Data Considerations

The French Ministry of Defense has provided The World Remembers with two separate databases of military deaths. The names in the 2016 display are a compilation of 1916 French military deaths from these two sources. Military deaths from 1917 to 1918 have not yet been included in our database since our compilation work is ongoing. 

Please note the following considerations when referencing the French WWI data. 

  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in France has provided TWR with two databases for French WWI deaths, the Sepulture de Guerre database and the Memoire des Hommes database and has directed TWR to combine the two databases for this names display.  This task is not without challenges. We have made an assumption, confirmed by MoD France, that the 540,340 names in the Sepulture de Guerre database are for the most part duplicated in the larger Memoire des Hommes database of 1,388,941 names.
  • The two databases we received contained multiple irregularities, such as listing a soldier’s year of birth as in the 18th Century. TWR cannot accurately assess these problems and if you find errors in the data, please contact the appropriate authority in France, either at the Ministry of Defense or the Department of Anciens Combattants.
  • When combining the two databases, we have erred on the side of inclusion. For example, if a Date of Birth is clearly incorrect, (e.g. ‘082’) we have assumed that the soldier died in WWI and we have included his name. Please contact the appropriate authority in France to make any correction.
  • If a French soldier has no Year of Death, we have assumed that he died in WWI and will include his name in the project. The names without a Year of Death have been distributed among the five project years to reflect the casualties that France took over the years 1914 to 1918.
  • Some soldiers are missing either a surname or a forename. TWR has chosen to include these men and hopes that families can provide the missing information to MoD France.
  • Some of the MoD data included either a surname or a forename followed by “INCONNU”.  We have included the names of these men in the names display but omitted the “INCONNU”. However the search result will display the data as we received it from MoD France.
  • We have chosen to omit French data files that have no name at all. We have found over 10,000 of these entries in the Sepulture des Guerre database killed between 1914 and 1922 but without both surname and forename. The search for the names of these soldiers will hopefully continue in France in the years to come.
  • TWR has used the available data fields from the two databases to eliminate duplication. But without additional French archival support, we cannot guarantee accuracy since that work is beyond the scope of this project. Therefore, we urge the Government of France to undertake this important archival work.
  • This names display will include only the names of French soldiers killed in the years 1914 to 1922 as well as soldiers from the French colonial armies.

For more information on the French data please visit the French Ministry of Defence website, www.defense.gouv.fr.