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Terry Denham

CWGC Non-Commemorations

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Terry Denham

The purpose of this new section is to help anyone who believes that they have discovered a WW1 Commonwealth serviceman/woman who is not recorded by CWGC and who possibly should be.

The aim of the section is to give advice or assistance in determining whether a name could qualify or not and then provide assistance, if required, in putting the name forward to CWGC and MoD (or equivalent Commonwealth authority).

This section is meant to give practical assistance to Forum members. If anyone believes they have such names, please start a thread with the name of the possible casualty in the title. Anybody who wishes to advise can then do so.

If the thread originator then wishes to put the name forward to CWGC themselves they can do so and later post any results. There is a wealth of experience on the Forum to assist members in this task. Just ask.

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Terry Denham

A few notes for guidance...

Possible missing names generally fall into one of two categories.

(1) Those Commonwealth men/women still in service at the time of their death. These personnel automatically qualify for commemoration provided they died within the qualifying dates of 04.08.14 to 31.08.21 inclusive (03.09.39 to 31.12.47 inclusive for WW2).

(2) Those that died within the same qualifying dates but after discharge of an injury or illness caused by or exacerbated by their service during those dates. The cases qualify only if it is PROVEN to the authorities' satisfaction that death was service attributable.

At all times, official documentary proof is required.

The cases in category (1) are easier to prove and often only require a copy of the Death Certificate. This usually confirms their military status at death - the only requirement as cause of death, location of death or unit are not relevant to recognition. However, if you also have other documentation such as the Medal Index Card, medical papers, penison or service records, they all help.

The men in the second category are more difficult to prove and not all cases can to proven with satisfaction. Many are rejected. However, you still need the Death Certificate and as much other evidence as you can gather. A proportion of these cases will fail to gain recognition.

Items such as newspaper obituaries and family letters will help as back-up material but are usually not reliable enough on their own.

Timescales for getting cases reviewed and accepted or rejected can be as little as a month or as long as three years. The process involves CWGC undertaking a first sift of the evidence submitted and then passing the data to the relevant department of the MoD - Royal Navy, Army, RAF or Royal Marines. This is where the delays occur! Cases for the authorities in Australia, Canada etc do not usually suffer the same delays but they can still take some time.

There are other rules applying to a third category - the various civilian units (known as Recognised Civilian Organisations) such as the Mercantile Marine, Red Cross etc. Casualties from these organisations can qualify for recognition under certain additional circumstances. These casualties only qualify subject to rules applicable to each seperate organisation but essentially the casualties had to die on duty and of a war cause - often only whilst serving overseas with or attached to a Commonwealth military force. Their death had to occur 04.08.14 to 11.11.18 inclusive or, if they died of injuries/illness sustained during that period, by 31.08.21. Those dying in their home country can also qualify if their cause of death originated whilst serving overseas. (There are similar rules for these organisations for WW2). It is not straightforward in these cases.

The Great War Forum will assist with any genuine case of non-commemoration where it can. Please note that this section is meant for men who are missing from the CWGC lists rather than for getting details of existing entries amended.

Nobody knows how many names are missing from the lists but one is one too many. They were omitted through clerical error or ignorance of the rules at the time - particularly where post-discharge names are concerned. With your help, this can be rectified in some cases.

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