The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 10, 2013

Booklet advises WWII servicemen in Britain

Any researcher who has/had a relative who spent time in England during World War II would probably enjoy reading an old book, “Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain.” Perhaps a grandfather read this book when he arrived in England. Dick Eastman’s online genealogy newsletter (Feb. 23) reviewed this book, and told that it can be found on the Internet at http://www.hardscrabblefarm.com/ww2/britain.htm.

The booklet was created by the U.S. War Department in 1942, “for all members of American Expeditionary Forces in Great Britain,” advising them on the “peculiarities of the British, their country, and their ways.” For example, it includes the interesting comment, “The British don’t know how to make a good cup of coffee. You don’t know how to make a good cup of tea. It’s an even swap.”

Many bits of advice are relevant today, and the guide even includes several differences in speech. “For instance, instead of railroads, automobiles, and radios, the British will talk about railways, motorcars, and wireless sets. ... A streetcar is a tram … Gas is petrol—if there is any.” This booklet is an important part of history.

Crawfordsville team

Free Photo Archives of more than 26,000 vintage photographs has at least one photo of interest to Indiana researchers — a group picture of Crawfordsville (Ind.) High School’s 1935 football team at http://www3.familyoldphotos.com/photo/indiana/26912/crawfordsville-in-high-school-1935-football-team. Taken from that year’s Athenian Yearbook, it identifies each of the young men on the team. With such familiar surnames as Brown, Bushong, Morris, Delp, Ross, Surface, Friend, Cook, Caldwell, Frees, etc., researchers may be surprised to find this “treasure” available online.

Be aware that although the site itself is free, some of the links may lead to subscription sites such as ancestry.com. Nevertheless, many clues (and photos) may be found at this free website.

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