Friday, 4 January 2013

On This Day: William Hubert BALL, born 4 Jan 1898

The other day, a cousin of mine asked if I had any biographical information on our grandfather, William Hubert BALL - specifically, his World War One service.  I had a few things, but they were scattered around my many folders, and so had to be drawn together to make a sensible pdf.  (Genealogist's Clue: you may actually have more information than you realise; it's just that when it is separated neatly into several organised-to-within-an-inch-of-their-life folders, you may not have connected the dots).

William Hubert BALL, 4 Jan 1898-19 Apr 1967

William Hubert served in Italy during World War One in the 8th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment.  He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1919. "To be awarded the MSM, an individual must have "good, faithful, valuable and meritorious service, with conduct judged to be irreproachable throughout". [Wikipedia]

8th (Service) Battalion, The Devonshire Regiment was raised at Exeter on the 19th of August 1914 as part of Kitchener's First New Army and joined 14th (Light) Division as Divisional Troops.

In May 1915 they left the Division, having completed training, but a lack of ammunition delayed them and it was not until the 26th of July that they proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre.

On the 4th of August 1915 they joined 20th Brigade, 7th Division. They were in action in The Battle of Loos. [One of William Hubert's older brothers, Alfred Eli, was killed on the first day of action]

In 1916 They were in action during the Battles of the Somme, including the capture Mametz, The Battle of Bazentin, the attacks on High Wood, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Guillemont and the Operations on the Ancre.

In 1917 They fought during The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and the flanking operations round Bullecourt during The Arras Offensive, before moving to Flanders for the Third Battle of Ypres, seeing action in The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle and The Second Battle of Passchendaele. [Another of William Hubert's brothers, Walter Harold, was killed at the Battle of Arras]

In late 1917 the 7th Division was selected to move to Italy. They took up position in the line along the River Piave,in late January 1918. The Division played a central role in crossing the Piave, in October and the Battle of Vittoria Veneto.

WHB is in the front row, second from the right

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Thankful Thursday: The Unique Heritage of Modbury

I have been researching my family history for 35 years.  At first, there was discovery after discovery - because, after all, I was only beginning and there was a lot 'out there' to know.  Since then, my research journey has mostly been desultory, with the (very) occasional triumph, but mostly a name here, a date there, and many moons in between when there was nothing at all.

So you can imagine my joy when I found The Unique Heritage of Modbury.  In fact, I can't even remember how I found it.  I only had one or two ancestors from Modbury itself, so I didn't think that I would necessarily be that interested in what I found - if there was anything there.

This site is a Community Heritage Project, which has been funded by the Local Heritage Initiative, Lottery Fund, administered by The Countryside Agency, with additional funding from the Nationwide Building Society.  From its main page, you can see what is contained therein:
  • A comprehensive database of historic information and parish records, provided by the Modbury History Society.
  • A selection of historic photographs from the Modbury Baker Collection that is currently held in the West Devon Records Office.
  • A record of the historic town sites in Modbury that have been identified with mounted plaques.
  • A Time Line exhibition of ten panels of Modbury Heritage Topics.
Of course, it was the 'comprehensive database' which piqued my interest, and when I looked at it - gosh!  There are transcriptions of baptism registers and monumental inscriptions, old maps, publications for order, and a catalogue of archived documents.  Because of the transcription, I have been able to take one of my family lines back to Emanuel BEERE, born about 1590, and his wife Ursula TWIGGES, born about 1587.  The couple were married 23 July 1610.  Emanuel and Ursula are my 10th great grandparents - not the 10th ones I have found, but my great great great great great great great great great greats!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

On This Day: 2 January

On 2 January 1617, Rabage BEERE was baptised in Modbury, Devon, England.

I tried Google to search for the name "Rabage" - apparently, 'Rabage' is everything from the name of a velociraptor through French couture via the name of a mystery gamer who hasn't completed their profile page since 2006.  The closest I came was a Rabage DAY, who was born in 1733 in North Petherton (not far from where I live now), who married Thomas SLOCOMBE on 30 September 1754.

This can be another of my genealogy goals for 2013 - to find out more about Rabage BEERE: whom she married, where and when - and where and when she died.  Surely, with such an unusual name, she shouldn't be hard to find...

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Must try harder

I looked back at my genealogy goals for 2012, and was dismayed to see just how many of them I did not achieve:

Read the FamilySearch Guide
Write blog posts every day, even if only "On This Day"
Attend a webinar at least once a month - DONE
Edit (& publish?) Faith and Silk
View British Newspaper Archive - HALF DONE
Renew findmypast sub - DONE
Scan 1 doc/photo per month
Journal writing more frequent

So here is my list for 2013 - and here's hoping I achieve rather more goals...

Daily FamilySearch indexing (and arbitrating later), even if it is only for half an hour
Journal writing more frequent
Write blog posts every day, even if only "On This Day"

Read the FamilySearch Guide
Attend a webinar at least once a month
Scan 1 doc/photo per month
Write in Family History Writing Challenge in February
Write in National Women's History Month (Fearless Females) in March
Write in A-Z Challenge in April (using genealogy topics)

 This year
Complete 5 Pharos courses this year
Edit (& publish?) Faith and Silk (a history of one of my family lines)
View British Newspaper Archive
Renew findmypast sub

and of course I also have some goals on reading and writing, losing weight, cleaning house and so on.


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