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June 2024 Newsletter
published by Pat Hase on Sat, 01/06/2024 - 3:39

150th Newsletter

I was surprised when it was pointed out to me that this would be my 150th attempt to write a newsletter. I hope that you find some of my ramblings useful!

Facebook – Writing up Family History
There have been some interesting postings about the ways in which your Family History could be written up.  Probably as many different suggestions as there are people.  It seems that the best way can differ depending upon the intended readership.  Some suggested including information about how you did it, some started with an individual and worked back, while others started with the oldest ancestor and worked down to the present day.  Whichever way you choose make sure that all your hard work is not lost and is recorded for your descendants and relatives.
What do you suggest?

D Day
As we celebrate the 80th anniversary of D Day.  What memories do your family have of this time? Were any of your family involved?  I was only 4½ years old, but I can remember seeing American soldiers in Bristol.  Many Americans were stationed in Weston, and I believe some camped in Ellenborough Park during the day but went out to the countryside at night. Others were billeted in Hotels such as the Cairo, and some with families like the evacuees.

Looking through the Weston Newspapers I came across this article – and there are others. 

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  • Capt John Braithwaite lived at 35 Nithsdale Road.  I think his mother was a widow, Mrs Emily D Braithwaite, born 22 Aug 1887.  His father, Bernard Leigh BRAITHWAITE died just before John was born in 1919 – probably from Spanish ‘Flu.   I wonder why the father was buried at Bitton?  The mother was buried at East Brent.

Other Serving Soldiers
It was the first time that I saw my mother cry when my father was called up just before Christmas 1942.  Of course, I didn’t know then that she was pregnant with my sister.  My father was not involved in the Normandy Landings as his regiment was part of the diversionary attack in Italy on Monte Cassino in 1944.  Like many others who served he did not speak of his experiences, so after his death I sent for his Army Record.  When it eventually came, I discovered he spent his initial time in the Primary Training Wing. This letter had arrived at that time.   

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He wrote to me several times from there to explain what he was doing, and to encourage me to wear a gas mark  and to eat up my food!  He had previously served in the Home Guard.  He was then transferred to the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry at the Infantry Training Centre where he trained as a signaller.  I seems that my mother was telling tales!

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I have many more letters from him, even after he was wounded - several in rhyme.  Unfortunately, I do not have my mother’s letters.  I was lucky in that he did come home – so many who were part of D Day did not. 

Blitz in Weston
In October last year we were approached by the Royal British Legion to identify any relations or friends of those who died during the Blitz in Weston.  We know that not all the people who are buried in the Cemetery were from Weston but they are keen to get as many there as possible. As I was involved in designing the notice on the Civilian Graves Plot I am including this in case you might spot a name which rings a bell.

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Memorial Service in Weston Cemetery – 3.00pm, Sunday 9th June
If you would like to attend, please contact the Branch representative on 01934 709564 or e-mail r.potter60@talktalk.net

Saturday Help Session
A reminder that on Saturday 1st June our helpers will be at the Library from 2.00 until 3.30 to assist anyone with their research.  You do not have to be a member to come along.  The library has  a great many items which can be helpful as well as the ability to use Ancestry and Findmypast.

North Somerset Archivist
If you find a document that you wish to consult is at the Somerset Archives (not everything is available online) the next visit of the North Somerset Archivist is on Thursday next. Thursday 6 June and then again on Thursday 5 September and Thursday 5 December.  Sessions are open from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm, and from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm For more information contact somersetarchives@swheritage.org.uk  Let them know what it is that you would like them to bring to the library – use their online catalogue to identify the document. https://somerset-cat.swheritage.org.uk/

New Releases from Ancestry

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The Poor Registers for Scotland look like a complete set and some of you may also be interested in the England Cricket Players – I see that it includes Lauren Filer

New releases on The Genealogist.

New releases rom Findmypast
https://www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/new/womens-navy-coastguard-records With the refurbishment of the Old Pier you may find something of interest in these records.

Prices of BMD Certificates
The prices of certificates and digital or PDF images have all gone up.
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The online digital image at £3.00 (if available) is still the same as a cup of coffee!

The next Society Meeting
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 12th June and will feature the Agricultural Revolution  of 1700-1850 with speaker Jim Pimpernell.  It was important to achieve a high level of productivity and the old 3 field system was overhauled.  As Somerset was predominantly agricultural-based many of our ancestor would have been working on the land. As usual the meeting will be at our Lady of Lourdes Church Hall from 2.30 pm until 5,00 pm.  Visitors are welcome.

The next Zoom Workshop
I will be leading the next Zoom Workshop on Wednesday 26th June, and it will be about the Poor Law with examples from the Axbridge Poor Law Union and Axbridge Workhouse.  I asked last month if anyone had specific queries about the way in which the poor were treated but I had few replies or comments posted.  It’s not too late to add your queries if you have any.

Visit to Mendip Hospital Cemetery
In the last newsletter Jenny gave warning about a planned visit in September.  Have you all replied to her?

It is now officially Summer so traditionally family historians go off researching the areas where their families lived.  Don’t forget that you belong to a Society whose members would like to hear how you are getting on.  Please post your comments and advice to other members which you think maybe helpful.

News TopicMonthly Update
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Comments ..

Submitted by zumrob on Sat, 01/06/2024 - 9:19

Well done Pat - an issue worthy of being the 150th.

Your dad's poem refers to you putting on your Micky - I presume you were issued one of the "Mickey Mouse" gas masks that they produced for children. (Walt Disney has originally designed the original US version which actually had pictures of Mickey Mouse on).

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Submitted by Jenny Towey on Sat, 01/06/2024 - 10:36

...no, Pat - they haven't got back to me saying that they'd like to come on the trip to Mendip Hospital Cemetery on Sep 11th and see the museum about the inmates, have a walk around the lovely grounds and let me know if they require a lift...!

How lovely to still have the letters that your dad sent you.

The current issue of WDYTYA? magazine has 2 pieces in it from our members: the Star letter is from Amanda Lewis (we know her as Mandy Webb) and the Reader article is from Samantha Taylor - who I've cajoled into giving us a talk next year!!

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Submitted by John H on Tue, 04/06/2024 - 15:00

There is an exhibition of Photos from WW2 Weston Bombing raids4th June to 9th June only

on at the Museum 

well worth a visit several photos I had not seen before so if you have any interest get along there before Saturday 

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Submitted by LeedsChris on Wed, 05/06/2024 - 21:08

Excellent newsletter Pat.  You asked the question whether any relatives were suffragettes?.  Although, as a man, I hesitate to comment, it always seems to me that the advocates for the suffragettes have managed to write 'suffragists' out of history, so that now they are barely known about?  As I understand it the suffragists (those who believed in peaceful persuasion for votes for women) outnumbered suffragettes (who believed in using any means including direct action) by about 10:1.  There is a common argument that is heard nowadays that the peaceful approach got women nowhere and it was the suffragettes (with their direct action) that won the day.  Looking back on newspaper reports at the time the picture is more mixed and some thought (like 'Punch' magazine) that the direct action undermined the argument for votes for women.  Many of the arguments for the principle of votes for women had been accepted by the majority of men in late Victorian times (though not in Parliament) and after 1869 it is often forgotten that women (albeit only if they owned property and paid rates) were given the vote in local council elections, although still not in Parliament.  It is also often forgotten that even as late as 1884 only 60% of men had the vote, so we were very far from universal suffrage in the population at this time.  I guess opinion is divided on whether the very well-publicised suffragette direct action campaigns finally persuaded Parliament to pass legislation in 1918, or whether more important was the very evident fact that women had shown the country what they could do during WW1, where women fulfilled many of the roles that men occupied before.  Either way we then had the 1918 Representation of the People's Act, though it wasn't until 1928 (I think) that the franchise was widened to all women and not based only on a property qualification.  In summary, however, I would say 'let's not also forget our women family members who were suffragists and not only those who were suffragettes!

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Submitted by Pat Hase on Thu, 06/06/2024 - 10:50

Thank you for your comments - It was unfortunate that I did not include the Suffragists because I agree with your thoughts on them. However, the term "Suffragist" seems to have been used in many contemporary newspaper accounts to mean what we now think of as those involved in direct action. 
I also omitted to add that it was important to use that vote!  

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Forthcoming Events

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Wednesday, 24th July, 2024 19:30 - 21:30
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