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Moyles episode - great stuff

Discuss the Radio 1 DJ's episode of the show

Moyles episode - great stuff

Postby Daniel Cossins » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:11 am

Well, I really enjoyed Chris's episode.

I'm not a big fan of his radio persona but I thought he came across as a nice bloke, genuinely interested to find out more and not too emotional.

More importantly, his family story took us on a journey through some really interesting social history and some fascinating sources, just the sort of stuff that makes WDYTYA? such a great programme.

Using the 1911 census of Ireland, which is available online for free (, Chris found that his grandmother lived in the slums of Dublin. This led him (and the programme) to investigate life in the slums at the start of the 20th century, including grim insights into workhouses, infant mortality and tuberculosis. All fascinating stuff.

The section on his great-grandfather, James Moyles, who fought and died at Ypres durong the First World War was equally gripping. To think that he was a reservist and yet he ended up in the middle of such fierce industrial warfare was mind boggling.

And the chap who showed him round the battlefield sites, Peter Barton, was great. Finding an eyewitness description of how James met his end was incredible and Chris's tearful response felt all the more genuine given his measured approach throughout the programme.

Every time I read about or see a personal story from WW1 I feel like I come to a better understanding that unfathomablly gargantuan conflict.

For me, though, the best moment was when the Irish lady who had the Widow's Penny (awarded to the family of James Moyles after his death in WW1) refused to let Chris borrow it until he had promised to give it back. Her genuine and earnest suspicion of her famous relative was superb to watch, and probably not was Chris was expecting.

A great episode, in my humble opinion.

What did you think?

Daniel Cossins
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Re: Moyles episode - great stuff

Postby pre1837 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:21 am

I too very much enjoied this episode. Never listen to him on R1, but thought the WDYTYA? was very full of good info and covered both sides of his family. A real eye-opener with the Irish scenes.

One problem I have found with the Irish Census is that it is split up into so many areas and sub-areas without, it seems, a general index of all the names as are the Engish censuses. Good that it's free though.

Looking forward to Kate next week.

We have started watching Heir Hunters. That's the way to find people with all their records!
Interested in the surname SNELL circa 1910, Middlesex. and Claudia Vail nee Snell, living and married in Canada from about 1912/16.

Any information is Crown Copyright, from"
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Re: Moyles episode - great stuff

Postby Carol Ann » Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:48 pm

Yes, it was 'Great Stuff'.
I knew he was a celebrity but only heard of him
and never seen him or knew anything about him but I think he gained
many new fans after last night's show.
He was great and showed real interest in every section of the family.
Excellent coverage of the research facilities used.
It is a pity the program isn't longer, mustn't get greedy, there are always
so many family lines which there is not enough time to follow.
The show felt as if it were more 'getting back to basics' but it is nice
to have a glamorous one, thrown in for good measure, now and again.
Looking forward to next weeks.
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Re: Moyles episode - great stuff

Postby colliehouse » Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:39 pm

I too really enjoyed the programme. Ashamed to say I found that his reaction to finding his name referred to a bald man was really funny. It was fascinating to hear about the reservists as I knew nothing about that.
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Re: Moyles episode - great stuffMayo Memorial

Postby martincoyle » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:43 pm

Hi Chris and Chris’s Dad I thought you might like this Your G-Grandfather James Moyles is etched on the Wall At Castlebar County Mayo Ireland Contact
The County Mayo Memorial and Peace Park, Castlebar, Republic of Ireland
From Martin Coyle
Last edited by martincoyle on Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Moyles episode - great stuff

Postby matholwch » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:19 am

If anyone had reason to be proud of his parents and grandparents for all they had achieved Chris has every right. Even by Irish standards Chris' family were poor and service in the Army was a means of escape. Nice detail relevant to Chris and many others and worth emphasizing is that if you are from an Irish background there will be records in Britian that will important for your research. In Chris' case it was his grandmother's birth in Aldershot but in other cases it could be a family had moved to Dublin the Irish census just gives their county of birth but the military records are far more precise and will give parish and townland. The same applies to a greater or lesser extent to other some other occupations, Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, Postmen etc.

The 'discovery' of the map should be no surprise the Irhs Ordnance Survey records are complete and much better than those for England and Wales. The entire country had been surveyed in the 1830's and large scale maps produced and these were used as a basis for a national valuation and rating system often called Griffith's Valuation. The valuation is often called a census substitute but that is incorrect as only those who paid rates appear in the records and subsequent rate books or cancellation books. For the Dublin slum where Chris's family were living the map accurately shows the location, the rate book will probably only name the landlord. I suspect the same would be true for his family in Ballina, though this is always worth checking.

The pre 1870's registers of the Roman Catholic church are available on microfilm at the National Library of Ireland but I understand that some are now available through the Society of Genealogists in London but you may have to pay for a copy of the film. Sometimes you will know an ancestor by one name only to discover his or her name is different on their birth certificate or baptism certificate. Others used their date of baptism as their date of birth and Britain's ONS will refuse you a death certificate if you supply the wrong details even though you know it is the right one.

Excellent additions to this block with extra information local knowledge is really important in Ireland
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Re: Moyles episode - great stuff

Postby storyteller » Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:52 pm

Certainly was 'Great Stuff', watching this episode. As others have said, I too am not a fan of Chris Moyles but thought he showed a genuine interest in all the details of his family research.

It was educational aswel as entertaining viewing. Well done to all involved.

Looking forward to the next episode.
Researching :- Kelley, Greenwood, Buckley, Loring,

Gooch, Rogers, Nicklen, Clarke, Hull and more ,lol
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Re: Moyles episode - great stuff

Postby john040965 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:23 pm

Great Programme

As it had me wondering: as my aunt was Friends for many years with a Guy called James Moyles, also from Ballina. But Unfortuately, This James Moyles, died about 4 Years ago in London
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Re: Moyles episode - great stuff

Postby Baggybooks » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:24 pm

What happened to the other great grandfather, the soldier in Aldershot? It wasn't explained what happened to him after his wife returned to Dublin.
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Re: Moyles episode - great stuff

Postby Emz05 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:47 pm

I think was a very good episode!

Moyles always come across funny and big headed on his radio show, but thats why I love him and millions others love him, but to see him become emotional standing in the field where his grandfather died, it showed him in a different light.

Another good episode :D
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