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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

FOR A NEWCOMER


David Filsell
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I have just been asked which is the best guide for a newcomer wanting to research a family member who served in the Great War which is somewhat outside my field of interest and expertise. Any advice to pass would be greatly depreciated.

Regards

David   

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I assume that you are referring to an ancestors military period and what he did at various times during the War. Like researching one's family tree there is no one, easy fix way of doing it. Various bits of information can be gleaned from various places to produce the whole. Web sites such as Ancestry or Find My Past can help and generally access can be gained for free from your local library if you are not prepared to pay out for the subscriptions. As a starter the full name of the ancestor and his date of birth needs to be available to find the right regiment and service number. But first have a look at The Long Long Trail which is part of this website and can be found by clicking on the menu above.

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If they have relatives medals their name and servicee number will be on rim.When looking for records try and find something to cross reference, dob, address nok etc, Then you know if you have found rightperson. Don't take too much interest in family stories or trust too much in family trees.

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The first port of call has to be LLT, to understand the policies and procedures that underpinned the army, and army life. Reading various threads on GWF from within the "Soldiers and their units" subcategory will provide various case studies on how soldiers' service histories have been pieced together. 

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Thanks.

Appreciated.

Are the any  books on the topic worthy of recommendation?

Regards

David

Edited by David Filsell
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  • Admin
3 hours ago, David Filsell said:

 

Are the any  books on the topic worthy of recommendation?

 

 

 

The seminal work is probably the TNA sponsored

https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-World-Army-Service-Records/dp/1905615264

 

A bit bit dated now, my edition is an early one so I don’t know if later editions include online records,* but ten years ago I would have recommended it!

 

More recently TNA have produced this one in their ‘tracing your.....ancestors ‘ series

https://shop.nationalarchives.gov.uk/products/tracing-your-ww1-ancestors

 

The series is pretty good but I haven’t read/seen this one

 

but tbh as noted above the LLT and TNA online guides are more up to date as to what is available online and I would alsofully support the comments above. Apart from this forum there are so many blogs and websites of special interest I doubt any book could keep up.

 

Edit * It appears not been reprinted but second hand volumes appear cheap enough

 

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Books, depends if you have a special interest, or a browse of Archives.org or Project gutenberg

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Thank you k48 and JB. I will pass your omments on. The information is required by a complete GreatvWar tyro.

Regards

David

Edited by David Filsell
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The following books, available online for free, provide background information for the beginner

Under the Archive.org Books to Borrow/Lending Library scheme, the initial borrow is for one hour, but you can generally renew at the expiry of the hour.

 

The FIBIS Fibiwiki page British Army has information about online sources of records, including for the WW1 period, and could be used in conjunction with the books mentioned by kenf48.

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/British_Army#Records

 

There are also Fibiwiki reference pages Western Front https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Western_Front and First World War https://wiki.fibis.org/w/First_World_War with links to many online books, but these are more for later reference, rather than for a beginner.

 

Maureen

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You could always encourage your friend to join the Forum.

There are plenty of pals on here that relish the challenge of finding information when someone puts a name up for finding details.

 

 

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Knotty & Maureen

I have done just that, and Maureen, thank you both. I will pass the information on.

Regards

David

 

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Chris Baker has just done this on a podcast

 

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