New Accession: Poor rate assessment for Brentwood, 1694

Dr Stacey Harmer, Archivist at Brentwood School, blogs for us about an exciting discovery made at the school recently that has been deposited at ERO to benefit from our climate-controlled storage and to allow public access…

An exciting discovery has been made in the archives of Brentwood School, which are being catalogued in preparation for the opening of the new Learning Resources Centre in the summer of 2015. It is a parchment roll, protected by a cardboard cover, entitled ‘A Rate made the Tenth day of Aprill Anno Dom’ 1694 for the Reliefe of the Poore of the Towne of Brentwood’. It lists 146 heads of households (including a number of widows) and seven pensioners of the town. The person who was taxed the highest was a Mr Lambert, who was to pay 7s 6d. This may be the Francis Lambert who, in 1689, was summoned to court to answer for his contempt in refusing to serve as a petty constable even though he had been elected by the parishioners [ERO Q/SR 461/55].  A few were not affluent enough to pay any rate but were still included in the list (assessed as 0s 0d).

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Dr Stacey Harmer (right) depositing the poor rate assessment with Archivist Ruth Costello at ERO

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The first name on the list is ‘Mr Barnard’: almost certainly Daniel Barnard, the schoolmaster of Brentwood School. Barnard had been appointed to the school in 1655 at the age of 24, already an ordained priest. A year later he married the daughter of the vicar of South Weald. According to R. R. Lewis, author of The History of Brentwood School (1981), Barnard was “one of the most successful schoolmasters of his time”. His pupils included the sons of Sir William Scroggs (Lord Chief Justice of England) and Erasmus Smith (English merchant and philanthropist).

1694 is a crucial date in the history of the parish of Brentwood. Brentwood chapel, dedicated to St Thomas Becket, was built in 1221 but was subsidiary to the parish of South Weald. The parish vestry controlled matters such as the care of the poor, the collection of poor rates, and apprenticeship of pauper children.

1694 is the year in which the first records of the chapel of St Thomas Becket begin, showing an important move towards autonomy. At Essex Record Office there is a record book of the Brentwood chapel starting in 1694 which includes vestry minutes, orders for relief, overseers’ accounts and nominations of officers [ERO D/P 362/8/1]. The battle for independence from the parish of South Weald was to take nearly two centuries: Brentwood did not become a separate parish until 1873, but it is clear that 1694 was an important step in this journey.

 

 

Great British Railway Journeys: Ilford to Rochester

With series 5 of Great Railway Journeys continuing tonight on BBC2 episode 18 sees Michael Portillo journeying from the edge of the metropolis in Ilford to Tilbury before crossing the Thames to Gravesend. As with episode 17 we thought we would take a look at some documents related to some of the sights he will be seeing along the way.

The London, Tilbury and Southend railway was granted an act of parliament in 1852 to begin purchasing land; by just 1854 it had reached as far as Tilbury. The railway was intended to link up the growing industries along the north bank of the Thames such as the chalk works at Tilbury and the burgeoning towns of Prittlewell and Southend. Perhaps most importantly for the railway company, the line allowed their customers easy access to the company’s own pier just across the Thames at Gravesend, already a common embarkation point for overseas travel from England.

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Riverside Station, Tilbury, 1920

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Ordnance Survey map of Tilbury from 1920 showing the distinctive triangular arrangement of the railway lines, with workers’ cottages in the middle. Click for a larger version.

With the coming of the railway to Tilbury and the increasing prevalence of  steam ships, Tilbury became an attractive location for the East and West India Dock Company to build a new port. It was well positioned downstream and therefore more convenient for ships than docks belonging to their competitors further up-stream in London. Ground was broken in 1882 and the photograph below shows the opening of the docks in 1884 with much fanfare. The port quickly became the most important deep-water port on the Thames and was integrated into the Port of London in 1909.

Opening of Tilbury Docks, 1884

Opening of Tilbury Docks, 1886

Port of London Authority map of Tilbury Docks, early twentieth century

Port of London Authority map of Tilbury Docks, post 1909 after it was taken over by the PLA

Amidst all the clamour of industry and squeezed between a gasworks and the dock itself lies the jewel in Tilbury’s crown. Before industry and the railway Tilbury was important for another reason. Henry VIII had built a simple “D” shaped blockhouse there with an opposite number in Gravesend to defend the Thames with their guns and by drawing a chain across the river between them. With the threat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 the fort was improved and repaired and it was here that Elizabeth I reportedly famously rallied her rag-tag army with the words “I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of  a king, and a king of England too”.

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Print of Tilbury Fort. There are several views of the Fort in our collections, many of which have been digitised and can be viewed online on our catalogue Seax

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Coloured print of Tilbury Fort

Modern European military thinking greatly influenced Charles II during his exile from Britain and led to the redevelopment of Tilbury Fort into its modern star shape in the 1670s. The Fort was held by the Parliamentarians in the Civil War and was refortified in the Napoleonic wars and again in 1914. The Fort straddled the border of the parishes of West Tilbury and Chadwell, with the officers quarters being on the West Tilbury side and the other ranks in Chadwell. This is reflected in the parish burial registers, with officers appearing in the West Tilbury registers, and the men in the Chadwell registers.

D/DU 446 map Tilbury Fort and Gravesend

Extract from map of the Thames around Tilbury and Gravesend, showing Tilbury Fort in 1780. South is at the top of the map, and north at the bottom.

Great British Railway Journeys: Ipswich to Chelmsford

As episode 17 of series 5 of Great British Railway Journeys airs on BBC2 and Michael Portillo takes in some of the sights of our great county, we thought we would share some items from our collection to accompany his experience of oyster dredging on Mersea Island, and his visits to a model farm at Tiptree and to the world’s first purpose-built radio factory, Marconi’s in Chelmsford.

 

Oyster dredging on Mersea Island

Mersea Island lies 9 miles south-east of Colchester, in the estuary of the Blackwater and Colne rivers. It is joined to the mainland by a causeway, and there is evidence of human habitation stretching back to pre-Roman times. Oysters have been gathered and consumed on Mersea for centuries, with oyster shells being found next to the remains of Celtic salt workings. The gathering of uncultured oysters gradually gave way to cultivation, and Mersea oysters were exported by the barrel load to Billingsgate Fish Market in London, and further afield to the continent.

Competition amongst oyster gatherers in Essex has sometimes led to outbreaks of violence; during the reign of Edward III for example, a disagreement between men from Brightlingsea, Alresford, Wivenhoe, Fingringhoe, Mease, Salcott and Tollesbury over fishing rights resulted in the drowning of three men.

Mersea’s history of oyster fishing is evident in records held in our collection. Our will collection shows how prevalent the oyster trade was amongst Mersea inhabitants, such as this one of Frances Brand, an oyster dredger of West Mersea, dated 1763 (D/ABW 101/1/38). The will includes arrangements for Brand’s two oyster smacks: ‘I give and bequeath all those my two smacks or dredging vessles with the boats dredges and other the appurtances to them and every of them belonging unto my son William Brand upon condition that he my said son … shall therewith carry on the dredging business for the support and maintenance of himself, my wife and my other three children untill he my said son William shall attain … one and twenty years hereby earnestly requiring him so to do.’

Will of Francis Brand, oyster dredger of West Mersea, 1763 (D/ABW 101/1/38)

Will of Francis Brand, oyster dredger of West Mersea, 1763 (D/ABW 101/1/38)

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Postcard showing marshland and boats on West Mersea

Mersea Museum’s website has several great historic photographs of the Mersea oyster trade, such as this one, of members of the Tollesbury and Mersea Oyster Company men outside the Packing Shed circa 1908.

 

Model farm at Tiptree

Before broadcast, we are making an educated guess that the ‘model farming establishment in Tiptree’ is the farm set up by John Joseph Mechi (1802-1880) in the 1840s. Mechi, having made a fortune as a razor-strop manufacturer, decided to turn his attention to farming and apply his talents to the improvement of agriculture.

In 1841 he bought 130 acres of poor, wet heathland in Tiptree, in one of the least productive districts in Essex, and proceeded to improve it by such means as deep drainage, removing hedges and trees, redesigning buildings and the use of steam-powered machinery. He persevered until his model farm turned a handsome profit. Mechi was exceptional amongst agricultural improvers for publishing details of his experiments in books, pamphlets and newspaper articles. He even published annual statements of his farm’s income and expenditure, explaining his failures as well as justifying his successes. His well-known publication How to Farm Profitably (1857) had, in various forms, a circulation of thousands of copies. Sadly, his career ended in disappointment, as the failure of his banking interests deprived him of the funds needed for his style of farming, and this, together with the effects of several bad seasons at Tiptree Hall Farm, led to the liquidation of his affairs shortly before his death.

John Joseph Mechi (I/Pb 13/3/1)

John Joseph Mechi (I/Pb 13/3/1)

 

Tiptree Hall Farm one year after Mechi designed it. The main buildings are on the north and east sides, giving shelter from the coldest winds. The barn contained a horse-powered threshing machine. When not driving the threshing machine, the horse gear could be used to drive a chaff-cutter or corn mill. Within a year Mechi had decided to exchange horse power for steam power.

Tiptree Hall Farm one year after Mechi designed it. The main buildings are on the north and east sides, giving shelter from the coldest winds. The barn contained a horse-powered threshing machine. When not driving the threshing machine, the horse gear could be used to drive a chaff-cutter or corn mill. Within a year Mechi had decided to exchange horse power for steam power.

 

Marconi’s – the world’s first purpose-built radio factory

Guglielmo Marconi established the world’s first wireless factory in a former silk mill in Hall Street in Chelmsford in 1898, when he was aged just 23. Chelmsford was chosen because Marconi needed electrical power, and in the 1890s Chelmsford was the place to be for electricity, thanks to the pioneering work of R.E.B. Crompton and Frank Christy.

In June 1912, a replacement 70,000 square foot purpose-built factory was opened in New Street. The factory was completed in an astonishing 17 weeks by a workforce of over 500 people. The factory provided employment for thousands of men and women; although the machine shop remained the preserve of men, women were employed for the more delicate aspects of the production of wireless transmitters.

Women at work in Marconi's New Street factory in Chelmsford

Women at work in Marconi’s New Street factory in Chelmsford

Marconi wireless equipment was used by ships and coastal stations to communicate with one another in Morse code. During the First World War, operators at New Street intercepted German radio transmissions for the British government, and Marconi engineers also developed the technology for ground-to-air communication with aeroplanes. During the Second World War, Marconi’s played a crucial role in the development of radar.

After the First World War, engineers at New Street began to experiment with wireless voice transmissions. The first publicised entertainment broadcast in Britain took place at the factory in June 1920, when Dame Nellie Melba performed. Her singing could have been picked up anywhere across Europe by someone with receiving equipment. By 1931 there was one wireless licence for every three homes in the country.

Shortly after the New Street factory opened, local photographer Fred Spalding took a series of photographs of the new facility. Click here to view more of the photographs from a previous blog post.

 

Check back here tomorrow for more to accompany Michael’s visit to Tilbury.

Recording of the Month, January 2014: “These New-Fangled Ways” (A Ballad of Protest)

Our  Sound Archivist Martin Astell begins a series for us of monthly highlights from the Essex Sound and Video Archive…

“These New-Fangled Ways” (A Ballad of Protest), SA 24/222/1

To begin this series and to be our first ‘Recording of the Month’ I have chosen one of the oldest recordings held in the Essex Sound and Video Archive. The exact date the recording was made is not known, but it is thought to be around 1905 or 1906. It is taken from one side of a double-sided 78rpm shellac disc on the “Jumbo” label, and consists of a poem written, and in this case spoken, by Charles E. Benham.

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The poem is subtitled A Ballad of Protest as it satirises the curmudgeonly views of an old country fellow who cannot see the benefits of change and such modern contrivances as parish councils and board schools. Although it relates particularly to the late nineteenth century – which was, indeed, a time of great change – nevertheless, the theme can be seen as more or less universal, reminding us that we all may have a tendency to regard new developments as dangerous, retrograde or, at the very least, unnecessary.

Charles E. Benham published his Essex Ballads and Other Poems in 1895. He took a keen interest in the Essex dialect and the thirteen Essex ballads were written in this manner ‘to perpetuate many archaic and interesting forms of folk speech.’ It was later that he was asked to make sound recordings of a number of these poems, as he explains in the Transactions of the Yorkshire Dialect Society (Part XIX, Volume III, December 1917, p.22):

“Some time before the war a student from Berlin named Theodor Albrecht, came to me in order that I should correct his vocal interpretation of my Essex Ballads. Friends warned me to have nothing to do with him, as even then it was suspected that he was trying to acquire the east coast dialect for sinister purposes. Be that as it may, the country was not endangered by his visit, for the accent with which he solemnly read the book was such that he never could have made himself understood in Essex, much less have passed himself off as a native. However, he appeared satisfied, and he wrote and published an extensive thesis or “inaugural dissertation” on the Essex Ballads which gained him the degree of Doctor at the University, and the University itself commissioned me to have phonograph records made of four of the ballads to be deposited in Berlin.”

You may have to listen to the recording a few times before you are able to discern every word but if you want to cheat, the poem is transcribed on its SoundCloud page. However, you may notice that the author recites some of the verses in a slightly different order than in the published version. And by the way, the word ‘tares’ which appears in the poem is given as “rough grass, weeds” in Edward Gepp’s A Contribution to an Essex Dialect Dictionary (London, 1920) but is defined in James Britten’s Old Country and Farming Words: Gleaned from Agricultural Books (London, 1880) rather more specifically as Vicia Sativa, or the common vetch, which is grown as livestock fodder or as a soil-fertilising plant.

Many more examples of Essex dialect and accents can be heard in recordings held in the Essex Sound and Video Archive, and the ERO library contains dialect dictionaries, plays and novels written in dialect, and numerous papers discussing the subject (particularly in the Essex Review). The Essex Sound and Video Archive has a source list (ESVA Sources on dialect) which will help you to identify some good examples of recordings, or you could purchase a copy of our CD called How to Speak Essex: 20th Century Voices from the Essex Sound and Video Archive; please e-mail ero.enquiry@essex.gov.uk or telephone 01245 244644 for more information.

Written examples of dialect speech are a valuable resource for the academic, but nothing can be better than hearing the real thing. As Charles Benham says:

“But to preserve for future generations the distinctive intonation, accent, and inflection, there is still needed the gramophone record, and this important aid should not be overlooked by the devout dialect-philologist.”

(‘The Essex Dialect’ by Charles E. Benham, The Essex Review, Volume XXIX, 1920, p.159)

And perhaps he should have added that there is still needed an accessible sound archive in which these treasures can be preserved, and that should not be overlooked either.

Your Favourite ERO Documents: Thirteen Letters by the Author of Frankenstein in the ERO

This special guest post comes from Nora Crook, Professor Emerita, Anglia Ruskin University; Co-general Editor, The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Baltimore: MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 2000––). [in progress, 3 vols. published]

I’m a member of the English Department of Anglia Ruskin University, officially retired, but still research-active and involved in editing the works of the Shelleys – Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, and her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. It’s a bit late for the 75th anniversary celebrations of Essex Record Office, but may I tell you about my favourite document, a bundle of thirteen letters by Mary Shelley in the Records of J. Horace Round (D/DRh C102)?

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A seal from one of the letters

Professor Nora Crook

Professor Nora Crook

What excited me about these nondescript looking letters is that up to now they have been completely unknown to literary scholars. They are not in Betty Bennett’s monumental edition (1980–88) of her letters. New Mary Shelley missives surface from time to time, but this is the largest cache to surface for decades. The ERO archivists, of course, knew about them, because they had catalogued them with full descriptions containing snippets, without which I certainly would never have come across them via Seax in late 2011. They swam into my ken only because I was trying and find out if Mary Shelley had written an anonymous review (she hadn’t) of a novel by an obscure Irish novelist called Mary Crumpe. When I googled ‘Miss Crumpe’ and ‘Shelley’, up came the Seax catalogue and took me to ‘Papa [William Godwin] has half fallen in love with Miss Crumpe’. On reading the descriptions I realized their significance, and let the beauteous Miss Crumpe go by.

I followed up this lucky hit with a visit to the ERO together with my husband, Keith Crook, who had grown up in Chelmsford, and had spent happy days in the old ERO as a sixth-former. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful and informative, and for a small fee gave permission to photograph the letters, from which I was able to make accurate transcripts. The result, with a commentary, will shortly be published in America by the Keats-Shelley Journal (vol. 62), though not yet (6 January 2014) announced on the website (http://k-saa.org).

The letters were written between 1831 and 1849. Eight of them are to Horatio (Horace) Smith and the rest to his eldest daughter Eliza, aka ‘Tizey’. Smith, a stockbroker, wit, and minor author, became friends with Shelley in 1817, and handled his money affairs when he went to Italy. After Shelley drowned in 1822 the Smith family befriended his widow. They remained among her warmest friends until her death in 1851. Some letters from Smith to Mary Shelley have been preserved and are in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, but there was no reason to suspect that any of Mary Shelley’s letters to Smith had survived, Smith having a habit of destroying correspondence, or, if they had survived, that they would be in the ERO. In fact there is no direct connection between Mary Shelley, the Smiths (who lived in Brighton) and Essex. True, part of one of Mary Shelley’s novels, Lodore (1835), is set in the ‘flattest and least agreeable part of the county of Essex, about five miles from the sea’, where, I am happy to say, one character declares that ‘the people are honest’—but that’s a red herring. If she ever went there, I can’t think when!

The trail that might lead a Mary Shelley researcher step by step to the ERO unaided by Seax is a broken and zig-zag one, though you can work out retrospectively the likely path by which the letters arrived. ‘Tizey’, a spinster with a formidable memory, inherited her father’s literary papers. She sold four letters from Shelley, but failed to sell those from Mary Shelley. She died in her nineties in 1903. As she is known to have remembered her only nephew in her will, I am deducing that they came to the ERO through her. This nephew was the pugnacious historian of Essex, J. Horace Round, whose father, John Round, Lord of the Manor of West Bergholt, had married Smith’s youngest daughter, Laura. (There is an ERO publication of 2001 by W. Raymond Powell, John Horace Round: Historian and Gentleman of Essex; this has more details about Round, his family, and the Horace Smith connection.)

The catalogue descriptions in D/DRh C102 give a good idea of the topics of the letters. There’s no mention of Frankenstein, and the snippet about Miss Crumpe was, of course, just a joke – nothing was going on between Miss Crumpe and Mary Shelley’s aged father! Two are about asking Smith to help expurgate a novel by Edward Trelawney. It contained shockingly explicit content (by 1831 standards), and the publishers wouldn’t wear it. Others are about asking Smith for permission to print a letter in which Shelley expounded his atheistic views. The letters show Mary Shelley in many lights – playful, charming, wheedling, fashion-conscious, anxious about riots in Sussex, apologetic, flustered, in pain. The later letters to ‘Tizey’ are in a scrawl – showing, sadly, the effects of the brain tumour that was to kill her. Some remarks give a different twist to received ideas of how she regarded Shelley’s satirical poems and radical pamphlets (she comes over as much more positive than has been thought). She is very proud of her son, Percy, then in his second year at Cambridge, and becoming increasingly politically-minded, as his father had been. His only fault, she says, is  – that he is too short.

To me, this is a prime example of how online catalogues of county record archives are helping scholars to ‘tread in unknown paths’, in Mary Shelley’s words. Many, many thanks to the superb ERO archivists!

First World War centenary – useful resources

2014 will, of course, mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The ERO’s collections contain a great deal of material relating to the First World War that tell us about life in Essex during the War years, and the experiences of Essex people service abroad. We will be using this blog over the year to highlight particular stories, so watch this space for those.

We are also planning a special event later in the year to mark the centenary – further details will be coming soon.

In the meantime, we thought it would be useful to bring together a range of resources that researchers might find useful for family history, local history, and community projects, both at the ERO and elsewhere.

 

Essex Record Office resources

You can of course search Seax, our online catalogue, to begin your research. A video tutorial on how to use Seax is available here.

Surviving First World War service and pension records and medal roll indexes are available on Ancestry, which can be accessed for free in the ERO Searchroom or at your local Essex Library

ERO First World War source list

Essex Sound and Video Archive sources on the First World War

Paul Rusiecki’s book The Impact of Catastrophe: The People of Essex and the First World War (1914-1920) is an essential companion for anyone interested in Essex during the War years, and is available to purchase from the ERO Searchroom, by e-mailing ero.enquriry@essex.gov.uk, or by telephoning 01245 244644

Impact of Catastrophe cover edit

We are in the process of compiling a session for schools on Essex during WWI – if you would like to book a session please e-mail heritage.education@essex.gov.uk

 

Resources for Essex

Now the Last Poppy has Fallen project

Now the Last Poppy Has Fallen is a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Essex County Council which will focus on the lives of individuals, families and communities in Essex during the First World War. The ERO is taking part along with 6 Essex museums, and the project will be producing a travelling exhibition as well as working with schools. You can follow the project on:

BlogFacebookTwitterPinterest

 

Women working at Hoffmann's ball bearings factory in Chelmsford, 1914 (Frederick Roberts Collection, Anglia Ruskin University, held at ERO)

Women working at Hoffmann’s ball bearings factory in Chelmsford, 1914 (Frederick Roberts Collection, Anglia Ruskin University, held at ERO)


Essex Regiment Museum

The Essex Regiment Museum in Oaklands Park, Chelmsford, tells the story of the Essex Regiment and the Essex Yeomanry.

 

East Anglian Film Archive

The East Anglian Film Archive has 200 hours of film footage online, including some fascinating pieces relating to the First World War, such as the following:

Zeppelins over East Anglia (watch from 18:30 for segment on Essex)

Women at work on a farm in Willingale, 1916

A roll of honour of men from Braintree who served in WWI

Presentation of a tank to Chelmsford, 1919

 

Chelmsford War Memorials

The Chelmsford War Memorials site details biographical information of the men included in Chelmsford’s war memorials, and is a really fabulous resource if you are interested in Chelmsford, or any of the men on the memorials.

 

Essex Branch of the Western Front Association

The Western Front Association was formed to further interest in the Great War and to perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of those who served on all sides. The Essex Branch of the Association has a whole programme of talks which will be running in 2014 which can be found here.

 

Resources for the United Kingdom

Imperial War Museum online resources

www.1914.org is the IWM’s centenary site which highlights events and resources from across the world. If you are running a project or event of your own relating to the centenary you can join the website as a partner and add your event. As a partner you will also have access to a tremendous range of resources that the IWM has compiled to help you with your project. You can also follow the First World War Centenary on Facebook and Twitter.

Lives of the First World War is the IWM’s major WWI online project, bringing together material from museums, libraries, archives and family collections from across the world together in one place. IWM wants your help to explore these documents, link them together and start telling the stories of those who served in uniform and worked on the home front.

Voices of the First World War allows you to hear about the First World War from those who were there, using recordings from the IWM’s sound collection. The podcasts can be listened to on the link above, or downloaded from iTunes, and include everyone from soldiers, sailors and airmen to munitions workers, schoolchildren and ambulance drivers.

Faces of the First World War is a set of photographs of WWI servicemen on IWM’s Flickr pages. These images are some of the first items collected by the IWM; in some cases, bereaved families donated their only family of their lost loved one. Some have only a name, rank and unit, so the IWM is asking for help from people to add information to the photographs.

The IWM is also in the process of transforming its First World War galleries to reopen in July 2014 – more here

 

The National Archives

Advice from TNA on First World War records

 

Soldiers’ wills

Search for soldiers’ wills on a database on gov.uk

Read more about the digitisation project here

 

Wales in WWI

Find out about the Welsh experience of the First World War on www.cymru1914.orgthis project has conducted mass digitisation of primary sources relating to the First World War from the Libraries, Special Collections and Archives of Wales

 

Great War Nurses blog

The Great War Nurses blog contains lots of information about women who served as military nurses from the Boer War through to the end of the First World War

The same author also writes about military hospitals and the Army Nursing Service.

 

Further afield

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website includes a database which lists  the names and place of commemoration of the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars.

Centenary News provides independent, impartial and international coverage of the First World War Centenary and Centennial 2014-2018.

Europeana is running a Europe-wide project to collect pictures, letters, postcards, souvenirs of other items relating to WWI. You can add your own stories, perhaps from family papers or photographs, or explore stories contributed by others.

Putting Art on the Map – a joint project between the Imperial War Museum and HistoryPin focusing on First World War artworks (PS, HistoryPin is a wonderful resource for sharing and exploring historic images – you can upload pictures and virtually ‘pin’ them to a map, and explore what others have pinned)

 

This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you have any other suggestions that you think researchers – especially those interested in Essex – would find useful, please let us know leaving a comment or e-mailing us.

If you do undertake research into the First World War using ERO’s collections we would love to hear from you.