Great War Lives: A Guide for Family Historians by Paul Reed

There’s been a notable growth of interest in First World War Genealogy in recent years. I think there are probably two reasons for this – programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are, and the prominence that they give to military history; and also the recent passing of the last veterans of the Western Front. Therefore this book by Paul Reed is most timely.

Many military genealogy books seem to follow a structured but disjointed route Рthis is how you do this, this is where you go to do this, etc etc. and by the way, you can find this out from here because etc etc. But here Paul Reed has followed a different model, by purely writing about 12 individuals, and THEN explaining HOW he found out about them. I think this approach works, as the reader can become fully immersed in the story without being interrupted with details of musems, archives and suchlike. I think its a much easier approach for the layman in particular.

Reed has chosen a broad but well-balanced range of individuals to write about. We find out about a Field Artillery subaltern who was killed in action but whose body was brought home to England; the village of Wadhurst (a timely counter to the perception that all Pals units came from ‘oop north’); The Royal Naval Division at Gallipoli; A Greek man on the Western Front; A Tunneller VC winner; A man who died in a base hospital; A Vicar’s son who fought in three theatres; A Royal Marine at Passchendaele; A ‘Great War Guinea Pig‘; An Officer who was dismssed from the Army for striking a French woman, but then re-enlisted as a Private; A Black Flying Corps Pilot and a little-known War Poet.

Plenty to get stuck into, and plenty to inspire too. I’ve found it useful and inspiring for my own Portsmouth WW1 Dead research.

Great War Lives is published by Pen and Sword

About these ads

8 Comments

Filed under Army, Book of the Week, Family History, Navy, Royal Marines, Uncategorized, victoria cross, western front, World War One

8 responses to “Great War Lives: A Guide for Family Historians by Paul Reed

  1. Edna Cahill

    I have been trying umpteen sites for information about my uncle, William Crumplin born Winchfield Hampshire c1895, died France 1916. I was told by my mother he was Royal Hampshire Regt. but can’t get any official info. Any advice?? Ednamay

  2. James Daly

    Hi Edna, this is the only William Crumplin I can find on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s online register who died in 1916:

    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=757853

    If its the right one, he died during the latter stages of the Battle of the Somme, and he has no known grave. Unfortunately there aren’t any personal details such as family or address.

  3. John Boulter

    There is a Sgt William Ewart Boulter b Oct 92 d 55. Won the VC in France, later became a Lt. Do you have anything on him or his family?

  4. You need to take time to research the different features to find the ones that you want or need.
    Two: Tracking your business travels – This can be very helpful for anyone that has to
    travel for business. WAAS is actually a fantastic aspect to look for
    when purchasing for discount marine GPS.

  5. Howdy I am so glad I found your weblog, I really found you by accident, while I
    was looking on Bing for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just
    like to say kudos for a incredible post and a all round enjoyable blog (I
    also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look
    over it all at the minute but I have saved it and
    also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
    will be back to read more, Please do keep up the great work.

  6. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of
    the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be
    book-marking and checking back often!

  7. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent.
    I really like what you have acquired here, certainly
    like what you are saying and the way in which you say it.
    You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise.
    I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous
    site.

  8. Charles Bukowskis Pulp is a wonderful thriller
    thats hysterically humorous, tooan unbeatable mixture.
    As an additional suggestion, you can approach her currently with a drink in hand.
    Some are intimate, while some are tacky and funny.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s