Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ancient Archives

I'm taking another shot at historical research using the links found on the following page:


My target now is as it was before: the military career of my paternal grandfather, Gilbert John Cook, born 1893.

What I noticed yesterday was a link marked NATIONAL ARCHIVES. That link goes here:


You are here:


Here is one that looks promising:

[Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Responsible for the graves of the war dead. The on-line Debt of Honour Register provides personal and service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth Forces who died in the First and Second World Wars. Details of the 60,000 civilian casualties of the Second World War are also given]

That link goes to here:


There is a search box here:


I try:

Search for: Casualty
Surname: Cook
Initials: G. J.
War: First World War
I op for from 1914 to 1918 since I have no data that would let me fine-tune things further.
Force: army
Nationality of the force served: United Kingdom

Okay, fingers crossed ...


""Here are the results of your enquiry. There are no records which match your search criteria""


Okay, I'll give this one more shot ... try for Walter Butler, though I only have on initial ... see how I go ... killed in the First World War, I believe, so I will be looking not for "casualty" but for "cemetery."

No, won't work. If you choose "cemetery" then you have to specify the cemetery, which I don't know, so I'll go with "casualty" after all.

Here are the results of your enquiry. There are 90 records which match your search criteria.

Select a name to see more details

The direct link to the page is this:


There is only one Butler, Walter. His rank is private, his service number is 8208, his date of death is 28/12/1914 (28th day of the 12th month rather than 12th day of the 28th month, meaning that he died just after Christmas - bummer!), dead at age 37, Royal Irish Regiment, United Kingdom. The grave/memorial reference is Panel 1 and the cemetery/memorial name is PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL.

Never heard of it.

Doing a Google ...

[CWGC :: Cemetery Details
Location Information:, The Ploegsteert Memorial stands in Berks Cemetery Extension, which is located 12.5 kilometres south of Ieper town centre, ...
www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_details.aspx?cemetery=88800&mode=1 - 17k - Cached - Similar pages]

"Ieper town??!!" ... oh ... misread it as "Leper Town," and did a double take ... Google Ieper town ...

[Map: Ieper town
Ieper Town. Heading. Introduction Maps Silver Line. France Belgium Silver Line. Guest Book E-Mail Silver Line. filler Go Back filler. Ieper Town ...
www.webmatters.net/maps/ww1_map_ieper_town.htm - 5k - Cached - Similar pages]

[Poperinge New Military Cemetery
Poperinghe New Military Cemetery is located 10.5 km west of Ieper town centre, ... From Ieper, Poperinge is reached via the N308. From Ieper town centre the ...
www.webmatters.net/cwgc/poperinge_new.htm - 15k - Cached - Similar pages]

I think this is the place sometimes written as "Ypres," which, if memory serves, I read somewhere that English troops, not big on authentic Continental pronunciation, used to refer to as "Wipers."

Okay, that's as far as I intend to go today. For my next stunt, a First World War Poem. I think ...


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