I was fascinated by this article, that came to me via a newsgroup this week.
A treasure trove of First World War photographs was discovered recently in France. Published here for the first time, they show British soldiers on their way to the Somme. But who took them? And who were these Tommies marching off to die?
By John Lichfield
Article from the Independent, Friday, 22 May 2009
Two men have been gathering photographic plates in this area of rural France and have produced the 270 photographs shown in the article. The soldiers are unknown British troops on their way to the Somme. The photographer is also unknown and the collectors are hoping that those viewing the photographs might be able to shed some light on who the soldiers and photographer were.
On a personal note, I received some of my Certificates of Completion for genealogy this week. It was unexpected, but I was very pleased to receive them.
One of my projects this year is to pull together a biography about one of my ancestors. I really want to write something about one of the women in my family and so I’ve chosen to work on my great grandmother on Mum’s side – Annie Cadman. As a result of some digging around I recently obtained Annie’s death certificate. Poor Annie was only 64 when she died of heart problems.
She married George Henry Cadman in 1893 and they had two sons. Both of the boys saw active service in France during WWI. When Mum and I were chatting recently at a Family History meeting, Mum remembered that she had some needlework packed away that Annie had done. I presume that perhaps this tablecloth and the tea cosy that matches it, were done when Annie & George’s sons came home from the war. The work is lovely and has the words “Welcome Home” on each of the long edges. I’ve been told that the needlework is probably crewel and the outside edges are crochet. If anyone has any other ideas, I’d love to hear from you.
The more I find out about this couple, the more I wish I’d known them, they seem to have been a loyal, hardworking and caring family.
As an aside to this story, Mum said she didn’t know them that well either, but that her Grandad always had sweets when he came to visit.
Funnily enough my fondest memories of their son and my Grandad involve sweets as well. He used to drive a bus for the Crosville. His route from Abersytwyth just happened to come through the village of Talybont and when I stayed with my grandparents he would pick me up there and I’d proudly ride behind him as he drove the bus to Tre’r ddol, a village close by, where we’d head to the sweet shop to fill me up for the ride back. In those days the buses had conductors and the conductor on Grandad’s bus was Aneurin, who taught me many children’s songs along the way. Once grandad was done for the day, I’d sit on the step outside the house watching for his bus to come and wait for him to park it at the local garage and come home. I was only 9 when he died in his early 60′s, and yet the memories of him are still very strong.
Through one of my mailing lists, I discovered this little Welsh gem which I’ll be adding to the website.