Feb 032016

When researching you have to keep rerunning your searches in the various databases that are being added to constantly.

We all know and love Trove which is full of treasures. The site is more than just newspapers with photos, theses and much much more.

My treasure yesterday was from a paper. New papers are being added and kind volunteers are correcting the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which can be a bit variable depending on font and age of paper.

My George Howard Busby was in the 15th Battalion that landed on Gallipoli on the 25th April.

I found this letter snippet (wish it had all been printed!)

Like a Hailstorm
The following is an extract from a letter received by Mrs G.H. Busby, James Street Kingsholme from her husband (Mr George Busby) who at the time of writing was laid up at Courtaulds Hospital, Coventry: –
 “You will know by now that the Australians got a terrible cutting up. Bullets were flying around like a hailstorm. While we were landing the water was white with shrapnel shell. Whole boatloads of men were blown up and sometimes a boat would come ashore without a man alive in it. There were six killed in the boat I was in – one was sitting next to me. I got three bullets through the pocket of my coat, but they did not touch me. We had to jump out of the boats up to our necks in water and make a bayonet charge. The Turks do not like cold steel. I was in for nine days before I got hit so I had a good run for my money. If it had not been for the battleships we would never have been able to hold the position. It was a great sight to see their shells bursting among the Turks. They would be coming up in close formation , a couple of shots would come over from the ships and what was left of the Turks would be running for their lives.”

STORY OF THE WAR. (1915, August 24). Daily Standard (Brisbane, Qld. : 1912 – 1936), p. 4 Edition: SECOND EDITION. Retrieved February 2, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179903211

Apr 132013

For those who have been following me the name George Howard Busby will be very familiar!

He is my great-grandfather and was the reason I started researching my family history back in 1986 trying to answer a query from my Mother. 

There had been a family split and she had never known her grandfather and she wanted to see a photo of him . 

His funeral notice seen two hours after his funeral showed he had been living for the previous twelve months within 20km of the family.

I have written about him a number of times before: here, here and here as he was a very interesting person who seems to know I am looking for him. He drop hints and snippets of information here and there to keep the chase interesting.

I did manage to find a picture of George in the Queenslander. 

This was back in the days before we had our wonderful digitised papers on Trove.

It was thanks to the fantastic Library staff at the John Oxley library in Brisbane. They had indexed the photos of servicemen leaving for World War 1 in the Queenslander and had written them up on a card index. 

I had come across another photo of George in a group shot of the Queensland Ambulance transport Brigade but George was not able to be distinguished as he was standing in the shadows.

I have a Google alert for George and regularly run searches for him.

Luckily Busby is not that common a name so searching as Busby, GH Busby, Busby GH, Busby G, G Busby, George Busby isn’t that difficult.
(Remember to search all variations of the name as names can show differently in lists,)

Today I struck pure gold as TWO images showed in a search.

15th Battalion 4th Brigade Military Band Ennogera Camp 1914

The image had the  names listed but not in any particular order. So I reviewed the image and picked this gentleman out as my George

In a newspaper report which mentioned that George was a drum-major in the 15th Battalion.

I was pretty happy about this and then looked at the second image.

This one is not as sharp but has a major advantage as the individual names had been written around the photo.

15th Battalion 4th Brigade Military Band Ennogera Camp 1914


So the next thing to do when I can get an afternoon off is to visit the John Oxley Library to see the originals and buy good copies.

These are both wonderful finds and prove the old adage of never giving up!

It is a shame that my Mother passed on last year and wasn’t here to share in the joy of this discovery but I am sure she is observing from above. Maybe she has even had a chance to meet her Grandfather at last.