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Thread: CWGC details on airmen

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    Default CWGC details on airmen

    Hello,

    Do you know why for some airmen, Commonwealth War Grave does not give any details on the relatives .(name of father and mother, birth place...)
    Is it because that no relative were found or that the relative did not want that details on them would be public ?

    Alain.

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    Alain
    I've often wondered about this question .
    One of my RAF "research " airman was married but his wife doesn't appear on his CWGC certificate ? He was in his 30s when KIA .

    Perhaps he was in the process of divorce ?

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 20th April 2009 at 08:22.

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    I think it has been said before on this site that after the war (around 1947?), the CWGC attempted to contact all relatives of those killed for some background information using last known address. If they did not get a response (i.e 'moved away') then the information was left blank.....

    Of course this was all before the power of the internet, where a lot of this 'blank' info can be obtained much more easily than line by line inspection of various registers

    I am more concerned by the fact that some people do not have there full names on the register. Surely this could have been obtained from their military records at the time!

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    I think it has been mentioned before on the old forum, but I understand that the details of next of kin was added if the next of kin replied to the letters for information sent to them.

    One example, and one example is poor among 100's of thousands of people but one of the men I research was from Shipley in England, not married and an only son. Now his record includes his parents data but gives their place of living as Hest Bank. Former friends of the family have explained that they moved away from Shipley after the war.

    I understand also that these registers were compiled post war from Imperial or Commonwealth obtained data, I don't believe they got the information direct from say the RAF.

    Thus in the case where a man was married, its not to hard to imagine that the address his wife may have lived at at the time of his death had changed competely by 1948 or they had remarried. Perhaps grief prevented some parents from supplying data, perhaps direct next of kin had been killed during the war or passed away.

    You will note in some cemeteries that some headstones carry very personel messages engraved on them. Another of my men has the words '... for you to die under an Irish sky." on it, a personel message from his parents as I understand.

    So, I beleive the data in the registers or database is based upon that supplied by the next of kin in the post war period.

    My rambling two cents and I hope I'm not way off the mark.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    hello,

    I confirm Paul's information. Details were gathered in the late 40es when the registers were being compiled, and thence the family details are from that period. I have a Flight Engineer from London, buried near Lille (killed in action in May 1944). His parents are shown as living in Canada. Actually, the parents lost their son, and their only daughter married a Canadian Serviceman. When he returned to Canada, she went with him. The parents decided to settle in Canada too, hence the mention in the CWGC register. Sometimes confusing.

    There are millions of entries, it was evident in terms of statistics that errors would find their way in the registers (either function, Squadron, sometimes dates). But I'm also puzzled by a few entries when only the initial of an airman is shown, not even his full first name. Also when an airman was married, no mention of the wife/widow. Even if no contact was made with the family after the war, this is mentioned in the Service Records of the airmen...

    Joss

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    I too have wondered about such things, as in why a serviceman's attachment at the time he was killed isn't listed. Why do they list a Squadron number, even if a man was posted there only a week before being killed, whereas several months at a training unit is not worthy of mention. Similarly, none of the Ferry Command losses that I have on my list were noted on the CWGC entry.

    The lack of parents info sometimes, from my experience, is explained on the death registration where no information is given or the parents are listed as deceased, although I have seen a deceased parent listed in one or two instances.

    What we need is a genealogist's type of guide book to the CWGC. Has anyone written one?
    David

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    As was explained to me in 2006 by the Inquiries section of the CWGC:

    Some families were too distraught to respond to the request for information and epitaphs on the memorial stone.

    Dave

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