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Researching WW1 Soldiers? - Errors on IWM site!

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Researching WW1 Soldiers? - Errors on IWM site!

Postby phsvm » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:12 am

If you're researching WW1 soldiers to commemorate the end of the war you'll probably have seen the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War. If so beware as not all the information on it is accurate!

When I first saw it and it required evidence before anything was added to it I was reassured as I hoped that would cut out inaccurate information appearing. How wrong I was.

I am researching a number of men and coming from a small rural community many of the names crop up more than once in the local area and working out who is who is taking quite some time - relying on census returns, baptism records, military records, 1939 Register etc.

I am becoming increasingly fed up with looking on the IWM site to find someone has added comments about their grandfather, great uncle, other relative etc which is completely wrong. They've added the GRO birth registration and possibly a census return as evidence but had they looked at the military records they would have seen that the person they've attached the information to can't possibly be the correct man - military numbers don't match, the place of birth is incorrect - there is plenty of evidence so show they have the wrong person. I guess these are newbies to research, fired up with the thought of commemorating 1914-18 events but having no idea what they're doing.

I don't feel inclined to try and correct these errors - it's time consuming for one thing and I'm fed up with tree owners on other sites telling me I'm wrong and giving me tirades of abuse (even when I've given evidence to back up my assertions) - so these errors will remain.

What a pity that what should have been a good reliable record, from a body that should know better than to allow these errors to get though, we have another resource on the internet supporting incorrect and inaccurate information.
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Re: Researching WW1 Soldiers? - Errors on IWM site!

Postby junkers » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:20 pm

I agree but the records that have been used contain errors (quite often from The National Archives, ADM 188 - seamens' records- are particularly wrong) and I don't think IWM should be blamed for that. It is still a worthwhile project but as with all projects relies on accuracy, proof and the like, one of the pitfalls of believing online entries are correct, check the originals and don't necessarily believe it is right (e.g. Oddington not Addington as in the census), recently (on a family tree connected to my family) I came across a case where 10 children were listed mostly twice each on the basis of baptismal and birth index entries.
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Re: Researching WW1 Soldiers? - Errors on IWM site!

Postby Jethro Tull » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:59 pm

I would also add a word of caution from my own experience of researching military relatives, not from the IWM site but on the CWGC site. In my immediate family I have found an error for a ww2 casualty. I contacted the CWGC to inform them for them to update the publicly available details but they did not seem overly interested in doing so, the response was very much a case of 'the details were submitted by the family 75 years ago so it's right'. As mentioned already, check, check and double check all available sources.

Dan.

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Re: Researching WW1 Soldiers? - Errors on IWM site!

Postby phsvm » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:42 pm

Dan - if you feel strongly enough about the CWGC (and if it were my relative I would) contact the In From The Cold group -

http://www.infromthecold.org/index.asp

They have a section about amendments to the CWGC website. They may have a bit more clout than an individual.
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Re: Researching WW1 Soldiers? - Errors on IWM site!

Postby Jethro Tull » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:04 pm

Thanks for that phsvm, that site is a new one to me and I will certainly be contacting them.

|Many thanks

Dan
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