Monday, 7 September 2009

Changes to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission search engine

Have you ever used the CWGC search engine? If so, have you ever posted the URL of your search result onto a website, email or any kind of document?

Well, that link is now utterly useless, thus leaving many people having to start from scratch with painstaking research, due to the CWGC "revamping" their search engine. I use that term carefully since there appears to be no improvement made whatsoever - no additional search facility, no new way of organising the search results.

There's more discussion on both the Great War Forum and WW2 Talk, but it's clear that many military and genealogical researchers are unhappy - particularly in the way there was no advance warning or announcement of the changes.

I've posted a message on the CWGC Twitter feed - I'll be interested any response that is received from them. I expect a standard response that it is not their job to assist researchers - that might be the case, but I feel this might be a bit of a public relations blunder from the Commission. Many of the researchers affected have assisted the CWGC in the past, adding missing names to the Debt of Honour register and they've been badly let down here through a lack of communication.

It also means that we have lost the excellent Geoff's Search Engine - many people used this since the serarch facility was far, FAR better than the CWGC. Geoff has posted the following on the page where the search was, and I think it deserves to be repeated here:

"If this has caused some inconvenience to your WW1 and WW2 research and you view it as a retrograde step, please contact the following, giving your views.

Mr Peter Francis
Head of Communication
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road
Maidenhead
Berkshire SL6 7DX
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1628 634221
Tel: +44 (0) 1628 507163
Fax: +44 (0) 1628 771208
peter.francis@cwgc.org

Mr Andrew Bishop
Director of Information Technology
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road
Maidenhead
Berkshire SL6 7DX
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1628 634221
Fax: +44 (0) 1628 771208
"


I suppose this is a message that perhaps the old ways are sometimes still better - I printed all my search results of my research on to hard copy ages ago.

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