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

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

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I know that escapees who managed to get back to the UK were interviewed by a branch of MI (9? 19?) to collect information from what they had seen.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I think I have - at least for the most part - finished the chapters on my book about technical subjects. (I'm pretty sure I have to go back and put more detail in one section, but still.) I found these difficult to write. I'm more excited to write about events in-theatre and things of that sort.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  3. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Dear Rachel,

    Please, if you are happy to, start a "stand alone" thread re your grandfather, as this will give you the best chance, in the meantime, of gaining information about the unit and places he served in (prior to applying for his service records, which I think is a must).

    There are is a super walk-through by forum member dbf on starting a thread here;

    How to Start a new Thread / Edit Post / Upload Image

    As for thread heading/title, please use your grandfather's name (as long as you are happy to), his service number (if you have it) and unit (RAMC) plus perhaps the countries that he served in (or any title that you are happy with as it will be your thread).

    Good luck with all, kind regards, always,

    Chris C likes this.
  4. Rachel Webb

    Rachel Webb New Member

    Thanks I'll see if I can find anything about them on the Internet.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  5. Rachel Webb

    Rachel Webb New Member

    Thanks. I will do that. It's very addictive researching his past, it's like solving a mystery. it's just a great pity he didn't say anything about it when he was alive.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  6. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Good on you Rachel, your standalone thread will more quickly have the Dunkirk/Fall of France folks helping you out with advice (that part alone of your Grandfather's journey back to the UK will be fascinating).

    And there are forum members with specialist knowledge of the other areas you've mentioned, and some great members who are based in Italy (for example, forum member "Vitellino").

    Again, good luck with the searching, I don't doubt your Grandfather's story will be a fascinating one.

    Kind regards, always,

    stolpi likes this.
  7. I guess this is the place to post a huge THANK YOU to this whole forum. Two years ago I started doing research for a historical fiction novel about an American doctor who joins the RAMC in 1940 and is attached to the 51st Highland Division. The people on this forum gave me a lot of information, or directed me to where I could find what I was looking for. I will be eternally grateful! I published Jake last month on Amazon.,aps,153&sr=1-2
  8. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I seem to have several projects going on, and as per usual none seem to be close to completion yet.The WWII project is continual research for the thread I have here about non-standard and captured weapons in British service.It's fascinating work and I am constantly learning new things, but I get so bogged down in the research that I don't post the results often enough.
    This might belong elsewhere (the Barracks?) but I have a huge and constantly expanding non-WWII project. For years I have been writing trashy pulp-style detective fiction with a female private eye set in New York City in the 50s. I have three novels in the drawer plus a score of historical background articles, all of which I hope to have on a website at some point. Unfortunately the fellow I have engaged to build the site seems to have dropped out for some reason. Oh, yeah, and I'm also looking for work.
    Charley Fortnum and BFBSM like this.
  9. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Good luck with it. Historical fiction is the hardest kind of all to get right.
  10. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Most research has come to a halt due to Covid travel restrictions. Family trips to Italy cancelled until further notice. The intention is to build up a History of where the Regiment went, visit them and take photographs, update routes where roads have changed etc and solve a few mysteries in the process, so that we can pass on the stories and locations for relatives to visit in the future.
    Have done pretty well all we can on line. Tunisia is also in our sights, it has changed a lot but the satellite map coverage is still poor. There seems to be a lot of mineral industry quarrying and agricultural development. The world cant stand still just because there was a war there at one time. Look at Anzio for example, all built up with very few traces of what it looked like in 1944.
    Questions arise as to whether current members children will want to know about WW2.
    Perhaps the Centenary in 2039-46 might raise some interest.
    bamboo43 likes this.
  11. RobM

    RobM Active Member

    The past year has been a journey of discovery for me. i have been researching my grandad in the avi photo. It has been interesting as I've had documents, photos and clues but still awaiting his official army records.
    He was in the ARP and then Home Guard. Then joined the Royal Artillery driver 227th training regiment in 1942. I know there he was a lance corporal. Based I think near Blackpool.
    In March 1944 he was transferred to the Royal Engineers and trained as a barge engineer.
    In Feb 1945 or just before before he was attached to IWT 980 Heavy Workshop Coy, who where sent to Burma. After the war in the East ended he was detached to the Indian Engineers in Kirkee/Pune near Bombay until returning home in March 1946.
    GREAT NEWS - I received for my mum the Burma Star, Defence Medal and War Medal. I had been to Kew to read and copy the war diary of 980 Coy which was lucky as I needed to send to the Medal Office to prove the company was there. they were indeed for 5 months in Kalewa then Prome.
    ONGOING MYSTERY - March 1944 to end of year. However I found a piece of paper with No 1 Port and Construction Depot (Home), Marchwood written on it. So I think there is a good chance he was a barge engineer, in the engine rooms of tugs on the south coast in 1944, possibly in rear Mulberry support. Been waiting since mid April for military record and hope that will help me resolve the last missing section. Really loved the process and making my mum very happy during lockdown. Rob
    Osborne2, bamboo43 and Tom OBrien like this.
  12. Lindsay Green

    Lindsay Green Member

    Watching a recent exchange on a family history forum I was intrigued by references to a chap commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. To cut a long story short I followed up on a hunch and discovered that he’s actually buried in a churchyard in Suffolk. Knocked together a case and submitted it to the CWGC who are now looking into it. About eighteen months ago I submitted a case to the Commission in respect of a Gordon Highlander who died at Dyce in 1940 and was commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial. Took me about a year to research it but worth it because late last year the Commission eventually agreed to erect a headstone on his grave in Aberdeen. Will probably happen this summer. I also managed to track down three of his grandchildren. Earlier last year, together with a pal, we identified the grave in Duffus of a Great War soldier, also commemorated at Brookwood and the headstone is now in place. Family attended a small ceremony. I’ve now moved on to another WW2 Gordon Highlander commemorated at Brookwood, but he’s going to be a tough nut to crack.
    Tolbooth, dbf, BFBSM and 1 other person like this.
  13. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Well, I have commenced two more noir 1950s epics, both based semi on fact. One is set in the Tangier International Zone shortly before Moroccan independence and has Orson Welles in the cast, which feels like lese majeste. (Damn this word system, won't render French accurately.) I have also been toying for a long time with the WWII army of a mock/fictional Allied power whose troops are largely but not wholly organized and equipped along British lines. I am OK for mid-war and late-war, but early war is a problem especially for the armor. The British tank selection for 1939-40 is absolutely putrid except for the A12 Matilda and the French options aren't much better.
    stolpi likes this.
  14. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    History of the 10.5 cm guns of the small cruiser SMS Königsberg in land operations in German East Africa 1915-1917

    There were only 10 of them, we thought....
    They were only in service for 2 years, we thought....
    That can't be such a big problem, we thought....

    That was in 2008.....

    We, that was mainly a team consisting of myself, a German architect, a British heavy metal guitarist and a retired US Special Forces captain, plus the advice of numerous enthusiasts from almost all parts of the world.

    Two threads with over 1200 posts, countless emails across the globe, three African expeditions, study of almost 200 publications, over 3000 pages of original documents from Germany, the UK, Belgium and Portugal, visits to the archives of five countries and 13 years later we actually did it! (Insane sounding laughter)
    You don't have to be absolutely nuts to pull off such a project - but it helps immensely!

    And next year we'll start dissecting Lettow's final guerrilla campaign in present-day Mocambique:

    There were only 3 battalions...
    The campaign only lasted 1 year...
    So that really can't be a big problem....
    Lindsay Green, Chris C, SDP and 3 others like this.
  15. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Since I last posted, I've commenced research on my great uncle's RN service (my grandfather's brother.) I now have a family member who served in each of the 3 services: British Army/DEMS, RAF (WAAF) and the RN.

    Additionally, I'm also starting to research an Australian soldier with whom I have absolutely no connection, other than being given his Kodak 620 camera, the case of which has his service number and regiment. Perhaps the most incredible discovery regarding Pte Miller, is the fact I strongly believe he was a customer when I managed a photographic lab from 1986-1999.

    And no, the camera did not come from the customer himself, rather it came from an old gentleman who knew I loved old cameras, many years after I had left the job. 'Tis indeed a small, small world.

    Miller-01.JPG Miller-02.JPG
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  16. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    My little project which gets an occasional burst of energy and enthusiasm then goes dormant for a while is trying to compile a list of Lanarkshire men who fought at Arnhem - at the moment I'm at 66 names (plus 3 mentioned in local papers but who seem to have been home detail/seaborne tail). It was reading Remember Arnhem many years ago where at the start it has a photo and dedication to Thomas McGregor from Motherwell that got me thinking about locals that were involved. One thing that slightly muddies the water is that back then a lot of areas of Glasgow were considered as Lanarkshire but I'm trying to base it on modern boundaries. Any suggestions of names most welcome.
    Reid and JimHerriot like this.
  17. Lindsay Green

    Lindsay Green Member

    Hi. Best of luck with your project. Should keep you busy and will be a great resource when completed. I was just a bit unclear about your definition of Lanarkshire. Leaving out Glasgow will make life much easier but I wondered if folk using your records would expect to find Glasgow soldiers. Are you using the boundaries of North Lanarkshire aand South Lanarkshire as your guide I wonder? If so I wondered where that leaves places like Bishopbriggs which is in East Dunbartonshire but was in Lanarkshire? I was just trying to look at it from the point of view of a soldier's relative looking for a name. I was born in Glasgow which might help explain my interest!
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  18. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    To be honest I've only really looked at it as a personal interest project, no plans for a book or open resource (although I am happy to share what I have found) so I haven't really considered how others may consider the boundaries - I am using North and South Lanarkshire as my areas, mostly based on the fact those are the areas as I am used to them - although I am finding my knowledge of the area isn't great - Rutherglen I'd always have though of as edge of Glasgow rather than Lanarkshire but I was wrong so have included it. Bishopbriggs I'd leave out - in general when I find a name and place and then go online to check it. Its probably not as precise as it should be a bit loose in definition - a Border Officer from Dumfries and Galloway who moved here to serve in the Police here in Wishaw pre-war and stayed on, an officer born in Edinburgh but from a Lanark family but not sure if he stayed there but he is on the Lanark War Memorial.
    JimHerriot likes this.
  19. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Cheers to Tricky Dicky who sent a list of casualties with possible Lanarkshire connections, a few that I recognised, but three that I have followed up on and am now including, a Glider Pilot who is listed as being from Midlothian but is registered as born in Lanarkshire so looks like he moved at some point, another Glider Pilot who I had missed as he was from Giffnock but further digging shows he was originally from Rutherglen and lastly a KOSB who is shown on CWGC etc as from Linlithgow and the Roll of Honour has him resident in West Lothian (ties in with Linlithgow) but birth in Lanarkshire.
    stolpi, JimHerriot, hucks216 and 2 others like this.
  20. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I don't know if I've mentioned but I'm trying to finish my book by the end of the year. I recently completed some short sections on (Archers with) 51 Division in the Ardennes and 43 Div in Op Blackcock. I'm now moving on to Op Veritable.

    I want to take this moment to publicly thank stolpi who has been very helpful regarding these two actions, not only answering some questions I had, but looking over my bit about 51 Division. And I also want to thank him for all his fantastic threads about the Reichland battles. This evening I started to pull on a thread in the 102 Anti-Tank Regiment war diary, checked the 15 Division history and learned more, and of COURSE it turns out that he already has a thread with detailed posts about 46 Brigade's mobile column. He's a wizard!
    Osborne2, bamboo43, stolpi and 4 others like this.

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