Happy Thanksgiving

Webp.net-gifmaker (91).gifSnoopy’s Thanksgiving Dinner


To all my readers who celebrate Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving. Have a great day!



Healing The Wounds Of War

My grandfather had a cousin whose whole family was wiped out during The Blitz. My family had  suffered greatly along with everybody else during WW2. Yet this had not stopped my grandparents taking two German POWs into their homes following the end of the war whilst they (the POWs) had awaited repatriation. My grandparents had grown to be very fond of them both. My grandfather  had regarded them simply as two young men a long way from home. He had treated them how he might have liked a son of his own to be treated (had he  been blessed with one), if they had fallen into enemy hands. Eventually the two Germans were forced  to return to Germany. It had not been a prospect which they had relished. They had even  begged my Grandfather to help them stay in Britain. Unfortunately Granddad had not had the resources to help them.

I may write about this further in a later post.

Following their return to Germany the two POWs had continued to communicate with my Grandparents. I still have  the letters and photos which they sent from Germany. I never recall any family members expressing personal animosity towards the Germans over WW2.

Don’t mention the war-Fawlty Towers

Source:BBC Comedy Greats


However the contempt for Lord Haw-Haw continues  even today, 71  years after his execution. My father would imitate Lord Haw-Haw and his familiar”Germany Calling, Germany Calling,” and somehow this dark catchphrase had instilled fear in me also.

The Trial of Lord Haw-Haw

Clive Anderson looks at a variety of famous or infamous cases and retells the story that the case brought into the public eye. In this programme he explores the 1945 trial of William Joyce – Lord Haw-Haw – for High Treason. Featuring Professor Colin Holmes, Geoffrey Robertson QC and Professor Jean Seaton.

There is something deeply sinister about propaganda. Weapons may attack the body but propaganda attacks the mind.


Source:James Bond


An Alternate Reality

Who can forget Back to the Future when he manages to totally rewrite history simply because he lets a sports almanac fall into the wrong hands?

Updating my family tree, I fairly regularly discover I have given people extra children, who belong to somebody else or have attached a census to the wrong person and totally rewritten their whole life. Pondering that somewhere in some alternate reality, an ancestor has suddenly found their whole lives in disarray, can be disconcerting.  Perhaps they could avoid continually giving their descendants the same name or at least tack numbers(or better still their jobs) on the end of their names for the sake of some of we more challenged genealogists.

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Then of course there is the issue of photographs. Is it to much to hope that somebody somewhere in the future will confuse my photo with that of Cindy Crawford, at least for a day? When I first started on Ancestry, I had  happily added people with abandon from other people’s trees, watching enthralled as my tree had grown exponentially and the family members had climbed into the thousands.

(On occasion overlooking that there might be four people of the same name with the exact same date of birth etc, all  of whom had different mothers or more challenging still the same poor mother).

Well, eventually having had my fun, I  had been forced to go back to relieve these busy people of their additional offspring (among other things). This is reminiscent of some very famous criminal investigations which have found themselves swamped with data. I do think this might perhaps be a necessary stage but eventually somebody, somewhere has to cry,

“Enough!” and begin to methodically to sift through and fact check all the data.

My approach has been.  “Ok I’ve had my fun but now what can I actually prove?”

It can be entertaining to contemplate my ancestors suddenly unburdened of the extra mouths at their table. For example James Panton, the Town Crier had presented me with just such a dilemma. I could only resolve the issue definitively(I hope) by delving into the newspaper archives and  thus being  able to obtain a date of birth for the Town Crier. Of course, there is obviously still room to be mistaken, causing some poor guy who has quietly spent his life working on a farm, to find himself making proclamations in the middle of Lincoln, simply because he shares a name and a year of birth, with a city-dwelling namesake.

By nature I am  drawn to mathematics, where on the whole we can perform a calculation and obtain an exact answer. Logic puzzles have  also given me many happy hours. However people have consistently refused to conform to mathematical formulas for my convenience, so exact conclusions have often remained elusive,

In the meantime. If you are reading this in the future, healthy scepticism of my research is ok. However please feel free to let it go, if you fear you may have confused my profile photo with that of a renowned super model.

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