Family History

Family History

In this age of globalisation and angst, I suspect that many research their family backgrounds – either consciously or subconsciously – in order develop an understanding and excitement for the past their schools conspicuously failed to provide. My own family has two persons who have fascinated me over the years: my great grandfather and my great uncle. Both were killed in conflict, in the First World War and Second World War respectively. They were talented young men, with a world of opportunities ahead of them.

However, they were not exceptional nor, to be blunt, were they essential to the war effort. But millions like them were needed to fight and defeat enemies that, in both cases, were determined to dominate and remake Europe in their own images. The same is true of William Drake, a boatswain whose service in the Royal Navy lasted almost the entire duration of the war with Revolutionary France and then the titanic struggle against Napoleon.

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Finding Private Adams

Alfred Adams was young and successful family man, making headway in the still-new and exciting world of the music industry. He sacrificed everything for his country.

The Importance of Ernest

Ernest Lewis was a plumber by trade and a happily married man. He volunteered for the RAF and, after a few missteps, became a flight engineer posted to 76 Squadron. He and his crew would be shot down on 12/13 June 1944.

The Boatswain's Call

My ancestor William Drake was pressed into the Royal Navy in the early 1790s. He saw action from the Baltic to the Carribbean Seas and reached the lofty rank of Boatswain.