On the last day of the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! family history show in London, I spent time in the military pavilion. The booths in the event are grouped by type of vendor. That means all the Irish vendors are in one area, Scottish in another, and all the general larger vendors are in the center of the hall.
This year the military booths were all upstairs on the balcony. There were specific experts there to look at military memorabilia—badges, uniforms, and swords for instance. This is an interesting concept. I’d love to see more military groups involved at US genealogy conferences.
First stop was the Royal British Legion which had a display of poppies. This group has a travel group, Poppy Travel. They coordinate tours of military sites. Folks show them pictures taken during a war and they can put together a tour based on the locations in the images. I had a nice chat with Frank Baldwin of Poppy Travel standing next to the man constructed out of poppies.
Next, I spent time in The War Graves Photographic Project speaking with Project coordinator Steve Rogers (below). If you have an ancestor who died in an overseas conflict and was buried there, this is a website worth a second glance. They are photographing all the non-US military graves. The website explains:
The aim of The War Graves Photographic Project is to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, MoD grave, and family memorial of serving military personnel from WWI to the present day and make these available within a searchable database.
It’s an ambitious project with the goal of documenting 1.75 million graves!
The Royal Air Force Museum also had a booth. I collected information that may solve a friend’s research dilemma.
This booth also had an online database of World War I cemeteries.
I spent the rest of my trip visiting friends who took me to Windsor Castle and the area around Stonehenge. They’ve been recently bitten by the genealogy bug (gasp!). It’s turning into a one-name study of their last name—Chun. Turns out there were only 40-something people with that surname in the 1881 British census. If you’re researching anyone with the Chun surname, e-mail me.
What a trip! I looked at lots of picture, gave a lecture, finally got to see Windsor Castle and learned a lot of new things. I also bought new images to use in my lectures and articles. <smile>
I’ll be back next week with a picture submitted by one of you.