Every effort is made to include accurate transcriptions of war memorials and monuments. Errors and omissions can be corrected if the transcription is in error.
War Memorials, monuments and Rolls of Honour are created by people to honor those who served. Most are created shortly after the event. They become "historic documents" even if they are carved in stone, which means:
- I can't change them. And likely you can't either. Live with it. The Parish Council isn't going to change a document from 1919 just because your uncle's name is missing from it. If you want a stone mounument corrected, be ready to pay for all the work that has to be done.
- I am obliged to list the transcripts of these "documents" as I receive them. I can note "errata", but I can't change a historic document to suit your whims.
- On War Memorials, I will try to add data from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission where I can. This would include death dates, unit designations and cemetery names.
- I really want the information on the wab pages to be correct, but I'm constrained by the standards of historians when dealing with these items. So TELL ME what you think is wrong, but don't castigate me for the way I handle your information.
On these documents are errors:
- Names are missing. People tried to be correct, but there was confusion for years after the war(s).
- Some names appear twice (on a neighboring parish monument, for example). Again, confusion.
- Some names are misspelled. Even stonecutters make mistakes.
- Some names are misspelled. Some stone faces are hard to read these days.
- The unit assignment is wrong. This is probably because the man was temporarily assigned or posted to another unit when his death was recorded. Or we've identified the wrong guy! Just because you thought he was in the Royal Artillery, what is your proof? If you have proof, the CWWG is the place to make the correction.
- The rank is wrong. This is probably a CWWG database error because of what officials were told when the man died.
Note, too, that:
- Some men changed their name when they enlisted. No one was required to show a birth certificate.
- Some men reported as missing simply stayed behind when the fighting stopped. Perhaps they liked the country or had made local friends.
- Some men took a long time getting home. They may have been reported lost by their neighbors and friends, when they were really just taking a "slow train" to get home.
- Many casualties were never found. I have a relative who jumped ship just before it was sunk. I wonder if London even knew about it? Some bodies are still being discovered.
- The technologies and methods we use today to track servicemen didn't exist in WWI and WWII.
[Created: 26-September-2011 - Louis R. Mills]