Friday, September 5, 2014

Nearing the end

I have 100 pages left to type of Uncle Bert's diary. I can hardly believe it. I'm on an absolute roll right now and imagine I will be done typing very, very soon. I'm not sure if I have done the right thing by publishing this on a blog, because if I do create a hard copy book (which is my plan) then who would pay for a copy when they can come to the blog to read it? But, sometimes when I've been plodding along it's been very encouraging to have feedback from people who are reading along, so thank you for that encouragement and enthusiasm. It has truly helped. I do hope some people will want a hard copy, especially family, but perhaps others will too. After I'm done typing there will be more work. The whole publishing, it's going to cost money, and as a casual teacher, working sporadically, I don't have a bunch of spare cash.  I'm hoping some of the followers on here might be able to help me. Keep reading, I'm not just after cash.
Things I need:

1) I'm sure there are a bunch of typos. If you notice any, please leave a comment on the relevant page.
2) I've tried to add a 'label' on posts for information that I think wold be useful to include in an index; usually people and places (ie Jack McEgan (who is one and the same as 'Mack") or Villers Bretonneux) If you are reading and think 'This should be included in the index' leave a comment so I can make sure it is indexed.
3) Side research. I have tried throughout the process to go to source documents from the National Archives or just online somewhere to find photos or other interesting information that relates to the things Uncle Bert has mentioned. I'd like to pepper the book with information such as this. If you can help in this regard I would be very grateful. I have had contact with Relative Maze Genealogy and they are very helpful. I recommend you contact them if you have your own project to research.
4) I've tried to distinguish actual diary content from letters/publications/songs etc with the use of two different fonts. If you notice some entries where I've missed this, please comment.
5) Actually any comments that help to clean this work up will be greatly appreciated.
6) And finally, as hard as it is to ask for cash, I do need to fund the completion of this project. If you would like to assist in this regard please comment on this post....even a recommended method for doing this. I've heard of crowd sourcing, but really don't know where to start.

Finally, thanks for your interest. This has been a long held goal of mine to get this compete and I know there will be some very happy people when it is done. The insight into World War 1 through such a personal first hand account has been eye opening, and frequently emotional. Thanks for joining me on the journey.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Private Bargmann, Private Gosden, Corporal Ritchie & Private Cheney

This post is as much for me as a reference point as it is to share. Previous diary entries have referred to these three soldiers so I decided to paste some info that is online about them here. I may end up coming back to add more if I find more.

Private Anders Bargmann (Bargey) Service No 4997

It seems a Miss J Cameron wanted to know more about the death of Bargey... The army couldn't provide her with much information except "Killed in Action"

Private Thomas Gosden Service No 2656

It seems that Gosey died from wounds a few months after sharing a trench funk hole with Bert. Bert had mentioned that he wondered what had happened to him so I gather he was separated from him after they left the trenches in June 1918.
I found this list of his effects on the AWM digitised records site and had to smile that one of the items was his pipe.

Corporal Thomas Ritchie  Service No 729 More

Private Sidney Cheney Service No 5011

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pte William (Billy) Lilley AIF 5051 late of 29th Battalion

Reading about Billy Lilley and the amazing cooincidence with Uncle Bert's new penpal (link) made me decide to check into Billy's story. Sadly, he was killed in action a few months after that story was noted by Uncle Bert. I decided to record some of the information I found on the National Archives site here. I would be interested to know if his brother had children or if there are any other family links back to him. He was a young kid, an orphan and only 18 years old, and he died in the fields of France during war, while serving his country.

His name is on the War memorial and on his gravestone, but I wanted to add this little bit more here. As we remember the fallen on ANZAC day I want to remember Billy Lilley this ANZAC Day 2014. RIP Billy... Lest we Forget.

William John Lilley, known as Billy to Uncle Bert enlisted in the AIF on 23/8/1917 and was killed in action on 29/8/1918.
Details of his enlistment show he was born on February 12, 1899, and presented as 5' 2 1/2", 130 lbs, fresh complexion, blue eyes and auburn hair. He was a Gas dept employee when he enlisted.

A copy of the confirmation that he was killed in action:

Correspondence between his friend Mrs D'Altera and the AIF about details of his enlistment and a photograph of his grave. Her enquiries about the date he signed up and the date he departed Australia make me suspect that perhaps he was under age, but I have no evidence of that, just a feeling.

Details about his burial:

The inventory of Billy's effects which were forwarded to his brother, Charles J Lilley

Billy was an orphan with one brother, Charles, who it seems was in the care of their aunt, Mrs Elizabeth Slack.

The following information was also found, which pretty much details much more than I have:
Service Record - William Lilley

This is the cemetary where Billy lies; the Assevillers New British Cemetery, may he RIP.