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CWGC Age Unknown


Mechanic
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I am researching Robert Matthew Kiddie (KIDDIE, Robert Matthew, b. Edinburgh, Midlothian, e. Edinburgh, Midlothian, r. Edinburgh, Midlothian, 30239, PRIVATE, Died, France & Flanders, 01/07/18, King's Own Scottish Borderers, 6th Battalion)

The CWGC lists him as 'Age Unknown'. I don't understand how this is possible, surely they know who he is from the other details.

Can anyone enlighten me on possible reasons for this ommission in his, and many others, details.

Regards

Jason

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Jason

The personal details were provided by relatives of the deceased and not the services. It is often simply the case that the relatives either did not respond or had moved from their last contact address.

When returns were made, relatives often got the age wrong simply because they calculated age from the date of return and not death.

Regards

Mel

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I am researching Robert Matthew Kiddie (KIDDIE, Robert Matthew, b. Edinburgh, Midlothian, e. Edinburgh, Midlothian, r. Edinburgh, Midlothian, 30239, PRIVATE, Died, France & Flanders, 01/07/18, King's Own Scottish Borderers, 6th Battalion)

The CWGC lists him as 'Age Unknown'. I don't understand how this is possible, surely they know who he is from the other details.

Can anyone enlighten me on possible reasons for this ommission in his, and many others, details.

Regards

Jason

My guess is that the majority of the graves do not actually show the age. This may be because this was a part of the inscription provided by the family or was an optional part provided by the appropriate regiment. That does not always seem to apply, however, as I am fairly sure, from a fading memory, that Private Ross (South Africans) age is not on his headstone in Heudicourt Communal cemetery (kia March 1918), yet it is in the register

"Son of Mr. C. G. and Mrs. S. J. Ross, of Room 15, 218, Arcida Mansions, Johannesburg. At 14 years and 3 months, Pte. Ross is one of the youngest soldiers killed in the 1914-1918 war."

From information that i received from the late and very lamented Tony Spagnoly, Ross was wounded at the age of 13 years and 9 months and since, presumably, he was recruited or joined up in SA, he must have been a very adult looking 13 year old!

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Mel,

So sorry to interrupt this thread, but I think you may just have answered a question for me too!

I have been looking into the life of Private William Arthur David (6/SLI), killed in action in September 1916 and listed with the CWGC as "31". To begin with, and because this statement of age was my only 'in' to identify him, I spent ages looking through censuses trying to find him over in Aberdare, his birthplace.

But of course I was looking for a man born in 1885 when, as I now find out, he was in fact born a full 7 years later.

I wonder, is that degree of discrepancy unusual, and can it really be explained by the 'lag' between death and notification of details to CWGC?

Thanks,as always, for any thoughts,

Gareth

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Gareth

All I can say is that it is surprisingly commonplace. I have found it with a number of men that I have researched but, fortunately, had the corroboration of BMD and census material to cross reference with the relatives' details.

In the case that you have cited, the relatives may have completed the IWGC return in 1922/23 and made what was a simple human error.

Regards

Mel

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from my own family point of view, my grandads brother was 28 when he died in 1917, we have the original birth cert, the grave and CWGC say 27 , and the parish register says 31. Even on Attasation papers i find things wrong, my grandad states his age as 28 on joining in 1915, yet from birth certificates that a relitive had, we know he was 25. Another relitive states he was 40 on joining in august 1914, acording to CWGC he was 45 when killed in july 1916, ok he may have put his age down a bit, but still yuo can't always believe what you see/read and even know!

matt

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If you are researching a soldier and you find additional details, please send them in to the CWGC and they will update the records. The answer is correct, the original information is based on what was submitted, the CWGC does not try to fill in missing information. They will not subtract dates to get the age.

We have a group that is doing just this for our Canadian soldiers. Filling in the blanks. However, the CWGC does require records to validate the additional information.

If you come across Canadian soldiers that have that issue and you do not have the records, please let us know and we will try to resolve the matter.

Thanks,

Richard of Canada

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The original Final Verification Forms sent to the relatives by IWGC did not have a space for age to be supplied. It was not seen initially as an important piece of information and it was not supplied by the military either.

A significant number of relatives wanted the age to appear in the published registers/headstones and so, later, a space was included for the NoK to enter the casualty's age. Therefore those with ages in the database are probably those where the FVFs were from the later batches.

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Remember that a birth certificate is often not sufficient as it only proves that someone of the same name was born. You have to be able to show that the person on the certificate is also the person who died. The death certificate is of far more use in this respect as it includes the age.

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I suppose in a way it could be argued that the CWGC is only as good as the information it has and if you as a family member/descendent of these people don't know their details because why should they.

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You have three choices...

1) Buy a copy of the Index disk from S&N (about £25)

2) Take out a subscription to Ancestry

3) Post the details here and then the ref may miraculously appear! :D

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Terry,

TYhanks for that.

I'll obviously try the third one first.but i have a friend with Ancestry so i'll try them also ,although i am rather chary about Ancestry as their info doesn't always seem to be correct

John

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Terry

Are overseas deaths on Ancestry? Its good news if they are as I have a subscription but have been using pay-per-view on FMP.

Regards

Mike S

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Apologies. It must be FMP.

I have the disks so have never looked for them on Ancestry.

It is FMP Terry. Ancestry have not got them as yet.

Doug.

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Can anyone enlighten me on possible reasons for this ommission in his, and many others, details.

With all details submitted to the Imperial War Graves Commission remember that the people who supplied it were grieving and that it was several years after the event Both factors could affect the data they provided.

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With all details submitted to the Imperial War Graves Commission remember that the people who supplied it were grieving and that it was several years after the event Both factors could affect the data they provided.

Noting the posts above and understanding the way CWGC gained the information I can now understand the discrepancies.

I will be looking to put the info right.

Has anyone any experience of doing this and what evidence is required?

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The death certificate will suffice as it has the age at death. A birth certificate is not usually of use as it only proves that a person of that name was born and not that it was the same person who died (assuming the addresses etc don't match the CWGC info).

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The death certificate will suffice as it has the age at death.

Unfortunately one can't assume that that's correct either. :(

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Unfortunately one can't assume that that's correct either. :(

I have a death certificate of a relative who died in the war and it states his name, regiment, army number, age, birth country and place of death. Surely this is enough.

Has anyone actual experience of changing any info on CWGC?

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