View Full Version : London Gazette - Regressing

24th March 2008, 11:12
Two months ago I seemed able to access a London Gazette entry using a service number, regardless of rank. This was quite useful in determining whether Non-Commissioned personnel had been Mentioned in Despatches (since MiD and Commendation entries gave names only with initials, i.e. Flight Sergeant V.M.R. Fautley; Flight Sergeant G.V. Fenwick, where I had service numbers but no confirmation of awards).

In the past ten days, however, it seems that I can access by number only when it is an officer's number. By way of example, today, searching Lionel Edward Davey, I was able to find him by his full name (when he was commissioned) and via his officer's service number (171631) - but when I entered his previous NCO number (1332575) the search came up empty - not even leading back to the announement of his commissioning ! This refusal or inablity to search by non-commissioned service number has happened with several other persons as well.

It seems curious that the London Gazette would now seem to be so "rank conscious". I wonder if others have encountered this problem and perhaps been presented with either an explanation or a solution.

24th March 2008, 11:42
I've never had much trouble with Numbers on the LG. However, Officer Numbers (i've found) should always be entered in 'round' parentheses - i.e. exactly as it appears in print in the LG. NCO, or OR, Numbers should, I've found, be entered without parentheses - again, exactly as it appears in the LG. Having said that, however, I haven't been into the LG for a couple of weeks. Forewarned is forearmed.
Searching by Name is a pain. Forename initials (or names) have to be entered precisely - including full-stops and spaces! - and the LG format for these sometimes varies! Sometimes one is lucky first time but my experience is that Names don't come up too readily - it's only when one can get a Number that the job becomes a bit easier.
Peter Davies

30th October 2013, 13:27
The Gazette site underwent a facelift https://www.thegazette.co.uk I suspect the search improved a bit.. I tried it out and the results and displays were much better..

30th October 2013, 16:00
it has always been the case with the LG that the NCO numbers are very difficult to find by searching largely because in the eye of the OCR'd text, the file thinks that the NCO number at teh start of a line is just a continuation of the previous line. This has been the case always. Searching by NCO number should only find examples where NCO's receive awards and where your just plain lucky and the commishioning note NCO number is scanned as its self

In anycase, for the example of davey above, the first number in his NCO number was scanned or recognised as a letter I (eye), not as a one so it would never show up. open the PDF, select teh text and paste it into word or a text file, you will see what I'm on about

here is what teh LG files thinks it contained,

24th Feb. 1944.
1206708 Reynold BACON (171532).
1255725 Roriald Hughes BRAND (171551).
149037 Eric Edward COONEY (171530).
I332575 Lionel Edward DAVEY (171631).
1183313 Ronald Victor EDEN (171547).

if you search for I332575 then you do find him.

30th October 2013, 17:39
As i said in the other thread today, the search engine is only as good as the data its presented to find, see the example above, in those six lines

the name of the second officer, the n in Ronald has been broken due to probabaly a smudge on the page into a r and i
Davey's S/N is mis-interpreted

And thats on a nice clean page.

All these databases are searching within the results of OCR - optical character recognition - down by computers. They don't know that their meant to be looking at an n with a hole in it, its just a plain old r and i to them.

Time to download the wartime indexes now incase they forget to add them to the new site

the RAF notice indexes to promotions normally start around page 100 or there abouts. Roughly.