaque inside the Parish Church.

59 Montagu Square

59 Montagu Square

On the 23rd of May 1918 Probate was granted.  MANNERS Robert William Orlando commonly called Lord Robert Manners of 59 Montague Square, Middlesex died 11 September 1917 in France  Probate London to George Henry Drummond banker.  Effects £18202 8s 10d.

The Red House, Knipton

The Red House, Knipton

In 1934 Mildred died and her Probate reads – Manners Lady Mildred Mary otherwise Lady Robert of The Red House, Knipton near Grantham, Lincolnshire widow died 19 January 1934 at 9 West Eaton Place Westminster Middlesex.

9 West Eaton Place

9 West Eaton Place

Probate London 7 April to Royal Exchange Assurance.  Effects £6886 13s 3d  Resworn £6474 18s 5d.  Resworn £6483 11s 10d.

Lord Manners is remembered on the war memorial in the chapel at Belvoir Castle, also on the Houses of Parliament memorial.

In the Chapel of Belvoir Castle are the following memorials to Robert

TO THE MEMORY OF LT COL LORD ROBERT MANNERS CMG DSO MAJOR, KINGS ROYAL RIFLES COMMANDING 10TH BATTALION NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION IN FRANCE ON 11TH SEPTEMBER, 1917 THIS TABLET IS HERE PLACED

BY HIS SORROWING BROTHER RUTLAND IN REMEMBRANCE OF A VERY GALLANT SOLDIER AND A GREAT GENTLEMAN

TO LIEUT COLONEL LORD ROBERT MANNERS CMG DSO
KINGS ROYAL RIFLES COMMANDING 10TH NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS.
KILLED IN ACTION SEPTEMBER 11 1917.
ERECTED IN PROUD & LOVING MEMORY BY HIS BROTHER OFFICERS OF THE 10TH NORTH FUSILIERS

Sources – Ancestry, CWGC, The Gazette, Forces War Records,

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Who Do You Think You Are – a Wakefieldfhs Road Trip!

Thursday morning bright and early – well, early, but not necessarily bright, my two friends and I set off for the NEC at Birmingham.  The 7am start set us in good stead as the roads were not all that bad, even though we were travelling in the commuter hours – luckily the traffic queues were all heading north.

20150416_095805We arrived slightly after 9:30am, parked the car and after my friend said goodbye to her ‘hubby’, who had been out driver, we caught the shuttle bus to arena 2.  So, after a committee meeting to decide whether to have a coffee of not.  It was a very short meeting with a unanimous decision – yes, a cuppa was in order.

I was very surprised that there was no queue of people waiting to show their tickets and enter the arena.  Once inside we decided we would go our own ways, but meet at 12:30 for lunch and fresh air.

20150416_10520720150416_105215As we entered the stand that was prominent was Ancestry, well they had a couple of stands – one with people using the free access to find their long lost family, another had a bank of three laptops for membership questions, discounts and offers.  A membership discount was available but the laptops seemed to be having problems and we had to go back again – infact we went back a few times, but the problems seemed to be all day.  Behind the laptops was a nice man who was the the technical side of the company and offered help on searching techniques.  There was also the Ancestry DNA stand.  After the Ancestry section I decided on a  system so as not to miss anything.  Row by row, I progressed down the area one side and up the other – it worked.

The night before our visit I had made a very rough list, and I mean rough list, of people I had wanted to ask questions about, that was if there was any stand that fitted my needs. The list consisted of :-

John Kaye, a Home Child, who later became a regular soldier.  A divorcee, who married my aunt.   John Younie, who died while in a court in India in the war. How could I get a copy of a death certificate and where would he be buried?  Relatives from Germany.  Members of the Grace family, carvers, gilders and one an artist (a friend of Whistler) who lived in Wakefield and Chiswick.  PLUS two distant relatives who had been awarded the Victoria Cross.

Aswell as the professional associations i.e. AGRA, ASGRA etc., there were a plethora  of Family History Societies and Groups, quite a few companies wanting you to have your DNA tested, a few software companies, research supply companies and other companies that had no connection to our subject at all but seemed to need ‘footfall’.

I was surprised at a few well known companies i.e. online research and software companies that had staff manning their expensive stands, and whose staff on Thursday stood around talking to each other, while customers, prospective customers, waited for help. The staff at one particular stand not only had staff stood in a huddle, but they either did not care about the product they were trying to get you to purchase or had not been trained.    Saying that there were a couple of other stands, non-family history stands, whose pressure selling would have been welcomed by the  aforementioned companies.  Apart from this negative bit, the rest of my day was a pleasure.

Some of the stands I will tell you about individually, while others will be mentioned here.

Who did I talk to and why was I impressed enough to tell you about them!

20150416_105743………with my leaflets and brochures sorted and besides me, lets work through them. Firstly, I met a very nice lady from Rootsbid, an online company where you place a request for help, a photograph etc., and people place their bid for the request.  You simply then chose the person you wish to do the job, pay and upon completion the monies are passed over.  Seems a good idea but I would have liked the option of having more than one area where you are willing to help.  But other than that, take a look – could be an idea for out of area or out of country photographs and archive work.

I had a nice chat with a man from the Guild of One Name Studies, who nearly persuaded me to join and register  one or two unusual names – that may have to wait as too much on at the moment…………but maybe one day!  But after a look at their website and searched a few of my family names, it seems I may have to register a lot of names, sometime,  as no one at the moment seems to be specialising in them.

20150416_161715FIBIS – Families in British India Society, seemed like a stop to ask about John Younie.  The stand was well presented and manned with lots of friendly and willing people.  One of the ladies showed me their website and we looked for him.  A few with the same surname were there but not him.  I was however, given a few hints and tips and suggestions of where to look next.  I was given a few hints and tips on where to go and what to ask for.

We, as family  historians research and record information about people who have gone before, but sometimes we forget that there are living relatives.  These family members may be older in years but hold such a vast amount of information.  There were two companies at the exhibition who specialised in recording memories.  Both companies were manned by nice people who knew their product. One was Speaking Lives and the other was Love Your Stories.

cardsThe previous companies were for the recording of history, but there was a stand, promoting Family Legacy Cards. Wonderfully designed cards with a suitable sentiment, covering a variety of occasions.  Set up by two friends, whose children both suffered with Autism and Learning Difficulties.  The cards, each with a thought provoking cover,  can either be sent to an older relative for them to write their memories or stories,  or they can be filled in by parents, grandparents or other relatives to children and kept until an appropriate time to be read.

My attention was caught by a banner advertising Surrey in the Great War – the county are looking to record how the Great War affected those within the area and are asking for volunteers – they say unlike 1914 enlistment, they have no age, height or medical restrictions, all are welcome.  They are also wanting school, college and community group involvement, including family and local history societies.

The Belgian Tourist Board had a small but impressive stand.  They had available wonderful brochures which gave wonderful information about places with WW1 connections.  Their Trade Manager, was a very nice man and promised to post a brochure for around the Ypres area.

In a small corner of one stand were a few people representing F G Marshall Ltd., The skill shown on the stand was amazing and the patience these artists must have, could put us all to shame.

A number of stands were promoting education i.e. courses on family history, heraldry, military subjects.  Some of the courses were complete in a matter of weeks, while others, could take a year or two. Some of the courses were organised by –  University of Oxford Dept., for Continuing Education; University of Dundee, Centre for Archive and Information Studies; Strathclyde University, genealogical studies.  Finally, Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd., 

20150416_155732If you had Caribbean roots, there was a stand that catered for your needs – the Caribbean Family History Group.  The leaflet I collected proved very informative about what is available in the UK, the link take you to Solihull Council website, which give more pointers.

The Imperial War Museum, had a large stand promoting their20150416_145524 website Lives of the First World War.  The site aims to add life events to the men and women who played a part in the Great War.  You can simply remember a person or add facts, pop along and see who is there.

20150416_155527The Jersey Archives had a stand and I met a lovely young lady, who was pleased and surprised when I told her of a connection between Wakefield and the Channel Islands.  The General Register Office were also there armed with facts, information and leaflets to aid research.20150416_115114

I was drawn to a very large dome, 20150416_114048enclosing a statue of a soldier standing at ease, with his rifle barrel down.  On regular invervals hundreds of poppies were blown around.  The Royal British Legion were promoting their site Every Man Remembered at Who Do You think You Are this year.  Met a couple of nice men, one of them gave me a quick tour of the site – he made it look easier than it actually is, but I got there in the end and remembered my Great Uncle Herbert Siddle.

20150416_163456I picked up a few leaflets from the Jewish Genealogical Society of GB – one for a friend who has researched a cabin trunk owned by a lady who managed to get out of Germany a short while before war was declared, I thought they may be of interest to her.   I also picked up a leaflet or two from the Ministry of Defence20150416_142920 stand.  The leaflets were guides to WW2 Casualty Packs, Medal Office Guide, Personnel and Record Guides – all very interesting and useful.  They also had on display a collection of medals, including the V.C., which a couple of my family members were awarded.  I was also told to take the A3 prints they had of all the medals, nice things to keep for reference.

If you do family history you will know of the next stand that caught my attention, the stand of the Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, namely Family Search, who have been the forerunners in family history research for decades. I don’t need to say anymore about this site, just to to the website and lose an afternoon or a weekend looking for your family.

Another site I stopped at was manned by Chris Patton for Unlock the Past Guidebooks.  Chris has written quite a number of books but all with the family history link. All of the publications can either be purchased in book form or available as an e-book as a PDF document, well worth a look as some of the titles look very interesting.

Another large stand, this time belonging to Find My Past – not only did they have laptops available for look-ups, very helpful staff, they also had a series of free talks during the show.  They were also promoting the 1939 Register.  All making a very busy stand.

The National Army Museum had another good stand packed with very useful information leaflets giving information on events, the study and research centre etc., and again, manned by very nice and helpful staff.

20150416_120926As one of the groups I am a member of is within a non-conformist area, so it seemed natural that I should pay a visit to the Methodist Heritage stand.  Leaflets packed with the history of Methodism plus places to visit that have a Methodist connection.

Just taking a final look through my collection of leaflets and I have very nearly forgotten to mention Forces War Rec20150416_152149ords.  It is a site that I have found when googling the name of many soldiers who were KIA or DofW during the Great War.  While I was chatting to a couple of the people on the stall I mentioned my two V.C. awardees. So, they set too to find them, and show me what the site could do.  Well initially, they could not be found, but eventually we found one and I sneakily took down the edition of The Gazette – tell me you haven’t done the same!  While we were looking for the other elusive VC recipient, other staff members came and started chatting, laughing and joking.  I said that if you can find them, I would join  but would want a discount to do so – I was given a discount code. A few Tweets went back and forth and one told me the elusive man had been found.  A Tweet said, looks like I should join……………I did and used the discount code.    Thank you very much.

20150416_145105I also paid a quick visit to the Western Front Association while wandering around, such a nice set of people and very knowledgeable on their subject.

Lastly, but my no means least, was the stand of The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Again a wonderful stand packed with information and resource material.  Over the years I have acquired a few of their booklets and pamphlets, now it was time to add some more to the collection.  Some of the booklets would be wonderful as information fillers in a book that I am researching for.  One of the staff was very helpful when I mentioned an error on a headstone – so to gather the evidence and forward to them.