Searching For Walter

Searching For Walter

Genre: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Pages: 
257
£8.99
ISBN:
9781849633567
Walter Bloy, an ex-merchant navy officer, died in 1947 shortly before his son Stephen's second birthday. It was only in 2009, after seeing a television documentary about the role of the Merchant Navy in the North Atlantic convoys of World War 2 that Stephen was inspired to research and write his father's story. His researches, started initially to establish a claim to his father's wartime medals, took him on an extraordinary journey of discovery into the life and times of over two hundred years of his family's history. Not only does he identify his ancestors, he explores how they fared, within the socio-economic setting of Victorian and early 20th century England. Stephen discovered intolerable hardships, frequent infant mortality, un-imaginable tragedy, deportation to the colonies, as well as, evidence of insanity and committal to a lunatic asylum, two murders, prison, a possibly bigamous marriage, financial riches from ill-gotten gains, rumours of a curse, and a family connection to one of Great Britain's greatest heroes. The story provides an in-depth and illuminating examination of the fate and fortunes of a Grimsby working class family within the past two centuries. A warm, well-researched and fascinating look at a family history, which leaves no stone unturned, and uncovers surprises on the way.
Bloy Stephen

Stephen
Bloy

Although originally an engineer, Stephen has a Doctorate degree in Education from the University of Lincoln and, an MBA degree from the University of Humberside. Stephen is now a semi-retired, management, business and education consultant with a passion for history, especially local history. Since 'retiring' Stephen has undertaken several history related research projects and given talks on aspects of the social history of Grimsby, which he now see's as his third career.

Reviews

by
Miriam Smith
4
If you ever want someone to dig into your past then this author - Dr. Stephen Bloy - is your man! Dedication, determination, enthusiasm and persistence are all obvious and evident in his mission to locate all his family tree covering three centuries. This author has done and seen it all and is to be commended on his factual book "Searching for Walter" which he has written based on all his findings. Despite the family horrors, infant mortalities, sudden accidental deaths and murder, Stephen Bloy continued his search to discover who his father was and has written a fascinating book that's both compelling and intriguing. There's also been a huge amount of research carried out on the social economics of the years he covered, including poverty, housing and health. All of this appeals to me and was brilliant to read. Although all this had nothing to do with my family I truly felt part of the search - my grandad was also in the Merchant Navy in WW2 and I am fully aware of how frightening it was for the seamen during their time at sea. I also found Walter's time as an Merchant Navy apprentice very interesting as my son has just completed his 3 years Officer Training in the Merchant Navy and it was curious to see how different it was for Walter compared to today. It was a little confusing at times however, as the author will admit, with the number of family members having the same first name, but he had a brilliant way of keeping the reader involved - it certainly kept my interest piqued. I noticed that a part of the author's history was an epileptic relative called David who was accused of murder whilst living in a workhouse. It was interesting to see that this was the basis for his book "Damned Without Cause" that I have just finished reading and thoroughly enjoyed. I look forward to reading Mr Bloy's other books published - "Hidden Truth" and "John's Promise" and know that these will be just as intriguing and well written!

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