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Jock Bruce

Searching for specific battalions

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Jock Bruce

Does the latest tranche of MICs lack the facility to search for individuals battalions?

It is striking that none of the Macs/Mcs released recently seem to have served in the 4th, 5th or 6th anything. This is odd given the rate of hits for, say, Browns serving in 4th, 5th or 6th anything. Using a cardinal rather than an ordinal number doesn't produce any better results.

Is it just me ?

Jock

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Raster Scanning

No Jock it is not just you, me as well. It appears that there were no men starting with 'M' who served in the 7th Bedfords.

I have found hundreds listed for other letters.

Cheers.

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sandyford

I have got quite a few 6th Northumberland Fusiliers by putting 'Northumberland Fusiliers' and '6/' in key words, in the latest as well as the older MICs.

I get different men by putting '6th'

Kate

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Jock Bruce

John,

thanks for confirming it isn't just me.

Kate,

thanks for the suggestion but it doesn't make any difference for me.

Jock

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Charles Fair

Jock, Ive found few of the Mcs and Macs who served in the 19th Londons, even those who I know for sure are in the medal rolls

charles

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sandyford

Yup

Got loads of Mcs & Macs in 6th N.F.

Mind, I have been putting 6/ and then scrolling through the whole 1,000 that come up. The order in which these thousand appear is very strange Mcs & Macs are on the middle pages and then some lower letters appear also in a strange order before and after them.

I have been trying to work out if there is some strange logic to this. At one point I thought I was getting soldiers with only one regimental number first then ones with 2 numbers and then ones after renumbering. Then I found a lot of exceptions to my rule.

Perhaps they are scanning by regiment or battalion and have not got up to the ones you are looking for. I am quite interested in how they are doing it.

Kate

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Jock Bruce

I was wrong - searching for 'Seaforth' and '5/' does do something. It shows how many regimental numbers starting S/ have been transcribed as 5/.

Jock

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sandyford

Jock

Oh No! I can't bear it.

Kate

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sandyford

You'll be telling me next that G/ prefix might actually be 6/, and, of course, even more horrifically, 6/ might be G/.

This might explain some of the argument in another thread about whether G was a prefix that could be in this battalion.

Kate

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Guest Ian Bowbrick
I was wrong - searching for 'Seaforth' and '5/' does do something. It shows how many regimental numbers starting S/ have been transcribed as 5/.

Jock

Well at least they have not got the names wrong.........right - my great uncle John has suddenly become Jonathan - idiots.

Ian :ph34r:

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Jock Bruce

And TNA's answer is ....

_________________________________________________

Dear customer

Thank you for your email. As you point out, in the early days of

this project, the full description of the Corps was indexed, for example

"1st Scottish Rifles" rather than just "Scottish Rifles". However it became

increasingly difficult to interpret these "sub-divisions" of Corps correctly

so the decision was taken to index the Corps only.

The task was not to replicate what was on each card but to give the

public sufficient information to access them. "Scottish Rifles" etc. with

the name, initials, etc of the soldier involved will indicate that card.

The customer would see the exact description of the Corps when the card was

accessed.

Yours sincerely

DocumentsOnline Support Team

______________________________________________

..... which I read as 'pay your £3.50 per view and look cheerful about it'

Jock

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Charles Fair
And TNA's answer is ....

_________________________________________________

As you point out, in the early days of

this project, the full description of the Corps was indexed, for example

"1st Scottish Rifles" rather than just "Scottish Rifles".  However it became

increasingly difficult to interpret these "sub-divisions" of Corps correctly

so the decision was taken to index the Corps only. 

______________________________________________

..... which I read as 'pay your £3.50 per view and look cheerful about it'

... but why wasnt this problem flagged earlier? Surely they would have identified this as a problem after the first pilot study (say the first 10,000 cards), instead of it becoming 'increasingly difficult'. ... Oh silly me, of course there wasnt a pilot. ... We are now some 2 million cards in, and then they change the rules half way through. :angry:

Sounds like this is a convenient way of keeping the indexing project on time and on budget.

I feel sorry for the people searching for the Smiths etc who have now lost a useful differentiator.

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Guest lidzy

Hello All!

Just noticed this thread, which was lucky 'cause I was going to start one along the same lines. Over the last month or so I've been carrying out research into the numbering of the 3rd Battalion London Regiment (TF), and have started compiling a nominal list (as far as is possible) using SDITGW and the mic index. Last week I noticed that the later entries (L, M, N etc.) are only listed as "London Regiment", whereas many of the earlier ones included the Regiment's number. Now, it is only possible to discern which battalion an individual served with if he died (and is in SDITGW), or where he served long enough to recieve a six figure number in 1917. That TNA have changed their indexing rules halfway through an ongoing project is extremely annoying and (in my mind) very unprofessional. I know that looking at the actual medal rolls will help me identify soldiers who only had four- figure numbers, but that entails a trip to the NA. I might have got the wrong end of the stick, but I thought one of the reasons that more material was being digitally copied and made downloadable was to make it available without the need to actually visit the NA, and to cut down on the wear and tear on actual documents and fiches. And I live in Sweden, which is a bit more than a tube-ride away from Kew... :lol:

All the best,

Tony

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sandyford

It is very un- customer friendly of the NA to have done this part way through and if it is possible to tell the Corps at all by downloading or looking at the card and they could do it earlier, how can't they do it now?

Tony

I know this does not seem to have worked for Jock or Charles but I have got enough Macs & Mcs for a Clan gathering by putting Northumberland Fusiliers & 6/ in the Key words.

Can you not get your Lawsons, MacDuffs and Noonans by putting London regiment in the regiment bit and then 3/ in the keywords?

Of course you will probably get wrongly transcribed 8/.

Kate

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Chris_Baker
The task was not to replicate what was on each card but to give the public sufficient information to access them.

Words fail me.

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Guest lidzy

Hello Kate!

Thanks for the advice, but unfortunately, it doesn't help my problem. Thing is, if I write, say, "Carter" in LAST NAME, and "3rd London" in CORPS, I get 19 hits, most of them from the 3rd Battalion London Regiment. But if I write, say, "Merry"

as the LAST NAME, and "3rd London" as the CORPS, I get no hits. If I write "Merry" and then just "London" in CORPS, I get 25 hits, 6 or 7 of which could be 3rd Londons men, but as they only have four figure numbers, it's impossible to tell which battalion without downloading the mic. If I put 3 or 3/ in the keywords, it gives service numbers, not battalion. Tna have quite simply stopped putting the battalion number in the mic index. Shame that TNA have moved the goal posts like this, halfway through the match.

Thanks again,

All the best,

Tony

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Guest lidzy

Hello again Kate!

Just read your post again. Please excuse my ignorance, but did the Northumberland Fusiliers have 6/xxxxx service numbers for the 6th Battalion, 5/xxxxx for the 5th etc? That makes it nice and easy if they did. Unfortunately the London Regiment didn't, and each Battalion duplicated the four figure service number sequence, which makes for a complicated situation!

Thanks again,

All the best,

Tony

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Jock Bruce
It is very un- customer friendly of the NA to have done this part way through and if it is possible to tell the Corps at all by downloading or looking at the card and they could do it earlier, how can't they do it now?

Tony

I know this does not seem to have worked for Jock or Charles but I have got enough Macs & Mcs for a Clan gathering by putting Northumberland Fusiliers & 6/ in the Key words.

Can you not get your Lawsons, MacDuffs and Noonans by putting London regiment in the regiment bit and then 3/ in the keywords?

Of course you will probably get wrongly transcribed 8/.

Kate

Kate,

you're fortunate that the battalion you are looking at prefixed their numbers with 6/ - not even TNA could argue the case for dropping an element of the number. Not all did regiments did this (Seaforths certainly didn't - with an exception to boring to explain) so that avenue is closed to many of us.

It is a bit annoying for me, but I do have easy access to Kew and my research is at the stage I'm largely looking for missing numbers in my database. For anybody who is trying build up a picture of a battalion from afar it is more than annoying.

Jock

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sandyford

Tony

Yes, they did have 6/ for the sixth and 5/ for the fifth Batts. etc.

Mind - everything about the Northumberland Fusiliers T.F. was wonderful.

I had thought that in the case of the N.F., when they were transcribing the indexes they had just substituted 6/ instead of bothering to write sixth.

I hadn't realised that I was such a lucky s/***.

Of course I may come a cropper if some other N.F. admin. person took over at some stage.

Because the early numbers are repeated across battalions you can't even search by number.

Surely, what the NA have done contravenes their stated objective of accessibility, for which presumably they have had funding.

Kate

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Charles Fair
Over the last month or so I've been carrying out research into the numbering of the 3rd Battalion London Regiment (TF), and have started compiling a nominal list (as far as is possible) using SDITGW and the mic index.

Tony - glad to find another London Regt buff. There are quite a few of us around. I'm doing the 19th Londons, and to a lesser extent the 7th.

I would be interested in swapping notes on the enlistment rates based on what you have deduced from the numbers. What 4 digit number had they got to by 4 August 1914?

Please PM me and I would be happy to send you an extract from my database of a block of 19th London men who were transferred to the 1/3rd Londons in the summer of 1918.

regards

Charles

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Charles Fair
That TNA have changed their indexing rules halfway through an ongoing project is extremely annoying and (in my mind) very unprofessional.

This is an understatement!!!! If they hadnt put the battalion numbers in from the start that would have been one thing, my expectations would have been suitably lower. This is just not on.

Lets just hope that - for the sake of consistency - they now do not take away the battalion numbers where they have entered them.

I'm lucky I'm not far from Kew and have done most of my work directly from the medal rolls. Like Jock Im just filling in the gaps.

I was taught to underpromise and overdeliver - TNA seem to specialise in overpromising and underdelivering!

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sandyford

Total confusion has arisen for me about soldiers numbers after this discussion.

I now cannot say for sure what is the proper soldier's number for any of my 3000 odd 6th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

My first entries into my database were from the casualty lists in the 6NF War Diary. The soldiers have 4 figure numbers.

A soldier who was killed:

War Diary e.g. Baptist M. 2401

Next I crosschecked with SDGW 4 figure numbers but listed under general heading of 6th Batt. N.F. e.g. Baptist Matthew 2401

Commonwealth War Graves 4 figure number with a separate field e.g. Matthew Baptist 2401 - 1st 6th Battalion N.F. Hardly any seem to be 6/numbers.

MIC online Baptist Matthew 6th -2401

For a soldier who did not die:

Address on postcards W. Gibbon 6th Batt. N.F. 3427 - same on pension info.

Number on scroll 3427

MIC online Gibbon William 6/3427

Medals engraved 6/3427

Dog Tags W. Gibbon 3427 6th N.F.

So I don't know whether it is true that the 6th N.F. had numbers beginning 6/. This number only seems to occur relating to medals.

Very fortunate for me in searching the MIC online but I can't believe I need to put 6/ in front of all the 4 figure numbers.

Thank you for your patience if you've read this far and I would like some advice.

Kate

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Jock Bruce

Kate,

Looks like it might have been done in the record office when compiling the rolls to prevent exactly the confusion you mention - lets you distinguish between the different 1234s in the 5th, 6th, etc bns.

Looking at a very small sample (1 to be precise) the same thing may be true of the DLI, who were presumably administered by the same Infantry Records Office.

Jock

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sandyford

Thanks Jock

So have I got it right?

That means that the soldier would have known his number to be 1234 as I had seen in the war diary, SDGW and CWGC. But for admin purposes in that particular record office he was known as 6/1234 when not on a list relating only to 1 battalion.

Fortunately for me this seems mainly to be in lists relating to medals and the medals themselves and explains the earlier part of this thread.

I had thought it would be the same for everyone but I sensed that there was something strangely amiss.

Kate

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Jock Bruce

Kate,

I think it is as you describe. In the battalion it didn't matter, when you were dealing with several battalions it did.

In the case of the Seaforths the only time I see a battalion number used as a prefix is when men are serving in the second and third line line battalions after these were amalgamated e.g. after the 2/5 was merged into the 2/6 in Nov 15 and the 2/6 3/4, 3/5 and 3/6 became the 4 (Res) Seaforth in Aug 16.

A man posted from 1/5 Seaforth to 2/6 should properly have been renumbered - in fact he used his existing number with a prefix e.g. 5/1234. Removed the need to constantly renumber men as they moved in and out of the first line but no risk of confusion between men from different battalions.

Sadly the Seaforth didn't use prefixes when compiling their medal rolls, indeed none of the Highland regiments did. Bit of a sod given the large number of Macs and the limited number of forenames - in 5th Seaforth alone I've got at least 121 Sutherlands, 137 Mackays and 125 Macdonalds to sort out, 23 of the Sutherlands are called John ..... battalion prefixes would be very handy!

Jock

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