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World War one interest leads to recruitment drive in Melksham

A LOCAL company is urgently looking to swell its ranks by a half to cope with a sudden influx of WW1 military data and increasing public interest in the Great War. 

Forces War Records (www.forces-war-records.co.uk) is the military website for those researching their family’s military history.  The Melksham-based company is urgently looking to enlist 28 new recruits to help its crack team of professional researchers and military experts bring the site’s World War 1 data up to date.

The recruitment drive has been prompted by an increasing number of site visitors searching for World War 1 relatives in the run up to The Great War’s Centenary commemoration.  The additional new recruits will increase the company’s head count to 88.

Specialising only in military history, the genealogy site already contains over six million records of individuals who have served in the British Forces from medieval times right through to the present day.  The database includes well-known names like WW2 flying ace, Douglas Bader, Margaret Thatcher’s husband, Denis and Dad’s Army’s John Le Mesurier.

Forces War Records was created in 2008 at the request of sister site Forces Reunited members who had hit dead-ends whilst looking for military service information on their ancestors using other genealogy sites.  Uniquely, the site contains records for British and Commonwealth armed forces personnel that are cross-matched with over 4,000 regiments, bases and ships going back to 1350.

Each person’s record is meticulously added into the site’s database by FWR data entry operators, with details being transcribed from hand written or printed data sources such as military lists, medal records, war diaries, records of service and pension records.

The ideal recruits will have a passion for military history, the patience to transcribe over 1.5 million military records and nimble fingers.  Forces War Records’ team of data entry operators can input a military record every minute.  Rachel Cope, a highly skilled and experienced genealogist and handwriting expert, is part of the team that makes sure the data is interpreted correctly.

For the last 20 years, Rachel has also been tracing her own family’s history back to 1580 and uncovered military serving ancestors in the process.  The former English Heritage cataloguer, says that the additional data will enable more people to find ancestors who served in World War 1, having already seen an uplift in interest on the site since the start of the Centenary year. And the race is on.  With some Centenary commemorations scheduled to start in July, the team are under some considerable time pressure to get the new recruits in, trained up and underway before the whistle blows.

Anyone interested in applying to join Forces War Records as a data entry operator can email the company directly at recruitment@forces-war-records.co.uk.