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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree Christmas 2017 > From farm boy to hero

From farm boy to hero

Sarah Reay recounts the story of a relative who left the safety of his rural home life during the First World War to fight for his country in the skies


Freddie feeding one of the Hunters at his home, Rookhaye Farm, Bowerchalke

I was born a farmer’s daughter many years ago and on wet winter days my father would come into the house and spend his afternoons working on paperwork in his office. He never enjoyed the paperwork side of farming so he would easily and often be distracted. As I was an inquisitive young girl he would charm me with lovely old photographs from his archive of family history records. One of my favourite photographs was this picture of the little boy (wearing what looked like a frock) feeding hay to the white horse.

My father informed me that this was his father’s cousin, Freddie, who had been killed during the Great War. That is all I knew until years later I started to delve into the past, looking for Freddie’s story.

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About Family Tree

Welcome to the Christmas issue of Family Tree – we’ve got festive family history treats galore in store for you. Dive into our delicious feast of digitised documents – rare historic collections for you to enjoy browsing and researching on your device. Enjoy some genealogy jollies: a family history crossword, quiz and memories of Christmas traditions from centuries past. And last but not least, this issue sees the launch of the Family Tree Academy – this is your opportunity to hone your family history skills. In part 1, this issue, we’ve got documents for you to decipher, old handwriting for you to transcribe and a research case study for you to pit your wits against. Join in with our learning experience today to become a better family historian!