Having spent many hours in pubs over the decades I have long been fascinated by their history and the people who used them. I wrote this for the Twentieth Century Society newsletter about fifteen years ago.
Occasionally one comes across records which can astound. One example is the messages dropped by both German and British pilots over enemy lines during the First World War seeking information about missing airmen.
Too many years ago to recall I gave my mother a copy of the ‘Good Loo Guide’. On clearing out her papers following her death I found the book. It reveals a side to life in London that hadn’t really been studied by historians. Naturally I wanted to find out more.
All of my books are precious to me. But some mean more than others. Top of the pile is Tracing Your First World Ancestors, not just because it is most comprehensive guide that is available, but more importantly, through the records, it tells the story of a few of the men and women who served during the Great War.
A new edition, which contains many more sources most of which are online, was published in April 2021.