Monday, November 18, 2013

Where military vehicles go to die....

Where military vehicles go to die... Inside the abandoned RAF station where trucks and boats from D-Day to the Cold War have been left to rot 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dambusters: 'Lost' faces of the squadron revealed

Dambusters: 'Lost' faces of the squadron revealed by the BBC

Photographs of all the men who took part in the Dambusters raid have been published for the first time.

The operation, on 16 May 1943, saw RAF bombers break two large dams in Germany using experimental "bouncing" bombs.   more>>>


Monday, December 10, 2012

We shall watch them on the beaches

In the News

We shall watch them on the beaches; English Heritage bestow Grade II listing on important WWII relic on coast

Churchill, George VI, Eisenhower and Montgomery watched 1944 rehearsal Read More>>




Monday, November 12, 2012

Familyrelatives.com remembers the fallen with New Military Records

Familyrelatives.com releases three new military datasets for the first time containing lists of more than 35,000 British and Dominion Officers who were killed or captured during the Great War. We are proud to have added the following to our website:

British Officers Prisoners of War 1914-1918

Officers Died in the Great War 1914-1919

The Bond of Sacrifice - A Biographical Record of British Officers Who Fell in the Great War

On Armistice Day the collection commemorates British military personnel who were taken prisoner, detailing their name, rank, regiment, camp location, date of capture and release date. Even those who escaped are included.

The Bond of Sacrifice collection presents 4,000 biographies of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, arranged alphabetically to provide an invaluable record of the contribution and achievements of those who served.

The collection lists a surprising number of Brigadier Generals including Hurdis Secundus Lalande Ravenshaw CMG who as a senior British Army officer during the First World War served at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and saw action on the North-West Frontier of India, in South Africa during the Second Boer War and in France and Greece during the First World War. In 1916 he was captured by an Austrian submarine with all his staff and held as a prisoner until the end of the war.

Another lists one of the war's most popular heroes Captain William Leefe Robinson VC of the Royal Flying Corp. who shot down the first German Zeppelin airship over London and transformed the battle in the air over Britain. Captain Robinson was later shot down by German fighter aircraft led by the “Red Baron” Lieutenant Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen and captured.

Reports that Robinson had been killed stunned the nation however a letter to his fiancée confirmed he was a prisoner. Although safe, his captors made his life unpleasant and he was poorly treated as he and his fellow prisoners had made several attempts to escape and was sentenced to a month of solitary confinement. He and others were sent to the underground fortress of Zorndorf much as hardened escapees were confined in Colditz Castle in World War II.

The records also tell us of those who lost their lives at sea when even hospital ships fell victim to enemy action. The nation lamented the loss of its largest ship the Britannic which was sunk in the Mediterranean. Mercifully of the 1,066 crew and wounded service personnel only 30 souls were lost. A huge contrast to its ill fated sister ship the Titanic when 1,523 were drowned out of the 2,228 on board.

The records were digitised and provided online for easier searching and are a useful resource when researching family military history. The collection now forms part of Familyrelatives.com’s online military archives which number over 20 million records.

British Officers Prisoners of War 1914-1918

Officers Died in the Great War 1914-1919

The Bond of Sacrifice - A Biographical Record of British Officers Who Fell in the Great War

The collection is only a part of more than 850 million historic records available online to all members and visitors by way of an annual subscription for just £25 or €30 / US$40 at www.familyrelatives.com


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Familyrelatives ring new changes with the release of Telephone Directories from Africa and the Caribbean


Discovering Nuggets of Gold

Are telephone directories just about numbers or are they a window into the past? If we take a closer look they reveal so much that is interesting from a historical aspect.

Familyrelatives is delighted to add some truly unique records to our expanding collection and existing 850 million records. We have added over 200,000 records in a number of directories which are from our Rest of the World Collection providing some fascinating insights.

Among the famous names Lord Delamere one of the leaders of the white settler community and a certain Colonel Grogan – famous for walking from Cape to Cairo between 1898 and 1900, Lord Egerton of Njoro Kenya whose estates and name adorn the prestigious agricultural college.

Kenya made headlines during the Mau Mau campaign and was about to achieve independence. Two African politicians were at the forefront of the campaign for independence Tom Mboya a rising young man cruelly assassinated in a Nairobi Street and Jomo Kenyatta who went on to become Kenya’s first president. A further search among the burgeoning Indian and Ismaili community reveals Eboo Pirbhai already knighted by the Queen and H.R.H. The Aga Khan whose foundations and community stretched from India to Africa.

Equally in the European community were Sir Wilfred Havelock a key minister in the pre-independence colonial government and Michael Blundell who was considered to be leader of the white settlers.



So a telephone directory reflects the society it serves from Government House with the Queen’s representative at the head of the colonial administration to citizens of all races. With the railways playing a key role in the development of East Africa East African Railways and Harbours features prominently. East African Airways together with Telecommunications, the currency Board etc. remind us of a bold attempt to achieve a federation which with the independence of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika (now Tanzania and Zanzibar) soon succumbed to national pressure and were dissolved. These directories were a final glimpse at passing history.

These directories are particularly interesting as they record numerous individuals, families and businesses of those who had settled and followed their daily lives under the flag.

Following independence, there was no great exodus however many expatriates chose to leave in the years following. In Uganda for example Idi Amin forcibly removed the Indian community who formed the middle class and owned many businesses. Southern Rhodesia was one of three colonies which formed the Central African Federation together with Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia. With the break up of the Federation and a unilateral Declaration of Independence the directory of Southern Rhodesia in 1958 preceded the change to majority rule and shows the European population at its peak before Robert Mugabe began his policy of taking over white owned farms. In 1980 Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zimbabwe.



East Africa

These are the lands of fame and fable – from Ernest Hemmingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” to Rider Haggard’s “King Solomon’s Mines. Are there many who have not seen at least one movie such as Out of Africa, Born Free, Mogambo, The African Queen, White Mischief or the Maneaters of Tsavo?


Society names and Big Game hunting are all in the telephone directory. White Hunters such as Kerr and Downey – the Muthaiga Club, Mount Kenya Safari Club or the famed Norfolk Hotel from where many safaris began and not least of all – Treetops Hotel faces towards Mount Kenya where Queen Elizabeth II learned of her accession following the death of King George VI.

As a collection these erstwhile colonial directories provide an eclectic mix of settlers, administration, justice, police and military together with businesses and in eastern Africa the importance of the railways (East African Railways and Harbours) which opened the three east African territories to trade, commerce and settlement.

Barbados – this directory is distinct from the others for this lovely island had gained its independence 3 years earlier but not much had changed in the way of its citizens who had deep roots in the country from way back. Besides it was an island thriving on its tourist industry as could be seen by its many hotels and guest houses.


Records now available online with Annual Subscription


Barbados Telephone Directory 1969-1970


Directory of Swiss Manufacturers and Producers 1937


Juta's Directory of Cape Town Suburbs & Simon's Town 1904


Southern Rhodesia Telephone Directory 1958


Telephone Directory Kenya, July 1962


Telephone Directory Tanganyika, March 1962


Telephone Directory Uganda, October 1962


The collection is only a part of more than 850 million historic records available online to all members and visitors by way of an annual subscription for just £25 or €30 / US$40 at www.familyrelatives.com

You can follow us on - Familyrelatives.com Blog Familyrelatives.com on Facebook Familyrelatives.com on Twitter





Thursday, August 16, 2012

Familyrelatives.com SUMMER SALE

Welcome to our Newsletter

This week sees the exciting re-launch of our upgraded and much improved Familyrelatives website - which is in Beta testing.

It is packed with many new features and information to help you discover even more about your family history. Our new ‘at a glance’ layout will enable you to find records easily, going back to the year 1538.

With over 850 million records from more than a dozen countries including Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, USA, and the Rest of the World (ROW), we are confident that you will find it useful for filling in those frustrating gaps.


Also remember that you have an enormous and fantastic number of FREE records at your disposal - over 90 million at the last count.

Buy a subscription now and view a range of records including Parish Records, Births, Marriages and Deaths, Military, Trade Directories and so much more being added regularly.


For those on a modest budget, Pay Per View allows members to search specific records and we suggest that you view the PPV tab at the top of the main search page to see the latest additions as well as view over 90 million records in the Free Tab.

To celebrate our improved website we’re offering you a great opportunity - Buy 12 Months Subscription for £20.00 and save 33% - that’s an exceptional saving of £10.00 (down from our usual price of £30.00) and matches our best ever discount.

We aim to inspire you to start your family history and for those who have already started, we aim to help you refine your research

• Access all records from over 12 different countries with one affordable subscription


• Receive 12 months Access and save 33% off our normal price

• Search 850 million records from over a dozen different countries

FAMILY TREE CONNECT

We are also launching our Social Genealogy suite of products in September. These Social Genealogy Features are uniquely and specifically designed for Familyrelatives and they include:


• Photos – Upload & Share albums at no cost

• Calendar – Create and event & never miss an important occasion

• Access your information – anywhere and anytime – its in the ‘CLOUD’

• Secure – Only share information you want

• Build Your Family Tree – Coming soon

Many changes are taking place on Familyrelatives.com and we hope you will like them. The good news is there are many more changes on the way, so look out for these new changes online or in future newsletters.





Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Who do you think you are? New Series

A new series of the popular TV family history show starts tomorrow on BBC One at 9:00 pm starting with Samantha Womack the Eastenders actress. Episode 1 of 10, Who Do You Think You Are?, Series 9 Duration: 1 hour Classic genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? returns for its ninth series, delving into the ancestry of some of the UK's best-known faces. The new series sees ten celebrities embark on intense personal journeys to discover their families' pasts. 2012's series witnesses fascinating tales of infidelity, tragedy and adventure. Covering over 400 years of history, the programmes unearth secret telegrams and rare and previously undiscovered documents that bring our celebrities' ancestors to life. The series takes us on an historical rollercoaster of trials and triumphs, political intrigue, guilt, and treasonous plotting. First up is actress Samantha Womack, best known for playing Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders. Sam's parents separated when she was young, and she grew up with only a fractured sense of her family history. Sam starts her journey by looking into the military career of her great grandfather, Alexander Cunningham Ryan, to discover whether the rumour that he was gassed during the First World War is true. However, the story quickly takes an astonishing turn as Sam discovers a puzzling discrepancy in Alexander's military record. As Sam investigates further, she uncovers the shocking truth and finds out how her great grandfather destroyed his military career. More information Who do you think you are? Criminal past of Samantha Womack's Great Grandfather