Withdrawal of CWGC 'Adjudicator' posts by N.A.M.

Discussion in 'Non-Commemorated War Dead' started by ritsonvaljos, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    The lead story headline in my edition of 'The Sunday Post' newspaper on Sunday 25 March 2017 was:
    'Insult to our Fallen Heroes'

    The story is about the disappearance of the withdrawal of the civilian 'researcher' adjudicator posts who decide on cases for inclusion of service men and women submitted for commemoration by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. A spokesman for the CWGC states that three years ago (2014) two adjudicator / researchers were funded by the National Army Museum (N.A.M.) to look at the backlog of cases submitted to them. From last year (2016) it was reduced to one 'researcher' seconded from the N.A.M. and as from mid-January 2017 the post has been withdrawn.

    The newspaper article includes a quote from Nic Andrews of the CWGC is, "I think most people would comment that this isn't the best timing in the world".

    It also mentions that one researcher from the 'In From the Cold Project', Terry Denham, had received this written reply from the Army about the withdrawal of the last researcher / adjudicator role from Brigadier Martyn Gamble for Army Home Command:

    "Due to a recent restructuring of the Army, difficult financial conditions and ongoing reviews into roles and responsibilities, we are reviewing the diverse work strands related to museums and heritage."

    However, according to the article the R.A.F. and Royal Navy are continuing to provide an researcher / adjudicator for cases submitted who were in those services.

    According to Terry Denham, the 'In From the Cold Project' has currently over 100 cases outstanding but at present cannot get any conformation as to how they are progressing.

    This issue will apply to the non-commemorated war dead of WW1 and WW2 where families and / or researchers have submitted their details to the CWGC for inclusion, such as those who died of injuries / illness shortly after being discharged from the service.
    chrisharley9 likes this.
  2. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Seems very small minded - just how much of a saving is this really going to be?
    If it's a civilian post, what's it got to do with the Army in any case?
    If it's just a way of allowing some bigwig to earn a little pin money for doing very little, I could understand it, but this seems a necessary check on IFTC and other submissions.
    I believe there is also a backlog of soldiers remains from WW1 etc that have been recovered many years ago and still await the dignity of reburial.

    What saving will come next? Refuse to refund the cost of purchasing Death Certificates in successful cases?
    Heritage is what the British Army is there to protect, and what makes each unit special from all the others.
    Still, no doubt the saving will ensure that brass hats steering their mahogany tanks from one set of files to another will ensure they are kept in biscuits for a while longer.
    chrisharley9 likes this.
  3. chrisharley9

    chrisharley9 Senior Member

    Was going to post something here, but got beaten to it.

    IFCP will continue to submit cases to CWGC for both World Wars. There is ongoing communication going on with CWGC/IFCP & MOD to sort out this problem.

    To clarify the situation it is a civilian post at the National Army Museum, but this is funded by MOD Army. £27k is the sum which to my mind is not a lot of money.
    Deacs and ritsonvaljos like this.
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    A mere drop in the ocean to what has been wasted yearly by the MOD.
    chrisharley9 likes this.
  5. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    I've submitted a few cases for commemoration to the CWGC and helped our member Chris Harley get the information for a small number of other cases to be sent in as 'In From the Cold' submissions. Before the two staff from the N.A.M. were seconded to look at the cases submitted to the CWGC the backlog seemed to be two years or more and growing.

    I never got the impression they were doing much 'research', but rather checking the documents and findings that the people who had done the research had sent in.But, at least the work they were doing was reducing the backlog of cases. Now there is nobody in the role the backlog is evidently building up again.

    Let us hope it gets sorted soon and at least one post is reinstated.
    CL1 likes this.
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    it just gets more difficult
    the work is cut out for new commemorations and the repair/renewal of new headstones in this country
    Smudger Jnr and ritsonvaljos like this.
  7. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit


    Employs 80 staff. Operting budget is 7M, of which 6M comes from MOD. They seem concerned that there may be future cuts to this.

    Has just had a Lottery Fund refit of 23.75M

    NAM Accounts:

  8. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    thanks for posting Geoff

    That doesn't suprise me at all the guilt nails of the past are continually hammered into the present.

    More to the point you have to ask who runs the budgets for these places.
    Give me the spreadsheet and I would find 27k to fund it
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  10. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I think it's a condition of lottery funding - he who pays the piper calls the tune..
  11. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    Museums are best starved of funds, but not so much that they are in danger of closing or flogging off stuff to survive. Same happened with Bletchley. Over funded, over restored, over managed.
  12. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Really, it is probably only in the last ten years or so that enquiries to the CWGC will have increased significantly. A lot more records have been made available, many online, and people (such as 'In From the Cold') are making an effort to sort out the many inherent errors and omissions in the War Graves Commission records.

    The way the process works it still needs someone from the War Graves Commission (or someone seconded to it) to verify the findings, and this is where it comes to a cost for the Government (i.e. ultimately the Whitehall Treasury). It is evidently a long way down any priority list for funding, hence there is a bottleneck with the enquiries and a growing length of time to process enquiries.
    CL1 likes this.
  13. chrisharley9

    chrisharley9 Senior Member

    Message received from Terry Denham today

    You will be aware of the delay in processing UK army non-com cases caused by MoD's ill-thought out attempt to save money by ending their contract with the National Army Museum who provided adjudication services for these cases.

    No cases have be resolved since December because of this nor have many other queries been resolved as NAM provided CWGC and MoD with other query resolution services under the same agreement. IFCP alone has 161 army cases in the queue awaiting resolution.

    The good news is that the problem has now been sorted and the agreement with NAM has been restored for a longer period. Previously, it was a short term agreement renewed (or not) each year or two making it an unstable arrangement though one which worked well for everyone.

    NAM is currently recruiting a new adjudication officer and the end of the delay is in sight. However, there will still be a delay of a few months before cases start to move. The person has to be recruited, trained at NAM and CWGC and test cases have to be processed to ensure accuracy and consistency with previous adjudication etc.

    The backlog will take time to process but we will get there with it being cleared probably some time next year. We and CWGC have been processing cases normally during the break so all our cases are on the starting blocks ready to go. Of course, Royal Navy, RAF, Merchant Navy and dominion cases have continued to be processed normally all year as they were not affected.

    This has been a traumatic period for us with time and effort being expended in arguing with politicians, ministers and army hierarchy and we all know how difficult that can be! It has been time wasted but it had to be done to ensure that our work and that of others could continue. Let us hope that we never have to repeat the exercise.

    I will let you know if anything significant changes but I hope the end is now rapidly approaching and we can look forward to forgotten casualties getting their due commemoration once more.
  14. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Thanks for the update, Chris. I suppose this latest development is good news but it is going to take some while to get on top of the backlog of submissions again.
  15. chrisharley9

    chrisharley9 Senior Member

    Probably will not be back on top of things until Xmas. If anyone has any cases please still submit them.
    ritsonvaljos likes this.

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