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GWF TEAM

GWF welcomes the IWM's Centenary Project

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GWF TEAM

Last autumn, the Imperial War Museum approached the Great War Forum with an invitation to participate in their flagship Centenary project Lives of the Great War.

An introductory film about the project can be viewed here

The IWM recognise the Great War Forum as the premier online venue for discussing the conflict, and the broad spectrum of our membership as representative of the global audience who will create Lives of the Great War over the coming years, hence our appointment as official supporters.

Here is a project that can utilise the great strengths of the GWF: our expertise, astonishing range of interests, enthusiasm, eagerness to contribute and help others. All these are harnessed to great effect on the Forum every day, and now we are invited to apply our powers to the creation of a permament online memorial to the individual men and women of the Great War.

Members of the IWM Lives of the Great War project team are also fellow members of the GWF, and they are best placed to answer your questions about this exciting venture.

Centenary projects will be numerous and varied in the coming years. We will be proud to play our part in many of them, and wish them all the greatest success. The IWM's will probably be the most extensive centenary project of all, aiming to establish the stories of over eight million Lives of the Great War.

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Chris_Baker

Agreed. I also agreed to support the project with info from the Long, Long Trail. The site is listed as a "supporter".

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Seadog

I hope that equal prominence will be given by contributors to the experiences of those who survived as well as the dead. There is an impression from threads on this forum that the major interest amongst researchers seems to be devoted towards those who died when of course the vast majority came through. Just a guess but I suppose that the dead are easier to research given the access to data via the internet and seem to hold a more emotional draw for investigation. A similar exercise was undertaken by the BBC in respect of WW2 with excellent results which are still available on the net. I await with interest to see the see the WW1 contributions.

Norman

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lukesmith

Good morning and thank you for the supportive comments.

Norman, good point. We wish to include everyone who played a part, including those who served and returned home; those who served on the home front; those who died in service and others. There is some more information on this in our FAQs at:

http://www.livesofth...ns.php?sec=1#q7

Many thanks,

Luke.

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MartinWills

I hope that equal prominence will be given by contributors to the experiences of those who survived as well as the dead. There is an impression from threads on this forum that the major interest amongst researchers seems to be devoted towards those who died when of course the vast majority came through. Just a guess but I suppose that the dead are easier to research given the access to data via the internet and seem to hold a more emotional draw for investigation. A similar exercise was undertaken by the BBC in respect of WW2 with excellent results which are still available on the net. I await with interest to see the see the WW1 contributions.

Norman

Quite true - oh the times I have said "if only he had died" when struggling to find information. Researching and recording the survivors will, undoubtedly, be one of the key outcomes of this work. I look forward to seeing more about this as the project rolls on.

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Ice Tiger

A great project which I will happily support.

My only question is what is the intended life of this data base?

Will it only run from 2014-2018 or is there a plan to keep it available on line long after the commemorations have finished?

Andy

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spof

A great project which I will happily support.

My only question is what is the intended life of this data base?

Will it only run from 2014-2018 or is there a plan to keep it available on line long after the commemorations have finished?

Andy

Andy

It seems to be intended as a long term resource.

http://www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org/frequent-questions.php?sec=1#q12

12) How long will Lives of the First World War be available for?

IWM has made a commitment that Lives of the First World War will be an interactive platform available to the public throughout the four years of the centenary and that the permanent digital memorial will be saved for future generations.

Glen

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Guest

Sounds like it will be an excellent resource, and very useful.Will the information of this " permanent digital memorial " be available to us after the four years for free, or will we have to subscribe to Brightsolid?

Mike

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KClements

Sounds like it will be an excellent resource, and very useful.Will the information of this " permanent digital memorial " be available to us after the four years for free, or will we have to subscribe to Brightsolid?

Mike

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your feedback. To clarify, subscription would be to Lives of the First World War.

As far as charging is concerned, the current situation is as follows:

Each individual will have their own life story profile page which can show key information about their life during the First World War.

Users will be able to see where each piece of information came from. They will be able to add digital images and stories of their own. Subscribers will be able to view the full digital images of historic records and access special features.

Conserving the original paper records, creating indexes and catalogues as well as digitisation are all expensive processes and some organisations therefore have to make a charge for you to view the digital images so they can recover their costs. In many cases searching the index is free.

The permanent digital memorial will be saved for future generations and content that is free to view will remain so.

Kind regards,

Kate Clements

IWM FWWC

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Pighills

Is there a minmum amount of information required, what if you have little more than say, a name and the CWGC burial information?

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Guest

Thanks for the quick reply Kate. I'm sure all will become clear. I look forward to it. Researchers might be unwilling to upload research they have spent a considerable time gathering, but I can see that they may also be able to gain information that might be available nowhere else, ie letters, photographs etc. Digitising, and drawing together documents from all over Britain/the World, has got to be good. One concern might be the pricing policy. Scotlands People pricing is over the top, but the British Newspaper Archive (I believe also BrightSolid?) is excellent value.

Mike

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ph0ebus

Sounds wonderful. For those with non-Commonwealth/non-British ancestors who served, who if anyone is preserving their stories?

Daniel

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ianjonesncl

A superb project.

A few questions:

  • How will the records be co-ordinated to ensure there are no duplications ? One could forsee situations that have arisen on the forum (and indeed is happened to me) where two or more people are researching an individual and each could originate a record.
  • Will more than one person be able to contribute to an individual record ?. Again experience from the forum has shown that a jigsaw of photos, experiences, war diary extracts etc from various members come together to form an overall picture.

Ian

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John_Hartley

I see IFCP is amongst the Supporters too.

Needless to say, IFCP is well chuffed to be invited to participate in this project.

The initial role of our volunteers will be, effectively, as data entry clerks - transcribing information from IWM's paper records of the names on war memorials. The invitation was for two reasons. Firstly, we come free. And secondly, it's recognised that as Great War anoraks, we have knowledge that will be able to interpret abbreviations that may be inscribed on the memorials. As a potential second phase, there is the possibility of including more identification name information, much in the same way as done by our friends at roll-of-honour.com. In itself, that may serve IFCP's original purpose as it would be likely to identify possible non-commemorations, almost certainly as post discharge cases.

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Phil996

This sounds like a very interesting and worthwhile project. A couple of questions. Firstly, Is the ICRC a partner in this project? I read some time ago on the forum about the 'newly (re)discovered' ICRC records about burials and POWs which they are in the process of digitising. I believe these are supposed to be available by 2014. Does anyone know what the current state of play is and whether they will be available in time for this project? From what I remember reading they could add a great deal to individual stories.

Secondly, the IWM introductory film showed documents such as a birth certificate, a MIC, a census return and war diary pages. Will contributors be able to upload such documents as part of an individual's story, or will there be complications with copyright, especially with items such as service records downloaded from Ancestry and the like? They're important for verifying the stories and adding to the store of knowledge and it would be a pity if copyright got in the way of adding them to the story.

Phil

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lukesmith

Hi Everyone,

A few quick comments in addition to Kate's above. As Kate says above, many thanks for your feedback.

Is there a minmum amount of information required, what if you have little more than say, a name and the CWGC burial information?

We need will need a source to help verify that they played a part in the war. A CWGC entry is of course sufficient as are a whole range of other military, government and non-government sources. There is a little more on this topic at:

http://www.livesofth...ns.php?sec=1#q7

Sounds wonderful. For those with non-Commonwealth/non-British ancestors who served, who if anyone is preserving their stories?

Many thanks. IWM's remit includes Britain and the Commonwealth. To reveal the stories of over 8 million men and women is already a vast undertaking. At this time we are focusing our efforts on producing a sufficiently comprehensive platform to reach this goal and create the permanent digital memorial for future generations. We are not currently aware of anyone doing a similar project for non-Commonwealth/non-British life stories.

Phil996: Many thanks.

1. The ICRC are not yet part of this project, but we are very keen to include records such as theirs.

2. If you wish to refer to records you have located in other platforms, you will be able to refer to them and link to them - although for copyright reasons you cannot upload digital images from commercial services.

Also, I'd like to reiterate our appreciation to the Great War Forum for helping us with this. We can't do it alone and the forum is a unique pool of passion, expertise and interest.

Luke (Smith)

IWM

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lukesmith

A superb project.

A few questions:

  • How will the records be co-ordinated to ensure there are no duplications ? One could forsee situations that have arisen on the forum (and indeed is happened to me) where two or more people are researching an individual and each could originate a record.
  • Will more than one person be able to contribute to an individual record ?. Again experience from the forum has shown that a jigsaw of photos, experiences, war diary extracts etc from various members come together to form an overall picture.

Ian

Many thanks Ian. Good questions -- as an earlier poster said, all will become clear in time! But these are important points, so I'd like to add a few words.

1. The system will initially be populated from official sources in order to reduce (though not eliminate) duplication. Duplicates can be merged when identified. There is a little more on this population process at:

http://www.livesofth...ns.php?sec=3#q8

2. Yes, definitely and for the reasons you stated.

best,

Luke (Smith)

IWM

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Bardess

I noticed in the IFCP Supporters write-up that over 3,000 forgotten casualties have been found yet on the IFCP website 439 are awaiting determination and 1,869 have been accepted. Where does 3,000 come from?

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stevem49

Maybe WW1 and WW2?

We did both.

John H

I refused to be called a data entry clerk :D

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Bardess

Maybe WW1 and WW2?

We did both.

...and both are included in the figures, ie, not 3,000

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stevem49

Have to ask the boss then :D or it could include the commonwealth chappies

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John_Hartley

or it could include the commonwealth chappies

I don't have the figures but there's been a heck of a lot of them Commonwealth chaps, particularly the South Africans - their cases have been handled via the Project but all the graft has been done by a South African volunteer crew.

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RaySearching

evening

I am all for the sharing of research and information

but the downside may be that this information freely given may be harvested by F** W** R**

and be exploited for commercial gain

regards Ray

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AlanCurragh

It's an interesting question, but not really to do with the Centenary Project....

I noticed in the IFCP Supporters write-up that over 3,000 forgotten casualties have been found yet on the IFCP website 439 are awaiting determination and 1,869 have been accepted. Where does 3,000 come from?

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