January 2011 Archives
When I started to research Uncle Tom's war records, before I want to Kew, I wanted to know something about the Liverpool Scottish Regiment that he had joined. I found that there was a very useful website www.liverpoolscottish.org.uk which gave very comprehensive information about the regiment and I found that there was a Regimental Museum in Liverpool run by volunteers. I made contact and the Honorary Secretary sent me some detailed dates about Tom's service but strangely there was nothing about his time as a POW. I also received an account of the Regiment's activities in France during August 1916 which was the period when Tom sustained his first injury. This was very interesting.
I had a telephone conversation with the Curator during which I told him that I had photos taken inside the POW camp and he was amazed. He had never seen such photos and had never heard of the existence of any such photos. I then scanned the photos and postcards and compiled a set of some 60 images which I put on a disc and took, together with accompanying notes, to the Museum. These have now been added to the Regiment's archives.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Museum and learnt a lot about the history of the Regiment. One of the interesting items I saw there was a poster headed "Eisteddfod". This was an event in a camp in France with a date in 1917. The list of competitions, however, was not what we would associate with an Eisteddfod in Wales. The competitions included playing the mouth organ (understandable as this was the only instrument that could be carried), imitation of Charlie Chaplin etc. When I queried the Curator about this he said "we called any form of competition an Eisteddfod". This is an indication of the influence of the Welsh in Liverpool, at that time at least, that the word Eisteddfod had become generally used.
The Museum, unfortunately, had to close a few years ago due to the lease coming to an end and arrangements for new premises have not yet been finalised. They have offices for the
archives and the museum artefacts have been safely stored. It's still possible to make contact, request information and to visit the archives during certain hours. I would recommend anyone with an interest in this Regiment to visit the website for further information.
In Caernarfon we have the excellent Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum situated inside Caernarfon Castle and they have an excellent website www.rwfmuseum.org.uk. I would recommend you to visit this museum even if you don't have any connection with the RWF and the website will give you a good idea of what is on display. There is an extensive archive of information but the staff are currently unable to answer any queries as the whole archive is in the process of being moved to Wrexham from the historic Caernarfon Barracks. The website will give the latest information and how you can make enquiries.
Whatever regiment you ancestors were associated with I suggest that the first step in searching for information is to undertake a web search for the regiment to find out whether or not that regiment has a museum or an archive service.
Gwynedd Family History Society, www.gwynedd.fhs.org.uk
Meetings for the next four weeks are:
Bangor, 1 February (In English, first Tuesday of each month) 7.00pm at the Quakers Meeting Hall, Dean Street: J Dilwyn Williams: "Penrallt Estate & developments in Upper Bangor"
Caernarfon, 24 Chwefror (In Welsh, last Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Library, LÃŽn Pafiliwn: Dilwyn Grey-Williams: "John Lloyd, Pensaer"
Dolgellau, 10 Chwefror (In Welsh, second Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Royal Ship Hotel: Merfyn Tomos: "Dolgellau drwy luniau" Yn Yr Archifdy
Conwy, 14 February (In English, second Monday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Ebenezer, Abergele Road, Old Colwyn: Rev Neil Fairlamb: "Buckleys of Baron Hill"
Llangefni, 17 February (In English, third Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Smyrna, Ffordd Glanhwfa: Visit to Anglesey Registrar's Office
Pwllheli, 18 Chwefror (In Wales, third Friday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Seion, Lon Dywod: Richard Jones: "Amgueddfa Werin Sain Fagan"
Clwyd Family History Society, www.clwydfhs.org.uk
The meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month (except August) at 2.00 pm at locations that rotate within the former county of Clwyd. The next meeting is as follows:
Saturday 12 February: at The Memorial Hall, Gresford, LL12 8PSBernard Dennis: "Sir Thomas Egerton - Keeper of the Queen's Conscience"