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Jonathan told us that accessing records for the Second World War onwards requires contact with the MOD who will need proof of relationship so effectively we are only able to research the First World War.

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Different sources of information are increasingly available - newspapers can be a useful source of information and some of them are available online – these also come with a warning – it’s very easy to be sidetracked.

Older newspapers are often useful for announcements and court cases and more recent papers (since the 1930s) may contain more gossipy information.

Our speaker for the evening was Susanah Farmer, who is a member of the society and is also Editor of Ag Lab.

Susanah called her talk “Back to Basics” and its purpose was to encourage all of us to keep on researching our families by showing us the diverse ranges of information that are available to us.

Photographs of servicemen vary in quality but Jonathan gave some very useful tips about looking for clues.

He suggested that we learn to identify three of the cap badges (Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and Army Service Corps) as those three regiments accounted for a large percentage of the army.

Susanah knew that her mother had started a family history by asking family members to write down information: this information was of variable quality but there was one lengthy letter from he r grandfather that contained information that revealed a complicated family life with some unconventional aspects.

Some family members are still unaware of the relationships and Susanah urged us to be aware that some information is very sensitive and it may never be possible to determine the truth.

Members were told about future displays that the society will be involved in: at Walpole St Peters, the Heritage weekend (Leverington and St Augustine’s); in order for this to happen Bridget would like to have copes of photographs of weddings that took place during the two world wars (not necessarily weddings involving service people).

If necessary Bridget can copy photographs but she does need information about the people involved (names, dates etc).

The 1881 census was originally made available as a CD after it had been transcribed in America; Susanah could not find the family in the Downham Market area but eventually found the name had been transcribed as Danius.

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