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20th Anniversary Conference 2018 – Saturday to Sunday


Price is per person, so if  purchasing two tickets add 2 to your basket. If you need an accessible room or have special dietary requirements please specify in the customer notes box on the checkout page. If you are sharing a room please also state the name of the person you will be sharing with.


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The cost includes accommodation on Saturday, breakfast on Sunday, lunch and formal dinner on Saturday and all refreshment breaks.

Not a FIBIS member?   Join FIBIS today and benefit from the reduced member rate.

20th Anniversary Conference 2018 – Saturday to Sunday
Event Dates
Starts Ends Add To
29 Sep 2018 at 09:30 am 30 Sep 2018 at 01:00 pm gCal iCal
Venue Details
Hawkwell House Hotel
Church Way, Iffley Village
Oxford, GB OX4 4DZ
+44 (0)1865 749988


Researching the Indian Army in the First World War: sources in the British Library

29 Sep 2018 - 10:00 am

Since this is the centenary of the first World War, and since so many of our families have or had a military connection at some stage, Saturday talks will largely focus on military matters. These include the Indian army, recruits from among Anglo-Indian and India-based Europeans, the Gurkha Regiment and some involvement from current regiments whose earlier members saw action in India. We then move on to reporting, not of the second world war, but of its almost immediate aftermath: Independence and Partition.

Session Speakers

Image of Hedley Sutton

Hedley Sutton

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Hedley Sutton will advise on “Researching the Indian Army in the First World War: sources in the British Library". Hedley has worked in Asian and African Studies in the British Library for thirty years, and since 1999 he has managed the small team which provides the front-of- house and remote enquiry service for this part of the Library’s vast collections. A historian by training, along with his colleagues he deals regularly with a wide range of family history enquiries received from all over the world. He also finds the time to contribute occasionally to the Library’s ‘Untold Lives’ blog
Hedley may also deliver a tutorial session on accessing the India Office records.


29 Sep 2018 - 11:00 am

The Anglo-Indian Force WW1

29 Sep 2018 - 11:30 am

Session Speakers

Geraldine Charles

Geraldine Charles

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Geraldine Charles, FIBIS founder trustee, experienced researcher and speaker at family history events:  To mark the centenary of World War 1 Geraldine will report on her most recent project to identify Anglo-Indian and domiciled European soldiers recruited in India to fight in WWI and honours their contribution at that time. The project was inspired by a medal she acquired for her earlier talk “Poppy Fields and Ebay”.


29 Sep 2018 - 12:30 pm

Behind the Scenes at Who do you think you are?

29 Sep 2018 - 01:30 pm

Session Speakers

Image of Gill Blanchard

Gill Blanchard

01:30 pm - 02:30 pm

Lunchtime lecture: Gill Blanchard, member of AGRA, is an historian and full-time researcher, tutor, lecturer and author. She is an expert on family, house and local history, and has been a professional family history researcher since 1992. She derives great enjoyment from passing on her knowledge to other people and does so in an accessible way. Her talk will give us a glimpse of the work that goes on behind the scenes to produce the ‘Who do you think you are?’ programme. Subject to demand, she may also deliver a writing tutorial.

The Gurkhas: over 200 years of service to the Crown

29 Sep 2018 - 02:30 pm

Session Speakers

Major General (Retired) J C Lawrence CBE image

Major General (Retired) J C Lawrence CBE

02:30 pm - 03:30 pm

Major General (Retired) J C Lawrence CBE, military historian, author and lecturer on strategy at the Royal College of Defence Studies, will speak about Britain’s Gurkhas, from their initial recruitment in 1815 through to their service in today’s armed forces. He published The Gurkhas: 200 years of service to the Crown in 2015 and is currently working on a commemorative history of The Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) for publication in 2019. The locations of his military career provide a colourful backdrop for his works of adventure fiction which, perhaps not surprisingly, also include Gurkhas! You can find out more at:


29 Sep 2018 - 03:30 pm

Newsreel and Photographic Coverage of Indian Independence and Partition 1947

29 Sep 2018 - 04:00 pm

Session Speakers

Dr Philip Woods image

Dr Philip Woods

04:00 pm - 05:00 pm

Dr Philip Woods is a lecturer in history at the New York University in London whose specialisms include British Imperial and Colonial History. He has a particular interest in the role of war correspondents, newsreel and newspaper reports and will offer a view of Independence and Partition according to the visual record provided by British newsreels and international photographers.

Gala Dinner with Guest Speaker TBA

29 Sep 2018 - 07:00 pm

Goodbye Burma

30 Sep 2018 - 10:00 am

Picking up the thread of wartime experience, but viewed once again from the perspective of family and a distant theatre of war, the first lecture on Sunday morning looks at Burma.

Session Speakers

Jean Ellis image

Jean Ellis

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Jean Ellis’s family, like so many others, left their lives and homes in Burma when the Japanese invaded during WW2. In her book ‘Goodbye Burma’ she uses family documents, personal anecdote and detailed research to reimagine the experience of leaving at this chaotic and dramatic moment in history, the approaching end of empire. She follows individual family members as they ultimately risk a long and arduous journey to reach the safety of India.


30 Sep 2018 - 11:00 am

Talk and Speaker TBA

30 Sep 2018 - 11:30 am

Final plenary session

30 Sep 2018 - 12:30 pm

Session Speakers

Patrick Scully

Patrick Scully

12:30 pm - 01:00 pm

Pat Scully will run the final plenary session of the weekend.

Conference Ends

30 Sep 2018 - 01:00 pm

Photos from our 2014 Conference

Many thanks to Liz Chater for letting us use some of her photos taken at the conference.

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Please Note

Any Non-refundable Deposit or the amount paid will be repaid in full if FIBIS should cancel the Conference.

Otherwise the cancellation policy depends on when the notice of cancellation is received.

  • On or before 31 March 2018: For cancellation notices/refund requests submitted by this date, there will be a full refund of all registration fees and all additional charges, less a £50 administrative fee.
  • Between the 31 March and 30 June 2018: For cancellation notices/refund requests submitted by this date there will be a 50% refund (100% if we/you can fill the place), less a £50 administrative fee.
  • After 1st July 2018 there will be no refund made (unless we have a waiting list and can fill your place), less £50 admin fee

You will understand that we have incurred obligations to others based upon your registration, so please ensure you have adequate holiday/travel insurance to cover the eventuality that you may have to cancel for any reason.

There will be no exceptions to the cancellation/refund policy.

Additional information

Sat-Sun Conference

Single Room – FIBIS Member, Single Room – Non FIBIS Member, Double/Twin – FIBIS Member, Double/Twin – Non FIBIS Member


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