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Thread: The CWGC does not want to correct data?

  1. #1
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    Default The CWGC does not want to correct data?

    Hi all,

    I would like to ask if anybody who was in touch with the CWGC has the similar experience?
    I reported them that undermentioned officer was in the strenght of RAF Talbenny, not of 311 Squadron althought he was killed in a crash of 311 Sq Wellington...

    Dear Mr Vancata
    With regard to the following casualty:
    Pilot Officer STRAUSS-LEEMANS, GEORGES
    Unit: 311 (Czech) Sqdn
    Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Service No: 118529
    Date of Death: 18 October 1942
    Commemoration: BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY
    United Kingdom
    Plot 21. Row B. Grave 16.

    I would explain that our records are simply based on information provided to the Commission after the war by the relevant Service Authorities, and as such, we record the information as seen above.

    As you will appreciate we would wish to uphold this information as it is, unless the provision and examination of military documentary evidence proved that it is incorrect.

    Thank you for your interest in this matter.

    Yours sincerely,
    Julie Somay (Mrs)

    Enquiries Section

    On one hand I understand that they do not want to change their records according to info from some non-oficial source but on the other hand it discouraged me from any further attempts to correct information for everybody on CWGC site.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Pavel,
    I think the problem is not that CWGC don't want to correct entries, but that to do that they need a person (or persons) to do it! If their funding is either (a) not being allowed to rise with inflation, or (b) is actually being cut, then this sort of thing is the end result. They (and other organisations) do try to find a form of words (in English) that excuses the failings!
    I have often thought that if technically qualified personnel exist outside CWGC (and other organisations) then why should they not be given a section of the data to look after, to correct, and to keep up to date? But, then, all that would happen is that the CWGC site at Maidenhead would only employ the bloke running the car-park!!! The actual buildings would have humming computers - but NO people!! Sorry, Pavel, but that is the way it is! But if you could get one (or some) of those over-paid bankers to fund a post at CWGC dealing only with corrections then that would be great! "Pigs might fly" - as we say in UK! Or, seeing as we are dealing with Air Force matters - "All pigs are cleared for take-off!".
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Pavel

    It is not, I would suggest, that the CWGC do not wish to correct data and I think you have to analyse the following sentence within their reply to you:-

    "I would explain that our records are simply based on information provided to the Commission after the war by the relevant Service Authorities, and as such, we record the information as seen above.

    As you will appreciate we would wish to uphold this information as it is, unless the provision and examination of military documentary evidence proved that it is incorrect."

    I don't think the CWGC are shutting the door to correction. Rather, they would need some definitive proof that the information they hold is incorrect. Several times they have corrected data I have given them, including a place of burial, incorrect date of death, rank, unit or even names. Where I have provided proof then they have always acted to correct the information.

    I would suggest that if you have documentary proof of the incorrect details they have then send it to them and I am sure they will act. Just getting a letter setting out the errors but without any corroboration is not something the CWGC can act upon. They need the proof that your information is correct, and that theirs is wrong.

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    Hi Andy,

    you are right but in this case it will means for me to visit TNA and search the Talbenny ORB because to prove it with the records of 311 Sq documents he was not with this unit is quite difficult - several hundredts or thousands of documents:-) It is the most uneasy case - I know for sure he was not with the 311 Sq but no paper proof:-(

    Yes I also remember the past communication when correcting Czech names and senseless dates.

    Maybe my behaviour was too hasty but anyway I am going to the conclusion that spending time on such researchers have no sense and better to concentrate on something else...

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Pavel,

    I have just received confirmation of a change in unit details that I notified CWGC abvout 3 months ago. They certainly changed the info in this case.

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Default Georges Strauss-Leemans 18/10/1942

    Hi !

    P/O. Georges Strauss-Leemans was born at Brussels on 14/04/1893 and was a passenger of a Wellington of 311 Squadron which crashed during take-off from Uxbridge.
    Which was the serial of this plane ?

    Many thanks and best regards

    Luc

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    Hi Pavel,

    The CWGC will change details, but you will need strong documentary proof of the error shown. I visited Burma in 2008 and noticed an incorrect entry on the Rangoon War Memorial in Taukkyan Cemetery.

    A soldier in my grandfather's Chindit unit had been place in the wrong regiment entirely and his name stood just above his comrades on the stone face, but not amongst them. When I checked this out online, he was also remembered incorrectly with the same regimental unit as shown in Taukkyan.

    During the course of my research I gathered together 12 separate pieces of paperwork evidence all proving his connection with the 13th Kings Regiment. These eventually proved sufficient for the CWGC to change his details online and on the memorial when the time and work schedule allows.

    This has taken about 3 years all told, so proof and persistence are the key.

    Don't give up and good luck.

    Steve

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    Hi,

    I was recently in contact with the Cwgc over their database showing incorrect ranks of several RAF officers. They told me their records did not indicate the ranks I had, but they did e-mail the MOD RAF Personnel (within a few days) The MOD confirmed some of the ranks I had indicated and the Cwgc altered their database. (in the not too distant past, I don't think they would have gone the extra mile, but I do believe they are trying to do more now with their customer service)

    The problem is not really the Cwgc but the MOD. It is the MOD records that really matter. I have tried several times to query odd squadron numbers, but mostly the MOD have confirmed the Cwgc records.

    Your problem I believe is one for the MOD to confirm or denign.(a request under FOI to confirm his last unit, this might take awhile but will confirm it one way or the other) If they do the Cwgc will happily alter their records.

    Mark

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    I think it is important that the mandate of the CWGC be remembered. I spent an interesting hour recently on the phone with the CWGC office in Canada and was surprised at what they do which goes beyond their mandate. The number of enquiries they receive in Canada alone is staggering. Relatives, schools, Canadian Legion etc.

    After receiving a message like Pavel did in the opening post of this thread I gave up in 2006 trying to get data changed. Dealing with Ottawa was a 180 degree turnaround. Three weeks after I sent them a mistaken entry it had been changed. I had provided the man's service record as well as two newspaper clippings, showing the correct spelling of his name.

    But they cannot just change their database because of this. Someone physically had to go down to the Library and Archives Canada, pull the airman's file and verify that what I had claimed was true.

    They are not required to do this. Their mandate is the care of cemeteries and gravestones. To that end, they send people out all summer long looking at which stones need to be replaced.

    Finally, I had to ask the question "Does the UK office obtain access to the records held by the AHB much in the way you folks go down to the LAC and verify information?"

    The answer was not "yes"

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    Hi Pavel,

    I had one a few years ago F/O B W Bennett 420637 RAAF who was KIA with 460 Sqn on the 12/6/43 after an attack on Dusseldorf, both his CWGC and National Archives file stated his death as being 12/6/43, but when a requested photo of his grave arrived it showed that he was killed on the 12 July 1943. I wrote to the Australian War Graves people who in turn passed my letter on to the CWGC in the UK, who said that his grave would be changed the next time they update the headstones.

    The crew are buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery in Holland, so living in Australia its a bit hard to see if it has been updated.

    Regards,

    John.

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