A Guide For Family Historians

There has been good business in the burgeoning market for genealogy for a few years now, especially since the BBC hit on the Who Do You Think You Are concept bringing wider attention to what had been a longstanding pastime for thousands. Pen & Sword are no fools in treading into the market and this book is one of a series which includes guides to paupers, tank crewmen, canal dwellers, regional ‘communities’ (that modern buzz word) within the British Isles and even the Huguenots.

This superb book covers the period up to the end of the Great War, which dominates the content, and takes in the many branches of service women worked in from medical professions to schoolmistresses and all the recognised military branches. Just a scan through the contents list reveals the amazing breadth of subject matter. Why, on page 62 you can find out about the Almeric Paget Massage Corps, a subject just part of a chapter on Military and Naval Masseuses. The inference being the author really knows her stuff. The book will help you chart your way through available records and explain the structure of the branches of service and how your ancestor will have fitted in. The use of photographs is excellent.

It should never be lost on us that the many millions of women working in uniform, in the fields and in factories were slogging away to defend a democracy in which they had no vote. It seems only fitting to remember Florence Green who died only recently, aged 110, who served in the WRAF. Thought to be the last surviving British service person from the war, she might ‘only’ have been a waitress; but she was doing her bit and along with all those other ladies she deserves our eternal thanks. Mary Ingham opens a window into their world, whether you are seeking your roots or are just keen to learn what they were all doing in the pursuit of victory and peace.

Mark Barnes

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ISBN: 978 1 84884 1734