Friday, 1 October 2010

Five new datasets from FMP

The folk over at have been busy this week. The UK-based genealogy company has launched five new military datasets and completed the uploading of the WO 97 Chelsea Penisoner records. subscribers will be familiar with some of these new arrivals which in turn have come from the Naval and Military Press stable. Nevertheless, there are subtle differences between both Ancestry's and FMP's offerings which I list below. Furthermore, FMP's Boer War data set, licensed from Casus Belli, is by far superior - both in volume, scope and content - than Ancestry's offering which was published earlier in the year.

DCM citations 1914-1919
More than 25,000 citations to other ranks who were awarded the coveted DCM. Second only to the Victoria Cross in terms of prestige, this award was prized as much by the soldiers of the time, as it is by medal collectors today. The database was originally published in book format by Naval & Military Press and comprised four sections:

Section 1: DCMs won by members of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force; the Foot Guards; and the Yeomanry and Cavalry.
Section 2: Line Regiments.
Section 3: The Territorial Army Regiments including the RGLI/RNVR/RMLI and RMA; the Royal Engineers and the Royal Artillery.
Section 4: The Corps and the overseas forces of the Crown in alphabetical order: Australia; the British West Indies Regiment; Canada; India; Newfoundland; New Zealand; Rhodesia; South and East Africa

Henry Smith, a patient at Chailey, won the DCM during his brief time in France. You can read about him HERE. His DCM citiation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry in action, and for his devotion to duty in finally assisting at the end of the engagement in carrying a wounded officer from the firing line, although wounded himself.

Private Frank Richards of Old Soldiers Never Die fame is also here. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry. During a successful attack, Privates Richards and Barrett took their telephone over the parapet, established and maintained communication. They lay in the open for three hours, and repaired the wire whenever it was cut.

There are some real gems here and this data series is NOT available on Ancestry.

Ireland's Memorial Records of The Great War
Ancestry has had this one for a while. The difference here though, is that on Find My Past you can search by the man's number, on Ancestry you can't. There are 49,000 records here, not to mention some beautiful and touching illustrations.

Naval Casualties 1914-1919
Another Naval & Military Press publication and another data set that can't be found on the Ancestry site. Another of my Chailey men - 16 year old Cecil Langridge - is here, along with nearly 45,000 other sailors who lost their lives during the war to end all wars.

WW2 Prisoners of War
This is a database of PoWs in Europe. Ancestry does have this N&MP data set but you can't search on the man's number. On FMP you can.

Anglo-Boer War Records 1899-1902
This is a stunning database of men and women men and women who served in the British Imperial Forces during the war in southern Africa: soldiers, sailors, nurses and civilians. The database comprises quarter of a million records including a corrected roll of 59,000 casualties. Ancestry published a roll of 54,000 UK casualties earlier in the year but the FMP offering is five times larger and a good deal more detailed.

So all in all, some fantastic records that have been added to FMP's military stable, and it's worth pointing out too that the speed with which images download on the FMP site is infintely faster than those which are available on the Ancestry servers. A back of the matchbox calculation by your truly reckons that the FMP downloads are between three and four times faster than those on the Ancestry site.

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