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Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website

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Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website

Old 13th Aug 2020, 14:54
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Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website contains, inter alia, details of all British Commonwealth and certain other nationalities for both World Wars, who were killed or died and it has just undergone a facelift.

The result is dreadful and to launch the new system with so many errors is disappointing.

The sort of errors which have been found include the following:
A date format, stated to be DD/MM/YY which returns an error because it should be DD/MM/YYYY.
The selection of records against a given period of two dates does not work properly
The records selected are not always the ones which are returned to the researcher.
There appear to be issues with some of the 'pull down' choices.

It seems the new system was not tested fully and it has remained in use for several weeks despite errors being notified to CWGC.

This is an organisation which has always enjoyed a particularly good reputation but unless someone gets a grip of the website soon, that reputation will be blown apart.

Old Duffer
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 15:36
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I don't like the new site at all. It looks and feels cheap and tinny.

The older version felt much more robust.

Lets hope it gets sorted out soon.

Arc
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 19:00
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O-D

Very sad - the old searchable database was very good. You may recall I used it a few years ago to extract the (remarkably high number of) WW1 RAF graves in Wales.

My chum used to be a wheel in CWGC, but sadly he's retired so I can't prod him about it! Some nautical chap who married well took over I believe..........
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 20:14
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Whilst I am probably as old as you guys I'm lucky to work with/for a whole lot of highly paid and immensely talented software developers dudes and dudesses...so with nay hint of cycnicism allow me to introduce you to some modern software development terminolgy...

agile development...a more effective (cost, time and resource) of developing "stuff" than the old way of project management, whereby you get to where you want to go by way of "stories" "sprints" and "scrums".

minimal viable product...shipping something that sort of works then improving it operationally.

These are industry standards now...no doubt someone will do it the old-fashioned way, but it will cost 20X as much.

As to look an feel...a quick glance shows it to be "mobile responsive" absolutley no *****er gives a ***** what a website looks like on a Windows PC. Check it out on your Iphone and see what it looks like on that.

Or not...it's your call. You can be old, or act old...it's a free world...more or less

PS TBC...I have nothing to do with this website...in case anyone thought different.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 08:30
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Nope - it's still [email protected]

Arc
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 08:52
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Dicky Dangle,

The situation you describe is fine as long as the story, sprints and scrums are dealt with by responding to the experience in use and the 'minimum viable product' is not seen as the conclusion.

If a system, however developed, does not meet the criteria required by the user, then it's not what the sponsor/owner paid for. One might allow for rapid development and cheaper etc but if it doesn't deliver the users' requirements it's no good - same as much else in the world!

Old Duffer MBCS resigned!!!
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 12:20
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Nope - it's still [email protected]
I have just tried the new site and could not agree more. Whatever happened to the idea of "If it ain't broken, don't fix it".
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 12:30
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Originally Posted by S'land View Post
Whatever happened to the idea of "If it ain't broken, don't fix it".
It's been replaced by " I need to look as if I'm doing something, otherwise they might decide they can do without me"
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 12:51
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Less Is More

Originally Posted by Old-Duffer View Post
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website contains, inter alia, details of all British Commonwealth and certain other nationalities for both World Wars, who were killed or died and it has just undergone a facelift.

The result is dreadful and to launch the new system with so many errors is disappointing.

The sort of errors which have been found include the following:
A date format, stated to be DD/MM/YY which returns an error because it should be DD/MM/YYYY.
The selection of records against a given period of two dates does not work properly
The records selected are not always the ones which are returned to the researcher.
There appear to be issues with some of the 'pull down' choices.

It seems the new system was not tested fully and it has remained in use for several weeks despite errors being notified to CWGC.

This is an organisation which has always enjoyed a particularly good reputation but unless someone gets a grip of the website soon, that reputation will be blown apart.

Old Duffer
Just been on the Website chaps.

I put two names in and both came up - no DOB. Name and First World War only.

TN.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 09:15
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Thumbs up

I too have just used the site, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission | CWGC and the details available are very impressive to my mind, with minimal input; last name, first name, Regt, Service, Country served, only required. It produced a personal Certificate of Remembrance, and copies of original exhumation and internment records, as well as photos and plans of the cemetery. It would have been nice to view a picture of a particular grave but the sheer effort of photographing every grave in over 23000 locations around the world would be an unrealistic ask I guess. No doubt there is room for improvement and no doubt that will be continuous anyway, as is the nature of the digital world. In the meantime a well done from me at least.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 14:10
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But Chugalug2,

You are using it many months after I made my observations. I would hope they had (and I now believe they have) sorted out some of the issues I highlighted.

Old Duffer
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Old 20th Feb 2021, 02:04
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Seems odd, to me at least, they only have WWI and WWII, there are a few other conflicts involved.
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 06:30
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Megan,
The CWGC mandate is just to deal with the two World Wars with providing and maintaining the cemeteries and memorials world wide. There are a few other things like education etc but other conflicts are out of scope, which is one reason for the Armed Forces Memorial at Alrewas which commemorates those killed on duty since 1948.

If you haven't seen the memorial, I strongly recommend a visit when life returns to near normal again.

I am quite pleased that I was able to get a man's name on the memorial after it had been missed off because it was thought he had died of natural causes.

Old Duffer
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 12:04
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It would have been nice to view a picture of a particular grave
Hi Chug! It is still possible to get pictures of many thousands of headstones around the world through the War Graves Photographic Project , a non-profit voluntary scheme which worked with the CWGC and its website until a few years ago, with CWGC records linked to the WGPP free to access database and photo prints available at nominal cost -- just about enough to cover printing and postage.

As I understand it the CWGC then demanded to take over the Project's archives and run the WGPP as a commercial enterprise. WGPP voluntary management considered this inappropriate as their thousands of images had been provided and organised free of charge by an army of volunteers who had given their services on that basis. CWGC then ended the co-operation which had enabled many relatives to obtain headstone images from around the world.

Much as I admire the work of the CWGC I thought at the time and still think they were wrong to turn the WGPP into a commercial venture and like most volunteers I agreed with WGPP's decision to refuse such an approach. My wife and I spent an enjoyable year researching and clearing graveyards (using chainsaw at one stage) and producing more than 500 images for the Project; the thanks of the relatives was all the reward we could have wanted.

We are both glad to see that the Project continues to thrive although it receives no public money as far as I know and the cost of the servers etc is met by its volunteer managers.
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 13:35
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Geriaviator, many thanks for the link! I can only agree with you that to put such a worthy and voluntary project onto a commercial, ie profit making basis, is totally inappropriate. As to the grave in question I am glad to report that I have numerous pictures taken over many years. Others might not be so fortunate, and to expect to make money out of them other than to cover costs is wrong in my opinion. BZ's (?) to all those who have volunteered to build this data base. Long may their good work continue.

Let us hope that a more enlightened attitude will soon take hold in the CWGC. The service would be a most fitting addition to the rest of the CWGC's good work. Of course, any intended commercial use of such images should attract a fee. I'm sure that conditions of downloading might allow for that.

Take care with that chainsaw, lest you provide manna from heaven for sub-editors ever on the lookout for an ironic headline!
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 19:36
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Thanks O-D, a check of our War Graves Commission says they are agents for the Commonwealth organisation, I didn't realise they were two separate entities, confused by the fact the Oz War Graves do the maintenance of the Korean and Vietnam lads graves in whichever town/city they are located.
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Old 21st Feb 2021, 22:56
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Originally Posted by Old-Duffer View Post
Megan,
The CWGC mandate is just to deal with the two World Wars with providing and maintaining the cemeteries and memorials world wide. There are a few other things like education etc but other conflicts are out of scope, which is one reason for the Armed Forces Memorial at Alrewas which commemorates those killed on duty since 1948.

If you haven't seen the memorial, I strongly recommend a visit when life returns to near normal again.

I am quite pleased that I was able to get a man's name on the memorial after it had been missed off because it was thought he had died of natural causes.

Old Duffer
I may be wrong,50/50 chance,but I thought the CWGC also included the Korean War[or police action,whatever you want to call it],and I mean no disrespect to those who fought and died there.
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 08:58
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I am not aware that the Korean War is included but have never asked.

Some CWGC cemeteries are 'open' and hence still receive burials. In some places the CWGC cemetery contains non war dead and I think Wegberg in Germany is one of those.

O-D
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 13:00
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From Wikipedia ref. Oosterbeek:

As of 2003 there were still 138 Allied men with no known grave in the area, and they are commemorated at the Groesbeek Memorial.[15] However, evidence of the battle is often discovered even today, and the bodies of Allied servicemen are reinterred at the Airborne Cemetery.[16] When found, bodies are exhumed and Dutch Graves Registration staff attempt to identify them before they are reburied.[16] One soldier of the Border Regiment was discovered and reburied in the cemetery in 2005[17] and another who had previously been unidentified was reburied in 2006
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 13:57
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Originally Posted by spitfirek5054 View Post
I may be wrong,50/50 chance,but I thought the CWGC also included the Korean War[or police action,whatever you want to call it],and I mean no disrespect to those who fought and died there.
CWGC only covers WWI (1914-1921) and WWII (1939-1947). Dates relate to when all warring factions signed to say war was over.

Korean War commemorated at National Arboretum. IIRC.
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