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Western Front Association WW1 pension records

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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:16 pm

I had a (not-related) name in Ancestry's index UK, WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 to check. When I clicked the link View Original Image on Fold3, the cynic in me says it's no surprise that I got
You need a Premium Membership to view this image


What's really weird is that I can't even find the guy in Fold3's (appalling) search routine - normally you would expect to find him but marked up "Premium".

If you try to browse the Fold3, then you can do World War I / UK WW1 Pension Ledgers 1914-1923 and then I did Naval Pension Ledgers / Naval Pensions Ledger 2951-3200 (or whatever) and found the guy. Yes, he's Premium access only. If you try to search - again, it doesn't work.

So fundamentally, assuming nothing changes, Fold3 (not Ancestry as I originally wrote) are advertising The British Commonwealth Military Collection but not letting on that it doesn't include the UK Pensions records. Maybe they think that the UK wasn't in the British Commonwealth?
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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby ianbee » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:06 pm

I suppose that's one reason not to miss having Fold3, the terrible difficulty in searching for people. It's OK via the indexes on ancestry, but, as you say Adrian, no good for these new pension records as they aren't letting us have them!
My impression this morning was that these records can't be anything like complete even after this update. Going by what the WFA told us (6 million plus cards?)
I found just two people I know via the index, both of whom were fatalities, one them my grandmother's brother. But failed to find couple of others who also died. I didn't find any I'm interested in who returned home.
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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby ianbee » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:49 pm

JaneyH wrote:I applied directly to WFA for my great-grandfather’s pension records back in 2015. He was in the Army - he served approximately March 1915 to June 1916. There’s a wealth of information there - not only about his service and discharge but his addresses going forward, along with re-assessments of his payments right into the 1930s.

Janey, is your man there?
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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby JaneyH » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:34 pm

Just need to get my son into bed and then I’ll check!


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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby JaneyH » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:27 pm

Child in bed and I've browsed through the records and have found my great-grandfather.

It wasn't easy - what is the difference between Military (Army) and Military Army? Anyway, as I already have his pension record card I know it's number is 8/MB/6544 so I browsed through the section Military Army 06500-06599 and duly found him - Oliver William Bowdler, service number 17909. This record has six pages, and some of this is different to what the WFA originally sent me. Pages 1-2 are identical to the pension ledger record that I have. Pages 4 and 6 are blank edges of the paperwork, but pages 3 and 5 are small excerpts of something else with initials and dates. They don't appear to correspond to details on pages 1-2 so I'll download the images and keep them for reference, even though they mean very little!

I can also find him via a search.

What doesn't appear to be on Fold3 is the pension index card. On the index card that I have, at least, this record includes his next of kin and later (i.e. 1940s / 1950s) address, along with the reference number of the main record card 8/MB/6544.

Hope this is of help to those interested.
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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby ianbee » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:46 am

Hi Janey
Thank you for that, it was extremely illuminating. So glad you found him.
JaneyH wrote:It wasn't easy

You're telling me!

So we can now see the images. But I can't find the two men I had yesterday in the index on ancestry. I have found their cards on fold3 via my browsing history. No Oliver Bowdler in the index. It looks to me as if it has reverted back to only the naval pension registers at the moment.
Hope they get it sorted soon, but maybe the index won't be complete?
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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby MaureenE » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:22 pm

WFA article about the current release of records "in the lead up to the 11th November 2018".
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/ ... -ancestry/

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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:15 pm

The situation is confused.

I can now access Fold3 images for free from a search in Ancestry. (Logically that's all I need).

If I try to access directly via Fold3, the search in Fold3 is now finding pensions stuff but the column on the right, where I should see thumbnails, is saying "Oops, we were unable to load this record Try Again". In addition the numbers look odd - Ancestry finds 23 people with a surname of Bruce in their pension records. Fold3 shows "16 matches in 15 results" - but since they are all "unable to load", this may not matter. Ancestry's 23 may point to just 15 images, no idea...

Ancestry's 23 Bruces all appear to be in the Naval or Mercantile Marine sections - this may or may not make sense, given the complete lack of clarity over what's where.
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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby MaureenE » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:16 pm

A post on the Great War Forum says that the current release consists of ledgers and that there will be a release of cards in the New Year.

Also that the WFA will be issuing two articles about the records articles "tomorrow" including details of "some gaps (weeding by the Ministry of Pensions has taken place)"

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Re: Western Front Association WW1 pension records

Postby ianbee » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:10 am

AdrianB38 wrote:The situation is confused.
Ancestry's 23 Bruces all appear to be in the Naval or Mercantile Marine sections - this may or may not make sense, given the complete lack of clarity over what's where.

Confused, and changing by the day.
Adrian, the updated index on ancestry is now back. So there are many more Bruces in addition to the naval ones. Let us know how you get on!
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