16:15 - 17:00

In May 2008 250 WWI soldiers were uncovered in a mass grave in France. This led to the instigation of a ground-breaking project to discover who these men were via DNA testing, anthropological study and genealogical research. This presentation will talk about the project and specifically how genealogical work has so far helped to identify 144 of those men and give them named graves in the first military cemetery to be built in France in over 50 years. It will also tell some of their stories and give a brief overview of how to trace WW1 soldiers and DNA-appropriate relatives.

Michelle Leonard

I am a freelance researcher, genealogist and historian. I began working on the Fromelles Project in 2009 and was the genealogical consultant for the official Fromelles documentary which aired on Channel 4 in July 2010. I also personally featured in the documentary and attended the opening ceremony of the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. I hold an M.A. in Modern History & English from the University of St Andrews and a PgCert in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde.

Experience Level: