Guidance for Entering Service Details
When entering Military service details unit/rank there are fields eg: Corps/Regiment/Ship, Squadron, Sub-Unit but no guidance as to how to fill these out. Many many users will lack a proper knowledge of what goes where. So examples of how a description of a unit gets converted into a Corp/Squadron/Sub-Unit for example would be very helpful.
The MICs show all units a man served with abroad - usually in the order he served in them. Silver War Badge rolls show the last unit which was often a home service or holding unit.
But the MIC data shows the last unit the serviceman was attached to... and this may be a holding unit pending demob and not the unit he was in throughout the war. Flexibility is needed.
One positive aspect of the seed data from the MIC is that standardised regimental names have been used, of the full official name of the regiment. Hopefully this can be leveraged in time, when the database is up and running.
Anni Berman commented
I think this is an important area to look at. If, like me, you're a family historian rather than a military one, the many abbreviations used in the records can cause confusion, particularly if the are hand-written, as they often are in documents like service records.
Alexander Bisset commented
Which is perfectly understood, and it wasn't for my benefit I suggested the improvement.
So posting it here as a comment has very little value as it will NOT be seen by the vast majority of the user base. This is exactly the sort of information that should be prompted to the users when they enter the data. If users are unsure what to enter then the quality of the data entry will naturally suffer.
It would be such a simple thing to provide a help box eg: either a tooltip, text on the form or a clickable info box. SOMETHING to clarify to users what they should enter.
Your text is an excellent example of what could go in such a help box its just fairly useless being hidden away in a comments section of an ideas forum.
Corps/Regiment/Ship would be for the main unit. So for an infantryman, it would be his regiment such as Warwickshire Regiment. For non-infantry examples would be Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Labour Corps, Royal Flying Corps, Royal Air Force etc.
Ship would be the name of the ship. Not sure if the prefix like HMS should be included but if I was entering the data, I probably would.
Squadron is for men with the Royal Flying Corps or RAF. Cavalry regiments had squadrons too but they should go under Sub Unit.
Sub Unit would be a man's battalion e.g. 2 Battalion of the regiment entered in the main Corps/Regiment field.Or it could be a battery or brigade in the artillery or Company in the engineers.