WW2Talk Has Absolutely No Connection To 'Forces War Records'.

Discussion in 'Network Information, Suggestions and Feedback' started by von Poop, Nov 22, 2012.

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  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Maybe so, Les, but the bloke who fixes your car, and chaps who potter here that also do private archive stuff for pay off their own bat, don't put on a mask and pretend to be someone else while promoting their service...
  2. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    Good point, Adam, you delivered the coup de grace at message 19 just as I was putting my :twocents: in
  3. timbo58

    timbo58 Discharged

    Hello Paul et al, yes I work for Forces reunited.
    I am not Neil nor pretending to be anyone other than me.

    I will let Neil answer your specifics however I would like to also point out that if you are defending other sites by the fact they have transcribed materials (whether or not they are a straight transcription or not) also available on the CWGC for free and are therefore OK to use this and charge for it where FWR are not IYO, that FWR have also transcribed this information and collated it with other data.

    If thats not 'OK' IYO then fair enough, opinion accepted.
    I also take the point that FWR should make their sources crystal clear and I understand there is significant progress towards this I am sure they will welcome your feedback when that is in place.

    Once again I stand by my point that Casualties are only a portion of what FWR offer and they employ wholly UK staff to transcribe that too.

    The £30 medal research is a dedicated independent and accredited researcher service, yes fair enough FWR charge £30 and he gets the lions share for this, it is not done in house at all.

    I also saw comments about the Japanese POW database we launched earlier in the year on here -
    To be fair POWs have been an interest of mine for some time and we were getting some criticism for having nothing at all on the FEPOWs.
    I contacted mansell.com and several other well known sources to ask if they would be prepared to allow the FWR site to use this data as long as it was totally free of charge (which it is).
    Some sites didn't want a commercial site using 'their' data -that's fair enough, others helped enormously and 14,000+ individual named records are now on the site.

    As some amongst you who have used 4,5,6,7 etc sources to make a spreadsheet for a database will know this isn't easy work, it isn't simply cut 'n' paste at all, it's hard work which I did in my spare time and it took over 3 months, it doesn't cover all areas occupied and it isn't complete by any means, there is also a 60 page+ tutorial which will be launched at some time also.

    The reason for this was to make it clear that no one was ignoring these veterans despite the fact that most info was really hard to source.
    I am hoping it will make it easier for those wanting to know a bit to actually find it rather than give up thinking everyones forgotten about them, I've had to have some minor stuff translated so that camp names are likely to be both accurate and recognisable to those searching from various translations into English.
  4. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    I was just asking a reasonable question in a reasonable way; how it is possible for you to use CWGC records and charge for it?

    I'm not comparing you to or indeed interested in any other sites, none of which include exact duplicates of CWGC records, except offering scans of old IWGC registers.
  5. timbo58

    timbo58 Discharged

    I believe FWR also offer scans of old IWGC registers since that is where the original info comes from in any case.

    I wasn't aware that FWR offered 'exact' duplicates in any case -they collate casualty/medal/pow data along with army/navy/air force lists and MIDs for the most part?

    Fair enough a casualty without any medal/pow/mid etc data to add is going to have pretty much the same fields of info on the FWR site: is this what you mean?

    And how is that demonstrably different to the other Rolls of honour?
    I think the difference is if I understand the point you are trying to make/question that you require answering correctly is that FWR doesn't charge credits etc to 'see' records they charge once for everything in the site and everything in the documents library, so maybe Neil will answer this better than I, however they charge for the entire set of data, including data you may well see free of charge elsewhere.
  6. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    You're either not answering the question or not understanding it.

    As you wish.
  7. timbo58

    timbo58 Discharged

    Your question:
    How is it possible for you to use CWGC records and charge for it?

    My answer:
    The casualty records you are referring to come from more than one source (one source are the original IWGC records that is correct) they are brought together in each individual record with data from other sources (which need to be clearer accepted) hence they are not identical AFAIAA with CWGC records currently offered online free of charge.
    No one is charged individually for A record (although I accept some people may only want 1) and a small minority of records on the site could be the same as CWGC in any case since you can filter out survivors/casualty/medals etc a searcher can clearly see this.

    Hopefully that is clear enough, however please feel free to explain if there was some specific point you were trying to get to?

    Rather than leaving it inferring I am IYO deliberately avoiding the answer of course.
    As I am now thinking you are grinding an axe here and attempting to use me as a whetstone.
  8. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    No axe grinding, just asking a simple question, which you have now answered.

    Your commemoration data comes from the old IWGC registers.

    Thank you.
  9. timbo58

    timbo58 Discharged

    Thank you Paul although 'commemoration data'?
    No, not just the I/CWGC a few different sources.
    'Commemoration data' infers different things to different people so its probably wise to be more specific.

    i.e. generally: not true - CWGC only cover WWI and WWII hence the death details from the Falklands, Iraq etc (and for that matter the Cyprus emergency which I made myself whilst on Holiday there in October and will be launched soon) are also included in what I would regard as 'Commemoration'.
    WWI -the roll of the great war all 80 volumes, and other sources along with the IWGC registers.
  10. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Whilst its nice having the information in one place I`m afraid the above information has been freely available through the ROLL OF HONOUR websites and BRITAINS SMALL WARS for quite some time.Not a criticism just it might save you some work and give you time to do something a little more unique on the website?

  11. Callisto

    Callisto Twitter ye not

    Whether or not they are a straight transcription

    To clarify, it was you who stated that material on another site was "a straight transcription of CWGC stuff". The sites I linked to all gave a TNA Catalogue ref. and to reiterate the information from Army Roll of Honour includes more than that which is available on CWGC.

    If Forces War Records have also transcribed the same TNA data, all well and good, but I do hope they make inroads soon into making sources clear.
    Perplexing as it is to find that this issue is only being sorted out after the site has been running for some time, I think everyone would appreciate the importance of having a label on a tin before it's opened.
  12. white1

    white1 Discharged

    We there seems to be quite a discussion here?
    Well I can say FWR have used many sources to build an extensive database of genealogy records, and yes ONE of these sources is the I/CWGC data which is used on many a Military Genealogy site. Though this is only a SMALL portion of the millions of records data we have going back to as far as 1350. Data that we have collated/processed and transcribed into our records along with so much more include the like’s of the TNA records, Casualty records, medal index’s / Rolls, Army, navy air forces (RFC ? RAF) lists, mentions in Despatch’s, POW records (Asia and European), Napoleonic War databases, Boar War records, shot at Dawn databases, etc etc and so much more....!! We also have regimental data, unit data, information on Ships and Naval bases that has all been collected and cross matched against the service history of the records. We are adding upwards of 30,000 new records a week and our dedicated research team are constantly finding new information for records we already have. Please understand that this can be a long and arduous process as we collect resources, find the useful information and upload it.

    Subscription also gives you access to our On-line historic military library that has been digitized to give you a HUGE catalogue of interesting articles, books, newspaper, magazines, complete publications, with some over 100 years old. All which you can search by keyword or phrase to give you even more information about our ancestors and their history.

    So in answer to your question we are not just selling GWCG records, as so much more is offered by the site of FWR. There is also a free search you can do to see if we have the records and data you want.

    Though you have made a fair point Callisto about a sources list so that it is clear to ‘all’ what and where the records are from. I can inform you that we are in the process of amending/developing the main web page so that there ‘IS’ a sources list for you to see the ‘label on the tin before opening’. Hopefully this will put a STOP to people making comments that we only sell GWCG records as this is nonsense!
  13. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    No-one said you "only sell GWCG records" (it's actually CWGC).

    I simply asked where you sourced the data showing where a serviceman was buried or commemorated and your work colleague states that it was IWGC registers and "other sources", although I can't think what they might be.

    If you run an online service you should expect reasonable and politely asked questions, surely?
  14. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    If quote one is correct (and taking later posts into account); the question mark in quote two does not compute.

    Why initially query the contents of a site you help run, and apparently have an in-depth knowledge of, or refer to it in the third person, unless attempting to appear unconnected?

    It's like me appearing on another site saying: "That WW2Talk looks like it has a lot of WW2-talking chaps on it, doesn't it?"


    If someone wants to flog something WW2/military-related here, we're usually fine with it; make a post and potter off, no biggie, but this weak sock-puppetry is inevitably going to put people's backs up.
    One of the main things I've learnt in c.Five years running here is to try and be as honest as possible with the Interweb, or it'll bite back
  15. timbo58

    timbo58 Discharged

    point taken VP however I was merely trying to make others look at what was on offer against the statement I felt had been made.

    i.e. have a look at this site and see if the statement that appeared to have been made regarding CWGC records (I felt it said that FWR only had CWGC and charged for identical records rightly or wrongly) was felt to be true by all readers.

    I apologise if I gave the impression that I was anything other than me, it was poorly written, not an attempt to deceive.
  16. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member


    I had a month subscription for your site earlier on this year.

    I searched for two WW1 service men. Initial search results showed 100+ potential records. On viewing 97% could be dismissed outright. Looked through the remaining 3% and found nothing relevant for those i was looking for. I was a bit disappointed (considering initial search results), but wasn't too surprised.

    I then did the same for six WW2 service men. similar initial search results for potential records, but practically same result. There wasn't any relevant records for 4 of them. 2 did have relevant records, but these were exactly the same information that is availible on the CWGC website for free.

    I then tried to use the site to find all the casaulties for a certain battalion covering a week in say 1944 (This was before i knew about Geoff's Search Engine). Found the search facilities poor and unhelpful and ended up trawling through the records individually. Even though the site is supposedly unlimited access, I kept getting messages to re log-in after viewing 10-15 records, as the site seemed to think i was some webcrawler dataminer type software.

    I then spent most of an afternoon searching for anything i could think regarding my own WW2 research and turned up nothing.

    I been back since to look at the free POW database, and can't say i am particularly impressed with that either. As a test i searched for the records of 2 POW's from the 6th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regt that i know exist and are availible elsewhere.

    By using the site POW search facility (which is by inputting surname and selecting unit or camp from a drop down) i couldn't find either of them.On further inspection I then realised that in the unit drop down list there are at least 9 variations for the 6th HAA Rgt to choose from and if you don't pick the right one or trawl through them all, you won't find the relevant record.

    Also tried to find them via the camp drop down search, and found one camp i was looking for wasn't on there. After trying all availible options and possibilities, i eventually found one of them by just entering his surname and reviewing all the records.

    I can understand that the site is a continuous work in progress, but in my opinion, currently the site is poor for WW2 research compared to what is availible elsewhere.

    For the site to improve, my recommendations would be to urgently improve the search facilities (i.e. get rid of the drop down selections bit - its appalling to use with how the records are transcribed). Also give an indication how complete the databases are, and/or give an estimated availibility of records that are currently (or in future) being transcibed. At least that way if someone does a search and doesn't find anything, it would be apparent that it could be availible in the future, rather than it doesn't exist at all.
    Pieter F likes this.
  17. timbo58

    timbo58 Discharged

    Thankyou for that feedback, The Jap stuff was all my own work so I'm a bit taken aback but it's all totally valid critique!

    It may be entirely my fault and I may well have transcribed things as I saw them on the various sources rather than intelligently trying to standardise unit data.

    I did make a lot of effort in making the camp names as recognisable and correct as possible although I accept I have seen the spelling of 'Fukuoka' for example made in several ways.

    The site was extensively re-built earlier this year (October launch) with advanced filtering and searching facilities but there's always going to be room for improvement.
    Incidentally the regiment (and rank listings for that matter) have been a constant pain and so these are quite high on the 'fix' list in any case: a very valid point.

    The sources pages that are currently under development (I have checked today) will have the original source (where possible as some of the sets are licensed and we are then dependent on the owner to inform us, one for example has only given VERY basic details under WO100 which is probably worse than useless, another has given us a full breakdown but listing them would fill 4 pages for the Boer war alone!), they will also have a breakdown of how many individual names there are in them and what 'fields' are populated, with a brief rundown of what the data set is about in each case.

    The question of completeness is something I would tend to be wary of since I've certainly seen some sites claiming this is 'complete' but not having records when searched that we have found, so a tricky one, although a fair point.
    We add around 50,000 records a week and I think it could be possible that the development team could add some sort of notice in the sources, that's a great idea.

    (e.g. this week they are hand collating the Army list 1918 and the RAF formations list 1918 from the original sources, even with the best software you can only get scans recognised to a certain extent before you realise they have to actually be input in the old fashioned way!)

    Certainly with the sources page/s it will be possible for everyone to 'see' what sort of data they are going to get before payment, and so this is going to be ahuge improvement.
  18. white1

    white1 Discharged

    As stated in my post Paul that we are not just charging for CWGC as we hold so much more from our Databases. We will have a list of 'sources' up on the website SOON for you all to view critic and clear for you all.
  19. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Yes, your colleague has answered that but that's not the question I was asking or what I was implying. I simply asked how you could charge for CWGC data. Your colleague has answered that it is in fact old IWGC data from printed registers and 'other sources' (whatever they may be).
  20. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Rather than paying a website for in depth service details of a relative who was in the Army why not contact the local Regimental Museum in the area where you live? Very often for an appropriate donation they will be able to provide everything you may want to know (and probably what you would rather not have known as well!).

    I have used Regimental Museums in the course of my own research and they tend to be very good. In my opinion, someone is more likely to get a positive result and value for money than an online website such as the one in question. You can also see where the Regimental Museum has obtained their information.
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