Wednesday, 22 January 2014

My Family and The Great War

Sorry for the lack of VBCW goodness folks, but I have a very good reason for not updating recently.

As mentioned in my last post, I have started researching and documenting my ancestors' role in the Great War, and have started a blog called My Family and The Great War.

Here's the introduction to my new blog:-

In 2013 I started researching my family tree, a very addictive hobby that included me taking an evening course on the subject. This addiction soon spread to my wife, who also began to look into her ancestry. With the help of numerous distant relatives, record offices and the plethora of ancestry websites out there, we were able to build quite a sizeable family tree, but eventually got as far as we could go.

However for me this project took on a fresh impetus in the latter months of 2013 when announcements began to circulate regarding the various initiatives planned to mark the centenary of the start of World War 1 in 2014.

I knew that my paternal granddad, Walter Price, served in the Great War, and was determined to discover more about his history. Through my research I had also discovered that his brother John also fought, and died, in the conflict. He too deserved his place in the history books.

Further digging unearthed other great-aunts and uncles with a connection to the war, as well as the service records of my wife’s grandfather and great-grandfather. Soon I was bothering various experts on specialist internet blogs and forums for guidance and was amazed by their helpfulness; I began to amass quite a lot of information, as with each question answered, many more were raised.

In order to keep track of what I had unearthed, and to record my progress, I have started this website. I have made a page for each relative I am researching. These can be found on the right-hand side of this website and contains all the information I have been able to find. When new data comes to light I will update the relevant page, as well as record the fact in a separate blog entry, so that those who are following this will be informed. You can also follow my progress with updates by email.

Also on the right are a list of links to websites, blogs and forums, the members of which have been extremely helpful and generous with their knowledge. I would like to thank them all, as well as any distant cousins and the like who I have incessantly harassed during the course of my research! 

My aim is twofold: to leave a historic legacy for my children, so that they, and indeed any other relatives and interested parties can learn of our families’ part in the Great War; and secondly to commemorate the sacrifices made by my ancestors and honour the lives of those who, from the farms of Herefordshire, the fishing fleets of Grimsby and the hills of New South Wales, ‘did their bit’.

Monday, 6 January 2014

2013 and All That

Hi folks - happy new year!

I had a look at my first post for 2013 today - have I managed to reach all the goals so vaguely waffled about? Let's see...

"I suppose I'll be continuing my VBCW stuff, and hopefully doing a bit of local history research too."

Well my VBCW collection continued to grow, and I got a few games in - not as many as I'd have liked, what with family commitments and all, but then again is there such a thing as having too many games? I've tried out the much vaunted Chaon of Command rules, and liked them, and also did some Big Games (or at least helped to get them off the ground).

As for research - well I did finally finish my long-planned article on Shobdon Instructional Centre. I must admit it wasn't as well written as I'd hoped, and I never got to visit the site due to dodgy waether and the usual lack of spare time, but at least I got it out there and hopefully someone found it interesting!


"I have made up a list of the various factions I am building up (Blacksi(o)rts, Anglican League, Commies, locals, Welsh etc.) and there are quite a few gaps to fill in - mainly support weapons, armour and vehicles, so expect to see less in the way of infantry. I've also taken steps to provide them with some extra transport too..."

There are a lots less gaps left to fill in now. All of the factions in my collection now boast support weapons, artillery and tanks, albeit occasionally on a timeshare basis! The extra transport was soon to be revealed as a couple of buses, but I'd still like to get hold of some trucks.


"Real-life is insanely really busy at the moment, so I haven't got much painting time, although I have made a few purchases recently which will eventually see their way onto this blog."

Actually I was quite pleased with the amount I'd managed to paint. I don't keep a log, but it seemed like a good amount, considering. Actually I've now painted all my lead pile, except two highlanders that I cannot fit into my narrative (yet).


"I have made a Scrooge-like new year's resolution to only buy second-hand stuff, or stuff in the sales. Let's see how long it takes before I start forking out cash for something brand spanking new!"

Not long, as it turned out! I didn't do too badly in this respect, with a large proportion of my purchases being second hand. I did however buy new stuff too. 2014 will see a lower volume of spend as I hope to round off all of my factions. I'd like to add a cavalry unit to each bunch (regular followers will know that I've already started this), but barring that It'll be the odd mini here and there.


"Over the festive season I've done a tiny bit of scratchbuilding"

A tradition that I carried on throughout the year, giving me some scratchbuilt fences, hedges and roads. I intend to continue this, and have some raw materials lined up to make lots more hedges and roads. I've also lots of modelling putty left over as I near the completeion of my VBCW collection, so I hope to make some walls or somesuch.


So if what next?

Well completing my VBCW collection doesn't mean the end of my VBCW obsession, as I'm sure new ideas will present themselves and there are of course still more games to be played. The VBCW Herefordshire narrative is nowhere near finished and me and Giles are already planning the next Big Game for March 8th, which may well see some very unusual temporary alliances.

Of course the big news this year is the centenary of the Great War.

Now 2013 saw me doing a lot of work on my family tree, and the centenary has moved my focus onto ancestors who served in the conflict - most notably my grandfather, but also other relatives.

This has already taken up a lot of my free time, and will continue to do so.

In order to keep track of my reaearch, produce something for my family and (hopefully in the future children) to enjoy and also to remember those ancestrors who were effected by the war, I have started a blog, which will catalogue everything I've been able to unearth so far.

It's called My Family and the Great War and, while very much a work of progress at present, will hopefully grow into something interesting. You're welcome to pop over and take a look (give it a few days though!) and follow if it picques your interest.

Here's to 2014! Cheers!