Inaccurate war dead totals 'demean' sacrifice made by towns

Inaccurate war dead totals 'demean' sacrifice made by towns

Inaccurate war dead totals 'demean' sacrifice made by towns

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AN expert in the number of war dead in Trafford believes figures released by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission give a misleading impression of just how many people died from the area in First World War.

George Cogswell, from Sale, believes the figures, which have been published widely in the lead up to commemoration of the sacrifice, do a disservice to those that make the supreme sacrifice.

Mr Cogswell has published his own figures online detailing the numbers of people who died in Trafford.

Official figures from the CWGC show the number of recorded deaths is 246 in Altrincham whereas Mr Cogswell's figures, which takes in Altrincham and the surrounding villages and towns including Bowdon and Timperley came to 1,352.

He said: "When I saw these figures I threw the article down thinking this is rubbish, because while the overall total is inaccurate, so is the number of people who died on the Somme on the 1st of July 1916,

The figures claim 9 people from Altrincham died on that day, when in actual fact my assessment is there were as many as 46, of which 23 of the deaths were reported in the Altrincham Guardian and 17 are including on the town's cenotaph."

Mr Cogswell also takes issue with the Sale figures, which claim 185 died throughout the conflict. His figures total 803 of which 305 were listed in the Altrincham Guardian.

Meanwhile his figure for Stretford soldiers, which was not published, totals more than 1,200 who gave their lives for their country.

He said: "While I accept the CWGC did an incredible job putting all these figures together they have left off hundreds probably thousands of soldiers who came from this area.

"I believe that these figures are wildly inaccurate and wherever possible we should be accurate. Figures like these demeans the towns losses."

A spokesman for the CWGC said:" The numbers of those that died is 1.7 million but while most people are accounted for we didn't always know where they came from.

"After the First War we sent final verification forms out to everybody to ask them to provide details of graves and locations, and unfortunately not everybody sent that form and the necessary details back and that is why out figures don't tally.

"However, in no way does it demean the numbers of soldiers who died. We say to young people who are interested in finding out more to check out the names on their own town memorials where it will give them an insight to the global nature of the conflict."

Comments (1)

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10:59am Thu 21 Aug 14

Salewhite says...

I think to say that the figures demean the town misses the point. Millions of people died. Not just from Trafford but from everywhere. The data is inaccurate but this is not a league table so does it matter? We mourn all those who died, wherever they came from. We remember their collective sacrifice. We honour their memory. These are the important points and for me and I believe most of us whether the 'score' of Trafford dead is in hundreds or thousands is irrelevent. They were all individuals who were loved and grieved over and I think we demean them quibbling over numbers.
I think to say that the figures demean the town misses the point. Millions of people died. Not just from Trafford but from everywhere. The data is inaccurate but this is not a league table so does it matter? We mourn all those who died, wherever they came from. We remember their collective sacrifice. We honour their memory. These are the important points and for me and I believe most of us whether the 'score' of Trafford dead is in hundreds or thousands is irrelevent. They were all individuals who were loved and grieved over and I think we demean them quibbling over numbers. Salewhite
  • Score: 1

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