For the last 8 years an uncle and I have been researching the family tree. Simpler nowdays as access to records on-line is much easier.
Come across some surprising turns and twists based on an aural recolection written down many years ago. I have managed to push back to the late 1700's on direct branches.
One of the saddest records I came across was for the effects of my Gt Gt Grandfather who died on April 5th 1918 at Aveluy Wood on the Somme. He was with the Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles. From records held at the National Archives in the UK I have been able to read the battalion diaries for the day he died. He would have been listed as an OR (Other Ranks) killed in action. Only officers were identified by name. We have a splendid photo of him and his bride taken in 1908 in London along with about 40 other members of the family at the time.
His effects were returned promptly and really only consisted of a watch with a missing glass,a watch key and case, some photo's, a souvenir coin, and some religous books.
His body was never returned and we are not sure that the marker for his grave at Martinsart is correclty placed as records seem to indicate that he was given a field burial along with the 4 other men he was killed with, but later that was blown up by artillery fire and what was left was re-buried.
He left a wife and two small children behind.
I have also found records that show another relative who was injured in the Great War and headed off to Canada on discharge with his wife and three children. He was with the Royal Engineers and it look like he was one of the sappers overseeing the mines at Messines which were made famous by the book 'Birdsong'. Apparently they dug 22 mines of which 19 were detonated. 2 have no known location and one blew up in the 50's following a lightning strike which killed a cow plus bringing down the electricity pylons.
Another, who gave up weaving in Essex to join up was quickly taken prisoner of war. He was with the Essex Regiment, Cyclists Battalion.
One of the happier records is for a Gt Gt Grandfather on my mothers side who owned the 'floating baths and bathing machines' at Southend on Sea in Essex. The machines were for females only in order to preserve their modesty. He died at 90 of 'Apoplexy and brain siezures'. Wonder what upset him so much?
Any other Catters researching and found interesting info?