The Great War was a key event of the twentieth century and it is one of the most popular and rewarding areas for historical research - and for family historians. More records than ever are available to researchers whose relatives served during the war, and Paul Reed’s new book is the perfect guide to how to locate and understand these sources - and get the most out of them.
In fascinating detail he follows the stories of twelve service men who fought and died in the Great War – a rifleman, an infantry officer, a tunneller, a gunner, a Royal Marine, a naval rating, an airman, and others. He describes their wartime careers and shows how they fitted into the armed forces. He looks at what they did, at their lives in the front line, in the rear areas, on leave, and at the conditions they endured and the experiences they had. And he demonstrates how the research was done and how the lives of these individuals were reconstructed - the methods that were used, the sources that were consulted.
Paul Reed’s informative and accessible book will be essential reading and reference for anyone who wants to find out about the Great War and is keen to understand the part an ancestor played in it.
This is an unusual approach to family history. The author has produced biographies of twelve individuals who served during the First World War, each of which is supported by an explanation of where the information... [read full review]History of War
The author offers twelve brief biographies of those who participated and died during the Great War- ranging from an infantryman to a tunneller and from a black West Indian aviator to a naval rating. ... [read full review]The Western Front Association, Stand To!
Paul Reed is a military historian who has been treading the battlefields of France for over thirty years gathering many fascinating tales along the way.
His book starts with a very basic... [read full review]Discover my Past, England and Scotland
He recounts their fascinating stories in separate chapters, and also illustrates the variety of records and research sources available when tracing First World War ancestors.Family History Monthly
This is the latest addition to the How Your Ancestors Lived series and deals with twelve English servicemen who fought and died in the Great War; it covers all services and includes a rifleman, an... [read full review]The Past in Review
Great War Lives tells the stories of 12 servicemen who fought and died in the Great War – a rifleman, an infantry officer, a tunneller, a gunner, a Royal Marine, a naval rating and others.... [read full review]Family Tree, March 2011
Paul Reed will be well known to many visitors to this website from his excellent tour guides "Walking the Somme" and "Walking Arras" and from his regular TV work on both First and Second World... [read full review]1914-1918.org, The Long, Long Trail
As more and more people start to look back at their family history and discover the Great War, this book will come as a welcome addition to their bookshelves (though it will be of interest... [read full review]Great War Magazine, Jan 2011
Packed in to this book's 215 pages are 12 stories concerning sailors, soldiers and airmen of the Great War. And what fascinating tales they are too. To get us started, Chapter one takes... [read full review]Your Family History, Reviewed by Ray Westlake
FOLLOWING 12 men, who fought and died in the Great War, their stories add personal detail to war history. At the end of each chapter there is an explanation of how the research for... [read full review]Best of British
Many books have been written in the past few years about how to trace First World War ancestors, mainly focusing on the survivng records and how to find and interpret them. This is excellent new... [read full review]Who Do You Think You Are Magazine, Dec 2010
Fuelled by TV shows such as Who Do You Think You Are?, interest in family history has exploded in recent years. And because it was the first British war in which the whole nation -... [read full review]Military Times, Jan 2011
There’s been a notable growth of interest in First World War Genealogy in recent years. I think there are probably two reasons for this – programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are, and... [read full review]Daly History Blog
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About Paul Reed
Paul Reed is a leading military historian, specializing in the two world wars. He has been visiting European battlefields for more than thirty years, and lived on the Somme for over a decade. He has worked as a researcher and battlefield guide, and is the author of several books on the Great War. He also regularly contributes to television programmes, such as Timewatch, Meet the Ancestors and Who Do You Think You Are? and was historical consultant to BBC1’s My Family At War.
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