Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: RFC/RAF Casualty Forms

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bewdley, UK
    Posts
    2,703
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default RFC/RAF Casualty Forms

    Looks like RAF Museum are looking for volunteers to aid in transcribing the early Casualty Forms.

    https://www.casualtyforms.org/

    Not many yet online from post April formation of RAF but a resource to either keep an eye on or aid.

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,648
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts

    Default

    Ross,
    If I understand you (and the RAF Museum) correctly, the Casualty Forms have been conserved – i.e. de-weevilised, and stopped from falling apart.
    They have then been ‘digitised’. I assume, by this they mean ‘put into some form of modern electronic format’ – i.e. photographed?
    Are they now looking for a vast army of volunteers to take chunks of that format each, and mechanically transcribe each chunk into a pre-determined Word, or Excel, (or similar) format? Presumably, two (or more?) transcribers will work on the same ‘chunk’ of data. Their results will be compared by some Supervisor, and the Supervisor will then pass a “final version” upwards for exposure on the “net”, via the RAF Museum?
    Something like this has to be done, even if only to avoid the nauseous, and wasteful, time/effort currently spent in interrogating AIR 78 (TNA pse note!).
    If they would put their requests for help in relatively simple English, it would be much easier! Or am I too old?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,823
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 78 Times in 71 Posts

    Default

    How are these different from the ones on RAF Vault ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bewdley, UK
    Posts
    2,703
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Peter - using simpler English, Yes.

    Paul - no different for the image. It will be the indexing that will be expanded in a similar way to the Free BMD images.

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,823
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 78 Times in 71 Posts

    Default

    Ross

    Transcribing then !

    Thanks for confirming

    Hope that have a good data model set up

    Paul

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    115
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    I thought I would bump this thread; the transcription is now complete and can now be searched using the website above. Clicking on a result brings up the core information 'as transcribed' and the image, which can then be deciphered for more detail (although the writing is usually less than copperplate!).

    I must have done quite a number of these things, and a few things jump out.

    Information varies from a name and a rank through to quite a bit of detail - postings, hospital stays, courses, promotions, decorations, even ships and (in a few cases) FGCM proceedings.
    Dates generally run from 1916 - 1920
    There may be several forms for the same officer
    Unit and rank may be heavily amended
    There appears to be a good number of medics, equipment officers, and the like in there, too.
    There is a large section of officers from the Middle Eastern theatre as well as Europe.
    Where a man has been hospitalised, there is a certain amount of medical detail.
    Where a man has been killed, details of burial are recorded where known, including the padre officiating. Other cases may refer to the Red Cross, messages dropped by German aeroplanes, newspapers, or simply 'lapse of time'.

    I should think this will be a very useful and accessible resource for researchers, together with the RAFM's 'Story Vault'. Bravo for not hiding it away behind a paywall, however nominal (Ancestry, FMP, etc. etc.).

    ETA: There were many images that were 'backs' of forms where information continued onto a second page. I don't think these have been married up yet, and so they are not available with the search results.
    Last edited by RecklessRat; 16th March 2018 at 17:49.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1,956
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Gents,

    Many thanks for drawing this useful source to my attention. If it has already been mentioned on WWI forms I may have missed it.

    Errol

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    1,956
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    I would strongly suggest that searching in the first instance should be carried out on surname only.

    Some names feature full names and others just surname and initials.

    Some initials are recorded as 'A B' and others as 'A.B.' If one enters A B when A.B. is recorded the item will not come up. Likewise, if A.B. is entered when A B is recorded it will not show up either.

    Errol

    Errol

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,648
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts

    Default

    I did a fair number of Transcriptions and, like Errol, began to wonder if it had been properly organised. There were, eventually, some 250-odd knowledgeable Transcribers. It would be a great shame if their combined expertise(s), time, and effort, were to be negated by such niff-naff and trivia as the inclusion - or not - of 'full-stops'? When the forms were originally written there was much 'flowery' hand-writing (almost quill-pen stuff!), and much use of 'full stops'. We don't use full-stops in electronic listing/processing today.
    Who is correlating, and/or Proofing, the Final Version? Who is 'marrying' the 'Page Ones' to any 'Page Twos' (et seq)? Do we know? Will "they" tell us?
    I am not whingeing on my own behalf, but I did think that if a small, expert, volunteer, army of transcribers/checkers could make a success of shifting these forms from visual page-copies to electronic format, then we might - with good-will on all sides (fat chance!) - see such files as TNA's AIR 78 transferred to an Excel spreadsheet (or similar)? The technicalities exist. Is the human planning (NB Pse note "The 7 P's") and organisation up to it?
    It could happen - or is it 'blue sky thinking'?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    115
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    I felt that it could have benefited from a 'style guide' of some sort, covering things like use of punctuation, how do you differentiate between multiple units/branches, that sort of thing. I would also have made DoB and DoD mandatory - it's either there or isn't. I can see why they didn't want to be too prescriptive because they don't want to either put people off or require them to input too much information per form.

    I have some experience of working with large datasets, and the hardest part is getting it all indexed and written down in the first place. Once you have your metadata, computers will let you do simple things like turn CAPITALS back into Title Case, or remove the full stops in the forename field, for example, and suddenly you have everything neatened up and looking pretty, too. If the images were taken in strictly sequential order (I can't imagine they wouldn't have been) it ought to be trivial within the database to associate any 'page 2' with the preceding 'page 1'. Now the donkey work has been done, they will be able to start on this sort of nice-to-have background work.

    Overall, I think this was something of an experiment for them, i.e. throw a smallish piece of work to the general public and then examine the quality of what you get back. I hope they will be pleased with the results because, like Peter, I think there's plenty of scope for similar work. WRT the National Archives and AIR 78, I believe they advertised for volunteers to attend 'on-site' somewhere down south (Portsmouth?) to transcribe information a while back. RAFM have taken things a step further by utilising the internet. Being a more 'formal' organisation, it remains to be seen whether TNA would be brave enough to do likewise. Given the huge quantities of un-indexed paper records and budget cuts, they may not have much choice.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •