Remembrance Day is an important time of year for our readers.
Many of them will have had relatives who saw combat in the armed forces, either in the World Wars, or in the conflicts since.
November 11 is an opportunity to remember those relatives, and to acknowledge the sacrifice they made.
This year, I was lucky enough to find out a little more about one of my relatives, thanks to our friends at Findmypast.
It started with a letter
According to the handy guide we published in August, the best way to start looking for information on relatives is by asking around in your family, and by looking through old letters and documents for relevant information.
I was in luck. My great-great uncle David, who fought and fell with the British Army in France in World War I, was a dedicated writer of letters.
My mum gathered them all together years ago. So I didn’t even have to look very far to find a treasure trove of information! This included his regiment (the Scots Guards), his regimental number, and the place and time when he first enlisted.
Starting the investigation
With this information in hand, I felt pretty hopeful when I visited the Findmypast website.
The website hosts over 4 billion searchable records of census, directory and historical record information. Surely they would be able to tell me a little more about my relative?
Take a look at the video below to see the results of my search.
My family story
The enlistment records were an interesting snapshot into who my great-great uncle was when he made the decision to enlist.
But I was astonished to be able to also read an account of the battle in which he died.
It felt good to be able to find this detail, that no one in my family — not even David’s parents — had been able to see before.
Finding out that little bit more about him somehow made marking this weekend all the more important.
To help the British public discover their family story this Remembrance Day, Findmypast’s services will be available for free from November 8-11.
Visit their website for more details.