This page is a work in progress at the moment, but is intended to become a source of useful information for anyone interested in their military ancestors.
One section will be dedicated to some practical advice for touring the battlefields, using my own experiences, and will also point you towards recommended publications, which I have used myself, and will prove useful to the battlefield visitor.
Another useful source is a variety of links to a selection of websites which could be of interest to anyone researching their military ancestors. I will be adding more to this list when time allows. If you need any advice researching a person or a memorial, please contact me before you go subscribing to any websites, as more often than not you do not need to pay out any money to research your military ancestors.
Below are links to a selection of websites which could be of interest to anyone researching their military ancestors. I will be adding more to this list when time allows.
For an interesting visit, which you can follow up by having a few pints at the nearby Browns Hotel or Three Mariners, please visit the Tin Shed Museum at Laugharne, a novel museum which is being run by a team of dedicated locals.
I'd like to show my support behind a project which is the brainchild of a friend and a former rugby coach at Laugharne, Andy Edwards, who with the backing of the Tin Shed boys are constructing a replica Great War trench complex at Pendine in order to give schoolchildren a bit of a taste of the war.
One man who I cannot thank enough for taking photographs of the graves of local men in far off places such as Gallipoli, is Bob Pike. He is extremely helpful, and offers photographs of graves and memorials at a reasonable price. His e-mail is below.
A project which I am proud to have helped in a very small way is The British War Graves Project. Their aim is to amass a database of WW1 and WW2 war-graves throughout the world, and make them freely available to the public. Their task is immense, as have I found out when photographing complete WW1 cemeteries in France. There are literally thousands of CWGC cemeteries throughout the world.
An individual who has photographed tens of thousands of war graves, mostly in the Far East, is Tony Beck, who has freely supplied British War Graves with photos, and has also begun to send me photos of local war graves in the Far East. Tony can be contacted through myself.
The Western Front Association exists to spread the knowledge of the Great War, helping to remember the men that fought, and to help maintain memorials and sites of interest.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website is one of the best places to begin researching a member of the Commonwealth Armed Forces that died in both World Wars.
If you need to research a soldier's service, including getting hold of any surviving service papers, then I can recommend Jonathan Collins. He has carried out many searches for me in the past, and is 100% reliable. He is also a well regarded medal dealer.
Another man who I use for research is Steve Law, of Great War Medals. As the name suggests he is another well respected medal dealer.
Another site that I find most useful in researching the locations of Battalions and units in the Great War, where they fought, what Divisions they were part of etc is Chris Baker's excellent Great War Website.
The excellent Milford Trawlers website, created by Barry Johnson, is packed with information about the men and boats which sailed from Milford Haven, many of whom were lost at sea;
Dr. Reg Davies' Welsh Mariners website is a fantastic resource for researching any Welshman who served in the Merchant Navy;
For anyone looking for photographs of war graves in Belgium that I do not have, then I strongly recommend the ever helpful Frederick Sohier;
For anyone interested in the campaign in the Far East during World War Two, the the FEPOW website is crammed full of information;
A similar project to mine is the Flintshire War Memorials website, which is continuing to grow from strength to strength;
And another similar project in Anglesey;
Another website packed with information is Shaun McGuire’s website commemorating the men of Newport, Gwent who fell. Shaun also has links on his website to another of his commemorating the men of Cwmbran, and another for the men of the villages of Monmouthshire.
A Nationally run website which is gathering together photographs and stories from all manners of Welsh History is the Peoples Collection Wales resource;
Thousands of men and women died in the service of Britain and the Commonwealth during two world wars and yet there is no official recognition of their sacrifice.
The In From The Cold Project (IFCP) was formed to research and identify all service men and women missing from the official Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list of casualties from the First and Second World Wars. We are determined to get these soldiers, sailors and airmen their due recognition – even after the passing of so many years.
Unfortunately, a large number of names were missed from the lists supplied to the Commission and, as a result, many casualties have no official commemoration. Record keeping was not always as accurate as it should have been back in the pre-computer days of the early twentieth century. With modern technology and greater accessibility to remaining records, it is possible through painstaking and often tedious research to find many of these missing names and to gather the supporting evidence required for recognition by CWGC and the appropriate military authorities.
A fantastic project, which has enabled people like myself to find it much easier to carry out research on the impact the Great War had on Wales, is the Cymru 1914 project. Taken from their own description of the website: ‘This project has conducted mass digitization of primary sources relating to the First World War from the Libraries, Special Collections and Archives of Wales. The project will make available a coherent, consolidated digital collection revealing the often hidden history of the First World War as it impacted all aspects of Welsh life, language and culture. This digital archive brings together source materials that were previously fragmented and frequently inaccessible. This digital archive is a unique resource of vital interest to researchers, students, and the public in Wales and beyond.’
As unlikely as it seems, the town of Bedford became home to countless numbers of Welsh troops at various times during the Great War, and was also the final training area for the 53rd (Welsh) Division before it embarked for overseas service in 1915. To commemorate its links with the Welsh, a new website has been set up which is packed with stories and photographs relating to this.
8 March 2017. Some more good news today. Another un-commemorated Welsh sailor, Samuel Arthur Griffiths, of Tredegar, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.
8 February 2017. Some more good news today. Another un-commemorated soldier, Llewelyn Owen Roberts, of Penmaenmawr, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.
7 February 2017. Some more good news today. Another un-commemorated soldier, Isaac Owen, of Seven Sisters, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.
20 December 2016. Some good news today that another uncommemorated soldier, Private Thomas Owen Davies, of Machynlleth, has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC following my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.
23 November 2016. Some good news today with the acceptance of another Welsh soldier, Percy Griffin Williams, of the Welsh Horse Yeomanry, for commemoration by the CWGC following my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for details.
15 November 2016. I would like to thank the people of Laugharne, especially the members of the Laugharne and District Historical Society, for their welcome during their recent History Event on Saturday when I visited to make a talk about how researching the Laugharne War Memorial inspired me to create this website and to begin my writing career. It was a very interesting day and was well attended by the locals.
26 Sep 2016. After a lot of hard work I have finally managed to identify a soldier from Gwaun-cae-Gurwen, Morgan Price James, who since the early 1920’s has been commemorated by the CWGC under the wrong name, James Morgan. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for details.