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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

The White Cross Touring Atlas

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

Maybe of interest to anybody who owns or has access to a copy of The White Cross Touring Atlas Of The Western Battlefields

I have recently been corresponding with a very helpful lady called Anna Stone, who is the Group Archivist for the Aviva Insurance group, - The White Cross Insurance Association (what was the Red Cross Indemnity Assurance Company) being Aviva's original antecedents. Anna was looking at records which may have shown when the touring atlas was published - information which may have been useful to know :huh:

Nothing definite has come to light, but her latest advice is as follows >

Tom, Sorry about the delay - I went through all the board minutes but found no reference to the booklet (although I did find references to staff who died in the war and will be able to add them to our on-line memorial. )

I tried another tack and have been able to narrow down the date of publication using references to the opening and closure or branch offices as listed at the front of the booklet. Looking at the branches listed the booklet must have been printed (or sent for printing) before November 1919 (as this is when a new branch was established in Cardiff which is not listed in the booklet) and after July 22 1919 as this is when the new Norwich branch was opened which is listed in the booklet. I am sorry not to be more accurate but hope that the slightly more accurate date will be of some use and would be interested to know if it ties in with your thoughts having seen the cemeteries listed and omitted.

Regards, Anna

If anybody else has any useful information about this publication I'd be pleased to hear of it.

By the way - Aviva's website has a heritage section which includes a significant WW1 element >

http://www.aviva.com/about-us/heritage/world-war-one/

Look at "letters home" for example.

regards - Tom

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Alan_J

Thanks Tom,

I have a copy of this and with no publication date suspected it was early, but not quite as early as seems likley from this e-mail. In fact, it was quite an achievement to get a pretty comprehensive listing and maps published so soon after the war had ended. It would seem from your post some cemeteries are missing - although I guess some post-war concentration cemeteries might not have been created if it was published less than a year after the war ended?

Alan

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Terry Denham

Tom

That is really useful info and goes a long way to answering what has been a much discussed question for years!

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MartH

I have a copy of Muirhead's Belgium and The Western Front, British and American, published 1920. I wonder if there are any similarities? I find it useful when over there, better than Ward Lock and Co, to see what it was like at the end.

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KevinBattle

Fascinating and also reassuring that Aviva haven't dumped their heritage.

Dates back to when a company cared about the fate of it's wartime soldiers and I'd like to encourage efforts on helping resolve this...

The more Big Business understands that this area has a great following, the better able we will be to eork together to ensure our heritage is not lost.....

The clues between the dates of offices opening is really useful.

I am surprised that it seems to be as early as 1919, which reflects great credit on the corporate image of Aviva and its forebears... any other clues as to better dating?

Which cemeteries are mentioned and which are not? Any Plot details which might help narrow down when cemeteries were concentrated?

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
................. I am surprised that it seems to be as early as 1919, ................................. Which cemeteries are mentioned and which are not? Any Plot details which might help narrow down when cemeteries were concentrated?

Kevin - I was also slightly surprised by the indications being towards publication probably between August and October 1919. If you take into account an allowance for information gathering, arranging printing, etc etc, then that might point to the process being put in motion - when - second quarter of 1919, or maybe even earlier ?

It would be fascinating to find out the mechanics of how this publication was researched and put into production, but I think that if such detail had been available then Anna Stone at Aviva would probably have already found it. (Archives being archives though - "new" information seems always to be coming to light and maybe something will be found in the future).

I rather suspect that The White Cross Insurance Association may have obtained the original cemetery details from the IWGC rather than researching and compiling the information themselves. Huge areas were in a state of devestation in 1919 and I would think that British civilians would have had physical difficulty in accessing the areas (not to mention the danger from munitions etc). One possibly telling reference in the text of the atlas says that "Albert has been utterly devastated by the continuous bombardment to which it was subjected, and which became especially severe during the operations of 1918." The reference to 1918 in the past tense is no great revelation, but note that Albert "has been" rather than "was" - surely an inference that no reconstruction has begun - again pointing to very early publication of the atlas (?).

The atlas shows no hint of Warlencourt British Cemetery or Delville Wood Cemetery (for example), and London Cemetery at High Wood is indexed as just that, - no reference to the Extension in the current title. In passing, Tyne Cot is indexed as Tyne Cottage Cemetery, Passchendaele, and just to confuse you Ninth Avenue Cemetery at Haisnes (Loos) is indexed as Tenth Avenue (is that simply an error or is there any historical accuracy in that ?).

Its the illustration of the cemeteries which did exist at the time the atlas was compiled which is of most interest - for example there are five between the SE corner of High Wood and the High Wood to Bazentin-le-Petit road. Unfortunately though the atlas illustrates the cemetery numbers but indexes by cemetery name, so if you dont already know the name you have to trawl the number column to find out what the cemetery was called. I dont suppose anybody has ever reconfigured this index so you can search it by cemetery number ? :rolleyes: (can I have a copy please !?).

Nb - IWM indexes this atlas as "n/d" as well (no publication date).

regards - Tom

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ianw

I too am surprised how early this publication is. Of course, this is a practical touring atlas and I would imagine that the IWGC would have been keen to assist in making such a publication available.

I too have been frustrated by the indexing in my copy. I wonder how many were published?

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laughton

My copy arrived today in Canada - yahoo!

 

I was checking on the date, to make sure it is not in copyright. I don't want to publish any maps or tables if that is the case. I still need to determine when Alexander Gross died to accommodate the "Life + 50 years" rule. That would make the current cut-off date as 1969, which is possible.

 

I also want to check if GWF members have copies for sale, as publishing to Archive.org may impact on the resale value of paper copies.

 

My first task was to check on Irish Farm Cemetery, as the New Irish Farm Cemetery might have existed at that time as well. There is only one of the two in the book (#844). Some of us question as to whether the CWGC has the locations correct, particularly for the internment of the most recent burials of the Royal Fusiliers (GWF Topic).

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