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Remembered Today:

Medal Index Cards Update - WFA


Clive Harris
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Hope this is good news for everyone, the WFA website will be updated in the next couple of weeks with details of how to obtain copies of the MIC's. A good sized working party has now been assembled to assist with the copying requests.

PRESS RELEASE

11TH November 2006

The Western Front Association is pleased to announce that an enquiry service to deal with access to information relating to The Medal Index Cards will be in place by the end of the year. This will be for both sides of the cards and in full colour. This service will be manned on a voluntary basis by WFA Members.

Please note that information on the back of the cards is limited but best estimation is that only 5% of the cards hold any information.

A suggested donation of £5 per enquiry is requested to continue to help fund this facility.

It must also be noted that although the Medal Index cards are now in alphabetical order, some cards and cabinets remain out of sequence and will be part of the ongoing preservation project and that some cards will be be unable to be accessed due to the ongoing scanning process. There are also gaps in the records – most notably all womens’ records and are now held in the Imperial War Museum and the Military Medal Index Cards are also held by a third party.

It is the WFA’s aim to eventually reunite all records for the purpose of scanning to preserve and make available for future generations.

It is with great pleasure that we announce this service. Please also note that on this day on the 11th hour, a Service of Remembrance will be held within the storage facility and a wreath placed on the cabinets which will remain in place until this monumental task has been completed.

The WFA would like to thank all Members and Friends of the Association for their continued support in this ongoing process. Future updates will be available via the web site and the WFA Administrative Office.

Bruce Simpson

Chairman

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Hello,

I wonder if this is a suitable place for a general question about these cards. As I understand their function they record the basic details (number rank name and regiment or corps) of each soldier that left UK during the war and the decorations to which he was entitled or had been awarded. There are over 5 million of them in alphabetical order of surname and initials.

The question in my mind is, if that was their only function and it seems that their completion was a huge task, when and broadly how was it tackled? I assume the detail would have to be extracted from the nominal roles of units as they were posted overseas plus the detail of individuals leaving the training organisations. Was the record built up as the days went by from 1914 onwards, or was it a tremendous job when the war ended?

Some account of the process would be fascinating.

Old Tom

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There was a nice item about this on Meridian News last night, mentioning that the MICs were stored "near Salisbury". The reporter was shown the card relating to Rudyard Kipling's son and dug out his own grandfather's. The rows of filing cabinets looked very impressive - and daunting.

Moonraker

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Super News and another possible piece of the jigsaw into someone's military past. Well done to the WFA.

Steve

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Clive

which 3rd party holds the MM cards? Last time that I saw them they were at Kew

Rgds

Andy

Hi Andy, the NA holds scans of the MM cards but the originals were loaned a number years ago to two lads who were researching a book on MM winners, the work will be truly monumental when completed and I believe they have some way to go yet. The fact that they had them in first place meant that at least the MM cards were safe when the others were under threat 18 months ago.

Eventually it is hoped that the collections comes together again completed.

Whilst progress was frustratingly slow in the last 18 months it looks like matters are now very much in hand and copying facilities are a big step forward.

Ive scanned in just some of the filing cabinets in case anyone has'nt seen them yet

post-456-1163277978.jpg

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And an example of one of the cards, front & back belonging to Huntley Gordon who wrote "The Unreturning Army" along with Rogersons "Twelve Days" my favourite book, definately one for my desert island reads.

post-456-1163278334.jpg

post-456-1163278347.jpg

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Excellent news Clive, well done to the WFA. Nice to see a card in colour, looks so much more tangible than the grainy microfilms/downloads that we are used to.

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