16 December 2013
Over the coming year we are going to be immersed in stories of the First World War, with international commemorative projects and
Over the coming year we are going to be immersed in stories of the First World War, with international commemorative projects and ventures, and impressive collections, such as the Imperial War Museums' 'Lives of the First World War', which will lead the way in encouraging us to preserve the memories and memorabilia of our WWI ancestors.
Get your stories published
But as family historians we'll be curating and preserving our own stories too, and a small, self-published book that arrived in the Family Tree office recently is a lovely example of the sort of thing that many of us can aspire to creating. Regular FT reader Paul Lacey has been helping his father, Albert, and his friends to publish a selection of poems and drawings that have been saved from a Great War nurse's autograph books.
The nurse, Sister Mary Hawkes, has no connection to the Lacey family, but once the autograph books had come into their possession, they knew they had to help save the contents for the future. Mary served in the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, and spent the first part of the war in France, before being sent home on sick leave in 1916 suffering from rheumatism (despite being only in her late 20s) and influenza, before returning to France to rejoin the Expeditionary Force.
See an example
We've scanned in a few of the pages for you (just click on each below, to enlarge to a legible size) to give you a taster.
The book has been published as a 153-page ring binder, printed on good quality paper, with a colour cover and perspex protector. It's not commercially available, but the Laceys have donated copies of their book to the Imperial War Museums and Royal British Legion for safe-keeping there.
You can do it too
Inspired to preserve your family stories? Our new magbook, Family history at your fingertips, is packed with how-to projects and tips to help you create lasting family treasures. It's available now in WH Smith stores priced £7.99. If you're wanting to write and publish your family history, our 'Write your family story' series started in the June 2013 issue of Family Tree and concludes in the Christmas issue, on sale now. You can download any of the issues right now from Pocketmags.com.
Find Family Tree in WH Smiths, leading supermarkets and all good newsagents, or you can download the latest issue as a digital edition right now – visit www.pocketmags.com, the App Store, Google Play or Amazon Appstore. Single issues, back issues and subscriptions are available for PC, Mac, eReaders, smartphones and tablets. A free sample is also available for all devices.