This week saw US themed back to back research trips for the project, to gather more information on American soldiers in Swaythling, and the US Naval Airfield on North Stoneham Farm.
I visited the University of Southampton Hartley Library Archives on Tuesday 25th, to make my way through a large amount of Lady Swaythling resources. Married to Lord Swaythling, financier and political activist, Gladys was a prominent figure during the Great War, known for her voluntary and philanthropic efforts in the area of Southampton. Of her many roles, Lady Swaythling was involved in organising hospitality for American soldiers and sailors, known as the ‘British Godmother’ among American naval enlisted men. My discoveries about her will provide a real insight into the lives of American soldiers during the First World War in Swaythling.
(Photo credit top right: Photograph of Gladys, Dowager Lady Swaythling, taken by Dorothy Wilding [MS 383 A4000/6/1/5 f2])*
The next day, the student volunteers accompanied me on a trip to the Southampton City Council Archives, to try and shed some more light on the US Naval Airfield. Our trip left us with leads to be followed, and a good sense of what we want to be looking for on our trip next week to the Solent Sky Museum. Overall, an enjoyable and insightful two days of research!
(Photo credit bottom right: taken by myself, Matthew and Lucy at the Southampton City Council Archives 26/07/17)