War Diaries Talk

FAQ – Standard Tags / Part 1: Basics, Dates, Persons, Places

  • wildcatjenny by wildcatjenny moderator

    Last update November 10, 2014


    Q: How do I tag places and activities when a unit is split into companies or sections for different tasks?

    Record activities for each portion of the unit using a Unit Activity or Army Life tag. If portions of the unit are in different locations use the Place tag and put a checkmark next to "Is the unit currently here?".

    Q: How do I tag the details of company or section deployment?

    If the companies are working as a unit the organizational details do not need to be recorded. For example, "In the line. A coy on right and B coy on left." can be tagged as one single Unit Activity. (i.e. Unit Activity = In the line)

    Q: As long as I place tags between the proper dates, does it matter where I put them on the diary page?

    Yes. Place the tag as close as you can to the location of the information on the diary page. When the page is processed tags are analyzed by tag type and location.

    Q: Should I tag orders when they are summarized in the diary?

    Strategies and orders changed frequently, so do not tag orders as they are summarized in the daily diary pages. Instead, tag Unit activities as they are carried out. (When you find actual orders in the diary select the Orders page Type and tag the requested information.)


    Q: How do I tag the date when the author of the diary makes entries for a rage of dates?

    Place a Date tag just above the first date of the Date range and place a second tag just before the next date. For example: The first date in the date column is July 1 and the next date is July 7. Place the first date tag just above July 1 in the date column. Place a second date tag for July 6 above the entry for July 7th. All tags for July 1 through 6 must be made between these two tags. Place a date tag for July 7th as usual and continue tagging.

    Q: What do I do if the diary page doesn't give the full date?

    Do not guess. If there are any elements of the date you're unsure of, just delete those elements from the text box at the top of the Date tag box.

    Q: What do I do if the diary page doesn't give the year?

    Do not guess. If you are not sure of the year, just delete the year from the text box at the top of the Date tag box.

    Q: How do I tag dates when they are not consecutive?

    Some diary authors make daily entries for routine operations and create a summary or list which covers several days for other types of information. Make a date range for instances like these. Place a Date tag just above the earliest date and place a second Date tag below the last date. All tags belonging to this date range must be placed between these two date tags. If the next date is handled normally, place a Date tag just above it and proceed as usual.

    Q: Which date do overnight operations belong to? The day they start or the day they end?

    When times are given they can be used to divide the operation into events before and after midnight. When times are not present use your best judgment based on the context.


    Q: Should I tag persons when no name is given?

    Do not create a Person tag when the diary doesn't provide a name. For example: "Inspection by C.O."

    Q: How do I indicate that O.R. (Other Ranks) have joined the units?

    Soldiers moved back and forth between units or a regular basis and their numbers are accounted for in periodic Unit Strength entries. When a large number of reinforcements (30 or more) join at the same time, use a Comment (Talk balloon icon) to enter the number and add the hashtag: #draft.

    Q: Sometimes there are initials after a person's name - what do they mean?

    Special honours are noted by appending appropriate abbreviations to the recipient's name in military records. For an example: Lt Blogg MC.

    Q: Should I add the initials representing medals after the surname in the Person tag?

    No. Enter the surname alone. Do not add titles, awards, or medals to this field.

    Q: An officer is listed as proceeding to a camp for demobilization. Should I tag him as “Departed: posted or detached to another unit”?

    Select "Resigned, Discharged or Demobilized" as the “Reason” in the Person tag.

    Q: The diary has interesting information and events associated with the person I am tagging but none of the items in the "Reason" list seems to apply. What should I do?

    Choose "other" for the "Reason" and consider making a comment to enter a description and/or a hashtag. (Click the Talk balloon icon in the upper right.)


    Q: What if I can't find a map location for a place name?

    Perhaps the name was misspelled or has changed over the years. If you know the last place the unit was or where they will be next you can search the surrounding area on a map to find the proper spelling. Sometimes an internet search may provide the modern name for a location. (For example, a search on Ypres will help you find Ieper.)

    Q: How do I tag names of trenches?

    When names of trenches are given they can be tagged as places. For example, "Black Watch Trench". You will not find a map location for them in the Place tag so select "None of these/not sure". Don't enter generic trench names such as "Support Trench", "Communication Trench", or "Trench A".

    Q: What should I do if the Place tag suggests more than one map location for a place name?

    Select each name from the list of suggestions and view its location on the map. Choose the one that appears in the correct map location. If you don't know which to choose - select "None of these/not sure".

    Q: I have searched maps and the internet but still can't find a map location for the Place name. What should I do?

    Enter the name as written in the diary and select "None of these/not sure" for the location.

    Q: What should I do if "In the Line" is listed in the Place column?

    Don't tag descriptions like "In the Line" as places. Use the Unit Activity tag instead.

    Q: Should I tag place names that are not in the Place column?

    You can click on the name of the place to tag it under "Summary of Events and Information" just as you do when it appears in the Place column. When the unit is obviously at a place, check the "Is the unit currently here?" box in the Place tag. If the unit is just visiting or passing through the place, you can still tag it, but leave this box unchecked.

    Q: The place name is misspelled in the diary. How do I provide the correct map location?

    If you are sure that you have the correct spelling enter the correct spelling for the name and select the map location.

    Q: What if the present day name for a place is different than the name used in the diary?

    If you are positive that you know the current day name of the place, enter it and select the correct map location.

    Q: What should I do if the name of a ship is listed under the Place column?

    You can't use the Place tag for the name of a ship. The Place tag was designed for static locations. Please enter the hashtag #ship in the comments area. (If a ship is mentioned but the unit is not on the ship - do not use the #ship hashtag.)