About me

Under reconstruction!

84 responses to “About me

  1. Justin Long

    A wonderful an interesting site well done.I look forward to reading more facts.

  2. dalyhistory

    Hi Just thanks for dropping by, glad you like!

  3. ashleigh nicol

    very impressive site i look forward to reading more
    i like your way of looking at the past !

  4. tonanti216

    Very interesting Blog .. in fact so interesting I have added it to my “”Blogs I like” link in my own Blog.

    Excellent reading so far……


    • dalyhistory

      Hi tonanti, thank you for your comment and the link, it is much appreciated. I will certainly return the favour. I look forward to reading you ebook too, it looks right up my street!

  5. Pingback: New Blogs and heading back to the Archives… « Thoughts on Military History

  6. eddie bridger

    Well James, a Daly, I came across your name purely by chance as I’m currently looking through the the Irish cencus of 1911, primarely to find out somthing about my grandparents and Irish history etc.

    My mother is a Daly and her mother a Wallace.

    Irish history is currently name of the game for me and wondered if you had researced anything about the irish military or your family history?

    If not, don’t worry, nice to see you as an historian even if no relation.



  7. James Daly

    Hi Eddie, nice to hear from you.

    I have only managed to get as far back as my great-great-grandfather on the Irish side. I believe he came from the Cork area, and was living in Birkenhead in around 1900. I can’t get further back than that due to the lack of records in Ireland, as I’m sure you aware a lot of documents were burnt in the Easter Rising. I would love to trace it further than that.

    Best wishes


    • Sean Daly

      Hi James. Im a Daly also from Ireland. Nice site. Just want to correct you on one thing. Most documents were distroyed in Irish Civil war of 1922. Also, some records were used as ecycled pape in WW1. Regards, Sean

  8. Hey jamie its luke. I am 13 and am looking for stuff about the first world war. I am arguing with me grandad about a battalion. How many men would you say was in a battalion. (in the first world war)

  9. James Daly

    Hi Luke. It was more than in the Second World War. In 1939-1945 the average Battalion had between 700 and 800 men (Para Bn’s had about 500). In the First World War the Army had a lot more men in general as there was no RAF, which took up a lot of men in WW2. Even then the Army was pretty understrength in WW2, most Bn’s woud have had less men than they should have had.

    I’ll try and find some exact numbers.

    This website about WW1 is pretty good – http://www.1914-1918.net/

  10. James Daly

    Found it!

    “in the infantry, he is part of a Battalion (c. 1000 men) This is subdivided into Companies, which are subdivided into Platoons, which are subdivided into Sections”


  11. cheers. another question though. what did the germans have against the jews. (ww2)

    • I am totally wowed and prreeapd to take the next step now.

    • Bravo à Apple qui, par cette censure, évite le traumatisme que causerait la vue de cette image. Supposons qu’au hasard de la navigation un(e) mineur(e) tombe sur cette couverture: il faudrait lui expliquer qu’en bas du dos les primates ont, comment dire, des…des fe… des « fesses » !!! À la lie, hallali, hallali à la liberté !!!

  12. James Daly

    Its something that had a very long history in Europe, going back thousands of years. To some Christians the Jews were ‘christ killers’, and also their role in finance made people think that they were trying to take over the world. Hitler was able to make the German people hate the Jews in ww2 because people had been prejudiced against them for a long time anyway. They were also blamed for Germany losing WW1, and a number of Communists had Jewish backgrounds too.

    This explains it in more detail – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_antisemitism

  13. Hi James,
    I was the woman who finally found the overhead projector for you at your talk to U3A Southsea.
    It was a wonderful talk, even though a bit long! But I could have listened even longer!!
    You put so much of a personal account into perspective and as someone said, it was great to have someone as young as you realising the history so well.
    Many thanks!

  14. James Daly

    Hi Fay, thank you for your help and thank you for your kind comments. I did notice that it went on a bit long, it was the first outing for this talk so next time out i will be looking at how to shorten it slightly. Its a job knowing what to leave out though!

    Many thanks

  15. Joyce Kippin

    Greetings James – I just realized you had a comment section. Right chipper of you to send us the information on the Stebbing Sextant.
    I do hope you have patience with me as I have sent you so many inquries. Great site, have never written to a blog before. I do so love England
    Joyce Kippin

  16. great site thank you very much, I am in Margarita Venezuela Researching (for fun,and Hobby)the Legion Britanica who fought for Simon Bolivar commander James Rooke Anglo Irish ex British Army Waterloo. Have Retired as film Location Manager so I love History and getting the right Historical Locations right for the films. good site we must speak again. I am on Facebook. The annis Family goes back to 5th Centuary in UK and from Enniskillen Ireland to Newbury Mass. Stateside 1638.Annis Family Association on face Book.America and Canada and New zealand and oz we have all got together on Facebook, Now that is living History!

  17. Great blog. It caught my eye briefly and I found myself scrolling down the page. I echo your point, we need to know where we’ve come from to know where we are going!

  18. hscott21c


    Lovely pictures of Portchester Castle. Always looking for a bit extra information on this subject. I have been told that my gt gt grandfather Anthony James Brown(e) actually lived at Portchester Castle and his death certificate in 1855 cites Portchester as the place of death. He was a civil engineer and was involved at one stage with building the Palmerston Forts and other (?) projects in Plymouth. Have you come across any of this information before? The family history would be very interesting and complete if his parents/family could be verified as descendants of the Viscounts Montague (Browne Family).

    Have a little bit more information if you are interested.

  19. James Daly

    Hi hscott21, thank you for your comment. It should be possible to find out more about your gt gt grandfather, such as his exact address. And if he worked on fortifications then there might be documents about him in the National Archives.


    • hscott21c

      James, thanks I’m in Australia and so far have drawn a blank on the internet. Have only got as far as being able to get my gt gt grandfather’s first marriage certificate from 1844 in Soberton. His father’s name was also Anthony James Browne and his profession was stated as Merchant.

      My gt gt gt grandfather Anthony James Brown married Elizabeth Campion in Alverstoke 2 July 1780. Don’t know where to get more information as to address &c.

      Would the Ministry of Works have records of my gt gt grandfather’s involvement with Portsdown Forts and his residence at Portchester Castle?


  20. Hi James,

    A very interesting blog you’ve got here, good to find someone out there with such a passionate interest in military history. I’ll continue to follow it!

    I’ve only just established my blog but feel free to check it out – it’s a little spartan at the moment!

    Best wishes,

    Jeremy Konsbruck
    (aka Shivers)

  21. James Daly

    Hi Jeremy, thank you for your kind words. I’ve checked out your blog, I’m sure I’ll be a regular visitor from now on!


  22. Dear Sir I noticed Mayo Peace Park is not on your website and thought you might like to add it to your site/links/memorial or news letter It is a valuable Historical memorial to Irelands dead http://www.mayomemorialpeacepark.org
    The County Mayo Memorial and Peace Park, Castlebar, Ireland The Mayo Memorial and Peace Park was opened by the President of Ireland Mary Mc Alesee on October the 7th 2008.It is a Memorial to all the Men and Women of County Mayo who have lost there life in conflict from the last century to the present day.

  23. Bart

    James, Do you by any chance have any relatives who came from the Cork Harbour area and joined the Royal Navy? There was an extraordinary number: this is a research interest of mine.

    • James Daly

      Hi Bart I do indeed. My Great-Great-Grandfather Daniel Michael Daly came over from Ireland in the late 19th Century, to Liverpool/Birkenhead, and from there my Great-Grandfather Thomas Daly joined the RN in WW1. If you would like to email me via the contact me page I will dig out the info that I have.

  24. ann webster

    Trying to find out about relation of mine, Seaman Henry Newport LT/JX287476 of HM trawler La Nantaise. Memorial Lowestoft Naval panel 17 column 1 died 8.7.45. Have you any idea how I can get info?

    • James Daly

      Hi Ann, if you are the next of kin you should be able to obtain his service record, there is a section on this on the UK veterans agency website. It looks also like he was part of the RN patrol service, which was based in Lowestoft – there is a website about this, there’s a link just to the right on my site.

  25. Excellent resource, my thanks. 🙂

  26. Pingback: 2010 in review « Daly History Blog

  27. kim lucas (nee cornell)

    hi you meantion my great great great uncle srgnt sidney ncornell dcm from portsmouth would love to know what you know about him best wishes kim lucas

    • James Daly

      Hi Kim, its great to hear from a relative of Sid Cornell. I’ve been able to find out a lot about him, I will email you with some more information soon. I’m currently writing a book about Portsmouth’s Heroes who died during the Second World War, and I’m hoping to write about Sidney – he was a very brave man.

  28. Moya St Leger

    I am delighted to find a young person interested enough in how this country has retained its freedom to have studied military history. I was even more impressed to find these words above:

    “History isn’t just about facts, but about how and where you find them, and what you learn from them. If we know where we’ve come from, then we know much more about where we are and where we’re going.”

    In recent years I have been alarmed by the ignorance and lack of interest of young people in British history, which has fallen prey to revisionists of a political persuasion which would have handed this country over to the Spanish, the French and the Germans if they had been alive in former centuries.

    You do well to have taken an interest in the British Army since 1945, especially of its presence in Germany. It was an ever present reminder to the Russians that the West was prepared, day and night, for any attempt to move one inch further into Germany. In fact East German borders guards would regularly ‘try it on’ by moving the border posts over into west Germany a few feet but they were always moved back.

    Little gestures made all the difference. No British officer stationed in West Germany was allowed to fly to Berlin for a meeting or even on a personal visit. (Berlin had four power status until 1990. He had to use the British Military Train which would stop at the Helmstedt on the border of East Germany. A Russian officer and a British officer would go through a little saluting ceremony on the platform, then the train would then proceed across East Germany to Berlin. It was a small but immensely significant daily reminder to the Russians that British Forces stationed in Germany were crossing a Sector not a country, therefore were at liberty to go where they pleased in East Germany without let or hindrance.

    The Russians had tried and failed to isolate Berlin because of the Airlift from June 1948 – May 1948, so they were certainly not going to be allowed to grab the city again by other means! The Four Power Status of Berlin came to an end with the Final Treaty with Respect to Germany of 1990.

    Just an aside. The new post-war German Army, (Bundeswehr) used to do joint exercises with the British Army on our exercise areas every now and again. The Bundeswehr officers were always very nervous about them because they were acutely aware of the high standards and the professionalism of the British Army. They commanded an army of conscripts who were, understandably, not up to the standard of the British Army.

    James, all I can say is keep up this wonderful work. PhD students of the future will be kissing the ground you walked on.

    Moya St Leger (73)
    (Formerly Joint Services Liaison Organization – Germany)

  29. Hoops

    My ancestors. the Hooper family lived in your grandparents house for years (1871-1901 cencus’). I’ve only just recently come to learn about them whilst researching my family history amd yet, strangely, felt a feeling of loss when I read your article about their house being destroyed in 1941.

    • James Daly

      Hi, I take it you are referring to 66 High Street? It’s interesting to be able to fill in one of the few remaining gaps in the history of that house. I spent years researching George Stebbing (inhabitant c.1800-47), and then found during working on my family tree that my Grandfather was born there in 1922!

      It is a small world indeed!

    • My maiden name is Hooper and my ancestors also lived in 66 Broad Street. Don’t know much about the business they had though.

    • Jules

      On researching my tree I found my great grandfather Charles Randall lived at 66 Broad Street as shown on 1871 census. He was married to Jane who was from a family butchers. Is there any connection with the Hoopers?

  30. Victoria

    Hi James,
    Thanks for the interesting information you have posted. My grandfather was a survivor of the Laconia, and interned in Mediouna Camp too. He (luckily otherwise I wouldn’t be here!) survived and was shipped back to the UK via the USA. I don’t suppose you have come across any information about what the conditions were like in Mediouna and ships which might have carried survivors back to the US ? Thanks for any suggestions.

  31. Luis De la Peña

    Hello James:

    I’m a student of History of the National University in Colombia, in the search of some nice blogs of military history (in special blogs about napoleonic wars) I find yours. Your work is excellent, and i recommendend your blog with my partners, even im writing a review about your page for my digital history class. Keep it working so hard! regards from Bogotá!

  32. A very interesting and emotive site. I am a german woman from Karlsruhe and Ifound the site via Laconia. My uncle was on the U 156 and died in it 43.
    He left hundreds of letters and photos, one was to be seen on the end of the film “The sinking of the Laconia”. My brother historian expert second war puplished a book 790 pages about this life and the circumstances that brought so much death and grief, specially to the British people The film was seen bynearly 5 million persons in Germany and the ZEIT, german weekly news paper published my article about my feelings watching the film. In my blog
    movie-gesindel.blogspot.com I posted the article and a photo from the rescue action of the LAconia survivors.


    It is all written in German, i apologize my English, maybe you can read via Google translater.


  33. James Daly

    Hi Movidora, thank you for your very kind words. I’ts amazing how many people have been affected by the Laconia incident. I read your article, thankfully I have very basic English, enough to understand!



  34. Well done James. Keep up the good work

  35. Fascinating site, and many thanks for linking to my post about the Titanic.

  36. Simon P

    Just stumbled across this site, very nice for a Pompey rating. Shame the bootnecks museum wasn’t done at Guz as it’s their home.

    • James Daly

      It is at the moment, but until relatively recently the bootnecks were spread around Plymouth, Portsmouth, Gosport, Deal and other locations. It just so happened that the officers mess at Eastney became available at the right time and proved suitable for use as a Museum. It’s one of those random things about how museums come about. Dare I say it also the authorities in Portsmouth have always been a lot more forward thinking about encouraging museums than Plymouth have.

  37. Simon P

    It does indeed. Was there last summer and had great fun at the Explode! musei]um pointing out to my 12 yo son all the stuff I’d worked on in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

    We were down in Plymouth last week and, apart from the memorial on the Hoe, you wouldn’t know the RN existed.

  38. Hello James i live in Portsmouth aswell your first person in pompey to view my blog i have two blos And I ex R.A.F ialso new someone else you may have come across in your writing FLT LT JOHN NICHOL who was in the gulf war

  39. Heather Boyton

    Hello Ive been looking for someone to write up a piece of a diary that belonged to my dad. He was in ww2 and wrote a diary of events as they were happening on his drop at arnhem. i have lots of bits of paper telling of the things that were happening. It is a very interesting read and thought maybe you would who could write this up for me. Thank you

  40. Susan Garth

    Hello I am trying to find out about my fathers war years, Just a brief description, he was in india/Burma, Iceland, and North West Europe for 6yrs. I have my fathers war records and i am trying to work them out, but it is proving to be difficult, as my dad was posted to different Regiments, and attatched also. The reson, for this enquiry, is that, i wondered if it is possible that my father was a prisoner of war, only on his records and after a phone call to the mon they say he wasnt. It was my uncle who told me that my dad had had a hard time in Burma and he was a prisoner of war, unfortunateley he is now deceased. My father is deceased now,but lived long after the war here are his details

    Leonard Healey
    Private 1782821
    On his war records it states that he was in the Royal Leicestireshire Regiment,but he first started with the Royal Artillary I have my fathers medals the burma star, another star and two others

    Will await your reply, dont worry ive got all the time in the world.
    Proud daughter
    Susan Garth

  41. Hi James – I have been reading posts on your blog which are most interesting. I worked as a history correspondent on the Swindon Advertiser and had a long running series called Swindon at War until the paper cut back on freelance writers. I am presently uploading selections from this feature to a Swindon at War blog and wondered if you might be interested in visiting the site. Frances

  42. jennyusa

    Name: jennyusa
    Email: jennyusa100@gmail.com
    Message: hello i wondered if you could help me, my friend’s uncle was on the laconia, his name was thomas robert buckingham, my friend never know his uncle and he would like to find out further info about him. we know he was a 3rd senior chief officer and we just wondered if any one could tell us a bit more about him for e.g. is there any photos of him,how old was he, the date of birth and death, where’s he buried and is there any friends living, also we watch the sinking of the lacoina by alan bleasdale could any one tell us why if it was real why did the writers change his name to thomas mortimer and put him as jr officer. i would be really greatful if any one coud help with any info jenny usa

  43. Milne

    On the subject of facts in history; Alan Clark and a letter about the Spitfire

    I have come here via researching Jonathan Glancey and his involvement with the Spitfire, an article published under his name in the Independent in 1996, and Alan Clark’s (justified) rebuff over its inaccuracies. I know this is a tangent, but I wonder if you could include this comment to set the record straight.

    The Independent article in June 1996 differed from all other sources known to me. It was a surprise that not one of several well known aviation historians of the time did not write in. I contacted Mr Glancey himself, half suspecting the authorship. What I was shown as the “orginal article” was very different.

    Meanwhile (I now know), someone writing as Alan Clark, and giving the ancestral address, had sent his rebuttal to the newspaper, thus my comments here. I know nothing of the cicumstances of Alan Clark’s military service, or lack of it, and bow to your research. But, as a stickler for the truth – like yourself – it appears that Jonathan Glancey wrongly attracted Alan Clark’s well informed criticism.

    To give a flavour of what was printed: it would not have been possible for any wing on the Spitfire (there were two basic wings built, with “clipped” tips imposed on the orginal, semi – elliptical one, for certain roles) to have been “copied ” from that of the Mustang, which was a later design. Alan Clark knew this.

    There also seems to have been a notion that the Spitfire was some kind of lash up, but it was a first generation example of its kind, in the UK, and a superb, “clean sheet of paper” design after an earlier failure at Supermarine. It was the manufacturing process which creaked. I would only describe the specific evolution of the Mark 9 (born of a pressing operational requirement) as any kind of lash up – and it worked, because of the sound original design of airframe and Merlin engine.

    No – one knows it all: all comments gratefully accepted.

  44. Interesting read, I might look more into this. I liked the post!

  45. Jeremy

    Because the admin of this web page is working, no uncertainty very
    shortly it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

  46. Hi James,
    I’m researching Pt Sidney Herbert Johnson 1st Bttn Hampshires. SDGW says KIA 13/5/1915. Commemorated @ Memin Gate. London born and parents residence. MIC says entered France 20/9/14. Can you help with the War Diary for May 1915 or any other bits and bobs?
    Thanks in anticipation.

  47. Hi James.I am a daly from Dublin my dad was from Tipperary.four of his uncles served in the British army.Two of them were in the first world war one Jeremiah Daly was killed on the 20th of Oct 1914 during the retreat from Mons. He was in the 2nd Batt of the Leinster Regiment.The other was named Thomas John Daly who served in the Royal Field Artillary and he survived the war.He went to live in I think around Essex with his family after the war. Oh and i got to know Portsmouth fairly well during my nine years in the Royal navy,I left the service 40 years ago this month.

  48. Jules

    Hi James, am very pleased to find your blog. On researching my family tree I have discovered that my great grandfather Charles Randall lived at 66 Broad Street as recorded on the 1871 census. He married into a family of butchers. Can you tell me anymore about the history of the house? Any info will be much appreciated.

  49. Mike Davis

    Hello James,
    I must thank you for your information about the Royal Engineers. It came up when I googled in details of my grandfather`s cousin`s called Corporal Leopold Davis who was in “Q” Coy. 4th Bn. Special Brigade, Royal Engineers. I have just discovered today that he died on 02 October 1916 age 26 in France and is remembered at Neufchatel-Hardelot (Neufchatel) Churchyard. It makes me wonder what he was up to when he died. He was
    initially in the Oxford and Bucks L.I.

    Kind Regards

    Mike Davis
    East Sussex

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  64. Trevor Brash

    Hi James,

    “Police Constable John Dunford, 34, was killed at the juncton of Pembroke Road and the High Street in Old Portsmouth.”. This was my maternal Grandfather. I’d be interested in finding out more about him. Where did you get the information from please ?

    regards Trevor

  65. Pete

    Gidday James, just sent you a message through worldnavalships; re HMS Lively research.
    Cheers, Pete
    Dunedin, NZ

  66. Neil Potter

    Flt Lt James Walter Potter

    Thank you for your website feature in memory of my late uncle who was lost in February 1942. His memory is much respected and treasured by our family. The family also suffered the unbearable loss of his brother Samuel on the sinking of his ship HMS Laforey on 30 March 1944. I would be very happy to supply Wartime pictures of both brothers who were brought up in denmead
    Neil Potter

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