On this day in 1938 Britain's then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from a Munich crisis conference with Adolf Hitler. Waving a fluttering piece of paper in his hand, he would claim, as he stood at the microphone outside his recently landed aircraft, bore Herr Hitler's name and his own. This he said he believed would give us "peace for our time". History of course went on to show that he and the rest of the appeasers got it very wrong regarding Hitler and that far from delivering any sort of peace, the conference was just a prelude to a war on a scale of which the world had never seen before.

I recently watched with interest as a giant 1666 model of London was set ablaze. From the comfort of my sofa and the incredible clarity of HD television, I marvelled as a 400 ft long wooden model was engulfed in flames.

War .... what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Or so Edwin Starr sang on his 1970 hit track.

Whilst the sentiment of his song was no doubt correct, to the genealogist, war and more to the point, war records are a rich vein of information. From service records, medal lists, war diaries and so on and so forth can be gleaned a staggering amount of material, data and statistics which allow the family historian to construct a remarkably accurate picture of an individual's time in the military. Even movements during campaigns fought in different theatres of war can be tracked by meticulous analysis of war diaries and battle orders.

It's a fascinating field for the genealogist who is not only working to identify ancestors, but to try and construct a portrait of their life and times. Without this a name remains a name. We at Grace Ancestry always look to provide as much information and back story as possible to bring your family history to life.

If you have or think you may have military ancestors and want to know more, contact us for a chat. In just a matter of weeks you could be proudly telling your family and friends about your forebear's exploits in the field, on the ocean or in the sky!

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