There was a good crowd at the DLI Museum on 14 May 2011, including many relatives of men from 11th DLI in WW1. There were no less than eleven descendants related to Pte Robert Bennett, whose letters are such a singular feature of the book. Mike Lavelle, grandson of Pte Hugh Lavelle brought along originals of the images from the book. I was surprised how small was the certificate from the Divisional Commander commending Hugh’s courageous efforts running messages during the March Retreat. Moss Hardy, from the same family line as Thomas Thew was there. Best of all, I made a new contact, with a relative of 2nd Lt Thomas William Applegarth. Let’s hope that, as time goes on, this site becomes a focal point for other descendants yet to be discovered.
The talk was well-received, to judge by comments from people who approached me afterwards, and from the generous vote of thanks at the end. The message seems to have got over that this is not just another battalion history, and that it really does do something different, based on solid and deep research. Of course, these are early days!