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Lives of the First World War

Discussion in 'Latest news' started by Alexander Bisset, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Andrew Lloyd

    Andrew Lloyd LostCousins Star

    In summary my overall impression of the lives site is that it is a wonderful idea but slightly flawed in its implementation.

    I have so far created one community which contains 54 men - the platoon in which my grandfather served and using a photograph album he left behind. I am in the process of creating a second community based on a war memorial in the Birmingham area. I have created life stories for each of the 78 men in this community hence I need the subscriber access to create this community. I like to create as complete as possible a life story for each of the men in the community not just the ones I am connected to, but I only "remember" those to whom I have a connection.

    I feel the way you need to create "evidence" before you can record a "fact", and in many cases creating evidence means having to have either an FMP or Ancestry subscription, is off putting. I am fortunate in that I have a subscription to both, but I can't help feeling that the cost of adding a fact will be putting off the majority of good people that could be making valuable contributions. I suspect many stories, photos, diaries, letters etc are being lost to this site as a result.

    On the site there is a section for improvement ideas which is well organised and full of good ideas that would improve the user experience considerably. Although many of the ideas are marked as "planned", frustratingly these never seem to materialise - some of the "planned" ideas have been around for over a year. The idea I would most like to see is the ability to add photographs to communities, not just to individuals.

    On the positive side, the responsiveness of the IWM volunteers is second to none - not only have they answered my immediate query, but have gone on to make further suggestions for my research. I must say I have found the experience totally addictive, even when researching soldiers to whom I have no connection, and boy have I learnt a lot about WW1, especially reading many of the newspaper articles concerning the individual soldiers.
     
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  2. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    Thank you Andrew ... I agree with you on many points and I am very glad that a large number of the pieces of "evidence " can be accessed for free in Canada. I choose to "remember" anyone I look up when I find I am the first person to do so. Otherwise I might just "remember" a life because it is someone a LOTFWW colleague or other online acquaintance is following.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  3. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    To the extent that the large scale remembrance reminds me of 50,000 names on a family tree I can appreciate Gillian's point. However although it would never be my style I've changed my mind in the past month or so about the LOFTWW large communities. Many of them involve minor corrections at the same time and their purpose is often to connect these lives in some way to an event, war memorial, regiment etc.

    While I am convinced there is no "right" or "wrong" I have let myself be guided at LOTFWW by the "what if " principle. In response to Andrew I said that I sometimes "remember" somebody having looked them up simply because I have identified them and I am the first person to do so. On occasion when the link is quite tenuous I have gone so far as adding an unsupported story as a sort of on line note and I now realise that I should always do so. It bothers me to be the second person to remember a "life" and the first leaves no clue as to why they have made the effort.
    So my "what if" in the LOTFWW scenario becomes "what if come 2018 when the project is supposed to be complete a "life" still hasn't been "remembered", how will I feel? "
     
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  4. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    I took a break from the Lives site while they were dealing with some "posting" issues and now I am back noticed some communities that are based on conscientious objectors .
    While I doing my own research I came across this site and recommend a visit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2016
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  5. KirstenB

    KirstenB LostCousins Star

    I had been putting on details of various family members at Lives but missed this thread entirely. There are two things that have come out of reading through it both great.
    1. I finally twigged the source first and facts after issue. It really makes more sense now.
    2. As an FMP member I hadn't remembered getting the offer back in 2014 so I e-mailed FMP. Within the hour they had given me access to the records so it's quicker to link sources (odd quirks but I am not complaining) and I can create a community for free for our village war memorial roll. Our history society has been running a big project on the affects of WWI on the village including tracing those recorded on the roll of honour and tracking down some of their relatives.
    While on this theme I generally feel happy about remembering anyone I can add information about. I feels very sad that anyone should go un-remembered. I am encouraging my family history "cousins" to do the same. You might be mildly interest to see this picture painted by my great uncle John in his sisters autograph book in Nov 1918 before the poppy became such an evocative symbol
     
  6. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    For anyone interested there are now more than 180 communities at Lives in commemoration of the Battle of Jutland. The next big push is the Somme engagement starting July 1.
     
  7. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    For anyone on this forum who loves solving a mystery there is a favour you could do for me as I try to finish a remembrance of over 260 members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in WWI who died during July 1916 as a result of action on July 1 . One of the wonderful sources of information are the soldier records which have been scanned.
    In the records for Francis Patrick Woodford, is a tantalising reference to Miss Betheia Morton of 1 Pilrig Place Edinburgh ( see images 6-7 and 11 of 30), she wrote twice asking about him in August 1916 and she was obviously important to him. I've found her courtesy of FMP in the 1901 Scotland census, she was born in 1895 so she would be about three years younger than Francis. In a general way I can place Francis (Frank) in the Edinburgh area for training in the early months of 1915. He embarked for Gallipoli in August 1915 and never returned to the U.K. so their friendship was one of long standing.
    I'd love to add more about her and her story, with due acknowledgement to my forum friends of course, who knows perhaps she is already a cousin of a forum member.
    Frank's story in outline is at https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/4862134#stories
     
  8. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    Peter reminded us of the possibility that we might find cousins who served at the Somme in his last newsletter. There are about 130 communities already created to remember the Somme and I am sure there are more to come. I have to finish the one I created hopefully by July 1.
     
  9. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Star

    One of the people I'm remembering was killed at the Somme on 1 July 1916, and I see that someone has now added him into one of those communities.

    I am remembering him as a sort of relative by marriage, since he was married to one of my grandmother's step sisters, so I guess he counts as a cousin.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  10. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    The battle dragged on and on, until 18 November. My Dad was wounded on 15 October and was repatriated. He didn't return to the front.
     
  11. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    I don't think I realised that your father was at the Somme , Gillian. There is a photographer who visits the grave sites in France and Belgium ( and some in the UK) that I follow because I think he seems particularly sensitive. Here's a link .
     
  12. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Thank you for that, BritJan. Dad was wounded at Trones Wood. The war diary records the casualties on 15 October: "Our casualties were 3 officers killed, 2 missing and 4 wounded, O.R. killed 13, wounded 76, wounded & missing 13, missing 62." He was one of the 4 officers wounded.
     
  13. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    It's rather amusing to go to the Lives site and get a notification about an update of information on a soldier you had chosen to remember and then have to rely on Google search to remind yourself why. The soldier was a gentleman by the name of Arthur Widdrington Herdman, and although I saw a rather familiar first name as one of the contributors it didn't click. I feel marginally better that it was two years ago that Arthur's name was mentioned within this thread!!
     
  14. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    Ooh-er that was me; poor old Arthur was my distant relative. I had better go and check what has happened to his 'life'.
     
  15. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

  16. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    Hi Kirsten, have you had problems with renewing your free access courtesy of your FMP membership? Only real value of course is creating communities and I create quite a lot but when I went to tried to renew my sub to Lives I was given a hassle. Eventually I was grudgingly given another year's access and I intend to take the issue further with the owners of FMP.
     
  17. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    I succeeded in renewing my free membership of Lives courtesy my FMP world sub by contacting Lives direct. When I tried via FMP, they claimed that it had been one of their specials but no longer applied. It's useful for looking up records as well as for creating communities.
     
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  18. KirstenB

    KirstenB LostCousins Star

    As it happens there was a delay with dealing with the local community group and I had to go back to FMP in December to ask again for access to complete the project before LOTFWW stops mid March. They "conceded" a membership for which I told them I was grateful, as I am. I did wonder whether using the membership for communities might stretch the FMP t & C for amateur researchers use. However for now I just want to get the community (Charing Kent) as complete as possible before mid March.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    I've been tempted to start a few new communities which I'm just populating with examples so that I can continue working with in another format after Lives closes.
     

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