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WFA secure Pension Record Card collection - news flash

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Seany

Thanks for your patience with me David. We all wait with bated breath for the next revelation!! You are a tease!!

Lionboxer

Tease or just not bothering to reply? There is a lot of interest in this and not much forthcoming, even on the WFA website

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keithmroberts

Both planning things, and even applying for funds can involve a lot of detailed work. I am involved in another area of an application for Big Lottery funds, and believe me, it takes time and effort. I wouldn't expect any more news from the WFA until there is something to tell us that is not either constrained by confidentiality agreements, or by the simple fact that there is as yet nothing that it is appropriate to release into the public domain. This set of records have been unseen since their creation. Much as we all want access to them last week, another year or two to deliver would be entirely understandable.

Keith

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auchonvillerssomme

Who has access to them now and is able to use them for their own research?

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David Tattersfield

Tease or just not bothering to reply? There is a lot of interest in this and not much forthcoming, even on the WFA website

Ouch!

Keith is right, much time and effort are, believe me, being expended. Matters will be put into the public domain as soon as possible / as soon as we have a positive development to report. Please remember all parties here are unpaid volunteers and the Pension Record Cards are not the only thing that we are working on, there is the general day to day business of WFA as well. This is (even without the PRCs) nearly a full time job in itself!

In answer to auchonvillersomme, no one (other than the project team) have access, and even we are not accessing them routinely due to other commitments!

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Ken Lees

Why does some people's impatience appear to border on rudeness? These records are not being hidden away by a publicly funded body and we therefore have no right to demand answers, let alone access.

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Seany

Why does seem people's impatience appear to border on rudeness? These records are not being hidden away by a publicly funded body and we therefore have no right to demand answers, let alone access.

No rudeness intended but they are still public records albeit in the care of a non publicly funded body, there is considerable interest in the records and telling us of their existence but not advising on access leads to impatience. So "ouch" it maybe but at least we're talking about it. Is there any way of helping the WFA in this task, I'd be willing ?

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auchonvillerssomme

we therefore have no right to demand answers, let alone access.

Are the WFA not accountable to its paying members? I agree with Seany.

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Chris_Baker

The WFA is of course accountable to its members - through its constitution and the democratic process. If you are a member and don't like what you see, vote for change. WFA has no obligation to say anything on a public forum. Personally I believe that organisations benefit greatly from frequent communication but if there is nothing to say, well, there's nothing to say.

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David Tattersfield

Seany: I appreciate your comment - no offence taken. We are indeed cognizant of the level of interest. Thanks for your offer of help.

Chris: Spot on. Communication is indeed everything, although as you say, there is nothing to say at this moment.

GWF members are warmly encouraged to subscribe to the WFA's e-newsletter and/or our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In) which will carry any breaking news regarding this. I will answer queries - as far as I am able (bearing in mind that there will be some matters that are not for public consumption) that come up on the WFA's own "Front Forum" (and of course here on the GWF).

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lionboxer

I think that the WFA may have been a little bit "previous" with their newsflash. Given the huge interest generated, their statement that there would be an announcement "early in the new year" is unfair. How early is early?!! I should have thought it would have been better to set your stall out before shouting about what's on offer.

I'm no different to anyone else nowadays, expecting everything instantly at the touch of a button (gone are the days of waiting weeks to see a photo-copied war diary delivered by snail mail) but this is a bit like telling the kids that Santa is on his way in August!! Excruciating but hopefully worthwhile. I'm just thankful to the WFA that they are undertaking what is a mammoth task.

Lionboxer

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keithmroberts

The WFA is as Chris said accountable to its members. It is not accountable to the GWF or to our membership. We are united by our common interests and of course many of us are members of both the GWF and the WFA.

Lionboxer, had the WFA kept the acquisition confidential until all was sorted, say in a year or two, I'm sure that there would have been many complaints about the secrecy of the operation. The publicity already received might even help in their quest for funds.

I'm just grateful that with government departments keen to dispose of historical records, and with the National Archives struggling to maintain their services as a result of financial pressures, that the WFA have accepted the responsibility. It would probably have been relatively easy to hand over the records immediately to Ancestry, and I do hope that other non profit based solutions are possible, but we can hardly expect anyone to be kept informed of negotiations with any body, or the progress of applications for funds, who is not a trustee of the WFA.

I'm also grateful to David for his participation in the GWF, and his willingness to respond on this subject within the constraints of his role.

Keith

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seaforths

I think the WFA have been able to deliver a pleasant surprise releasing the news. Of course it will take time and manpower for them to be in a position to make these resources accessible for all. Personally, I would rather they took the time to get it right and not be harangued into a rushed job that falls short of the mark.

Patience is a virtue :whistle:

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Pighills

Well said Keith!

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westkent78

Just wondering if there has been an update/news on a move to digitize these records, or at least to do something other than the individual look up option announced in 2013?

 

Thanks,

Matthew

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Chris_Baker

I'm not sure that any of the WFAs Executive Committee use the GWF (at least not on a frequent basis) and they are really the only ones who can answer this.

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keithmroberts

I think there was something in the WFA annual report, but it is not to hand.

 

Keith

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westkent78

Thanks Chris and Keith.

 

Did find this on the WFA website in the Chairman's Report for Sept 2014. 

 

Quote

As regards the Pension Records Cards (PRCs) which we own, there is also news to report on them. Various parties have shown interest in acquiring them, thus opening up their availability to a much wider audience especially through the use of technology. This exercise will go to tender. However, in the interim, David Henderson (PRC Project Lead) has just issued the Pre-qualifying Questionnaire (PQQ) for the tender to all interested parties. The deadline for the returns of interest and the PQQ is 20 October 2014. - See more at: http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/all-about-the-wfa/wfa-news-events/wfa-executive-committee-reports/21-wfa-trustee-reports/4155-chairman-s-report-september-2014.html#sthash.TY8rw04z.dpuf

 

 

But nothing since then.

 

Would be nice to know generally that things were progressing and there was some hope that wider access might be available at least before 2020.

 

Matthew

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