Aug 11 2014

Lives of the First World War

A new website has been set up by the FindMyPast group called ‘Lives of the First World War‘ (LotFWW).  Unfortunately this is a subscription site but subscribers to ‘FindMyPast’ are offered a free one year subscription. The basic idea is to link information about individuals, mainly associated with the military, that were active in the First World War. Most of the first set of records linked are references to the medals awarded to servicemen but they do include other records such as for nurses. The records cover more than the British services.

In my opinion, the website may be usable for looking up an individual soldier (e.g.) but when it comes to adding or correcting data it seemed as though it was designed by someone on their first project. To meet their desires I would be spending the rest of the year or more keying the data.

What I have done is to extract their records (based on the various spellings of the name) and matched these against my records. Out of the initial 180 hits I can identify about 150, although some records may refer to the same person. There are a few cases where the name is wrong plus one case where the person joined the army calling himself Baughan but at the end of the war said it was Vaughan (no birth certificate checks).  I’ve produced individual reports on the identified individuals. I’ve added a new entry to my website under the Genealogy ‘Military’ section called ‘Lives in First World War’ ( ). This contains a list of the names extracted exactly as in the LotFWW website. Selecting the ‘Rec No’ brings up a new page with further details about the individual. This page also has a link to the individual reports (in PDF format) that I produced and therefore you can find out a lot more about the person. If I haven’t been able to identify the individual or it is known that this person is not a Baughen etc. then it will point to a ‘Not Available.pdf” document.

As far as the LotFWW website is concerned I have set up a ‘Community’ called ‘Baughen One Name Study’. All the identified records have been attached to this ‘Community’. I’ve also added an external link to my website for each record that I have been able to match against my data. I have not tried to correct errors etc. or tried to merge information (e.g. where two or more records refer to the same person). Be aware that some of the information displayed on the LotFWW website may not be correct e.g. when a soldier has served in more than one regiment, and he gets a different Service Number for each, the Service Unit and Service Number combination may be wrong.

The LotFWW website is being updated from time to time and therefore I will update my data as I identify and match their records. In the meantime if anyone any further information that helps or adds to the information published please let me know at .

Jul 11 2014

Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire

Yesterday the AGM of the Banbury Historical Society was held at Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire . Our host, The Lord Saye and Sele, very kindly gave the attendees a tour of the house after the AGM. This manor house dates from about 1300 AD. As you can see from the attached photos that I took yesterday it is well worth visiting if you are in the Banbury area.

Jun 30 2014

Royal Navy Air Service

FindMyPast ( have just released some RAF service records (1912 – 1939). I found my paternal grandfather’s records. He was in the Royal Navy Air Services in 1916 and this merged with the Royal Flying Corps in 1918 to become the Royal Air Force. He joined the RAF reserves in 1919 and this is the last entry.

For info the number of entries for these RAF service records for the one name study split as:

Baughan     6

Baughen     3

Baugham    1

Bangham    1

Baffin            1

Boffin           1


Jun 30 2014

Petworth House, Sussex 2014

On Saturday we revisited Petworth House, Sussex ( . Caryl’s mum is 87 today and we went with her and one of Caryl’s sisters and her husband. It was raining on and off and therefore we just went inside. The grounds are marvelous but there is plenty to see inside.  Attached are some of the photos from the visit. It may look as though there were no other visitors but there were plenty (you just have to be patient and pick your moment – no tripods/monopods inside and therefore no long time exposures.).

All the volunteers and staff were extremely helpful, courteous and knowledgeable.

Caryl’s mum is the ‘kitchen maid’.

May 03 2014

Red House, Bexley, Kent

We went to the National Trust property called ‘Red House’  ( in Bexley today. This house was previously owned by William Morris (Arts and Crafts movement). Here are a photos from the visit:

Feb 24 2014

Warwickshire visit

Last week we had some days in Warwickshire. Here are some photos from the visit:

The first 7 are from Upton House (,

the next 7 are of Stratford upon Avon and the remainder are of

Packwood House (

The gardens at Upton House were closed (high winds) and Packwood House gardens were limited (too wet and boggy). We were fortunate that the rain stayed away although the fields were to wet and muddy for walks.


Feb 18 2014

Tessa Boffin exhibition

Tessa Boffin (1960 – 1993), the former University of the Creative Arts photography lecturer, who, before her death in 1993, produced work in response to the HIV and AIDS crisis. I’ve been told that an exhibition on ‘Cross dressing through the ages’ is being held until the end of February in Maidstone, Kent and includes some of her work. Details of the exhibition can be at

This is also a link to her archive catalogue

From the family history point of view her line can be traced back to Great Rollright, Oxfordshire (pre 1700).

Feb 12 2014

Myrtle Baughen Thanksgiving Service

Caryl and I were fortunate to attend the Thanksgiving Service for Myrtle Baughen at St James Clerkenwell, London last Saturday. Myrtle was the wife of Michael Baughen, the former Bishop of Chester, and passed away on 2nd January. The occasion was a joyful one and a celebration of an active and dedicated full life. A booklet for the service, which includes many photographs, was produced and is available by clicking here (thanks to Michael and Andrew Baughen for their permission). After the service there was an opportunity to meet and talk to Michael and his family.

Feb 03 2014

Boffin/Baughan Charlbury, Oxon to India link

FindMyPast have recently released some records associated with the British in India and linked areas e.g. Rangoon (Burma or Myanmar) is included. I’ve started to go through some of these and found the following link with the Charlbury Boffins/Baughans.

George Boffin (sometimes spelt Baughan) was baptised on 28 July 1820 in Charlbury, Oxfordshire. He was the first son of William Boffin and Sarah Burden; they had 6 children. Up until now I had no further information on George after the baptism.

On 11th December 1856 he married Rose Ann Duckworth at St Mary’s Church, Madras, India. Madras is called Chennai nowadays. I’ve found one baptism for this family – Sarah Rosa Boffin, born 21 December 1857 and baptised 26 May 1858 in Palaveram, Tamil Nadu, India. Rose Ann (the mother) died sometime before April 1865 because George remarried Margaret Louise Sherard (born about 1835) on 29 April 1865 in Vizianegareum, Bengal, India. George died on 5 March 1872 (buried 6 March) at Telicherry, Kerala, India – cause of death was smallpox. Sarah Rosa Boffin (the daughter of the first marriage) married, at age 16 years, Charles William Arnet on 1 July 1874 at the Madras Trinity Chapel in Madras.

When George was married for the first time he was 2nd Master Sergeant 37th Grenadiers and at the time of his death in 1874 he was a ‘Company’s Pensioner’. So far I haven’t found his Army Service records.

I have a document that lists Rose Boffin buried in the Old Protestant Cemetery in Agram, Bangalore, India (the cemetery was used from 1806 to 1866). The document doesn’t give any further information.

I haven’t found, so far, what happened to George’s second wife.



Jan 10 2014

Sarasota, Florida

Here are a selection of photos from our holiday in Sarasota, Florida in December.

The musician is Dean Johanesen ( and well worth listening to.