Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Am I Mad? I am going to (attempt to) write a book: Wardleys at War

So, the plan was pretty simple - write a biography of each person with the surname Wardley who served during World War One. There aren't too many - so far I have identified less than fifty who served from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. And the plan was to self-publish sometime in 1914-1915.

I started logically - Australian soldiers first - with Wardley, Arthur. Makes sense - alphabetical (the country and the name).

But ... where do I stop? It turns out Arthur survived WWI, got shot, came home, married his English sweetheart (who came to Australia as a sponsored War Bride), and then he re-joined for WWII... So do I write about what he did in WWII as well as WWI? Do I only write a biography that covers the WWI years? Do I try to find out where he met his wife (personally, I think it was during his convalescence in England - but this is only speculation based on the location of her home after the war and his hospital records during the war).

Argh! So easy to get carried away! Ku-ring-gai Historical Society volunteers are doing an amazing project - researching and writing storied of all the locals who served during WWI. But they are limited the stories to 500 words, and the final publication will only include the stories of the men who never came home and the ones who were awarded military honours.

Surely, with so few Wardleys I can manage 500 words on each of them! I think I might take a leaf out of the KHS's book, and make 500 words my limit (or aim) for each Wardley.

Do you have any Wardleys? Please get in touch with me! I would love contributors for the Wardley One-Name Study and the Wardley WWI Project.

Are you doing a personal project for the centenary of WWI? Are you contributing to a collaborative WWI project, like KHS? I would love to hear from you - it might be nice to support one another in our quest to share the stories of the men and women who served their nations during the War. Maybe I can finally figure out how to use Google+ and hangouts properly!