A visit to The National Archives was always on the project’s to-do list, because it’s an incredibly interesting place and its  rich resources could allow us to research and learn more about the UK Armenian soldiers participation in the World War One.

Several of the project volunteers kindly decided to spend the part of their weekend digging through military records instead of enjoying the warm October sunshine. So after a prolonged catch up at the entrance and admiring the imposing brutalist structure of the building, we finally went in, armed with pencils, sandwiches and patience (no pens allowed!). img_3279While the archives allowed us to research a vast number of documents, see the digital copies, go through the medal index, check ancestry.com, etc – it took us some time to master the art of finding the right information. A few productive hours followed, when we discovered some interesting leads – including information about an interpreter named M. Abdullah, which is clearly not an Armenian name, but Helen and Vartouhie reckon the word ‘Armenian’ on his records might indicate not his nationality but the knowledge of the language.

There was also much confusion when we tried to search for John Arabian’s details as lots of information about Arabian Peninsula appeared in the search results. Although Jack was successful in finding his naturalisation records from 1907 in the end.

There was an opportunity to share impressions and findings afterward in the cafe and discuss the next steps. It was great to hear that everyone enjoyed their visit and were already planning the next one – here is the team just before going in!

Coronavirus Notice


Our charity is working hard to respond to the changing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) related issues. We do our best to continue to provide our services for our members and the Armenian community at large and ask for your patience during this challenging time.

Our staff and volunteers are working hard to continue supporting you in the best way that we can, whilst also staying on top of reducing risk of spreading infection and supporting our colleague who may be more at risk.

However, due to the current situation and in the best interest of all of us, we had to make some changes to our normal services. Starting from Monday 16 March 2020, all our services including the face-to-face advice work, the Parents & Toddlers Group, the English classes, Library, the elders lunch club and the youth club are suspended until further notice.

We ask that anyone experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or having to self-isolate due to being exposed to someone with coronavirus, does not attend Hayashen until further notice and call NHS 111 for advice.

However, as we wish to support you as best as we can, our advice work continues by telephone, email and online. You may contact us on 020 89924621 or use our website (www.caia.org.uk) to leave an enquiry or email us on info@caia.org.uk

Please let us know what other forms of communication are available to you, such as Whatsapp, Viber, Messenger etc.

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The main symptoms of Coronavirus are high fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of or changes in your normal sense of smell or taste, but for full details, including Government guidelines and precautions you should take, please search for “Coronavirus” on the following Government and NHS websites.




If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.

Misak Ohanian (CEO) & CAIA Board of Directors.           20 June 2020