The Great War was a key event of the twentieth century and it is one of the most popular and rewarding areas for historical research - and for family historians. More records than ever are available to researchers whose relatives served during the war, and Paul Reed’s new book is the perfect guide to how to locate and understand these sources - and get the most out of them.
In fascinating detail he follows the stories of twelve service men who fought and died in the Great War – a rifleman, an infantry officer, a tunneller, a gunner, a Royal Marine, a naval rating, an airman, and others. He describes their wartime careers and shows how they fitted into the armed forces. He looks at what they did, at their lives in the front line, in the rear areas, on leave, and at the conditions they endured and the experiences they had. And he demonstrates how the research was done and how the lives of these individuals were reconstructed - the methods that were used, the sources that were consulted.
Paul Reed’s informative and accessible book will be essential reading and reference for anyone who wants to find out about the Great War and is keen to understand the part an ancestor played in it.
A Guide to Great War Research
1. The Boy Who Came Home – Lieutenant Vernon James Austin, Royal Field Artillery
2. Where are the Boys of the Village Tonight? Roy Fazan and the Wadhurst Tragedy
3. Britain’s Sea Soldiers at Gallipoli – Frederick James Stone
4. All Quiet on the Western Front – A Greek Printer in the Trenches, Alexis Ectos Maffuniades
5. Beneath the Western Front – A Tunneller in France, William Hackett VC, Royal Engineers
6. Died of Wounds at the Base – The Short War of Rifleman Francis Davies
7. A Vicar’s Son on Three Fronts – William Coburn Cowper’s Long Journey from France to Palestine
8. I Died in Hell ... They Called in Passchendaele – Henry Joseph Penn, a Royal Marine in France and Flanders
9. A Great War Guinea Pig – Frank Plumb, Suffolk Regiment
10. From Officer to Private – The Strange Case of Ernest Hopcraft
11. Britain’s Black Pilot – William Robinson Clarke, Royal Flying Corps
12. A Poet at War – Ivor Gurney, 2/5th Gloucestershire Regiment