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Tracing Your First World War Ancestors (ePub)

A Guide for Family Historians

Family History > Ancestors in the Armed Forces WWI > Home Front

By Simon Fowler
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
File Size: 17.5 MB (.epub)
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 40
ISBN: 9781783376520
Published: 11th February 2013


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As the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War approaches there is a huge surge of interest in the men and women who took part in it. This book is a timely guide if you are researching the soldiers, sailors or airmen. It is an accessible, up-to-date and expert introduction to get you on your way and to answer those questions that might crop up during your researches. In a straightforward, easy-to-follow style it introduces readers to the multitude of sources they can use to explore the history of the war for themselves.

Anyone who is eager to piece together the wartime career and likely experiences of an ancestor who was involved in any aspect the conflict, at home or overseas, will find his book to be an indispensable source of information and advice. In a series of short, instructive chapters Simon Fowler takes the reader through the process of researching ancestors who served in the armed forces, providing short cuts and background information as required.

Author featured as expert in 'Your Q&As: advice'

Family Tree, April 2018

Author article on ancestors' Second World War service records as featured in

Family Tree, November 2017

As featured in.

Your Family History April 2016

This informative and moderately priced volume will certainly provide valuable material to the relatives of the 500,000 soldiers and sailors who served at Gallipoli.

Reference Reviews Dec '15

As featured in.

The Teesdale Mercury

An accessible and easy-to-follow introduction to the wide range of resources available for studying the history of the War. A very useful book to identify where to start your research.

Bristol and Avon FHS

The best guide for the family historian researching the First World War.

Forces Pension Society

Will provide valuable aid to newcomers to family research and a useful reminder to keep on the shelves for the rest of us.

Stand To - Western Front Association

As the centenary of the outbreak of World War I draws closer with new events announced every week, this is a timely release for anyone wanting to explore their WW1 forebears. This book is an accessible and expert introduction to get you started and to answer those questions that might crop up during your research.

Your Family Tree

Simon Fowler has been busy – Pen and Sword has also published his handbook for family historians researching their First World War ancestors. As the centenary of the 1914 outbreak of war approaches, here is a clear and concise guide to finding out more about forebears who served in various capacities. Chapters broadly include the war at sea, in the air, researching individuals, women in war, the war in the dominions and casualties.

Your Family History Magazine

One area of particular interest is the tracing of First World War Ancestors, and this new 164-page book by Simon Fowler is an essential handbook to researching the soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought during the ‘Great War’. With centenary celebrations of the outbreak of WW1 set to dominate 2014, tracing family members military history has never been more popular and this easy-to-follow guide will point you in the right direction when tracing your family history. The author takes the reader through the process of researching ancestors who served in the armed forces during the First World War, providing short cuts and background information along the way together with descriptions all the key resources of the national Archive and regimental museums as well as those available online.

Military Machines International

As the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1 approaches, Family Tree author Simon Fowler has authored this timely guide, showing you key resources at The National Archives and regimental museums and the latest military records available online. The easy-to-read chapters and practical tips are studded with case studies, making it very accessible and hugely useful.

Family Tree

This is the first of a number of new titles from Pen and Sword to add to their Family History series, and gives valuable insight into the kinds of things to look for when researching your ancestors and the part they played in the first world war. I have a grandfather who died in WW1, and it was a revelation to me to discover that on ancestry.co.uk I was able to find out about his medals. And it was this book that explained to me just what the medals meant. The author takes us on a journey through the available data, explaining firstly how to discover it on the various websites and in the various archives you can visit in person, and then how to interpret what you find out. Absolutely essential reading for anyone with a WW1 ancestor.

Books Monthly, March 2013

With so many records now online, or going online shortly, its never been easier to research an ancestor who served in the First World War. Taking advantage of this, the author – an experienced researcher – provides a well written and comprehensive guide on where records can be found and how to interpret them.
There are plenty of illustrations of the records themselves and an interesting selection of individuals are looked at, showing you how to use them to build up a story. The author provides details of lots of small, specialist websites, as well as the main family history and official sites that are useful – and realistically examines the pitfalls of online indexing, providing hints as to how to overcome them.
This is an excellent guide for beginners, and a useful addition to previous books on the subject, being more up to date than most when it comes to records online.

Who Do You Think You Are Magazine, March 2013

About Simon Fowler

Simon Fowler is a professional researcher specialising in the records of the two world wars and central government. Over the years he has researched hundreds of men who served during the First World War and this book is very much based on his experiences in doing so. He was written a number of other guides for Pen & Sword including Tracing Your Army Ancestors, Tracing Your Navy Ancestors and Now the War is Over: Britain 1919-1920.

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