Keith asked me to reflect on my research on the CHARIE story which is the basis of the website.
Our story unfolded from a mixture of research and the occasional slice of 1uck. Two examples of luck were the papers and photographs found in 1989 relating to great uncle Harry, killed-in-action in France in 1918 (see section 8 in the Millennium booklet ), and second, the article in a Canadian magazine picked up by cousin Alan in l988 (see section 5) . I cannot stress too much how indebted I am to all those people who have contributed in so many different ways to help add pieces to the jigsaw of our ongoing story.
Pre-WW2 it was a regular treat for sister Ethel and I to be taken by tram to visit great-grandma Elizabeth in Kennington, south London . One day in 1935 great-gran pointed to a painting of a bearded man, saying: "He's the Frenchman." (Sadly the paintings were lost in an air raid). It didn't mean much to a 5-year old, but now I see that was a seed which helped the growth of my interest. Dear old gran raised a family of 8 as a widow, survived 2 world wars, and was still cheerful on her 100 th birthday in 1946, a truly inspirational lady. I earnestly hope that someone in our family will be able to prove and detail the story of our supposed Huguenot ancestors, and learn more of their craftsmanship with jewellery. Has anyone got family-made heirlooms?
A family story is not only a backwards look to the past, much is happening now that must be recorded for future generations. I can vouch for the buzz of excitement in finding relatives in north London and Birmingham , and learning their news. Our story has its fair share of human drama - witness the opportunity I took to unite mother and son Florence and Leslie after 40 years estrangement.
Please play your part in supporting Keith to keep everyone in touch. Share your news; ask your questions, someone will know the answers. Yes, ours is a special clan of very special people - all of you, young and old, spanning four generations worldwide. It has been a joy and a privilege, to chronicle the past, long may the unfolding story continue, and the Charie clan flourish over many more generations.