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

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

  1. Flyinggeek76

    Flyinggeek76 Member

    Thank you, I will surely look into this one. So far I've been sidetracked by a very interesting documentary on Aussie pilots flying Beaufighters out of Port Moresby. Also been fascinated by George Beurlings antics over the island of Malta. Very interesting stuff...
  2. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I got lucky last night and won a photo album and a bundle of paperwork that belonged to an ex-gunner who was with 26 Field Regt. R.A.

    I say lucky as I won the auction at my maximum budget with seconds to spare.

    The album, from the previews and description, contains over one hunded pictures mainly taken in and around Tampin in Negri Sembilan (Malaya) in the early '50s (he was discharged in '52). My grandfather's battery: 54 (Maharajapore) Bty was detached from 25 Fd Regt R.A. in Hong Kong and attached to 26 Fd Regt in Malaya at this very time, and as the paperwork has piled up, I've been aching to see some contemporary pictures of the place. I previously bought a set of pictures belonging to a RAMC man who was with 26 Fd a year or two earlier, but this set matches the time-frame perfectly, and there's even a chance that Gnr Newman himself may feature.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Some folks have already noticed what I've been doing recently under the Bde of Gds sub-forum. I intend to create a thread for each and every name on Nominal rolls and then link them back in both the alpha and nominal threads for each regiment.

    Apart from a post-war GSM Roll, IG has been completed; WG is almost done and a tentative start has been made on SG.

    I've been PM'd a few times so just reiterating this on open forum: If anyone has info on any Guards individuals, please feel free to add it & if there isn't thread already please start one. Cheers

    Grenadier Guards: Reference Thread
    Coldstream Guards: Reference Thread
    Scots Guards: Reference Thread
    Irish Guards: Reference Thread
    Welsh Guards: Reference Thread
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  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Continuing to plug away at my Archer book. I remember a published author gave me advice to pick a word limit and stick to it. I say "fie, fie to that"--apparently. I don't know if everything I write will go into the book - for instance, I don't know if there will be room or interest for a précis on every regiment with Archers and what they did in the war. But maybe I can put that on a website.

    Of late I've been working on a physical description of the vehicle - engine, ammunition, etc. That came about because I started writing about user modifications to their vehicles and I wondered whether certain bits should go in that sort of chapter, or in a descriptive chapter. For instance, some units made up their own windscreens from talc because the vehicle didn't come with one. So, right now I am trying to provide a good description about each of the crew positions in the vehicle to give the reader an idea of what it was like there. I got the idea from the Osprey book about the Valentine, which did a good job of that for the tank.
  5. CL1

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

    Chris it would be good to include in the book

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  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Well, thank you for your feedback!

    I do have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the anti-tank regiments: I think the men in them go somewhat unrecognised. Histories of the artillery concern themselves only with field artillery; histories of operations may make little mention of them.
  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I finished the chapter describing the Archer. I am glad to have finished it (as I found it a bit more difficult for some reason) but I still have lingering doubts about what is really the best way to organise the material. Descriptive chapter, then faults chapter? Combined, so that the description of the driver's position is followed by the faults discovered with it, then on to the next sub-topic? (These are rhetorical questions, but feedback is always appreciated.)

    I hope anyone else writing is able to press on in these uncertain times. I am working from home now but it is still good to turn my mind away from those matters and back to my documents and 1945.
    stolpi likes this.
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Chris,

    Not writing from the point of view of a book, but I am determined to complete the last of my larger updates for my website. I have written 350ish major stories for individual soldiers and have just one more to plan. After this is done any new material will come only from new family contributors who get in touch, or any additions I might stumble across through reading or copying files at our Archives. It feels quite liberating to finally clear the decks.

    When I find the muse is not with me for the major writing or planning, I revert to smaller more manageable objectives.
  9. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I've finally managed to 'process' some of the notes I've been making on the defence of Hong Kong 1949. I've gathered a lot of raw material from a lot of places, but as far as I have seen nobody has gone the extra step to making any of it easily intelligible. I find topographic descriptions without an accompanying map next to useless, so I'm making my own by annotating scans of the originals.

    This, for example, is just one sheet of several in its earliest stage for Plan Decapitation: the defence of the New Territories against the People's Liberation Army: I've a lot more to add in the way of tasks, patrol routes, vital and vulnerable points, internal security, demolitions, AA Sites, camps etc.

    HK Defence 1949.jpg

    One by-product of this work is that it's changed my perspective on the chances of Hong Kong having been held if the balloon ever had gone up. When you read that the Chinese had 700,000 troops milling about in the south of the country, and that the British had a single (admittedly reinforced) division to hold them, you're inclined to conclude 'game over', but the geography is such that the Chinese could probably only utilise two to three of their divisions in a single offensive, and these would be 'funnelled' down through a series of valleys, plains and passes with the British holding not all, but almost all of the high ground, with modern tanks, artillery, air support and naval bombardment on call. From what I've read of the Battle of the Imjin River in Korea, the Chinese 'human wave' tactics went a long way towards negating the superiority of British training, support and equipment, but in Hong Kong the geography offered comparatively slight potential for infiltration or encirclement, even if fifth columnists and sabotage were a threat.

    I reckon they had a fighting chance.
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  10. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Deployment, commitment and destruction of the "Clausewitz" armoured division

    Unfortunately no documents survived from this formation, so I had to do something like reverse engineering:
    9 years of research, thousands and thousands of pages of original documents of three allied Corps, nine allied divisions down to bataillon level, Army Group Vistula, Inspector General of the tank troops and so on and so forth
    in addition reports of contemporary witnesses, numerous publications and so on and so forth
    All that effort for a forlorn hope who barely existed for 18 days - detail fetishism can be a punishment :banghead:
    The good news: The manuscript has a good 200 pages
    The bad news: The publisher wants a maximum of 160 pages
    So now I have to agree with my co-author on what will be cut......
    If we haven't killed each other over this, the book may be published in a year - finally, because I'm getting a bit fed up with it
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  11. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Hi Itdan - This rang a bell. Seven years ago I helped Olli Eicke with some information on Clausewitz from Kew. Is he your co-author?

    When I made an approach to a first publisher with my manuscript I was told it was too long. This was just on the basis of word count. I therefore found another publisher! Cutting from 200 pages to 160 is pretty harsh and, unless you are very wordy, not easy.

    The main point of my contacting you is to let you know that the father of a very good friend of mine took part in the action against PzDiv Clausewitz and I have seen photos of knocked out Stugs etc. Would you be interested in seeing these photos?

    Best wishes
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  12. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler John, that´s me
    And for the pictures: Yes, I am very much interested in that! How many liters of blood do you want from me? :lol:
  13. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Well I’ll be damned!

    No blood needed! I’ll ask my friend if he would be happy for the photos to be copied to you. Any chance of your book being published in English as well as German? My book has been delayed by Covid - hopefully it will eventually get published. I mention PzDiv Clausewitz but only peripherally as it was not in my area of interest either in terms of time or geography. Anyhow, good to be back in touch with you!
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  14. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Olli - Trying to send you a PM but it says it doesn’t recognise ‘Itdan’. Would you message me and we’ll see if we can get in touch.
  15. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    It was very interesting reading Robert Bayne’s Diary excerpts. Thanks. Regarding the POW Association, yes it has closed. It’s a pity because they did so much good work.
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  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I've just passed a couple of minor landmarks for my website. Firstly, on Friday it went passed 1.5 million page hits and on Wednesday I received my 800th family enquiry to do with soldiers from Chindit 1. In fact I had three separate family enquiries for the same soldier not long after the VJ Day commemorations last month, which turned out to be two sisters and a cousin all being inspired to find out about their grandfather through watching the VJ Day coverage on telly.
    TTH, JimHerriot, SDP and 4 others like this.
  17. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    I am working on a website covering the activities of the 2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen’s Bays) during the Second World War. It has proven to be a much larger project than I originally thought, I am now covering the entire 1st Armoured Division, and Regiments associated with the actions of The Bays, to provide a more complete picture than I would have originally. I must thank a few members here, for inspiration (Tom Canning), for helping with source materials (Drew5233, PsyWar.Org & JERICHO) and for kindly looking at some draft material (Deacs & MarkN).

    I am working on The Bays in France 1940 now and have been since 2016 in earnest, my original decision to produce something started with this post on a Family Tree research website, The Queen’s Bays at Mareth, in 2004. My original aim, for The Bays site, was to look at the men who received honours for their actions, I subsequently felt this would be a half-arsed approach, and so it has expanded – four times (if not more)– since.

    I did publish a site a few months ago, which I have subsequently closed - I hated it, and realised I had looked at areas in a careless manner, so I am reworking some areas.

    At this rate, the six years, will take me thirty to finish. :) [I can also be a little verbose]
  18. Tolbooth

    Tolbooth Patron Patron

    Hit a brick wall trying to prove that my Father actually took part in the Walcheren landings. :banghead:

    From the Lothians War Diary I know he was detailed to be part of the TAC HQ that was to land at Westkapelle in the initial assault. Of the fifteen officers, NCOs and ORs in the TAC HQ I can find mention of 14 in the WD and various after action reports - except, of course, Tpr Bagley!

    He never mentioned taking part (not that he talked much about his service) and his copy of the Regimental history, which has various highlighting and marginal notes about where he was and what he was doing, has nothing marked about Walcheren. The only thing I have is this postcard with his inscription which suggests he did go. Guess I'll never know now.

    Cafe Camping.jpg

    EDIT: For those of you that like a challenge my Dad's written the address on the back - Kapellestraat, Breedene - but I fear, alas, it's long gone. I certainly couldn't find it on Google streetview
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  19. John Melling

    John Melling Member

    In 2014 I was researching a relation on the local memorial from WW1
    I decided to start researching all them men and created a website -
    I then decided to research the WW2 men on the memorial
    To keep me even busier :)o_O:rolleyes: I've started to research all the survivors I could find

    PRE 1914 - 16 names so far researching
    WW1- 403 names so far researching
    WW2- 48 names so far researching

    Most famous name Ronald Cross on WW1 roll of honour served WW1 in the Army and then RFC\RAF then became one of Churchill's staff in WW2 ... :omg::whistle:
    Served as Minister of Economic Warfare (1939–40) and Minister of Shipping (1940–41)
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  20. Rachel Webb

    Rachel Webb New Member

    I have been given my Granddad's personal war diaries to transcribe. Its a pity that I didn't know about them when he was still alive as they are fascinating. They start in May 1942 when he spent 6 weeks sailing all the way round Africa to get to Cairo before going to Sudan, Alexandria, Tripoli, Sabratha and finally Barletta, Italy. He was a medical orderly with Ramc. He worked at the 83rd, 93rd and 48th General hospitals. His normal occupation was as a Psychiatric nurse at a mental hospital in Warwick and he spent the year before going to Africa working at the Royal Army Medical corps neurosis hospital at Bellsdyke, nr Falkirk. It is most unfortunate that there isn't a diary from 1940. I have a telegram that was sent on 14th June 1940 that said he was missing in France. He was reported not missing on the 31st October 1940. I would love to know how he got out of France and back to the UK over those 4 1/2 months. I don't suppose anyone knows if sent off for his service records /diary or similar if that would say? I'm assuming he must have made an official report about what he did to someone on returning, if only I knew where to look for it.
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