a_hassam

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    1 comment  ·  Feedback and discussion  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam commented  · 

    I scanned some faded letters and then enhanced them digitally to make them legible, altering the contrast, and so on. You could perhaps do something similar using a photocopier. From memory, photocopying through a yellow transparency darkens faded pencil. If you don't want to try it yourself, you could take the letter to a print shop and see what they can do with it.

    I'm not sure if the bright lights may further bleach your letter, so perhaps you could take a digital photo using natural light and enhance that. Once you have a digital image, you should have no problem making the letter legible.

    The IWM has a website giving advice about donating material: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/managing/offer-material/how-to-offer. My experience is that archives want only material that is of special historical importance, so alternatively you could upload a copy to a Lifestory, if relevant.

    I don't have any connection with the IWM, so perhaps Charlotte or one of the volunteers can better advise you.

    Regards,

    Andrew

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    1 comment  ·  Feedback and discussion  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam commented  · 

    It does the same for me, though I've noticed that the panel displays the full date of birth when the Lifestory is loading, then reverts to just the year when the page fully loads. Looking at the history of changes, it seems to be reverting to the version you made on 4 September. But why neither version appears in the Timeline is baffling.

    I think it would be worth you emailing someone in technical support.

    Regards,

    Andrew

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    4 comments  ·  Feedback and discussion  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam commented  · 

    Barbara,

    You can add it as an external source. If you add it as a website rather than as a publication, then anyone checking your source can go straight to it.

    Regards,

    Andrew

    a_hassam commented  · 

    Barbara,

    I've had no difficulty accessing the page. I did a search for his name using the London Gazette search facility and I went straight to the relevant page:

    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30901/supplement/11031

    Regards,

    Andrew

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    5 comments  ·  Feedback and discussion  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam commented  · 

    There is a William H Whitehead in the Royal Army Service Corps who served in Egypt from 7 November 1915. His lifestory is here:

    https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/5141934

    If your photographs show your great uncle's cap badge, then that would help to confirm that he served in the RAMC rather than the RASC.

    Regards,

    Andrew

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    under review  ·  3 comments  ·  Feedback and discussion  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam commented  · 

    I'm missing some profile pictures, which are not visible on my dashboard. The only way of restoring them is by clicking the REMEMBER button off and on again. This seems like a repetition of a technical glitch that was occurring some time ago.

    Andrew

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    4 comments  ·  Feedback and discussion  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam commented  · 

    Jonathan,

    My own grandfather's rank is given as 'Sjt' on his medal card, and the National Archives follows the original by using 'Serjeant' in the index to his medal card.

    The National Archives transcription used to created my grandfather's Life Story modernises the spelling as 'Sergeant', so I have changed this back to the 'Serjeant' of the original document.

    I quoted from Wikipedia because it helpfully clarifies why both spellings were current during the Great War. I agree with you that it is better to follow the spelling of the original document, though in my case that means amending 'Sergeant' to 'Serjeant' rather than the reverse, which is why I questioned your suggestion of globally changing 'Serjeant' to 'Sergeant'.

    Regards,

    Andrew

    a_hassam commented  · 

    In terms of 'sergeant' versus 'serjeant,' Wikipedia gives the following:

    'Until 1953, the official spelling was "serjeant", although "sergeant" was already commonly in use by the First World War and the official spelling was rarely used outside official documents. The Rifles, however, still always use the spelling "serjeant", as did The Light Infantry before them.' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergeant)

    Since both spellings were correct at the time, I've used the spelling of the original document; it would be a shame to remove historical colour by imposing current standards.

    Regards,

    Andrew

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    5 comments  ·  Suggested Life Stories  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam commented  · 

    Mike,

    Thanks for alerting me to his fourth service record. I wonder if Lives contains any individual who has more than four separate WW1 military service records. Or is this a record?

    I am told by a distant relative of theirs that the family was distinctly 'odd'.

    Regards,

    Andrew

    a_hassam commented  · 

    Mike,

    Thanks for alerting me to the Harold MACNESS record and for prompting me to take a second look at the RAF record. I started having second thoughts about it as soon as I'd sent you the email and was going to look at it again this morning in any case.

    The Macknesses are a strange family and nothing really surprises me about them. I have service records for four of the brothers and the father:

    Ernest Mackness: joined the Royal Marines Artillery in 1913 and deserted twice before buying himself out after serving 7 weeks; he joined the Scottish Rifles, again deserted twice, and was shot for desertion in 1917.

    Arthur Mackness: joined the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1916 and deserted for 7 months in 1918 and 1919; he was invalided out in 1919.

    John Henry Mackness: joined the Leicestershire Regiment sometime before 1911; a note on his medal card of desertion on 27 February 1917 has been crossed through.

    Harold Mackness: joined the Scottish Rifles in 1914 and served 4 months before being invalided out as permanently unfit.

    Arthur Mackness (father of the above brothers): joined the militia battalion of the Leicester Regiment in 1885 and was invalided out as permanently unfit in 1899; he served 6 months in the RAF between 1918 and 1919.

    The Harold Macness of the Royal Naval Division is definitely the Harold Mackness of the Scottish Rifles as the date of birth on both records is given as 3 October 1893. The age of the Harold Mackness of the RFC/RAF has been amended to 24 years, which is consistent for the enlistment date in December 1917. In addition, he gives a home address in Leicester and FreeBMD has only one one Harold Mackness born in Leicestershire between 1890 and 1895 (registered in 1893, 4th quarter).

    The 74 Hawthorne Street address is that of the parents. The Harold Mackness of the RFC/RAF married a Mary E Allen in Leicester in 1917 (1st quarter), so the change of address is consistent if the RN Division record is earlier than 1917 (I'd guess 1916, but I don't yet have a copy).

    And the Harold Mackness of the RFC/RAF was discharged with a pension, as was the Harold Mackness of the Scottish Rifles (though he lived another 60 years).

    When I emailed you, I'd forgotten that the wife's name was not on the army record, hence my second thoughts. The evidence that the Harold Mackness of the RFC/RAF is the same as the Army and RN Division Harold Mackness is not conclusive, but it is consistent; and the multiple enlistments, coupled with being discharged unfit, seem to be a distinct family trait. Unless the RN Division contains further details that can be cross-checked, such as physical appearance, I'll leave it to your judgement whether the RAF record can be merged with the other two. My own judgement is that all three records belong to the same person.

    Many thanks,

    Andrew

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  15. 4 votes
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    5 comments  ·  Feedback and discussion  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam commented  · 

    If you have identified your father and uncles on this site you can add anecdotes and photographs without evidence, which really brings their memorial alive. You could even record their dates of birth and death as anecdotes.

    But if anecdotes and memories are presented as facts, then the value of the memorial as history for future generations is compromised. This won't guarantee there are no errors, as with the CWGC site, but the CWGC uses documents as evidence and historians can judge whether documentary evidence is authoritative or not. Memories have a great value, but they are unreliable as evidence of facts.

    I suppose the site could have two lists, for verified and unverified facts, but I think that might make the whole thing unwieldy. Another way round the problem would be to enlist some help in checking the facts, either within the family or within your local community.

    These are just my thoughts, as a user of the site. Maybe an IWM volunteer will be able to provide a more informed response.

    Andrew

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  18. 7 votes
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    4 comments  ·  Feedback and discussion  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam supported this idea  · 
    a_hassam commented  · 

    The IT people on this site seem to have closed up shop. This ought to have been sorted some time ago before it became so irritating to users.

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    3 comments  ·  Suggested Life Stories  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    a_hassam commented  · 

    Thanks. I'll not send in any more requests for Swanage until that's done.

    Your hard work is much appreciated.

    Best wishes,

    Andrew

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