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Wrong name on CWGC


Wally Watkivs
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Hi, I am looking for help if anyone has had experience of getting the CWGC to correct an error. My uncle Private Arthur Wilson Watkivs, service number G/47985, is wrongly listed on the current CWGC website but was correctly listed when I first found him in 2001. Can anyone help?

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I`d write to the Commonweath War Graves and get them to adjust the typo on their database. You should find contact details on their web site.

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I've found the CWGC happy to correct mistakes as long as you can provide the appropriate evidence to support your case. They corrected one man's commemoration on Pozieres Memorial that I brought to their attention some years back and even sent me photographs of the finished job. As Yellow says, write to them and I'm sure you'll receive a positive response.

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This may be a simple scanning error which CWGC can easily correct if you contact them.

I presume that it is the surname which you believe to be wrong - showing as Watkins not Watkivs?

If so, this may be more problematical. CWGC next of kin information, which normally survives the scanning process, also has the name as Watkins. As does his medal index card at the National Archives. Even if the true family name was Watkivs, if he served as Watkins then this the name the Commission will commemorate.

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He is on SDGW and his MIC as Watkins. I can't find a birth registered to him under Watkivs.

Mick

There is a marriage though.

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When I first contacted the CWGC back in the early 90`s to enquire about my great uncle, I was told that he was in the 180th Brigade, RFA. This was correct as subsequent research has proven. The CWGC website however, has him listed as 160th Brigade, probably a simple error by whoever typed in the info.

I contacted the CWGC back in October, received an acknowledgement, but last time I looked the details have not yet been corrected. It`s no big issue, but I would like to see it put right at some time in the not too distant future.

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This issue is now being discussed on three threads.

This one, here and here.

Garry

Looking at the second thread you have posted, I wonder if someone from here has contacted CWGC and 'put right' or actually 'put wrong' the name. Intriguing that it was originally correct. Anyone owning up?

Mick

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Looking at the second thread you have posted, I wonder if someone from here has contacted CWGC and 'put right' or actually 'put wrong' the name. Intriguing that it was originally correct. Anyone owning up?

Mick

I am "owning up" to the fact that based on SDGW and MIC I asked Terry Denham to see whether the CWGC would correct what appeared to be a typo.

Based on the information supplied by Wally, it should not be a major issue for them to revert to the original.

Peter

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I have traced the paper trail now!

CWGC amended the name in November after comparing various documents. It seems that other sources have WATKINS.

I have asked them to look again in light of what Wally Watkivs has said above.

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I am "owning up" to the fact that based on SDGW and MIC I asked Terry Denham to see whether the CWGC would correct what appeared to be a typo.

Based on the information supplied by Wally, it should not be a major issue for them to revert to the original.

Peter

I have written to the CWGC enclosing acopy of the original information on their site and have recieved an acknowledgement saying I wil recieve a fuller reply in 6-8 weeks, so here's hoping.

I had an experience during my service with the RAF of an over zealous or maybe careles clerk in the Orderly office changing my name when I was posted to another station. I had to make a statutory declaration before a Commisioner for Oaths to get it corrected. The problem with an unusual variation of a name.

Wally

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The problem with an unusual variation of a name.

Is Watkivs in fact a variation of Watkins, Wally, or does it have an entirely different derivation? As a translator, editor and proofreader, this case will make me doubly cautious about names that are 'obviously wrong' in the future. Where it is possible to check with another source, I always do so, but where there is none I would have gone with my instinct and changed it. Of course, in this case checking with other sources confirmed the wrong spelling anyway ...

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Is Watkivs in fact a variation of Watkins, Wally, or does it have an entirely different derivation? As a translator, editor and proofreader, this case will make me doubly cautious about names that are 'obviously wrong' in the future. Where it is possible to check with another source, I always do so, but where there is none I would have gone with my instinct and changed it. Of course, in this case checking with other sources confirmed the wrong spelling anyway ...

It is a variation of Watkins. My great grandfater, born1814, started it by registering his children as Watkivs, presumably someone miss read copperplate writing. He was born in Gloucestershire, but in one cencus return Llandovery is mentioned which I think confirms that it was Watkins originally. Wally.

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  • 7 years later...
Help. I have sent the following email to C.W.Graves three times since February, and received two acknowledgements, but as yet no answer to my question
Mrs J. Withers.
I have a problem with another man in my files. George Kenyon.
Pte. 38629 East Lancs died 10-11-1918. no known grave. Karackchi Memorial Pakistan.
Pte. 176574. Machine Gun Corps died 10-11-1918, no known grave. Basra Memorial Mesop.
Both service numbers are the same man confirmed by his medal card.
S.D.G.War also records him as formerly 38629 6th East Lancs died 10-11-1918 France.
That's a good one as the 6th E.L. never served in France.
Could you please confirm whether he died in Mesop or India.

what also puzzles me if he died rather than killed why is he on memorials.
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  • Admin
Help. I have sent the following email to C.W.Graves three times since February, and received two acknowledgements, but as yet no answer to my question
Mrs J. Withers.
I have a problem with another man in my files. George Kenyon.
Pte. 38629 East Lancs died 10-11-1918. no known grave. Karackchi Memorial Pakistan.
Pte. 176574. Machine Gun Corps died 10-11-1918, no known grave. Basra Memorial Mesop.
Both service numbers are the same man confirmed by his medal card.
S.D.G.War also records him as formerly 38629 6th East Lancs died 10-11-1918 France.
That's a good one as the 6th E.L. never served in France.
Could you please confirm whether he died in Mesop or India.

what also puzzles me if he died rather than killed why is he on memorials.

The Soldiers Effects have 38629 as dying on 10/11/18 in India - no reason given and 176574 as dying in 'Abbotabad' (India as well ?) on 10/11/18. Both records have been cross-referenced in the registers so refer to the same man.

Craig

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The Soldiers Effects have 38629 as dying on 10/11/18 in India - no reason given and 176574 as dying in 'Abbotabad' (India as well ?) on 10/11/18. Both records have been cross-referenced in the registers so refer to the same man.

Craig

Thanks Craig.

I will add that to his file in my records, my main beef is why no answer from C.W.Graves, and what happened to his body, surely he should have a grave.

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Tricky question as to whether he has a grave.

Many of the burials in Mespotamia were never properly marked and were subsequently lost. As such names are on the Basra memorial. Slightly different for deaths in what was then India. Most would have known graves but many are no longer maintained by the Commission as they are not readily accessible.

Of course, the Commission should know what is the situation re Kenyon. Responses on non-urgent queries such as this can take several months but my experience ios that the Commission gets you a reply eventually.

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Tricky question as to whether he has a grave.

Many of the burials in Mespotamia were never properly marked and were subsequently lost. As such names are on the Basra memorial. Slightly different for deaths in what was then India. Most would have known graves but many are no longer maintained by the Commission as they are not readily accessible.

Of course, the Commission should know what is the situation re Kenyon. Responses on non-urgent queries such as this can take several months but my experience ios that the Commission gets you a reply eventually.

Hi John,

I'm not hopefull of receiving a reply from them. Several times over the past 20 years of researching the 12500 and odd men in my patch, I have seen several errors on Grave Markers, Surname spellings, and numerical errors. they don't seem to like these clangers being pointed out, and as every thing should by now be computerised, it shouldn't take months.

I have had a 10 year battle with them to get an Accrington Pal (K-I-A 1-07-16) on the Thiepval Memorial, said I would have to provide a death cert, arrogant sods, I checked the micro fiche of death certs in our local library and there are 100's missing, I even have a mans sevice records, on which is written a death certificate will not be provided. Now after all this time, I have been informed he will be added, thanks to the In From The Cold.

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I have seen several errors on Grave Markers, Surname spellings, and numerical errors. they don't seem to like these clangers being pointed out

Such a massive undertaking as the CWGC database will inevitably have tens if not hundreds of thousands of errors.

Many of these will have entered the database at the time of the soldier's death 100 years ago.

There will be a myriad of reasons how these errors came about, but I'm glad that I didn't have to take part in such a massive data gathering excercise under such horrific circumstances.

I think you should revise your use of the word "clangers".

I have had a 10 year battle with them to get an Accrington Pal (K-I-A 1-07-16) on the Thiepval Memorial, said I would have to provide a death cert, arrogant sods

I think you can guess what my advice to you is going to be with regard to your choice of language...

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I think it is called "attraction" when a rare surname becomes drawn to a commoner one. Sullahan in Ireland died out, or became Sullivan. I had a relative down on CWGC headstone as "Fufry" whereas he was Fur(e)y enlisted as Fuery. They amended it to the best of my knowledge. Another family member was Malachy Furey, nicknamed Alec and down on some records as Alexander.

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Hi John,

I'm not hopefull of receiving a reply from them. Several times over the past 20 years of researching the 12500 and odd men in my patch, I have seen several errors on Grave Markers, Surname spellings, and numerical errors. they don't seem to like these clangers being pointed out, and as every thing should by now be computerised, it shouldn't take months.

I have had a 10 year battle with them to get an Accrington Pal (K-I-A 1-07-16) on the Thiepval Memorial, said I would have to provide a death cert, arrogant sods, I checked the micro fiche of death certs in our local library and there are 100's missing, I even have a mans sevice records, on which is written a death certificate will not be provided. Now after all this time, I have been informed he will be added, thanks to the In From The Cold.

I presume In From the Cold will have submitted a death certificate. It's pretty much a given that one is required for overseas deaths. With most of our submissions, the overseas death certificate was acceptable evidence on its own that death had occured. However, in the last couple of years, errors in the listings have revealed that a few death certificates were issued and the "deceased" was later found to be alive. As such, CWGC and the NAM now require at least one additional piece of evidence, along with the certificate - a medal roll entry, for example.

From time to time, the Project has made submissions without a certificate but, in those cases, we have needed to submit a good range of documentary evidence to substantiate the claim. That's usually included all of - service papers, SDGW, MIC & medal roll. Where we've found it, we've also added in local newspaper reports of the death, etc (although, on their own, they are not sufficient evidence).

FWIW, having cross-checked all of SDGW/ODGW, the air and sea equivalents and the overseas military death register , against CWGC records, the Project is as confident as we can be that we have discovered all in-service deaths. A few are bound to have slipped through the net, due to either a checking error or a lack of supporting documentation - but I'm confident it is only a very few.

John

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Perhaps you are a bit too trenchant in your opinions, Walter?

A little understanding the CWGC probably has hundreds of enquiries and a small staff to deal with them. Many may involve searching through paper archives for original documentation to ensure that any errors are just that, not unusual surnames such as the original post was about.

That was corrected as it seemed an obvious typo, but we now know that it was the right spelling originally!

You and your friend have spent many years collating info on Accrington Pals, but what happens to that vast repository were you to die?

Will it be lost or made available via Accrington History Society or published?

It's all very well carrying the torch for these lads but once you're gone, what happens?

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Perhaps you are a bit too trenchant in your opinions, Walter?

A little understanding the CWGC probably has hundreds of enquiries and a small staff to deal with them. Many may involve searching through paper archives for original documentation to ensure that any errors are just that, not unusual surnames such as the original post was about.

That was corrected as it seemed an obvious typo, but we now know that it was the right spelling originally!

You and your friend have spent many years collating info on Accrington Pals, but what happens to that vast repository were you to die?

Will it be lost or made available via Accrington History Society or published?

It's all very well carrying the torch for these lads but once you're gone, what happens?

Kevin.

I have had many battles with C.W.G over the past 25 years, they have admitted that many errors occured when they digitised the records, and made corrections from the info I've supplied, but my main gripe with them was a Pal who died on the Somme.

Newspapers reports, including two of his brothers who died, Church Rolls of Honour, a photo of the war memorial, the name, address, and details of a grandaughter were insufficient, they wanted a death cert, yet there are dozens of men in my files who have no death cert, but are recorded in C.W.G.

As for the Accrington Pals, I've printed a copy and had it bound, along with books on all the local war memorials, and when I've finished there will be a further 3 books on all the men & women in my patch who served in WW1, over 12500 of them, When I pop my clogs they will go to my grandson. All these books are printed on a special paper, as used by the government to prevent photocopying.

As for so called History Society, never met them, & don't want to, I have supplied info to others over the years, and those experiences have made me the cynic that I am, its all about look what I've found, when they've found sod all, and the number of books that I've seen ruined by clowns forcing them flat on a photo copier, no way are they going in the library, people spend years creating books, and then some idiots come along, those too bone idle to put pen to paper, and then put things on the web as if it was all their own work. I've had many arguments with people who think I should just give them access to all this work, some have been really arrogant and vocal about it, especially when I've been researching in the library, and they've found out who I am and what I do, again mostly from the bone idle ones. All those trips down to Kew and other record offices with Bill Turner, computers I've had several over the years, and I got nothing for free. I've always considered what I do as a hobby.like some collect stamps & coins, I collect infomation.

Rant over for now.

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