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IWM Lives of the First World War - gripe I need to get off my chest!


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I spent ages downloading info on my Great Uncle onto the Imperial War Museum"s Lives of the First World War. He was Private 4121 William Drummond Paterson, Black Watch. I noticed the other day though that they've recorded him as "Ummond Paterson". I emailed them asking them to correct the mistake and got the following reply, can't say I'm very happy:

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the Imperial War Museum's website 'Lives of the First World War'. 

The website acts as a digital memorial to the men and women who fought, whether on the home front or the front line, during WW1.  When the project began in May 2014 the Imperial War Museum used seed records, such as Medal Index Cards to identify people to include in the project.  I'm sorry that your great uncle's name is recorded incorrectly.  

The Lives of the First World War project provided a website for family, historians and researchers to add information and photographs to each record.  The project closed in March 2019 and it is no longer possible to add information to the site.

For help with family research the museum has put together some useful links which you can access here:

Tracing your Family History

Kind regards

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10 hours ago, Paul R said:

Wow.  That is so unfortunate and... unacceptable.  How can a website no longer be accessible by even the administrator?

Yeah, it's really unacceptable. So my great uncle is forever commemorated as "Ummond Paterson"!!! 

I wish I'd never listed him on their website in the first place. 

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What the 'we can't fix it' answer says to me is that a) they just don't care, which seems a bit unlikely IMO or b) they had a grant or person who transcribed the information and that person/money is now gone.  You can be sure that you are NOT the only person who has submitted information which then got copied incorrectly, but... :( 

An honest answer to that effect might be marginally better than what you seem to have gotten.

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I think they've got quite a few wrong. There's another 'Ummond Paterson' listed as well as my great uncle. Unless that really is his name??? 

I think there was some software error that cut names short when it was closed, and now it's too much effort to correct the errors. 

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