Research & pet projects - what are you doing; how's it progressing?

Discussion in 'General' started by dbf, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Research or projects, big or small.

    Got any good news to share, discovered helpful resources, encountered stumbling blocks, overcome any set-backs or, have you just met with a dead end?

    Maybe you'd just like to confess your niche or even garner support from the similarly minded?

    Me? 8 yrs + on here and I still haven't finished my Irish Guards work. 'Bout time I did...

    The Brigade of Guards
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  2. onesimus

    onesimus Member

    I spent a fruitless year trying to track down brothers Alfred ad Maurice Smith (my dad's cousins) who were killed within a week of each other in WW2.

    A couple of weeks ago I found Albert and Horace, who died within two months of each other and are in fact those cousins I was looking for. As a result I learned a lesson about not trusting family memories of 70+ years ago.

    In the last two or three weeks I've found a few interesting things about them, even realising that Albert's headstone is visible in a photo of the war cemetery where he was buried. His name isn't visible, but I found a documents recording the location of his burial plot, a plan of the cemetery labelling the various rows and sections of the burial plots, and the photo that clearly matches up with the cemetery plan, making it an easy thing to count so many rows back and so many headstones from the right - to identify where he's buried.

    Not so lucky with Horace. He's listed on the Cassino memorial among those with no known grave. He ended up in the Mediterranean during the first night of the invasion of Sicily during Operation Ladbroke and it seems his body was never recovered.

    I'm now trying to find our more about the events leading to their deaths.

    Albert was a gunner in 140th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery and died at Oued Athmenia in Algeria on 11th May 1943. He is noted as dying of wounds, so I'm wondering whether that means he was wounded earlier, elsewhere and spent his last hours or days in a military hospital.

    Horace was with 181 Airlanding Field Ambulance RAMC, and was a passenger in one of the gliders released too early during the approach to Sicily on 9th July 1943.

    I've only just started my search, but I'm encouraged by how much I've been able to find in such a short time.
    von Poop, Reid, Hugh MacLean and 4 others like this.
  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I've recently started compiling a Nominal Roll for 1/4th Essex: 1939-46. I've been collecting sources and material for around a year now (the fun part), and now we're down to line-by-line reading and a colossal chunk of data entry: my working list has twenty seven main sources (some of them vast) for names and details, and I keep adding new columns as I find important snippets to record. In the event that this task ever gets completed, I have dozens of 'possibles' to research individually in order to ascertain whether they were in the battalion or not - particularly commandos it seems - who's the resident expert?

    Either after or concurrent with that, I plan to transcribe the battalion War Diaries 39-46, a mere thousand or so pages.

    My only solace is that a) it will be wonderful when it's all - at least provisionally - complete; b) It will be a great gift to subsequent researchers, particularly those who want to investigate their relatives' service.

    Many thanks to those here who have offered advice and/or names. More gratefully received here or by private message.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  4. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    The story of Lion Box still continues to unfold with snippets being gleaned here and there. A revised edition of my original book is being planned but just when does one stop researching and start compiling the results?
    In addition to the above I have been drawn into other research of battles fought to the north of Imphal in 1944. Good job the dark winter nights are here to do this work!
    von Poop, Hugh MacLean, Deacs and 3 others like this.
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thanks chaps for sharing your plans & thoughts.

    Good to read I'm not the only one suffering from these quandaries. :)
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Mine is going well, but will never be finished! So others be warned!!:D
    dbf, zola1, Reid and 3 others like this.
  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    I started to research my Fathers service in WW2 in the Royal Artillery 116th LAA and 92nd LAA.
    I have the service records and thanks to Andy the war diaries.
    Interestingly many of the chaps in the 116th were in their late twenties or early thirties when they joined up.
    My only query left is trying to find out how he ended up in hospital at Ronkswood hospital in Worcester in late 1945 after being injured in NWE.

    I have tried to assist forum members with their casualty headstone requirements where possible in the UK which has led on to visiting as many UK cemeteries as I can to take photos of all headstones.
    During my visits I have also found many headstones that require replacing/cleaning etc which I report and follow up with CWGC.
    I found the grave of Harold Greenwood who was listed on the Chatham Memorial in Kingsbury Churchyard and after a number of conversations he has now be listed at the cemetery.
    Also taking as many photos of war memorials as I can and posting on the forum.

    onwards and upwards

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
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  8. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    I just enjoy contributing to this wonderful forum, as and when I can. What would I do without you?
    Jona, 4jonboy, Hugh MacLean and 3 others like this.
  9. XRayX

    XRayX Aalst-Waalre

    My project remains the battle from 10-18 september from Lommel Belgium up to Eindhoven. Although I finished my book about it last year I never can get enough of new information.

    Another project I love to work on is the British war cemetery in Valkenswaard.
    Valkenswaard War Cemetery | Facebook
  10. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    Still trying to find any former POWs who might have known my great grandfather. I transcribed all the names and addresses in his YMCA diary (with some excellent help from this forum) and shared the spreadsheet here. I've also joined a few facebook groups relating to some to the camps he was in but not turned up anything yet. So far I have managed to contact relatives of two former camp mates who have sadly passed on. I thought I had another good lead when I found this newspaper story Wartime diaries bring Stockton POW Robert Bayne's brutal 'Long March' back to life I contacted the paper who promised to pass on my contact details to the bloke but so far I've heard nowt.

    While I'm here - has the ex-POW association been wound up? Their website appears to have gone.
  11. RRTB

    RRTB 145 Fd Regt (Berkshire Yeomanry) RA

    I began to research my father's WW2 service about two years ago. Initially he served with 126 HAA at Magilligan in Northern Ireland before being deemed suitable for officer training at Catterick. He then was posted to 145 Fd Regt Berkshire Yeomanry RA and was sent to India and Malaya. He also served in Java after the war.

    War service records, some personal effects, assistance from Drew5233 re a war diary or two for the HAA posting and other help in general from this site have all helped me to form a better understanding of what my father's wartime experiences were as he never really spoke much about them.

    I've also embarked on trying to find out as much as possible about my grandfather's service in WW1 but it is a little more difficult to glean info about the South Irish Horse. However, I have managed to find online a picture of the place where he was help prisoner of war in Sclayn, Belgium. This was amazing, and I was able to show my mother about a year before she passed away where her father had been held.

    von Poop, Hugh MacLean, CL1 and 3 others like this.
  12. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    3 Commando ongoing. My biggest regret is that I didn't begin this 20 years ago.
    dbf, ash0212, MongoUK and 5 others like this.
  13. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria.

    Well where the heck do I start ?

    Firstly researching both my granda's war services, got as far as I can with still lots of questions and not probably never getting the answers.

    Researching Cockermouth war memorial WW1 and WW2.
    Found all 132 WW1 casualty's even got all headstones and names on memorials, been to the library and looked through the papers from 1914-1919, searched war diaries and Ancestry. Now what do do with it all I haven't a clue ? Then there are the casualtys from Cockermouth but who are not on the memorial now that is a list I really need to stop or I will be here for ever.

    Looking at every headstone in Cockermouth cemetery for any remembrance name on a family headstone. And I still keep finding some.

    WW2 really haven't got my finger out and started to sort any of it out yet but then I want to look through the papers in the library that is next on my list. I do know who all 44 of the casualtys are and a big thanks to the members on this forum who have helped in my umpteen questions regarding the fallen thank you.

    Another project I am half way through is Cockermouth's involvement in the second Boer war, need to find time to hit the library to look through the papers to finish that off.

    Also I was researching granda Alberts regiment of the 80th Assault Squadron RE.

    I think that's it o_O

    Regards Mike.
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  14. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    I began researching my late father's service in the British Merchant Navy after his death and conscious of the fact that I never talked to him about his service when he was still with us. He was torpedoed and spent 13 days in an open boat - many of those on the ship did not survive. I researched his service and his ships but the sinking of the CITY OF CAIRO in 1942 turned out to be an interesting topic in many many ways. Researching those on board and their stories has been particulary rewarding. I designed a website in honour of my father and the Merchant Navy and I am still finding material - finding the time to keep on top of it is my challenge at the moment.

    This project kicked of my interest in the WW2 Merchant Navy and I have been involved as a MN researcher ever since trying to bring the Merchant Navy's huge role in WW2 to a wider audience especially in light of the fact that they have largely been forgotten after the peace was won.

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  15. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The ecstasy of discovery v the agony of doing something with it...

    The paragraph and a bit I've just added to the 'Telescope Sighting No. 30' thread is a bit of a contrast to the half-dozen or so relatively relevant files trawled from Kew that then had to be scoured for little snippets of information. It is very easy to sink under the quantity of data that's available, especially when it inevitably raises contradictions, more questions or other angles and avenues to research. Anyone who actually manages to wrestle a post or a thread out of any of it - let alone a book - is deserving of respect. And possibly a life!

    If only I had the focus of German optics...
    von Poop, Deacs, Hugh MacLean and 2 others like this.
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Back to France again early next year searching for evidence that Lance Corporal Walker is buried in this grave.
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  17. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    I cannot match eight years but have managed six years so far researching the more obscure aspects of the Normandy Landings. Just starting on the US beaches so at least another four years I suppose.

    I am not single minded however and have spent the last nine months researching Napoleons Campaign of 1805. The original Blitzkreig. It does severely test my rusty and rudimentary French. Lots of documents though.

    I keep trying to gather material on the Salisbury Plain Manoeuvres of 1927. Another precursor of the Blitzkreig.

    I have just noticed that DBF is a Moderatrix (a word my spell checker does not recognise). Rather old fashioned but I like it. I am after all old fashioned.

    Happy researching.

    Flyinggeek76, von Poop, Deacs and 4 others like this.
  18. jeffbubble

    jeffbubble Senior Member

    Mike I was trying to find if any POW from Moota were buried in Allerdale, never found any?
  19. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I've spent more hours than I care to count over the last 20 years running the 24th Lancers Old Comrades Association, raising the profile of the 24th Lancers in numerous ways (including on this Forum) and researching my fathers Comet tank T335335 'Celerity'. Every part of it well worth the effort and, most importantly, hopefully of use to any others with similar interests.

    I now have more information than I can properly cope with and still finding out more...I really need to write it up properly....just need more hours in the day for this and other activities!
    Flyinggeek76, von Poop, Deacs and 3 others like this.
  20. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    You said it. I'd be getting on a lot faster if I didn't have to work, speak to the wife, entertain the kids etc. More hours needed!
    skimmod and SDP like this.

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