Ancestral Rescue Club World War 1 Project

Click here to read our story on how we bid for and won Lottery funding to deliver our WW1 project

The publication of this book marks the end of a fascinating 3 year journey …

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Our exhibition tells just some of the stories that have resulted from the Tamworth based Ancestral Rescue Club’s project to help local people discover what role their ancestors played in the First World War.

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Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, our project enabled people who now live in and around the town to delve into the past in search of their ancestor and given the ten-fold growth of Tamworth since the Great War, the majority of the present population inevitably have family origins outside the area. This is reflected in the results of their research which reveal stories from every corner of the UK , and also around the world.

These are the stories of how ordinary people coped with the extraordinary events which overtook their lives a century ago.

Charles Grant Charles Grant’s ancestor, George Thomson Grant, left his native Scotland and emigrated to Canada in search of a better life…

Charles Grant & Sue Palin Charles & Sue discovered to their surprise they had a relative in common …

Sue Palin Sue Palin discovered that her ancestor George Ore was a career soldier whose love of army life led him to enlist no less than three times

Judith Grant When Judith Grant started researching her family history she was surprised to discover that her Grandmother had a younger brother, Bertie Joseph Beasley, a young man whose patriotic fervour lead to his premature death…

Wendy Allen Wendy Allen researched her Grandfather’s story and discovered a teenager who went from being a clerk in a Yorkshire mill to a battle-hardened soldier fighting both the Germans and Austrians.

Sue Purdy Sue Purdy knew that her Grandfather, George William Young, fought in WW1 and also that he was captured and spent some time in a prisoner of war camp. Following research she was able to find out the following….

Steve Killick Stephen Killick looked into his Grandfather’s life and found an underage soldier who was a prisoner of the Germans.

Mike Wright It was Mike Wright’s discovery that his father Frank Wright was illegitimate that inspired him to research his family history and uncover how the lives of his Grandmother Nellie Wright and her illegitimate son had been affected by events during the First World War. Mike also discovered that being in service at sea was full of perils…

Karen Talha It was a family wedding photograph taken in 1911 that started Karen on a tragic tale

Jane Mill Jane Mill from Tamworth knew her Uncle, Charles Craddock Keeling, was killed in the first World War and wanted to find out more about him and the rest of her father’s family. This is what she discovered…

Jackie Moore Jackie Moore’s research discovered three brothers in her paternal Grandmother’s family, Thomas, Albert and Henry Jarvis who went to fight for King and Country during the Great War, but only one returned…

Howard Pidd Howard Pidd discovered that his Grandfather and Great Grandfather were both keen to serve King and Country, but first they had to overcome problems of height and age…

Gaynor Dunlop Gaynor Dunlop decided to join the ‘Tamworth Families at War’ project to find out what part her family played in the Great War. She began by researching her maternal Grandmother’s side and found three brothers, Arthur, William and Charles Weldon, who were all old enough to have taken part.

Fran Taylor The Evetts brothers, as Fran Taylor found out, were patriotic men who answered the Country’s call to fight for King and Country.

Diane Rieborn Diane Rieborn discovered that several members of her Rigby family had fought in WW1. Two of them turned out to be brothers, the ‘bad boys’ John Thomas Rigby and Oscar Vernon Rigby. This is their story…

Alison Crooks This is the Great War story of Alison Crooks’ ancestor, Blanche Stables. Born in Hemingfield, Yorkshire in 1897 she went on to be one of only 57,000 women to serve in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) during the Great War.

Graham Blount There are no known photographs of Private Arthur Ernest Terry from Bolehall, Tamworth, who was killed on 17 February 1917 aged 32. But, thanks to research carried out by his Grandson, Graham Blount, this nearly forgotten soldier has now been restored to his rightful place in history.