Shell Shocked Britain: the mental health legacy of WW1

Shell-Shocked-BritainKaren Clare delves into a fascinating new book exploring the impact of shell shock on our First World War relatives – and the legacy of a nation traumatised by conflict.

In recent weeks, as the spectacle that was the Tower Hill poppies captured the hearts and minds of millions, thoughts turned to acts of remembrance and the sombre 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. As family historians we are more used to tracing the dead than the living and the Great War centenary has provided a focus for many researchers, and the catalyst for others to learn about the lives of relatives lost in the conflict.

But what about those combatants who survived and returned home, traumatised by their experiences? What happened to them, how did the authorities respond and their families cope? [Read more…]

WIN! The Book of the Poppy

The Book of the PoppyWe have a very special book to give away this Remembrance Sunday – The Book of the Poppy by Chris McNab (The History Press, ISBN 9780750960496).

The Remembrance Poppy is a haunting reminder of the ultimate cost of war. This book charts the history of the Remembrance Poppy, from its origins in the battle-tortured landscape of Flanders in 1915 to its enduring relevance in the present day. It sets the Poppy in its context of tragedy and sacrifice, always acknowledging that our war dead are gone, but not forgotten.

Find out how you can support the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal at

[Read more…]

Lest we forget: Who will you remember?

Gilbert Blackburn

Gilbert Blackburn, c1915.

With the centenary of the start of the First World War upon us, the Family Tree team each remember an ancestor who fought in the conflict.

[Read more…]

Have you downloaded your poppy yet?

Poppy appeal appPocket App, the UK’s largest independent app developer, has developed a new mobile app in support of The Sun newspaper’s Poppy Appeal. Available to download on any iPhone or android device, the My Poppy app allows you to contribute to The Royal British Legion Remembrance fundraising campaigns.

Users can donate via text message to the Royal British Legion’s campaign to support UK Armed Forces, veterans and their families. Once you have donated, you will receive an in-app digital poppy which you can share via social media or download to set as your mobile phone wallpaper.

Your digital poppy will also be added to a virtual poppy field online, where you can see all of the other poppies and a running total of how many people have donated.

Paul Swaddle, Pocket App CEO, said: ‘It’s all about helping people engage with this great charity in new and exciting ways.’

Robin Garton, creative director of News International, said: ‘It’s great to be working in collaboration with an organisation with as much foresight as Pocket App, who we know work with and support many charities. It’s clear that the world is becoming more and more mobile-orientated and we are always trying to find innovative ways for the next generation to remember and show their support for our active as well as fallen heroes.’

News International’s Sun Poppy Appeal, My Poppy, runs until 11 November 2014. The My Poppy app is available for free download from iTunes and Google Play. You can also search for My Poppy in your app store. Find out more about the Royal British Legion and the Poppy Appeal by visiting

Family Tree December subscription offer

The-TrenchSave 33%* when you subscribe by direct debit to Family Tree today!

Plus get The Trench FREE*!

Try it today, quote code FTDec2014.

Go to to subscribe by direct debit or call 0800 612 8377. [Read more…]

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