Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Lives of the First World War after the freeze


Recommended Posts

2 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

If you are aware of any formal communication by the IWM that further changes to the Permanent Digital Memorial will be taking place, it is news to me. Their declared aim was to down tools in the autumn, and I think this has been done belatedly by the contractor.

I am not - but your suggestion depresses the life out of me.

:-(  :-(

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,

 

Let's try and remain a bit more positive than seems at present.

 

The situation as currently, 18 Nov. 2019, certainly seems very much less than all LOTFWW contributors had hoped for.

And likewise very much less than future PDM enquirers might desire/need

 

I have just today spoken with a source at IWM, [just/as I was typing my post/ongoing as the other thread woke up again] and they say that the LOTFWW project team is running down until the end of 2019 when the work on the LOTFWW/PDM will be essentially fully frozen [except for very specific 'take down requests' through their FAQ]

 

What was suggested was the all feedback and should be urgently focused through contact@iwm.org.uk 

[I might also suggest that they earlier suggested the Form on their FAQ so that might be an alternative too - I don't know if it is any more direct or reactive]

 

What I might hope for most is that there will be:

  • an easy and intelligible means of downloading all the data from the database for an individual or individuals such as a Community which is savable to my computer / printable such as might achieved by a single/very few clicks on a single button/few buttons [certainly not the current 'vomit' provided by the CSV button or by having to open up all fields and do a swipe and copy/paste exercise.

What we all really require is a simple download system - of all the data we have imputted [not just an IWM controlled and edited selection]

 

So please get your constructive feedback, thoughts and requirements passed to IWM - ASAP.

In hope ...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
Keith_history_buff

  

10 minutes ago, Clear Bell said:

How weird. Just been looking up the life of this very accomplished artist and stumbled across your post.

 

I contributed to the LOTFWW several times when I was researching an art school commemorative website and have wondered what had happened to this project. So now I know that it's in some kind of extended transition.....

 

I was also interested in the IWM's memorials listing. Potentially enormously useful, it's another worthwhile project that I think needed some more thinking through or some way of updating how it works (and how it can be contributed to) especially as far as images and transcription of the information provided are concerned.

 

Hi @Clear Bell

 

In order to remain on topic, I have replied on another thread.

 

As you will be aware, the data has been static now the centenary has ended, but that was the original plan. It appears the project is concluding, but will have been impacted by changes in staff at the IWM, and that closure on the project will take place soon. 

You raise a good point with regard to the IWM and its War Memorials Register. There is the scope for this to be complemented by some of the data in LOTFWW. When forum member James Morley was working at the IWM, he was enthusiastic about identifying the war memorial groupings that some users had created. He encouraged the capture of the URL for the respective entry in WMR, in order that linkages between the two could take place in the future.


It is possible to e-mail the WMR mailbox, which is monitored by IWM employees, if you have further info to contribute in respect of a war memorial. You can even nominate an additional entry, if you discover that a local war memorial is not in the WMR database.

Whilst the LOTFWW data is static, it is nonetheless a resource which is free to access. Just like wikipedia, it is a crowdsourced effort. The strength of LOTFWW is that the source-based approach - if it has been followed by the contributor - does allow facts and their respective sources to be audited.

There are projects that have been able to build upon some of the LOTFWW data that are presently dynamic and operational. The two that spring to mind are:
the NMRN's Jutland Interactive Map, and

https://app.nautoguide.com/app/nmrn/nmrn/!PNMRN?feature_id=14159164
A Street Near You, map plots of WW1 fatalities which fuses LOTFWW with CWGC data 
https://astreetnearyou.org/#=undefined&lat=10&lon=0&zoom=2

Link to post
Share on other sites
Clear Bell
13 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

  

 

Hi @Clear Bell

 

In order to remain on topic, I have replied on another thread.

 

As you will be aware, the data has been static now the centenary has ended, but that was the original plan. It appears the project is concluding, but will have been impacted by changes in staff at the IWM, and that closure on the project will take place soon. 

You raise a good point with regard to the IWM and its War Memorials Register. There is the scope for this to be complemented by some of the data in LOTFWW. When forum member James Morley was working at the IWM, he was enthusiastic about identifying the war memorial groupings that some users had created. He encouraged the capture of the URL for the respective entry in WMR, in order that linkages between the two could take place in the future.


It is possible to e-mail the WMR mailbox, which is monitored by IWM employees, if you have further info to contribute in respect of a war memorial. You can even nominate an additional entry, if you discover that a local war memorial is not in the WMR database.

Whilst the LOTFWW data is static, it is nonetheless a resource which is free to access. Just like wikipedia, it is a crowdsourced effort. The strength of LOTFWW is that the source-based approach - if it has been followed by the contributor - does allow facts and their respective sources to be audited.

There are projects that have been able to build upon some of the LOTFWW data that are presently dynamic and operational. The two that spring to mind are:
the NMRN's Jutland Interactive Map, and

https://app.nautoguide.com/app/nmrn/nmrn/!PNMRN?feature_id=14159164
A Street Near You, map plots of WW1 fatalities which fuses LOTFWW with CWGC data 
https://astreetnearyou.org/#=undefined&lat=10&lon=0&zoom=2

 

Thanks very much for this. Useful to know about the WMR - I remember contacting someone about a memorial stained glass window to former RCA students put up in the V&A Museum that was noted on the register. The register included the name of the designer and I knew that name. I contacted the V&A and they could not find a window or any record of one being placed where I thought it was most logical for it to put up - the stairwell between the floors occupied by the RCA to the rear of the museum. Nothing doing.  I am sure that if it was ever completed and put up there would be some account so I was hoping the WMR might be able to help at least with the origin of the information and taking things from there. But that's lost in the mist of time. As far as I can see there was no way of updating the information on the WMR to reflect this doubt about whether the idea ever coming to fruition. Perhaps that doesn't really matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

From what little I know, the WMR has at least one IWM Full Time Employee associated with it, but they may be wearing several "hats" rather than spending 100% of their time on WMR. The project itself is dependent upon unpaid remote volunteers, to visit memorials and to pass back updates. Whilst it is beneficial to obtain a transcript of persons mentioned on a war memorial, if it is the case that these have already been researched, and are recorded on LOTFWW, there is the scope for duplication of effort.

PM coming your way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Matlock1418
On 18/01/2020 at 16:19, Clear Bell said:

As far as I can see there was no way of updating the information on the WMR

I have recently got in touch with WMR about a memorial with an incorrect photo [through their get in contact link] - got a positive reply from them at least - at least got that error taken down. :-)

Even showed them that they had a good photo on a LS on LOTFWW but they declined because of Copyright! - so frustrating.

:-(

Edit [30 Jan 2020]:

On 27 Jan 2020 - IWM/WMR proactively got back in touch with me - seems they were not clear about the Copyright issue with LOTFWW photos and had had to check with LOTFWW - I clarified my personal position as the photographer of photo used by LOTFWW and my approval for further use for WMR - and so WMR may yet use the photo on LOTFWW for WMR - I await] / will keep an eye on WMR [will let you know if there are any further developments] :-/

Edited by Matlock1418
addition
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Keith_history_buff

For anyone wishing to call up all of the 157,000+ profiles that were seeded via the Mercantile Marine medal cards in BT 351, and thereafter to apply successive filters, this can be done via the following link:

https://livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk/searchlives/filter/type%3Dagent%26contribution%3DMerchant%2BNavy

(The other alternative is to use The National Archives's "Discovery" search engine, limited to "BT 351".)
 

Here's a similar link, to the subset of 35,000+ conscientious objectors, which became available in November 2019, but I could not find the link:
https://livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk/searchlives/filter/contribution%3DConscientious%2BObjector
As was to be expected, the dataset behind this can be accessed via FindMyPast. The original documents are not held by The National Archives.

Hope this is of use to those performing searches. The profiles of men performing "military service" are easier to search in comparison. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
familyhistoryman

At one time the Lives of the First World War used to have the Cyril Pearce Peace Register. Does anyone know where this database  might be found?

Tony

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

Hi Tony,

If you click on the "Conscientious Objectors" link above in post 107, this will bring back the 35,000+ names from the Pearce register. To look at the actual records, you do need to be a FMP subscriber. This got a mention on this thread in post 98 of this thread too, where it was mentioned how it was possible to get the conscientious objector subgroup, but where I failed to post a link.

Hope this makes sense.

Thanks

Keith

Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

I took a look at the profile for Clement Attlee's brother, and I see the details are reproduced in the "Details" tab.

 

Thomas_Simons_Attlee.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
Matlock1418

I have to report that today, 30 Jan 2020, I discovered a remarkable thing - I don't recall it being there before or hearing about it, but of course it might have been a case of it being just not discovered, and it certainly is only by much searching, experimentation and a lot of good luck that I found it today - certainly not from an easy to find feature/button or the like on the site.

 

HOW TO PRINT OFF MOST INFORMATION FROM AN INDIVIDUAL'S LIFE STORY

- from Media in a LS [provided media photos & documents and the like have been uploaded - so no good if no media]

- from Media thumbnails in a LS = Right mouse button click on any thumbnail in a LS to open up a menu and then select print using left button etc.

 

It is a bit of a 'vomit' of information and not very classy aesthetically but not as bad as CSV - when I tried it the Timeline, Details, Media, Communities, Evidence and Stories were listed [Timeline was helpfully listed in vertical orientation, Details vertically listed as if you had opened every sub-tab, Media however often partially superimposed on each other, Communities only listed, Evidence listed and Stories only listed] - not the whole LS by a long way but it was a significant delight to get so much, so much more intelligible than the CSV.  Accesses a pretty, but not wholly, comprehensive summary of the information in a LS.

At least for now it was a one-stop shop for a great deal of an individual's LS information for an average user - but oh so hidden!!!

 

There didn't seem to be an option to save all this LS information in an intelligible form.

Individual items of Media didn't seem to be able to be printed but each could be saved individually

Communities still seemed to have to be separately opened and printed [much overlapping of LS titles/photographs] or saved individually

Stories likewise seemed to have to be opened and printed or saved individually

 

Not "excellent" or even "good" - but a fortunate and pleasing discovery which I thought needed sharing. - I hope it helps somebody else.

 

LOTFWW/PDM certainly still needs much improvement [and probably help to do so - as per the other thread I have raised and continue to pursue] but ...

I'm personally a bit happier today

M

Edited by Matlock1418
Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

How interesting.

I made two attempts to print the timeline on 8 January, and what came out was limited for George Wroe. (It was posted on the "improvements" thread).

Just like you, and your experience as mentioned above, I find I can right click on any tab within the profile, to initiate a printout, and a standardised format of all content is generated by the print preview. I am accessing it via Google Chrome.

This is definitely superior to the output from a few weeks back, which was limited to a sliver of the timeline within the narrow confines of the frame. If you only wanted a certain part of the output, you could then specify what to print out. Pages 1 to 4 of the 24 page output would fulfil my needs. Alternatively, I could limit it to page 5 only, which covers his military service.

 

Well spotted!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Matlock1418
3 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

I find I can right click on any tab within the profile, to initiate a printout, and a standardised format of all content is generated by the print preview. I am accessing it via Google Chrome.

Well, well not spotted that - from all tabs! = So "well spotted" to you too!

 

Note for others: You seem to have to first select/left click first on the tab to open it, then use right on the white part of the page once the tab is open - but yes, it gets you to a multi-page or selective printout option [as I previously identified by my other now largely redundant route above]

I am using Google Chrome too.

 

I can only speculate but have to wonder if my earlier e-mail forwarded to IWM via my MP has actually got through a bit ???

Or maybe thanks to GWF pals they are reading this, and the other 'improvement' thread, here on GWF ???

Or ...

 

Whatever - I hope the IWM team are continuing to develop their output and are actually not shut down as we had perhaps feared before.

  • IWM please keep up the improvement process. :-)

 

Edit: have just had a response from IWM re: my e-mail and follow-up [unsuccessful] phone attempt:  "to assure you that colleagues here in IWM’s digital team are preparing a response" = whatever that might be - but maybe may get more effect - here's hoping!

Edited by Matlock1418
addition
Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

The IWM have been in contact with myself today.

There were three things that came out of the meeting

  1. Firstly, they have confirmed that they have a copy of the old data. If they needed to compare old versus new, there are means by which they could do this. Given this is confirmed, this is a massive relief to me.
  2. Whilst the data was migrated from the old system (containing a lot of FMP intellectual property - not the data, but the functionality of the code) to the PDM, there is no commitment that all the functionality would be emulated in the new platform. Typically when a migration occurs, the functionality is emulated, but this is not a typical situation. I think a number of persons - myself included - have had some unrealistic expectations in this regard. I would have to say that my assumptions have been based upon work-based experiences with migrations, and I feel like I am a bit of a charlie. I do not feel it could be said that IWM has reneged any promises, in relation to functionality and the PDM.
  3. The PDM is but one of a number of platforms overseen by the small IWM team. Back when LOTFWW was in operation, part of the centenary funding would have allowed for the Public Engagement manager to spend some of her time as the LOTFWW project manager. It meant she could be involved in communications etc. Now that LOTFWW is no more, there is no longer this non-technical "human resource" to act as a focal point for the project. Whilst there has been the "good news" that certain fixes have been done, things have fallen between two stools whereby it is nobody's responsibility to pass this on, as I see it. I got the impression that, as and when changes occur, they would be keen to communicate this, and are presently considering the means by which this could be done. As I understand it, their tech team is two thirds of the strength that it was, and they no longer have a mouthpiece.

It got mentioned that persons and institutions have been in contact, in respect of more flexible ways of accessing the data. It sounds like there could be a business case put together to get funding that would allow access to the underlying data. (The possibility of this was raised in post#11 of the "Improvement" by James on 21 November at 2301hrs.) As I understand it, it would be possible to have an interface whereby some standardised reports (for downloading textual data) could be accessed. At the moment, this is blue sky thinking, but it does show that the IWM would be amenable to further developments, which is positive.

I do not see any change has taken place with regard to IWM's policy on the PDM, with the lion's share of IT development activity having been concluded in September 2019, utilising funds from FY 2019/20 in relation to WW1 Centenary. There have been some small improvements made in the past few months, and I have the impression they will make improvements where funds allow. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Matlock1418
4 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

The IWM have been in contact with myself today.

There were three things that came out of the meeting

Wow I'm most impressed - as well as your past inside knowledge you obviously have lines of contact [now and for the future] which we 'mere mortals' do not have - and we're all the better for it! :-)

Looks like you are much better placed [past and present] than the majority of us to maintain that future contact, so thanks for your efforts and the update.

Seems like James might be a very good wing-man for you too.

Very good news that the data has not been lost but a bit depressing and yet also slightly reassuring at all is not yet lost in terms of future access to data both technically and for the 'common man'.

So again - many thanks - Please keep up your good work.

:-) :-) :-)

M

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
charlie962
18 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

and I feel like I am a bit of a charlie.

Are you mocking me ??

 

Well done, not that I understand it all, and it looks less negative than I thought. As I read it then, nothing is lost and at some future date it would be possible, with funding, to extract whatever was originally loaded.

 

Charlie

Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

Hi Charlie, good to hear from you. No offense taken, I hope?

I concur with your second paragraph as a succinct summary of what I stated in a flowery manner.

Given that the philosophy of the current incarnation is to be a 'permanent digital memorial [that] will be saved for future generations.. and will be free to access online for research ' then it stands to reason that future developments are going to be around the extraction and interrogation of that data. 

 

In due course, I would like to have a crack at trying to investigate a way of building a "timeline emulator", but first things first, there needs to be the infrastructure to allow people to access the data.

The cost of this sort of thing goes down, over the course of time. I remember working for the Ministry of Defence, and there was a requirement to buy a new fangled piece of technology in 1993. It was a CD reader, as future documentation was no longer going to use microfiche technology. At the time, I think the RRP was about $3,000 per machine, but we were looking to get a bulk purchase discount via the US Navy. I'm not going to pretend to know what costs are involved, but I'd certainly like to think that as the technology has become more mainstream, the budgetary barriers to launching an API are less than was the case, say, ten years previously.  

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

One phenomena that has occurred after the freeze (being launched 4 months before) is that it has links from A Street Near You. Where identified, a link to the LOTFWW profile can be found for the casualty concerned. As well as the profile, some photos have been shared and reused. If that casualty is grouped in a community ("Blendworth War Memorial", "South Wales Borderers officers in 1914"), the names of the community are also shown on the page, which adds a bit more context to that person.

Possible links to men with similar names on war memorials are listed at the foot of the page. A recent feature has been to display others who have a likely connection. That connection could be they died in the same regiment, they are commemorated by GWGC with the same memorial/cemetery, died on the same day, lived in the same locality.

Here is one such profile
Charles James Paterson

https://astreetnearyou.org/person/446292/Paterson

 

Link reproduced from post 103 above to homepage for ASNY

 

A Street Near You, map plots of WW1 fatalities which fuses LOTFWW with CWGC data 
https://astreetnearyou.org/#=undefined&lat=10&lon=0&zoom=2

 

@Matlock1418

Have you used this, to look at:

  • persons who died on a given date
  • fatalities who are plotted in your neighbourhood
  • family members who died in WW1

This was created by James, who posted on the other thread. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Matlock1418
2 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

Matlock1418

Have you used this, to look at:

Knew of its existence, but ... Quite frankly I have not looked at much ASNY so not at all familiar with its features and level of detail

Had seen features which seemed very like CWGC with a geographical slant - but not taken it much further  [didn't know it was so related or symbiotic [?] with IWM & LOTFWW]

 

Am having a further look just now - I can see photos of my relatives and of other casualties that appear identical to those I have added to their LS on LOTFWW [Although the images were all taken from my own archive of newspaper clippings and so obviously in the wider public domain too] I guess that it is probably from LOTFWW that they found their way to ASNY! 

Edit: have continued to explore and just further noted the photos were formally attributed to LOTFWW and exploring further still can see that it picks up on the personal Stories I added to LOTFWW through its links.  So ASNY certainly feed very significantly upon LOTFWW - and so it acknowledges in the "i" /  "About" 

Edited by Matlock1418
addition
Link to post
Share on other sites
Keith_history_buff

That I recall - and I have no legal training - the terms of the submission of data to LOTFWW does allow for its share and reuse, for non-commercial purposes. The IWM can re-use the data, as I believe they will be doing with your war memorial photo. ASNY is a good example of how the fusion of data - from WMR, LOTFWW & CWGC - can produce some interesting data mash-ups. Reusing data like this goes to show that 100+ years on these people are gone, but are not forgotten.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Matlock1418
11 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

That I recall - and I have no legal training - the terms of the submission of data to LOTFWW does allow for its share and reuse, for non-commercial purposes.

 

11 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

Reusing data like this goes to show that 100+ years on these people are gone, but are not forgotten.

With the right acknowledgement etc. that is what I would hope

And quite happy about.

And why I contributed to LOTFWW in the first place.

:-) M

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
Keith_history_buff

I had noticed that since 13 March 2020, the "from" and "to" dates with associated location/address have been appearing on the timeline.

The following has been posted on Facebook today
https://www.facebook.com/LivesOfWW1/posts/1549440191875273
 

Quote

We’d like to update you on recent activity with the livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk website. Our focus is to improve functionality and user friendliness of the LOTFWW, so we’re making further investment into it.

Recent updates:
- Source attribution for stories and images.
- Military Service added to the download and the timeline.
- Book references enabled.
- Enlarging option for images.
- Enhanced printout format (we’re also working on this for further improvements).
- Fixed a bug with marriage dates.

Upcoming updates:
- Image source attribution functionality for profile pictures.
- Date for addresses to be displayed on the timeline.
- Display of Communities secondary description.
- Showing Communities web address field (URL), that links to War Memorials Register.
- Display of Stories associated dates.
- Overall data visualisations.

Areas of investigation:
- Ability to download all data.
- Clearer and tidier CSV format.
- Updated FAQ.

As you may appreciate, further updates will take some time, however we’ll aim to update you all as we progress.

Thank you,
Digital Engagement team.



 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Matlock1418
On 30/03/2020 at 12:28, Keith_history_buff said:

the "from" and "to" dates with associated location/address have been appearing on the timeline.

Thank you LOTFWW - Useful progress being made it seems - but still got undated items on a timeline = ???

 

On 30/03/2020 at 12:28, Keith_history_buff said:

The following has been posted on Facebook today
https://www.facebook.com/LivesOfWW1/posts/1549440191875273

Not being a follower of social media this had completely missed me.

Getting better - I hope they have the continued stamina [aka funds] to continue as they suggest.

Looking forward in anticipation ...

:-) M

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...