We heard recently from an American gentleman whose father and uncle were in Kitchener. He has sent in a remarkable set of materials, including a diary account of Peter Weiss’s escape to Belgium, Kitchener, and the USA.
Trying to find some records for the family at the UK end of things, I looked up the ship list of names for the men’s sailing to Canada in 1940, when I realised just how many other Kitchener men were sailing on the same ship – the Cunard White Star – Antonia. In fact, the father of a family from whom we have already heard was on the same ship.
In turn, this led me to wondering whether it might be possible to establish some clearer idea of how many Kitchener men actually made it to Canada and the USA – using these ship lists.
It’s not going to be quick or straightforward, because the transcriber of these lists has obviously not regarded ‘Kitchener’ as being of sufficient significance to digitise the place name, so it will be a matter of going through many lists by hand.
However, this will provide an interesting means to cross-check the Kitchener list that we have – the 1939 Register. The Register is the closest thing we have to a list of (what we assume is) a majority of Kitchener names – although we know it is incomplete because families have got in touch with documentation, asking why their fathers, uncles, or grandfathers are not on ‘the list’.
It’s all fascinating stuff and – once again – this is history in the making: made possible by the many Kitchener descendants who are getting in touch.
Thank you all so much!