on 5 August 2009
Given the popularity of genealogy, and particularly First World War military subjects, in the UK at the moment this volume is well worth looking out for. There have been at least a couple of editions, but it is the soft back 'Countryside Books' 2003 edition that I have picked up second hand, so this is the one that gets the review. However it is probably worth going for the latest current - not because the sources and documents will change radically, but because keeping track of what is on the internet etc is attempted in the book and may date.
The approach of this volume is to assume that the reader is a novice researcher (many will be) and to lead them through 'getting started', a few (very basic) remarks on photo identification, and tips on finding out. Then, from page 34 onwards, comes what might be regarded as the real 'meat' of the book - tracing individual soldiers. The key subject matter, National Archives; Commonwealth Wargraves; Hospital Records; Rolls of Honour; Pensions; Prisoners and Trench Maps all get at least brief coverage. The same sort of areas are then covered for Navy; Marine and Air Services. There are also some brief pointers for Commonwealth, Allied, and enemy powers pp 84-99, something on civilians, and lots of useful addresses. A competently produced soft back with a fair number of b&w illustrations - most of which are of a decorative nature.
So do you want this book ? If you are researching WW1 ancestors, and are reasonably new to the subject the answer is a definite yes - it will save you, possibly days, of fishing about and finding your feet. If you are very experienced or a professional the answer is still a fairly positive maybe, as it is a handy way to carry about those addresses and source ideas that you are probably already using. Any serious problems with the book ? No - buy with confidence. Could there be more detail - yes. Nevertheless a well recommended volume.
on 22 June 2013
This is a pretty impressive book all round - although I have only skimmed through it, I will find it interesting and helpful when I do come to go into depth on my WWI ancestors.
Good price from Amazon too - which helped.
DunEdin Links Genealogy