Category Archives: WWI research

Short pieces about the people I’ve researched for the Surrey History centre

Is this trigamy?

In 1894, a man called Percy Wentworth Willougby Keene married Mary Ann Constable. They had a son, Edward Russell John Keene who died in 1917, during the First World War. In 1901, a man called Percy Wentworth Willoughby Keene was … Continue reading

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The amazing LAC

Yesterday, during my Reading Hour, one of the chapters was from Emily Mayhew’s Wounded. It told the story of Ambulance Trains through the lives of nurses and an orderly. Obviously, I’ve heard of Ambulance Trains but had no idea what … Continue reading

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Missing bits of Frank’s life

Sometimes, when I research a dead soldier from the Great War, I discover a massive void where part of their lives were. If the family is interesting and my research throws up a bit of information, I might write about … Continue reading

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Not all war deaths are caused by war

I researched Louis Breban the other day. Born on the island of Jersey in 1891, he decided the army was for him. He went along to his local recruiting office and signed up. This was in 1908, and he continued … Continue reading

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Peaceful penetration

General Sir John Monash (1865-1931) was an intense kind of guy. In his photo, his eyes seem to immobilise the viewer, leaving them helpless to interrogation. His almost smile probably leading to misunderstanding. He was undoubtably, a lovely man, however, … Continue reading

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In Booze We Lose

I was researching a soldier today when I came across an odd bit of military history that I hadn’t known about before. I guess that’s not surprising, after all, a fact you didn’t know is just something you haven’t learned … Continue reading

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A life once lost, rediscovered

Sometimes, when I’m researching WWI service people, it can be very frustrating. An initial and a surname, particularly something like J Smith, can be close to impossible to narrow down to the one I’m looking for. Today I had a … Continue reading

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Luck comes in different flavours

The end result in all my WWI research is, by default, going to be sad, sometimes tragic. When the object of your research is a son barely old enough to be considered an adult who is handed a uniform, a … Continue reading

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