The March edition of The Genealogist has a wartime flavour, being published so close to ANZAC Day. It begins with the cover illustration, a reproduction of a World War 1 postcard showing the roles undertaken by women while men went to war. A group of fresh-faced girls are dressed as, variously, a farmer, a transport officer, a nurse, a maintenance worker and a postal worker. The girls are all sparkling clean, their shoes are shiny, their cheeks are rosy, and there’s just a hint of trepidation in their eyes.
In Thomas Forster – an almost forgotten hero, regular contributors Fred Smith and Noel Clark illustrate the short story of just one soldier who lost his life at Gallipoli. '…for many days afterwards on the ugly bare shoulder at the top of Monash Valley their dead lay like ants shrivelled by a fire, until a marine climbed out at night and pushed them down into the valley, where they were buried. The name “Dead Man’s Ridge” clung to this shoulder when its origin was almost forgotten.'
The mystery of the origins of an old lady are revealed in Old Aunty, an article which shows how much can be learned from the documents on file in the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages and the PROVic, and how surprises may lurk where you least expect them. Inquest documents obtained after reading a death certificate included a statement from a husband that 'after going to bed he had been awakened by a curious noise and found his wife lying on the floor in a pool of blood.' Gruesome reading indeed, but a sensational chapter in a family history!
Anne Major’s new column begins with a feature about the history of London in Roman times – 43AD. The article is accompanied by photographs of present day London showing some of the archaeological finds which underpin the history of the city. The wrath of Queen Boudica was awful indeed and London '…was razed to the ground, its populace slaughtered in the most appalling ways and only smouldering ashes left. Those ashes are half a meter thick under present day London. It is thought that between 70,000 and 80,000 people were killed altogether during the revolt, and Boudica and her army very nearly ousted the hated Roman rulers.' Read the article in full on p6.