W is for… Who Do You Think You Are: Live! #AtoZChallenge

Oh naughty lady! I’m a day late posting W, but I was out having a nice time with friends, so hopefully I can be forgiven!

When thinking of what to write for each of the A-Z posts, W was immediately filled in as this year was the first year I’ve been able to go to Who Do You Think You Are: Live, perhaps the biggest family history exhibition in the UK, held at Olympia, London and I got so much valuable information from it that I was very excited to share.

First, some general impressions, it being my first visit – it was quite nice to see so many family historians in one place! It can sometimes be a lonely hobby if people aren’t particularly excited to hear about your discoveries, so even talking to people while queueing is a long conversation! I took a couple of pics of the hall from the balcony.

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There were lots of stalls from family history societies (sponsored by the Society of Genealogists), records providers (Ancestry, FindMyPast etc), storage providers and even a fairly large section devoted to Irish family history, as Ireland are really pushing their family history resources currently. There were also several expert stands, including military history and photographic dating and that’s what I wanted to tell you about.

I took along this photo:

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It’s of George Stratton (he of the many names who I have mentioned before), my Great Grandfather and I had been searching for his records with little success, apart from a medal card from the Royal Army Service Corps. Needless to say, this was totally incorrect as I found out only a few minutes after starting to queue. My expert was Ian Hook, and he explained almost instantly that the uniform George is wearing indicates that he was in the the Gloucestershire Regiment (Glosters) and referred me to the regimental museum in Gloucester for further searches, and I will enquire of them when funds allow!

Ian was also able to point out on the photo – something that I had never noticed – that George also has a stripe on his left sleeve, indicating that he had been wounded sometime after 1916 and, as this photo has a date of 1917 written on the back, this would fit.

I was also able to ask Ian about cap badges for a medal arrangement I’m trying to assemble of my maternal Grandfather’s medals, and he was able to confirm the exact cap badge I will need to look for.

The mere £10 ticket price, plus travelling was well worth it for the new leads I have, and when I go again – note I say WHEN – I’d definitely like to meet some of the family historians I follow on Twitter – I was a bit too shy to do so this time!!

A2Z2013

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