Sunday, 26 October 2014

CWGC Mobile app

Did you know the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has an app? It's available for Windows, Android and iOS, and can be downloaded from the link below.

It primarily can be used for finding burials near you, but at the moment it seems you can't see the list of those buried in a particular cemetery (although that might just be the ones near me that I've looked at). It also seems to only show those very close to you. I scrolled around the map and it still only had pinpoints for the two cemeteries in Carluke where I'm currently located. Wishaw and Lanark (the two nearest towns to Carluke) both have CWGC burials and nothing showed up for them. I also scrolled to France and Belgium and nothing showed up there either!

Some cemeteries are "featured" - you get a little more information, and a cemetery plan, but again no list of those buried. There is a further "featured" option in the page for these cemeteries, but that takes you to a page on the CWGC site with some selected casualties. Still no option to help you find a particular casualty. If you plan to use this app to find where your relative is buried, I wouldn't bother.

The search facility could use some work - I searched for "Airbles" and it came up blank, but "Dalziel" brought me up Dalziel (Airbles) Cemetery in Motherwell. Given that the cemetery is commonly known as Airbles Cemetery, that's not a particularly useful search. Searching "etaples" found Etaples British Cemetery with no problem. It seems it might simply search for the first word in the name - a wildcard search option would be of more use.

To sum up - could do better. It's reasonably useful for finding a cemetery you might not know about, but it needs a little work. It needs to show you more on the "nearby" map, and to make it REALLY useful it needs to give the list of those buried in each cemetery, or at the very least provide a link to the relevant page on the CWGC website.

Hopefully they'll get similar feedback from others and make some amendments.