Over the years I've acquired a bit of information about my recent ancestors from various sources and I thought it would be good to bring it together in one document. I like to know about where my people came from because their energies, ideas, and actions helped to make our world and are passed down to us in sometimes invisible ways. Certain traits - physical and behavioural - in a family were probably visible a hundred years ago.

Having said that, we are making our own futures and shouldn't become too concerned about the minutae of what they did. I badly remember a sentence written by Nabokov (possibly in his autobiography, Speak, Memory) in which he says something like: 'we are all hurtling at high speed from the top of the tall steeple of our birth towards the freshly dug grave of our death.' Life is brief and we should live it vividly.

But even in the midst of our own vertiginous fall it is worth sometimes remembering the people who came before us and without whom we would not even be here. The faces that look out at us from those black and white photographs, frozen in time, once had their own lives, their own sorrows, sufferings, and joys.

The Kent family in Jersey

Let Arras Shake - In Memoriam, Herbert Winter Potier

Interview with Allan Kent This is an interview I conducted with my father about his experiences of being a boy during the German occupation of Jersey.