War Memorials : A Guide for Family Historians
With over 100,000 war memorials throughout the United Kingdom it is almost inevitable that every family will have someone whose name has been inscribed upon one.
For the family historian, war memorials and related archives are often overlooked as resources that can open up whole new areas of research, giving insights into the lives and military history of our ancestors.
This book combines the use of local and national archives with many references to the rich resources that continue to grow on the internet. It is arranged in two parts. The first aims to show family historians how they may locate war memorials where family members are named, from the Boer War to the present day. The second explains how to research their lives and military history.
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This is a slim volume packed full of information on websites and repositories where details can be uncovered relating to the fallen in wars since the Boer War. This book is ideal for the novice researcher or family historian with little or no knowledge of military research needing help on how and where to find details of a fallen relative.
The short introduction explains the history of war memorials and is followed by sections on how to find a relative on a war memorial, how to research the names on memorials, and a final section for finding military service records. It takes the reader through a logical and extensive list, with brief descriptions, of websites and repositories, although in the second section it goes back to basics, listing census returns, civil and parish records as well as citing the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, newspapers and local church and parish magazines as useful resources.
The book covers only modern wars: the Boer War; WWI, including prisoners, war diaries and wills; women at war; WWII; and post WWII conflicts. There are also sections on the merchant navy and civilians. The book finishes with sections on Further Resources, What To Do With Your Research, and Further Reading.
If you have any experience at historical research you may well want to give this book a miss as the majority of the information is aimed at the novice family historian, although admittedly there are a few gems of websites worth investigating by the more experienced. This is a good purchase for a relative newbie wanting to discover the military history of a fallen relative.
Friends of The National Archives.