March 4, 2019

I had always suspected that Fred Cowling's wife had died before he went off to fight in WW1. This was confirmed when I saw Fred's papers in the National Archives last October - he was described as a widower when he enlisted. But what had happened to his wife Lillie? Th...

January 27, 2019

I didn’t know how much interest would be sustained in the First World War after the centenary of the armistice passed last November, but I have certainly found that this year so far, festivals and groups are more than happy to be booking Conflict of Interest throughout...

November 10, 2018

Appropriately, as the centenary of the 1918 Armistice looms, I am making great strides with the research into my great-uncle Fred's war service. I am finally piecing things together, to understand where he was and what he was probably doing during the four and a half y...

October 27, 2018

The day dawned misty and cold but the cloud soon dispersed over the gently rolling hills and the autumn sun was shining and bringing some warmth to the air.

This was the morning of the day which I had been anticipating for many long months, a day I had told countless pe...

October 19, 2018

I have been based in northern France since yesterday, but today I took a trip into Belgium to visit the cemetery at St Symphorien which is just 2km east of Mons.

Mons was the first major battle of the First World War and many soldiers from that battle were buried in thi...

October 8, 2018

Last weekend I took another trip back to Scarborough, hoping to deepen my understanding of the family history by visiting some more sites.

One building I had overlooked previously was 95 Westborough. This was where Lillie Bell, the wife-to-be of my great-uncle Fred Cowl...

August 30, 2018

After 24 performances, Conflict of Interest has finished its run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It took place daily at Sweet's new Novotel Hotel venue on Lauriston Place.

Audiences seemed genuinely interested, inspired and moved by the histories from World War 1.

Here...

July 29, 2018

On Friday I visited the German military cemetery at Cannock Chase. Holding the graves of more than 2,000 German and Austrian military and civilian internees from WW1, as well as nearly 3,000 WWII and other graves, it was a cemetery I didn't even know existed until earl...

July 18, 2018

I'll be taking 'Conflict of Interest to four different venues in the Midlands and South East England between this Saturday and next Thursday, in the run up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The first venue will be the Rotunda Theatre at The BUXTON Festival Fringe at 2pm...

July 15, 2018

It was great to get hold of my own copy of Duckworth and Langmuir's book 'West Highland Steamers'. First printed in 1935, my copy is a third edition, from 1967. Listed in it is the S.S Dirk, the ship my great-uncle was serving on after it was requisitioned by the RNR(T...

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January 27, 2019