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The final passing ends an era…

Sadly, only a week after the death of Henry Allingham, Saturday 25th July 2009 saw the passing of Harry Patch, the last remaining British veteran of World War I.

Harry Patch (1898-2009)Born in 1898, Harry saw action at Passchendaele and his experiences and opinions were such that he never spoke of the war for 80 years. He was interviewed for a documentary in 1998, and in 2007 collaborated on the book “The Last Fighting Tommy”.

His accolades include receiving the Legion d’Honneur (on his 101st birthday), Knight of The Order of Leopold (from Belgium), and on the death of Henry Allingham just two weeks ago, became Europe’s oldest man and last surviving WWI veteran.

Like Henry, I am unlikely to forget Harry’s passing either – it occurred on my 40th birthday!

“Lest we forget …

Harry Patch (1898-2009
aged 111 years

Published in: Genealogy | on July 31st, 2009 | No Comments »

In memory of a great man …

Although I have never been ignorant of such matters, it is not until one starts a (lifetime) project such as tracing one’s family history that the matter of the Great War, or any conflict for that matter, may get personal. I have come across ancestors who have participated, and some who died, in World War I.

On Saturday, 18th July 2009, Britain mourned the loss of a great man, a stalwart and one of a few remaining. Namely, Henry Allingham.

Henry Allingham (1896-2009)The sole survivor of the original RAF, and having recently earned the accolade of The World’s Oldest Man (aged 113), Henry was born in 1896 and survived the Great War.

Much information can be found about Henry elsewhere, and will not be repeated here. Suffice it to say, when asked a while ago how he would like to be remembered, he said, ‘I want to be forgotten… remember the others [who died]’.

This is surely what we are all achieving through our research and investigations into our family histories – remembering, recalling and reliving…

I don’t think I will forget, Henry… your passing was also my father’s birthday – a mere 80 years of age!

Henry Allingham (1896-2009)
aged 113 years

Published in: Genealogy | on July 21st, 2009 | No Comments »

Eureka! … A puzzle cracked

Following work this weekend, I finally cracked the puzzle of Noel HAUGHTON/HAGESTADT’s origin!

I managed to trace back to his grandfather, Henry HAGESTADT, born in Oldenburg, Germany in around 1806. He is believed to have come to this country with his brother, John Arendt HAGESTADT, but this has yet to be verified.

I would still love to find out when/where/why Noel changed his name to HAUGHTON. Mere speculation suggests the family had concerns over repercussions during World War I, considering his German origins.

Anyone any clues or be able to advise where I go from here?

Published in: Genealogy | on February 3rd, 2009 | No Comments »