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Google Tour Builder telling John Wilson MMs WWI story from DLI, to MGC to RFC and the RAF

https://tourbuilder.withgoogle.com/tour/ahJzfmd3ZWItdG91cmJ1aWxkZXJyEQsSBFRvdXIYgIDgoIyIngsM

Hoping you can view this. I kind of interactive slideshow pinned to a map. In this case I roughly trace my grandather's war years, from growing up in County Durham (Shotley Bridge) to enlisting with the Durham Light Infantry, transfer to the Machine Gun Corps, then experience on the Western Front, surviging Neuve Chappelle, the Somme and Third Ypres. 

On 27th December 1917 his transfer papers came through and he joined the Royal Flying Corps (his kid brother had joined as mechanic the summer before and had then gained a commission as a bomber pilot). 

He then moved around from Hastings, to Bristol, and Uxbridge ending up with flight training out of RAF Crail, Fife from September 1918 to November 1918. He remaiend in Crail during the demob until May 1919.

Sadly his brother was killed that summer flying mail over Belgium to Germany. 

Only in 1992 did Jack return to Ypres, retracing his steps with the author Lyn Macdonald and paying his respects to his friends who had died at the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot Cemetery. 

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On knowing exactly where your grandfather or great-grandfather was day-by-day during the First World War

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014, 19:23

Fig.1 35th Division, July-August, 1916. Battle of the Somme

This is from a minutely detailed 'Tartan': a 1916 sheet of squared paper carefully coloured in to show where every division was day by day from July through to October 1916. It interests me as although my late grandfather never kept a diary nor did his letters home survive, he recorded with me over three hours of memoir. He remarked once that he had no idea where he was on his 21st Birthday: I could now tell him - he was on the move from the night before, coming out of Corps Reserve and heading back into the Front Line on the Somme. Here he would keep his machine gun 'in action' while having the misfortune of finding a head in a Piklehaube helmet he dug out thinking it would make a nice souvenir.

 

Fig. 2. Mapping the First World War: Battlefields of the great conflict from above

Fascinating how so much information, here placing hundreds of thousands of soldiers day by day on the western front. 

 

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