Sunday, 5 February 2012

New look CWGC website

Somewhat belatedly (because I've only just noticed) I see that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has revamped its website, including the search functionality.

Not before time, visitors can now search by rank, service number, regiment, secondary regiment and honours and awards.  Furthermore, it is now possible to search solely on a term without having to key in other information. So for instance, one can see that there are 377 casualties who hold the Victoria Cross, 3658 holders of the Distinguished Conduct Medal (3346 of these holders dying during the First World War), and 2057 men with the rank of lieutenant colonel (which I must say, surprised me that there were quite so many).  Incredibly, there's also one casualty, Major General Charles Edward Dutton Budworth CB, CMG, MVO who was ten times Mentioned in Dispatches.  He is commemorated on the Kirkee War Memorial at Pune in India.

When results are returned it is possible, as it was before, to organise each column in ascending or descending order and now also possible to export data as a CSV file (although exports do not include the additional information field).  The ability to search by keyword, and thus pick up information in the Additional Information section would have been the icing on the cake, but I see that work is under way to include this. Even so, the new-look CWGC site is a vast improvement on the older site and can only assist family and military historians alike.

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