What’s On at Midland Ancestors –
Birmingham: For the Sake of the Empire – Kingsley Norris Memorial lecture
Sat 3rd February 2024 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm GMTFree
For the Sake of the Empire
Presenter – Peter Middleton
A Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone in Witton Cemetery marks the last resting place of a Canadian soldier. He had, in fact, been born only two miles away in Witton Lane, Handsworth. This is an attempt to provide an account of his life experiences (1879-1918) viewed against a family and social background which led him to take a leap into the unknown. Peter in his talk seeks to understand why James McNab took the decision in 1903 to leave his family behind and emigrate to Canada for a promise of a free grant of 160 acres of land. You will hear how Canadian resources, especially census returns were able to provide the means to pin-point exactly where he farmed. Learn how military records were able to provide a great deal of logistical information and help reveal the poignant details leading to a life of promise being tragically cut short.
The Kingsley Norris Memorial Lecture is always by a society member.
It was from a germ of an idea of Dr. Stuart Kingsley Norris, retired surgeon at Birmingham Eye Hospital, that BMSGH now Midland Ancestors, was established in 1963. As its pioneering founder member, after his untimely death in 1972, this annual lecture was set up in his memory.