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Getting Started : How To Make Best Use Of This Site

Aircrew Remembered is a very large resource containing more than 5 million data items and records at various levels of detail. Finding your way around can be a little daunting at first, but hopefully you find the experience fruitful.

Should you experience any difficulties whatsoever then don't hesitate to contact us via the Helpdesk. Simply Raise a Ticket and we'll jump right onto it.

And if you have any suggestions for how we can make the site more useful and meaningful then, again, please contact us via the Helpdesk. If you have tips or suggestions you think might help other users, then please use the Reader Comment facility at the foot of this page to let us know. After review by the editorial staff, your comment will be published along with your first name but not your email.


What Is This Site All About?

When all is said and done, the heart and soul of this site is the human story. What happened to my father/brother/sister/cousin or my best mate? That's the key question we're trying to answer, for families and friends and the merely interested. That's what you'll find under the Personal Histories menu in what we call Archive Reports.

An Archive Report is focused on one or more individuals and a specific experience, most usually the incident in which they lost their lives, but not always: sometimes the event is a survivable crash for example. Our researchers scour official action reports, look for contemporary newspaper accounts, solicit first-hand witness accounts and consult each other to construct these treasures.

We also have an extensive collection of Obituaries, some of them reproduced from the London Daily Telegraph with permission, others from our own researches.

There are also accounts of events in people's lives that add colour and depth and these are generally laid out as articles rather than Archive Reports.

And even more information is to be found in our huge databases. In addition to the basic information held in these databases - names, dates, ranks, units etc. - we are continuously developing additional material on individuals which we place in the Notes column of the Allied Losses and Incidents Database or the Paradie Archive Database (for Canadians), so even if we do not hold an Archive Report or Obituary or a news story on an individual, check his/her record in the databases to see what we may have developed.

If you would like a relative or friend's story to be told in these pages, then contact us via the Helpdesk and we'll describe the process for you.


Explore the Menu!

We've a lot more than Personal Histories to offer! There's is a ton of interesting material to be found. Our Editorial team has a wide and eclectic interest which is reflected in the material we publish. So check out the Menu items.

But if you just have a name and want to know if we have information on him/her, well, put it into the Search Box found at the top of most pages and start browsing! It's that simple.


Use the Site Search Box!

This is one of the two main mechanisms for finding content, the other being searches made inside our extensive array of databases, which we cover later. The Site Search box is found at the top of most pages, in the banner. Alternatively click the Search icon in the Menu.

When you enter a name into the Site Search Box you may well end up with many, many pages because the site contains a LOT of material. You can either read through the précis of each page which accompanies each result, or click through the entries one after another OR you can use the comprehensive facilities provided by FreeFind (who provide our site search capability) to refine your query so you get fewer but more relevant results. Read through the Search Tips page to get a complete understanding of what is available to you. To give one example: say you search for Brown and the result is 450+ entries. And say you know his name was Harold Brown: search for that inside quotes, thus "Harold Brown". Now you are down to 6 hits. Say you also know he was in 139 Squadron: search for "Harold Brown" AND 139. Now you have a single hit.

So the advice is to read the Search Tips carefully to get the most out of your visit. There are many, very useful facilities provided by FreeFind

Some results are duplicates because we provide extensive Cross Reference Lists which our system builds automatically to help direct attention onto specific topics. Thus in your search for Brown you might find pointers to him:

  • directly on the page where his story is told
  • within the Runnymede database
  • on a list of Australian entries (because your Brown was Australian)
  • and on a Prisoner of War list (because he was a PoW)

The idea is that however you decide to look for your man, if we have him on the site somewhere, you will find him.

Notice that some of your search results can be in this form:

Runnymede Memorial Alphabetical List
Alexander Barrie Tom Brown Barrie George Wellesley Barrie-Smith William Barringer ... Henry Branson John Peter Leslie Brash George Brown Brash Robert Hugh Brassel Terence Joseph Bratt
aircrewremembered.com/RunnymedeDatabase/runnymede-alpha-list.html

What this signifies is that the name Brown constitutes at least one entry (and usually more) in the Runnymede Database (in this case). Note the current search does NOT take you to the specific entries for Brown in that database, what it tells you is that there is at least one mention of the name Brown to be found in that database. When you click through to the database, input Brown into the Database Search box (on the database page itself) and our specialized Database Search Engine will look for all references to Brown in the database for you.

For a common name such as Brown you will probably find links to several databases in your search results. Each database may have many entries of the name.

Our custom-written Database Search Engine is designed to present all the results in easily digestible form so you can scan through them to find the one you are looking for. If you can read a spreadsheet you can read our database results.


Use the Highlighting Facility

On many pages on this site you will be faced with dozens or even hundreds of links to names, places etc. within which you know is the one you are looking for. Here's where our Highlighting Facility can help. Simply type in what you seek in the box provided and click Apply Highlight. Anywhere on this page where that word appears will then be highlighted in yellow, so scroll quickly down the page till you find it. Highlighting only applies to the current page.


Use the Database Search Box!

Each of our databases is used by researchers across the world continuously. Possibly the most referenced by those interested in Allied aircrew is Allied Losses and Incidents, so that would be a good place to start if that's your area of interest. Searches for this, and all our databases, are conducted through a special Search box located beneath the database description. Searches using this mechanism are conducted using our own custom-written search code and not FreeFind, and are made ONLY on the particular database you are consulting. Details of how these database searches are made are to be found by clicking the Search Tips button on every database or by clicking here.

Be sure to take a look at our array of databases, many of which contain data that cannot be easily found elsewhere.

We have developed a very special database which should help you discover all the information we have on a particular individual. It's a 'database of databases' in effect. The Consolidated Names database includes every entry in every one of our databases and thereby shows you all of our databases that contain information on your individual. If he/she is included you see next to the name the databases where more information is to be found: you can then simply search on each.

For Axis interests there is nothing like the Kracker Luftwaffe Archive and the Luftwaffe Victories by Name/Date to be found elsewhere.

Canadian interests are well served by the stupendous Paradie Archive, created by hand by Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) from hard-to-read teletype source material over a period of many years, and being enhanced daily through the dedication of W/O François Dutil (RCAF).

Read the Search Tips to understand how our Database Search Engine works.

These databases represent many man-years of effort on the part of our research team and are unique in their linked design. What we try to do is present links inside the database for entries that take you to more information in other databases or on our Archive Report pages. Thus, for example, an entry in the Allied Losses and Incidents database might include a link to an Archive Report. Click that link and you'll get a full story of the event. It might also include a link to the Attacker who shot down the plane. Click that and you'll get taken to the Kracker Luftwaffe Archive where you can read the history of the pilot, and within that entry on the Kracker you might find a further link to the pilot's Operational Record where we list all his victories in sequence with times, places etc.


Use the Helpdesk!

Our Helpdesk is designed to be your first port of call whenever you have a question or don't know how to do something.

If you want to send us a message, click Submit a Ticket and complete the message form. Your message will be tagged by our software so we can track our reply and your response. This is also the mechanism whereby you can send us images and information on individuals, and it's also the way you submit Reader Comments, such as are found at the foot of this page.

The Helpdesk also acts as our FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions. Just fill in the Search Help box and our Knowledgebase will try to give you the answer. If it fails, Submit A Ticket and we'll get back to you.

Pages of Outstanding Interest
History Airborne Forces •  Soviet Night Witches •  Bomber Command Memories •  Abbreviations •  Gardening Codenames
CWGC: Your Relative's Grave Explained •  USA Flygirls •  Axis Awards Descriptions •  'Lack Of Moral Fibre'
Concept of Colonial Discrimination  •  Unauthorised First Long Range Mustang Attack

SY 2018-04-08

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon

All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© 2012 - 2021 Aircrew Remembered
Last Modified: 26 September 2019, 14:00

If you would like to comment on this page, please do so via our Helpdesk. Use the Submit a Ticket option to send your comments. After review, our Editors will publish your comment below with your first name, but not your email address.

A word from the Editor: your contribution is important. We welcome your comments and information. Thanks in advance.
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