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

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

  1. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    Apologies for the meandering start in advance...

    All started with fancying a 'family crest' tattoo. My attention to detail annoyed me enough to try and see if I could link our family to it. Lessons on heraldry and crests meant that there isn't such an overall thing... but I digress.

    My family history lead me down a military history route.

    I had always known that my stepgrandfather was in 12th Lancers, so I started researching them, all of the locations (Dunkirk, North Africa, Italy) tallied up, so I carried on. A while in, I found documentation alluding to GHQ Liaison Regiment, Phantom.

    This has sent me down a fantastically obscure and interesting rabbit hole, starting with the British Air and Military missions with the BEF.

    The fact that there are 6 squadrons, made up of 6 patrols each, all attached to different units at any one time has made pinpointing his route extremely difficult, especially as I'm yet to find his patrol and his starting squadron.

    4000 pages of archive records and I'm still struggling to pinpoint him yet, with only 1 mention of him thus far, but finding more and more detail for when/if the magic document appears!
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  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Excellent 'needle and haystack' stuff albeit presuming there actually is at least one needle in the haystack but, hey ho, how do you find that out? Answer, keep looking because if you stop you will definitely not find it. As I've learnt from my own research, keep going.....the information you need is out there somewhere.
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  3. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    I'm almost worried I'll find it and lose the drive :lol:

    For what has been described as an elite unit, that most have never heard of, I've found some of the details fascinating.

    I'm using the rest of the details as the map that I'll use later on, I just hope that my start point is in there somewhere! If not, I'll just have to know it all and say that it's 1 in a maximum of 36 routes haha
  4. skimmod

    skimmod Senior Member

    its at the printers!
    "not a foot back" the story of the 2nd Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers on the 26th -28th May 1940.
    so very excited!
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  5. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    As the central theme for my collecting is Infanterie-Regiment/Pz.Grenadier-Division Grossdeutschland, over the last 10 years or so I have compiled spreadsheets of command lists down to Zugführer (platoon commander) level. To do so I have gone through every GD related book, web page, GD personnel papers (Soldbücher etc) and archive file that I can find to extract the names and details. In line with this I have also compiled a GD officer signature database which currently has 340 individual signatures and a further 33 'possibles'. There is a chance some of these signatures will be published in a future book on GD by an American author.
  6. skimmod

    skimmod Senior Member

    Superb news! I have just received the first print run of the draft edition of the book. (these things are never quite complete!) but it tells a good story with plenty of maps, photos and first hand accounts.
    PM me if you would like a copy! :)

    Attached Files:

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  7. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Needle and haystack: here's some inspiration.

    The 1950 diary for 54 Field Battery R.A. runs to a whole of four pages with only a single soldier named (22160373 Gnr Rogers, E.V.) as he was wounded in a gunfight with bandits on the Gan-Key Estate, Negri Sembilan.

    Not very promising.

    But I've just today opened an envelope in the mail from that same man, Eric Rogers, that contains a twelve-page handwritten account of his service with the unit and a good sketch of how he came to be wounded and what followed.

    The gods smile once again!

    I'm going to transcribe it and send it back to him with a request to let me put it online.
    zola1, Chris C, skimmod and 2 others like this.
  8. ash0212

    ash0212 Member

    Keen interest in the employment and personnel of GHQ Liaison Regiment (Phantom). Still collecting service details of men who served within the organisation. Also interested in their medal entitlements and extended biographies. The database has no end...constantly added to. Keen to trace personal accounts.
    MongoUK, dbf and Charley Fortnum like this.
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I thought I'd add a further question:
    What does everyone plan to do with the fruits of their research; does the thrill of the paper chase suffice or do you have something else in mind, like a book or a website?
  10. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Not sure if this is an answer to Diane's question but over the last 4 years I have been busy completing a major revision and expansion of my book 'No Triumphant Procession', which was published in 1994. Although the new book covers the same period (April 1945), geography (the north German Plain) and 2. Marine-Infanterie-Division continues to hold centre stage, it now includes the battles fought by VIII Corps formations and units. The book now has chapters on the organization and equipment of British and German forces (many thanks to those who responded to my obscure questions on ww2talk), and among other things features the actions fought by the Luftwaffe and SS-A.u.E. Btl. 12 HJ, Ultra messages and a chapter analysing why certain German units fought on when all was lost. The book will have 71 maps and many more personal accounts. It is due to be published by Helion & Co next summer and its title is 'Theirs the Strife.' I think it's outstanding, but I suppose I would! End of plug!
  11. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian layabout

    Still plugging away when I can in the Canadian archives basically on two fronts: get AFV related documents that I and people in the UK might want (if they're not extant at Kew?), and do colour comparisons against paint chips from WW2 which I haven't done in quite some time.

    I'm working on my Archer book to an enormous extent from documents sent to me from the UK so it's only fair to return the favour.

    And one thing I found earlier this week was the initial report on Churchills from Tunisia which I found intrinsically interesting.

    PS the paint stuff is interesting but I don't have any ambitions there - I'm trying to help Mike Starmer.
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  12. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria.

    Don't know to be honest D in truth I don't think I'll ever finish any of my projects life's too busy and hectic I just don't have enough time.

    dbf likes this.
  13. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    After getting interested in my family tree several years ago I become more fixated on the military service of various ancestors, from my x3 great grandad in the 41st and 30th Regiment of Foot as a POW in Canada to my grandad who was injured in action in WW2. I've homed in on my grandad and after the past couple of years research and transcribing the war diaries for 1/4th and 2/4th South Lancs during his home service 1942-44, and the 9th Cameronians during the Battle of Normandy, I'm getting to the point where I'll be ready to pull it together. It won't be as grand as a book that others are doing, but it'll be something I can at least give to my mum to help her understand what her dad went through.
    dbf, EdSav and Tom OBrien like this.
  14. Bruneval

    Bruneval Well-Known Member

    I have spent the last couple of years researching 14 Company RASC wartime exploits from Palestine to Austria and found out so much about the Company not known to even the Corps Museum. After being in touch with the Company's relatives, kindly receiving photos of servicemen, this has been such a fantastic experience. The aim will be to produce a booklet detailing the entire history of the Company. If anyone has any information on 14 Company RASC, please do get in contact.


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  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I note in the publicity blurb it states "and the narrative is supported by 90 maps"
    Theirs the Strife

  16. zola1

    zola1 Member

    After 24 years of researching my late Dad's service with the Royal Engineers Italy WW2 , I've still a million questions in my head to answer,:whistle:.... i have traveled to Italy many times, walked some roads he would marched, crossed bridges he would have helped build /repair....and said a thousand silent thanks to all those who served, for the sacrifices they made.

    I'm currently reading Spike Milliagans books about his time in North Africa & Italy as a Gunner ....absolute Legend :).

    Keep on researching and never stop......

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  17. JDKR

    JDKR Member Patron

    Many thanks TD for the link! I didn’t know it was due to be published next May and that it now had an ISBN number. Perfect! The figure of 90 is correct give or take 1 or 2 as it includes the figures (mainly organisational charts). My thanks again.

  18. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    I'm attempting to write up my grandfather's service for his great-granddaughters and future generations to read; they never knew him and only know what I mention every now and then, although they'd certainly know him by sight (if he were able to walk through the door) thanks to my framing his medals and including a portrait taken in 1941. I am toying with a website as well, but that takes time - something I'm a little short of right now as I juggle work and university.
  19. Flyinggeek76

    Flyinggeek76 Member

    Being a humble British gent, my study of ww2 (The air war) has always been the main focus of my studies. But now it's time to focus on the P.T.O. side of things. I mean sure I'm well educated on Pearl harbour, Midway etc... But it's time to really get stuck into the nitty gritty stuff. And I don't just mean the US v Japan actions. I'm going deep into the Australian and Chinese actions too. Wish me luck! Any advice/info would be much welcome...:)
    Hugh MacLean likes this.
  20. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    I only just learned that we had a U-Boot sailing off our shores in 1944 - U862. She sailed up towards my hometown of Adelaide, attacked a merchant ship on Dec 9, before heading back around the coast of Tasmania where it attempted to sink another on Dec 15. Ten days later it sank a merchant ship on its way up the NSW coast before heading east towards New Zealand to continue the hunt.

    Our navy has a page dedicated to U-Boot movements in Australian waters - U-862's story starts about halfway down the page.

    German U-Boat Operations in Australian Waters | Royal Australian Navy
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