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Genealogy Blog

17 October 2014

10 Things You Didn’t Know Were Canadian World War I Memorials

When we think of war memorials, we picture cenotaphs, statues of angels and soldiers, but after the First World War, communities searched for original ways to honour their fallen citizens.

Some took the traditional route, while others came up with other methods to memorialize the dead. Here are 10 places and things that you may not realize were meant to honour Canada’s war dead.

Source & Full Story

Ireland's Korean War Veterans Remembered

Nestled between the vast expanse of World War II and the shock and horror of VietNam, the Korean War is sometimes overlooked.

It was a bitter and bloody conflict, which has left political scars on the Korean peninsula which ache to this day. Its legacy is bitter division betwen Seoul and Pyongyang, violent flare-ups between North Korea - ruled by the insane and despotic Kim dynasty - and democratic South Korea, and the infamous 'DMZ' which separates the two warring states, strewn with landmines.

Source & Full Story

16 October 2014

Australia Claims Britain Ignoring World War One Hero as 'Mere Colonial'

Imperial War Museum's failure to acknowledge Australian war hero Sir John Monash prompts anger in Australia, with critics saying it reflects Britain's disdain for 'mere colonials'.

Australia will press Britain over the failure of the revamped Imperial War Museum to recognise Australia's famous wartime hero Sir John Monash, who was regarded as one of the best military minds on the Western Front during the First World War.

Source & Full Story

23 September 2014

An American Sculptor’s Masks Restored French Soldiers Disfigured in World War I

On the day after Christmas in 1920, a French mailman and veteran of World War I wrote an American woman named Anna Coleman Ladd to thank her for what she had done for him during the war.

Ladd knew the veteran, Charles Victor, who had been wounded in the face by a hand grenade in 1915. She had two photos of him. In one, he is sitting in a chair, wearing his uniform and military medals. He has large ears and a shock of dark hair, parted on the side. But the lower half of his face is mutilated. Most of his nose and lips are gone, and his mouth looks crooked and rearranged.

Source & Full Story

9 September 2014

Toronto’s First Casualty of World War I

In a war rife with brutality, it is unreasonable to categorize one soldier’s demise as more harrowing than another’s, or his grace in dying as more admirable than that of those who fell around him.

So the horrible circumstances surrounding the death of Bertram Denison, Toronto’s first casualty of the First World War, and the kindness he demonstrated in his final days, didn’t exceed those of his fellow servicemen. They exemplified them.

Source & Full Story

4 September 2014

World War I: Australian Teenage Girl Maud Butler Cut Hair, Dressed as Soldier and Stowed Away on Troopship

A teenage girl from the Hunter Valley coalfields was so desperate to be a part of Australia's war effort that she cut her hair, dressed as a soldier and stowed away on a troopship.

The exploits of Maud Butler, a resourceful 16-year-old waitress with a sense of adventure, are being researched by historian Professor Victoria Haskins. As part of her study, Professor Haskins is researching Maud's expedition, which she says runs several chapters. Here, Professor Haskins writes about Maud's initial run-in with authorities.

Source & Full Story

3 September 2014

War Against Japan Archives Cover Disastrous Defense of Nanking

The eighth part of an archive series on the Second Sino-Japanese War on Monday covered the Battle of Nanking (Nanjing) in 1937, in which Japanese troops captured the Republic of China capital and unleashed a six-week orgy of slaughter.

Starting on Aug. 25, the archive series is being released on the website of China's State Archives Administration, one battle per day, in a drive to raise awareness of the war, known in China as the War of Resistance Against Japan.

Source & Full Story

25 August 2014

20,000 Irishmen Fought for Canada in World War I

Almost 20,000 Irish soldiers fought in the Canadian army during World War I new figures show. According to an unpublished document from Canada’s Department of National Defense, 19,327 Irish served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

However, the Irish Times reports that number may be underestimated as many Irish who enlisted in the army came from across US border and would have been regarded as American. Canada went out of its way to recruit Irish soldiers and a number of Irish battalions were raised during the war.

Source & Full Story

21 July 2014

Mysteries of Medieval Graffiti in England's Churches

Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and "demon traps" have been offering a tantalising glimpse into England's past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages?

A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England. Armed with just a torch and a camera, a team of volunteers have recorded more than 28,000 images from churches in Norfolk alone and are a third of the way through searching Norwich Cathedral, where there are many more examples.

Source & Full Story

10 July 2014

First Aussie To Die in WWI Recognised

The name of the soldier who may well be the first Australian killed in World War I has been added to the Australian War Memorial's commemorative roll, nearly 100 years after he was killed in action.

Australian-born Lt William Malcolm Chisholm was serving in a British uniform when he was wounded in the Battle of Le Cateau, on August 26, 1914, just three days after arriving in France, and died the next day, aged 22.

Source & Full Story

17 June 2014

Ashes of WWII Chinese Soldiers from Burma Buried in Yunnan

Twenty-two urns containing the ashes of soldiers from the Chinese Expeditionary Forces who fought against the Japanese during World War II were transported from Burma and reburied in China’s Yunnan Province last week.

In 1942, two brigades of Chinese soldiers from the Chinese Expeditionary Forces were part of the Allied Forces led by US commander Gen Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell.

Source & Full Story

13 June 2014

Tuam Mother and Baby Home: The Trouble with the Septic Tank Story

"I never used that word 'dumped'," Catherine Corless, a local historian in Co Galway, tells The Irish Times. "I never said to anyone that 800 bodies were dumped in a septic tank. That did not come from me at any point. They are not my words."

The story that emerged from her work was reported this week in dramatic headlines around the world. Corless, who lives outside Tuam, has been working for several years on records associated with the former St Mary’s mother-and-baby home in the town. Her research has revealed that 796 children, most of them infants, died between 1925 and 1961, the 36 years that the home, run by Bon Secours, existed.

Source & Full Story

4 June 2014

Then and Now in Pictures: 70 Years Later, Normandy's Beaches Retain Memory of D-Day Invasion

As many around the world prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944, pictures of Normandy's now-touristy beaches stand in stark contrast to images taken around the time of the invasion.

But while the landscape has changed, the memory of the momentous event lives on.

Source & Pictures

27 May 2014

Online Archive of WWI Letters Gives Glimpse Into the Irish Experience of War

A large archive of letters from the frontline of WWI is being built at letter1916.ie and the public is being invited to contribute materials from the era which may have been passed down in the family.

Professor Susan Schreibman of NUI Maynooth who is assembling the archive told the Irish Independent: "It's a crowd-sourcing project that depends on public participation. Not only do we value material sent in, but people can go online and transcribe the letters."

Source & Full Story

A Mysterious 19th-Century Tattoo Artist, Identified At Last

With a quarter of Americans sporting at least one tattoo, it’s become impossible to walk down the street in summertime without navigating a virtual museum of color on skin. But who are the artists?

Unlike a painting or a piece of music, which are closely identified with their creators, tattoos are less likely to come with an authorial pedigree. Never mind being able to identify someone else’s piece—many people (including me) don’t know the names of all the artists who produced their own.

Source & Full Story

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