A Tommy In The Army : First World War Family History and Research
The First World War was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and one of the most far-reaching. As a result, almost everyone's family history has a Great War connection. In A Tommy in the Family, family historian Keith Gregson explores the human stories behind the history of the war, from the heartwarming to the tear-jerking.
He encounters the mystery of the disappearance of the Norfolks; the story of a French girl's note in a soldier's pocket book; and the tragic tale of a group of morris dancers who paid the ultimate price while serving their country. The investigations that preceded each discovery are explored in detail, offering an insight into how the researcher found and followed up their leads. They reveal a range of chance findings, some meticulous analysis and the keen detective qualities required of a family historian.
Full of handy research tips and useful background information, A Tommy in the Family will fascinate anyone with an interest in the First World War and help them to find out more about their ancestors who participated in one of the most troubled conflicts in the history of mankind.
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This book on the First World War is centred on stories of individuals using information drawn from personal diaries, letters, and family legends. There are twenty separate stories contained within the book and includes accounts and experiences from such people as a nurse, prisoner of war, and a Royal Flying Corps pilot. The investigations that precede each discovery are explored in detail offering an insight into how the author found and followed up the leads.
Each chapter of the book also contains helpful hints for amateur family researchers and the author has included individual photographs. The stories are well written from the heart-warming to the tear jerking. There is the mystery of the disappearance of the Norfolks; the story of a French girl's note in a soldier's pocket book; and the tragic tale of a group of Morris dancers who paid the ultimate price while serving their country.
Keith Gregson is an experienced researcher and teacher for over thirty years. He is a regular contributor to various family history magazines and has also written books on the subject. In these years of commemorating World War 1 there has been a wealth of books written about the conflict. This is not a run-of-the-mill story of strategy and detailed warfare; it is a story of ordinary folk and their very personal experiences some with sad, some with happy endings.
I found it a very compelling read and found it difficult to put down. It is beautifully written and you could almost imagine that the individual is talking to you directly. I would recommend this book, even if nothing more than a change from some of the rather ponderous books on the First World War that have been written.
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