Having established that my client's father, whom he had never met, was dead, it might seem there was not much more to do.
Wrong. It's family history I was asked to pursue and somehow I had to trace the past of a Spanish man who washed up in an English factory in 1944.Finding out what brought a Spanish man to England in the late 1930s/early 40s might sound difficult, but wasn't with a basic knowledge of Spanish history, a theory, the internet, and a lot of luck and time.
Having found my client's father's death and marriage certificates, I knew from the marriage cert that he said he had a shopkeeper father in Madrid. His death cert added his birth date, as given by his son-in-law.
A search of Madrid baptism registers by a Spanish researcher unfortunately yielded nothing. The outlook was gloomy until I decided to work on the theory that this man had come to England for some reason connected with the Spanish civil war, which ended in 1939.
An internet search based on that hit gold within minutes.