Lucy Yates, World War One Project Officer, writes:
We’re lucky to have the Household Cavalry as one of our community partners on our Kensington and Chelsea’s Great War project and so we were delighted to host a visit from their representatives.
Soldiers were fascinated to see the wealth of material we had in our archives including The Illustrated London News, which was eagerly searched for photos of their regiment in action.
The picture they painted of modern soldiering, in comparison to daily life in the trenches a hundred years ago, was fascinating. Their input into our World War One commemoration project was hugely appreciated.
2014 marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War I. This centenary anniversary has made remembrance even more poignant. The 11th November and Remembrance Sunday help mark the event which brought an end to this conflict.
There is more we can do to remember though; we can look at how the war affected the lives of our families back then, which is what I and several others did using our Ancestry Online database in Kensington Central Library on Thursday 6 November.
The pictures we built were often very interesting, viewing as well as military records, Census records, which allowed us small insights into their lives. But it was often also very sad – families left without sons (in one instance losing several within a very short space of time) and fathers listed and remembered on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s website. It made us think of how sad it must have been for them- and their friends as well.
Luckily these online resources make it easier to look back and see what our family did during the war (and before). Whether it is from the medals they won, who they served with, or information from the CWGC website, which lists 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars.
Ancestry online is available in and Kensington and Chelsea library plus in Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham. As well as family history records for the British Isles there are other records from around the world at the time such as Canada, the USA, Germany, and France.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website can be accessed from anywhere and can provide a lot of information – more than you’d expect. And there are many instructional books available which can help you search through records and find out more about the Great War.