Royal Naval medals: an introduction

This podcast from the National Archives discusses the Royal Naval medal rolls held by The National Archives in record series ADM 171, and explains how to interpret the most commonly used codes and abbreviations found in them. It also demonstrates how the medal rolls can be used to locate other records relating to an individual’s Royal Naval service.

Researching the British Empire and Commonwealth

This podcast from the National Archives is an introduction, using case studies, to the records of British government departments responsible for the administration of colonial affairs from about 1801 to 1968.

Prison: five hundred years behind bars

This podcast from the National Archives takes look at the changing nature of imprisonment over the centuries and the experiences of those who endured it, charting the growth of the national prison system in England and Wales from castle dungeons to purpose-built concrete gaols.

The Great Escape: you’ve seen the film, now hear the truth

During the night of 24 March 1944, 76 airmen escaped from the Prisoner of War camp Stalag Luft III. Only three made it home and, of the remainder, 50 were murdered on Hitler’s orders. This talk from the National Archives will explain what actually happened in the so-called Great Escape, one of the Second World War’s most infamous incidents.

Catching Victorian and Edwardian criminals on paper

The problem of serious habitual criminals and how to keep track of them greatly exercised the minds of our Victorian and Edwardian forebears. This lecture from the National Archives focuses on the methods utilised by police and government to record and monitor such offenders, and how the surviving records can beused by present-day historians to investigate both historical and contemporary questions concerning serious and persistent crime.

Finding company records

In this podcast from the National Archives, Historian Alex Ritchie looks at the distribution of business records and introduces the finding aids that are available to researchers, as well as revealing some of the less obvious resources that can be used to identify and track down business information

What can you learn from a DNA test?

In this podcast from the National Archives, Chris Pomeroy, of the Pomeroy DNA Project, reviews the history of DNA testing and explains how it can be used by family historians, as well as discussing the experiences of leading family history projects that are using DNA testing to link and verify their family trees.

George Ives: queer lives and the family

In this podcast from the National Archives, Cultural historian Matt Cook delves into the diary of George Ives, the early homosexual law reformer, and considers the issue of family, a pertinent and recurrent theme within Ives’ diary.

Somerset Voices: Froude Hill (b1899)

Froude Hill was born at Greenham near Wellington. His parents moved to a farm called Farm Estate at Fiddington in 1908. The first tractor arrived on the farm 1917. His father was only the second farmer in the locality to have a tractor, and older farmers were suspicious of the new technology.

Listen to Froude and read the transcript

Somerset Voices: Joyce Harris (b.1919)

Joyce Harris was born in 1919 in Congresbury, North Somerset. She spent her childhood years, until her marriage living with her parents, two sisters, and two brothers. Like many children in Somerset during the 1920s and 30s they were expected to do regular jobs in the house. Joyce cleaned and lit the range every day, cleaned bedrooms, fetched wood and scrubbed the outside toilet. On Monday – washing day – the women soaked, boiled, rubbed and rinsed the clothes with water from the well before putting it all through a wooden mangle. Tuesday was ironing day and they used flat and goffering irons. The sisters went to Congresbury fair once a year in return for all their hard work on the farm.

Listen to Joyce and read the transcript

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