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Overview

The “soldier” database currently emphasizes all those who served in combat. We are adding over time all those who have served in the Regiment.

Who can add ‘soldiers’?

Only users with Contributor status  or higher can add a new ‘soldier’ record to the system. However, until the record is “published,” visitors who are not logged in cannot see the new record.

Once a soldier record has been created and the author is satisfied with the content and attached images, the record must be “published.” This process is performed by someone with Editor or  Administrator capability.

Guarding against duplicates

Before you create a new soldier record, it is essential that you first verify that the soldier does not already exist in the database.

Navigate to the ‘back end’ of the web site. (See Web site navigation.)

Click the “Soldiers” menu item on the left of the Dashboard page then click “All soldiers.” Enter a search term in the search field in the upper right corner of the screen. There are two approaches:

Search by service number

This is not an infallible test since the service number in the database may be incorrect. As well, until relatively recently, officers were not assigned service numbers. So you must also compare the spelling of the last name, the names (and / or initials) and the relative birthdate or age of the soldier you are trying to add versus the birthdate or age of the soldier in the database.

Search by soldier’s last name

Enter the last name of the soldier then click the “Search Soldiers” button. In most cases, this search will return only soldiers with the same last name but you need to be aware that searching for “Bent” will also return “Bentall”, “Bentwood”, etc. The search may also return soldiers with completely different last names. For example, searching for “bent” will return Girvan since Brig Girvan replaced the wounded LCol Bent.

A match has been found

See Editing a soldier

Create a new soldier record

To create a new soldier, you can either:

  1. Go to the Admin page (called Dashboard) by clicking on “48th Highlanders Museum” in the upper left corner of the screen. Select Dashboard, click the “Soldier” menu item on the left of the Dashboard page then click “Add New” or
  2. Click “+ New” on the Admin bar and select “Soldier.”

When the “Add new Soldier” page appears, proceed as follows:

Entering information

In order to ensure your work is not lost, click the “Save draft” button near the upper right corner of the screen from time to time. Do not leave this screen until you have saved your work.

Ignore the meta-boxes in the right hand column of your screen (the boxes labelled Eras.) Any entries you make in these boxes will be ignored. You can hide these boxes by clicking on Screen options  in the upper right corner of your screen and unchecking the names of each of these boxes. Do NOT UNCHECK either Featured image or Soldier details.

Title

Highest Rank/Names/Decorations. No periods between initials. A single comma after name.  Nickname after initials ONLY if shown in one of the sources (e.g. Dileas).

           Officers – Rank/First Name and Initial (nickname if applicable), Decorations. Example: Col Charles E Bent, DSO (MID)

CWOs – Appointment/Rank/Initials (Nickname)/Last Name/Decorations. Examples:

    • RSM (CWO) William P (Bill) Elms, MMM CD
    • PMaj (CWO) Archie Dewar, CD

Non Commissioned Ranks  – Rank/Initials (Nickname)/Name/ Decorations. Examples:

    •  Sgt Pike Herbert A (Herb)
    •  Cpl Spears RA, CD

Whenever possible, spell out the full first names. Be very careful with the spelling as this field is the primary focus of searches for soldier records.

In some cases, soldiers served under assumed names. In this case, they should be listed by the name under which they served and not their actual name. Record their actual names in the Last name and First name fields.

Description

Here you can record all sorts of detail about the soldier. To the extent that information is available, add content in the following order:

  1. If this person held any key Regimental appointments, list them first with each appointment on a single line. For example:
    1. Commanding Officer, 19xx – 19xx
    2. Regimental Sergeant Major, 19xx – 19xx
  2. In narrative format, record the service record of the soldier. Include in the narrative any awards, when where and why, without repeating the Citation.  Include a resumé of their military service:
    1. Before they joined the Regiment
    2. During their service with the Regiment
    3. After their service with the Regiment
  3. Significant achievements including leadership roles in the Regimental family.
  4. Occupation(s) and address(es) before and after their service
  5. Information about parents and next of kin
  6. When and where born
  7. Date of death and where buried
Notes:
    1. Added information: As an example: For Pipe Major Anderson, 1st Bn, it would add understanding to say, “The members of the Pipe Band of the 1st Battalion served as stretcher bearers during combat, tending to wounded soldiers while under fire.”
    2. Added information: Elements of the soldier’s civilian career or life may be added if the soldier is “renowned” in one’s judgement. See Trumbull Warren as an example.
    3. Interesting stories: As an example: For Pipe Major Anderson, 1st Bn, an interesting story would be “While in Campobasso, PM Anderson decided that he would care for the graves of Highlanders wherever they had been laid to rest. During the war, Anderson would be seen in his jeep driving back hundreds of miles to visit the gravesites of his comrades”.  This quote should be followed by a standard reference such as “Dileas page 401.”
    4. When quoting from published books, provide the correct name of the book (in italics) followed by the page number(s).
      1. 48th Highlanders of Canada 1891-1928
      2. Dileas

The use of large / bold fonts and “bullet points” should be kept to a minimum. Consider how this material will look when it is displayed to the public.

Featured image

A “featured image” is a WordPress term for a single image associated with a single “soldier.” Ideally we will have a head shot. Do NOT use a group photo for the featured image. See Images for instructions.

Make sure that, in addition to the “Title” of the image, the image CAPTION is filled in. Otherwise visitors will not see anything other than the image when they look at the full size image.

Data source(s)

Use this area to record where and when the soldier appears in various documents. Data source examples: Dileas, service records, sailing lists, Part 2 orders, family members, etc.

When adding a new soldier to the database, record where you got the information that proved this person has served in the Regiment.

You can record information for several sources. To add a source, click the Add source button.  For each source enter:

  • Data source. Required field. Select a setting from the list. If an appropriate setting is not available, contact an Administrator or Editor to have an additional source added to the list.
  • Detail. Record sufficient detail so that it is clear exactly where the information came from. Examples: page 322 of Dileas, name of the family member who provided the information, the number of the Part 2 order, etc.

To add and additional source, click the Add source button again.

Note that you can re-order the list of data sources by clicking on the grey area to the left of the above three fields and moving the group of fields up or down.

The two fields may be collapsed into one with just the “Data source” field showing. You can expand the group by clicking the little down arrow that is in the upper left corner of the “Data source” field.

Secondary images gallery

If you have more than one image of the soldier, then add a gallery of  images. Maximum number of images is 18. Do NOT include photos of items (artifacts) (e.g. medals, uniforms, etc.) in the Secondary Images Gallery. Such items should be included in the Linked Artifacts field (see below). Never include an image in both the Secondary images gallery and the Featured image field.

See Images to see the process for adding images to the database. Make sure that the image CAPTION is filled in and, ideally the image description. Otherwise visitors will not see any information about the image in the gallery nor will they see any information when they view the full size image.

Links to other soldiers

See Relationship links for more information. Links should only be created between relatives. Do not create links between soldiers who were merely friends.

Linked artifacts

See Relationship links for more information. You can include links to several artifacts related to the soldier. Consider including links to:

  • Uniforms
  • Accoutrements
  • Medals
  • Trophies
  • Memorabilia
  • Images (this classification of artifact relates to hard copies of photographs)

You may wish to include links to artifacts that represent images that have also been added to the Secondary images galley.

Service number

Ensure this is accurately recorded and ensure that there are no spaces or punctuation (periods, slashes, etc.) in this entry. This is critical so that users can search for service numbers. Some soldiers may have been given multiple service numbers over their career. Enter each separated by a space.

Note that officers did not have service numbers until the early 1960s or early 50’s.

Last name

Enter the last name of the soldier with the correct spelling. You can also add last names with alternate spelling so that searches with the alternate spelling will be able to find this soldier.

First name

Enter the full first name(s) of the soldier with the correct spelling. You can also add one or more nicknames  so that searches with the nickname will be able to find this soldier more easily.

Rank

Record the highest rank achieved by this soldier. Use modern day abbreviations which do NOT include any punctuation. See Guide to Army ranks for details.

Awards for gallantry

Awards for gallantry are a critical part of the story of a soldier. For this reason, we need to record and display the details of each such award (i.e. the citation).

You can record details for multiple awards. To add an award, click the Add award button.  For each award enter:

  • Name of award. Required field. Select a value from the list.
  • Date awarded. The date of the award.
  • Citation.
    • Enter the complete citation as it was published.
    • If the citation cannot be found or if we determine a citation was never published, then enter either:
      • “Citation not published” or
      • For citations that have not been published, there are sources which describe the action or event. Enter Citation not published and enter the description of the action or event you have created from your research. Be sure to include the date and place of the action or event.

Note that you can re-order the list of awards by clicking on the grey area to the left of the above three fields and moving the group of fields up or down.

The three fields may be collapsed into one with just the “Name of award” field showing. You can expand the group by clicking the little down arrow that is in the upper left corner of the “Name of award” field.

Awards – other

Include awards for long service such as ED, CD, etc. and civilian awards such as the Order of St John.

Unit

Required field. This field refers to the 48th battalion in which the soldier served. Check all of the components in which the soldier served.

Company or sub-unit

Enter all of the components (companies, etc.) in which the soldier served.

Date of attestation

Date on which soldier signed to join the forces. Enter in format dd-Mmm-yy. EG. 22-Sep-17

Date taken on strength

Date on which soldier first joined the 48th or the 15th battalion. They may have multiple periods of service. Enter in format dd-Mmm-yy. EG. 22-Sep-17

Previous unit

If applicable, record the name of the previous unit or armed forces component that the soldier was in before he/she came to the 48th.

Notes

Administration use only. Use this field to record information such as data source, conflicting data, etc. This field is not disclosed to site visitors.

Era

Required field. This code allows you to search the database for all soldier from a particular era. Click on the field and the list of available eras will appear. You can select multiple Eras.

You must select this code using the entry field in the middle of your screen. Do NOT try to set the Era code using the Era meta-box which lists all of the Era codes with checkboxes.

Fate

Required field. If the soldier had multiple periods of service, record the “fate” at the end of the last period of service. If you select “Transferred out” or “Released (from the Forces)” record any information we have about the soldiers subsequent career in the content field at the top of the screen. Depending on what you select, the group of fields called “Died in service” will appear.

Date of death

Use this field to record the date of a death attributable to the soldier’s service. Enter in format dd-Mmm-yy. EG. 22-Sep-17

Where killed or wounded

In some cases a soldier may have been killed in action but was buried in a cemetery some distance from where they were killed. If a soldier was wounded, they may be buried in a cemetery near the hospital.

Age on date of death

In years.

Date Struck Off Strength

Date removed from nominal roll or 48th or 15th battalion. Enter in format dd-Mmm-yy. EG. 22-Sep-17 This will often be the same as the date of death.

Cemetery or memorial name

If the Fate of the soldier (see Fate field above) is “Missing in action”, then their name will usually be inscribed on a memorial. In WW 1, the common memorials are “Menin Gate: in Belgium and the “Vimy Ridge” memorial in France.

Grave or panel reference

If the Fate of the soldier (see Fate field above) is “Missing in action”, then their name will usually be inscribed on a memorial and the location of the name on the memorial should be entered here.

Cemetery or memorial country

Country in which the cemetery or memorial is located.

 

Next Editing a soldier
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