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Once you’ve completed your registration, you can create a profile by uploading an image, entering a brief bio and linking to your website or social media accounts.
My great uncle Hector Bulmer enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1915, a few days before his 16th birthday. He was one of countless boy soldiers who enlisted to help with the war effort, despite their tender years. Hector was shipped overseas but before he was sent to the front, his age was discovered. Initially he was to be discharged, but that order was rescinded and he spent two years in England in the camps. There is a full length article about Hector and the boy soldiers of WW1 on The Social Historian longform website.
I’ve decided to search for Hector on the Lives of the First World War website.
Hector Bulmer’s CEF Enlistment record has been entered into the Lives of the First World War database, but according to his profile, no one has remembered him yet or made any further entries on his Life Story page. I’m going to make some entries on his page from my research. This is what his profile looked like when I first visited it.
I begin by clicking on the “Remembering” button so people can see that I have a connection to Hector by viewing who ‘remembered’ him. Next I select the ‘Add to Life Story’ button and I am taken to a 60 second tutorial on how and what to add to a life story:
- We’ll show the things you can add, and how to prove facts through evidence. We ask for evidence to ensure that Life Stories are a legacy for future generations.
- UPLOAD YOUR PHOTOS AND MEMORABILIA – Scan or photograph your pictures, medals, letters home, diaries, then upload them to your First World War connection’s Life Story.
- A LIFE IS MORE THAN FACTS AND FIGURES – What anecdotes have been passed down through your family? Have you found stories in historic records? Add them to their Life Story.
- FIND EVIDENCE IN OVER 300 MILLION RECORDS – Discover and connect official genealogy records of your ancestors. You can also refer to records you’ve found in other websites or publications.
- EVIDENCE CREATES A LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS – Click on a piece of evidence, then add the facts it proves. Your contribution helps build their Permanent Digital Memorial.
I uploaded a few photographs from my collection and entered a ‘disputed fact’ for Hector’s birth date for review based on the birth certificate I uploaded. Since this conflicts with the previous information from Hector’s Attestation papers, I received a notice that it would be reviewed. I also uploaded an obituary for Hector from my archives and pasted an existing story I have for Hector into his timeline.
Hector Bulmer’s profile is now looking a little more complete and if anyone comes to view it, they will find the information that I uploaded. Adding the information was fairly straight forward although there do seem to be a few quirks in the forms. For one of my sources, I was trying to enter the date I accessed the information and I kept getting an error when trying to save the entry. Eventually, be elimination, I determined that the field could not accept digits, only alpha characters.