"History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation."
Yes, that is the rub.
I have physical memories of William Rigg. I shook his hand when dating my future wife. It was rough to the touch and his fingers were short in my palm. He looked me square in the eye and told me that he was chlorine gassed during World War I.
"Awful stuff." he said.
Forty years later, long after he was gone, we stumbled onto a watch that my wife had saved. It was engraved in his honor and given to him by his hometown of Kilsyth honoring his service and the earning of the medal for Military Merit. I found "The Great War Forum" and got help from others that led all the way to Stirling Castle and the Regimental Museum in Scotland. The curator scanned and emailed me a copy of the Battalion History for the 1st / 7th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
So "the inadequacies of documentation" are still an issue when trying to understand history, but with the Internet we are blessed with much more access to that documentation than past generations. The following are some of the websites that have been a great help to me while developing this project.
The Aerodrome A site dedicated to World War I Aviation that covers a wide range of interests including aircraft restoration, model building, radio controlled aircraft, simulation and art work.
The Cross and Cockade The First World War Aviation History Society publishes a fine quarterly journal full of highly detailed information and stories about aviation during the great war.
The Great War Forum An incredible resource if you are researching the genealogy of a family member that served in World War I. They helped me tremendously when I was researching the history of my wife's grandfather.
Kaiser's Bunker A reference site dedicated to the owner's love for military history and his pet, Kaiser the dachshund. There is a wealth of information and some great images that I have relied on heavily on the pages about the uniforms of The Blue Max
Rosebud's WWI and Early Aviation Image This archive is a huge collection of downloadable images of all things Military Aviation before 1920. Don't go here if you don't want to spend some time!
I am sure there are many others; please share if you think I have missed some of the important ones.
© 2016 thomas emme some rights reserved