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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Scotsman Archives. Advice sought


Hywyn

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My query concerns the casualty lists (all types) and the next of kin placenames in the lists.

I have access to the Time Archives and I have more or less fully researched the casualty lists printed in the Times for Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

The Times did not start inserting the 'placenames' until early December. I know however, from lists in local paper, that the placenames were available from around May 1916. The problem with the local paper is that their list was just that, i.e local. They extracted those living with in their catchment area. So, for e.g a Times list of around 300 wounded RWF men from Somme is reduced to around 100.

Can someone with current access or working knowledge of the casualty lists in the Scotsman please tell me if the placenames are included*. If so, from roughly when or rather are they included from mid August onwards which is when the Somme ones start appearing.

Also, in the Times the categories other than Killed stop early May 1917. Does the Scotsman carry on after this date for Wounded etc? I have a gap between then and when the War Office Weekly Lists start in August 1917.

If they are I might go for the two/seven day pass to obtain the data.

TIA

Hywyn

*I'm assuming that like the Times theirs will be the complete lists across all Regiments units etc. As I say, I'm primarily interested in the RWF ones.

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Hi Hywyn,

Not good news for you, I'm sorry to say.

Yes, place names from May 1916 and The Scotsman continued publishing the wounded lists right through until the end of 1917. However, from spring 1915 only casualties of Scottish regiments or Scotsman serving in non-Scots regiments were included the casualty lists i.e. for Scottish regiments, casualties were listed whatever their nationality, but for all 'other' regiments only the Scots casualties within these units were pulled out for publication. So really, like your local paper, The Scotsman was acting like a national local and limiting its lists to its catchment/publication area.

Stuart

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Thanks Stuart

I thought I was on to something. Not to be then.

I have seen an article where the War Office decreed that the placenames were to be inserted against all casualties from around May 1916 (but cannot find it now!). The list were to go from the base depots to the relevant Infantry (etc) Records Office for this purpose. I suppose this explains the delay from 'event' to publication which received wisdom puts at 4 to 6 weeks. I haven't looked properly to confirm but I seem to think this time gap was less pre this instruction.

Shame the Times took months to catch up. :-( They would have been working off the same lists as 'our' papers .

Hywyn

PS

If anyone else reading this who know of an online source of the complete lists, paysite or other, as described I'd be grateful.

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Hywyn,

There is a paying site that has them but you can no longer download complete pages from them. You have to use the soldiers name and his little 'snippet' pops up. Alternatively, the Colindale newspaper library which has now moved to St. Pancras to join, the British library has the War Office weekly casualty lists. They will reproduce for you but I have no idea what prices they charge. Similarly, the National Library for Scotland has them too.

Knowing these places are very pricey you might be better off contacting them and asking if you can copy them for free if you visit. Colindale's assets were on microfilm up to 3rd December 1918. From 3rd December onwards it was paper copies.

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Seaforths

Thanks for the input. I have been to Colindale for the post August 1917 ones. They may have the ones from before this but they weren't showing on their site as War Office Weekly Casualty lists (just the post Aug 1917 ones). At that time I wasn't unduly bothered as I thought I'd get the ones I wanted from the Times. I hadn't finished fully researching those at that stage. I seem to think that things have changed with the Colindale material now due to reorganisation. When I went there you did your own photocopying off the microfilms. Spotting someone mention the Scotsman casualty lists in another thread prompted me to post this thread.

Hywyn

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Hywyn,

I will try and see if I still have the list of their holdings. I did have them written down in a note book along with their references. When I went they were charging seriously silly prices for copying. Because of the size and quality of the originals they initially offered to copy them as high quality PDF to a CDRom for £35 per sheet. They asked me to leave my credit card with them so the manager could check it was valid when he came back! I refused because of their pricing and because I was being treated like some sort of a credit card thief. They then tried to tell me I couldn't have the ones I wanted anyway because they were all still in copyright! I involved TNA as they hold the copyright for HMSO and they wrote a very severe letter to Colindale.

I think that now the stuff is with the BL, they might be pricey but a bit more reasonable with their costs and attitude.

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Hywyn, I don't know if this is any help at all. The information I have written down is:

Issues 1 - 48 The War Office Weekly Casualty list. Reference: M39152

Issues 49 - 74 Weekly Casualty List (War Office and Air Ministry). Reference M39153

The first issue is 7th August 1917 so in theory that should cover casualties from the back end of June 1917. I am assuming they will retain the same reference as they had at Colindale.

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Hywyn,

I've just emailed the site that purports to have the Casualty Lists. They did issue a press release last year stating that they had lists from 1914 onwards but I can't see them putting out anything since on that score. They must have produced Casualty Lists from the start of the war and only started to publish them for the public in August 1917. I have also asked them if the pages are available to download or just the snippets of information regarding individual soldiers. If you can't download individual pages it makes it difficult to research a specific battle as you won't know the names of the men to find them in the first place.

I will let you know their response when I get it. I can't think of any other route for you to plug your gap of information. I was a bit confused by your post as I take 'post August' to read that you have from September onwards and not the August lists.

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Thanks Seaforths. Those Issues that you quote are the ones that I viewed at Colindale.

Here's hoping that that site replies with something useful.

Thanks again

Hywyn

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Hywyn,



I don't have access but it may be worth checking the The Guardian and Observer digital archive. I searched from 01/05/1916-31/08/1916 with "welsh fusiliers" and it returned 52 hits, including:



1. WEEK-END CASUALTY LISTS

The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959); (May 8, 1916), p. 7.


2. ANZACS IN FRANCE

The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959); (May 9, 1916), p. 5.


3. EGYPTIAN FRONTIER ACTION

The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959); (May 20, 1916), p. 7.


4. OFFICIAL CASUALTY LISTS

The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959); (May 22, 1916), p. 6.


5. OFFICIAL CASUALTY LISTS

The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959); (May 23, 1916), p. 6.


There doesn't appear to be anyway of finding out (for free) whether the Manchester Guardian casualty lists include the additional details in these pre-Dec 1916 lists. A 24 hr pass costs £7.95 (3 days £14.95; one month £49.95). Not sure if the cost of purchasing a 24 hr pass is worth the money to find out?


Stuart

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Further to the above, a search for Manchester Guardian casualty list images shows a GWF member's web site with a crop of a list published 11 September 1916 - contains place names! These are men killed in action but I assume the wounded entries would carry the same details.



Cheers,



Stuart


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I have been indexing the Local Casualty Lists for the area of Liverpool & South West Lancashire Area.

They were published in The Liverpool Courier and the Daily Post. The lists in these papers were for the Regiments from the North.

In May 1916 They started inserting the place name of Next of Kins residence.

The Liverpool Courier continued to publish the lists right up to May 1918 and because of newspaper shortages they ceased publication.

I have spent the last 3 years working on this project and the lists have errors which I have been Correcting. some soldier whose surname is: for example J. Jones a check of his Medal card entry Shows him as George Jones and those recorded as G. Jones are John Jones. The Genealogist who claim to have a unique index of these Casualty lists have not checked the soldiers entries for mistakes and errors as I have. It's been a long journey working on these lists and educational and also a despairing project and it is still a work in progress. But at the moment I do hold a substantial amount of information on soldiers who came from the Liverpool & SW Lancashire area.

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Thanks Kathy. Looks like there are a few sources to satisfy my query then. Appreciated.

I also fully agree with your point about the errors in the names and some numbers. Some of these typos are easily resolved, others not so. Ancetsrys current foul up of the MIC search feature doesn't help at all!

Hywyn

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The Genealogist who claim to have a unique index of these Casualty lists have not checked the soldiers entries for mistakes and errors as I have. It's been a long journey working on these lists and educational and also a despairing project and it is still a work in progress. But at the moment I do hold a substantial amount of information on soldiers who came from the Liverpool & SW Lancashire area.

They are using the War Office Casualty Lists. These lists do have mistakes. Initials incorrect or sometimes anomalies with the service numbers. The newspapers used these lists to publish local casualties and so the errors were perpetuated. The War Office did print corrections in later issues if a mistake was spotted and pointed out to them.

The shortage of paper also affected The Scotsman printing information too. I was looking for a MiD in it yesterday (the man was from Aberdeenshire). I found it but it said due to paper shortages, only the name would be printed and not the full citation.

I've emailed the site you mention because at one time, you could browse the issues and lists and download any pages of interest. I don't think you can do that now. Also, they released a news item early last year stating that they had and were going to put up the lists that weren't released to the public originally (between 1914 and August 1917). They may well have these lists but TNA hold the copyright on HMSO and if these early lists have never been in the public domain, they will probably be subject to 100 year copyright. Whereas if it has been in the public domain (as the later lists were) it is only a 50 year copyright.

I will await their response to my email and ask them about the earlier lists. I will post any information I might glean from them.

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I tend to use the National Archives Discovery Catalogue. If I don't get a match there I use Ancestry. The Discovery Catalogue is riddled with incomplete numbers, soldiers called john recorded as Jonathan etc etc.

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Email response received this afternoon is that, they have the Casualty Lists 1917-1918 (so no mention of their news of having earlier lists).

Also the following: 'The search options available are Forename and Surname, the advanced search option also also allows more detailed information such as Rank, Regiment and Service number.

However I do believe that some initial name details will need to be included even with the use of a letter and a wildcard (*)'

So in effect you need to put in something of a search so you can no longer browse through the pages of the issues.

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I think I upset them last year when I approached them in Blackburn Family History Fair and informed them about the G and the J errors also S transcribed as a G. Also place of Next of Kin I have soldiers recorded as being St. Helens whne in fact it is St. Helier, Jersey. I cross check what is available to us today and correct the errors that were made at the time. It's understandable about the errors as these lists are all about what was happening, at that time at the Front. That is why this project is so close to my heart. LestWeForget 1914-18. Not me.

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They are easily upset. I upset them last year too but I won't go into it. I'm surprised they responded to my email but I used a different email from last year and used my middle name. At least Hywyn has a few other avenues to explore.

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