Talk:John Whittle

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Featured article John Whittle is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on August 17, 2010.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 21, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
December 21, 2008 WikiProject A-class review Approved
February 19, 2009 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:John Whittle/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Hi, I'll give this a read and come back with comments in the next 24 hours or so. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 10:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

  • It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  • "Whittle was serving as a sergeant during the First World War when he was decorated with the Victoria Cross in 1917, following two separate actions performed against attacking German forces during their retreat to the Hindenburg Line." is a pretty long sentence. Suggest trimming a little to "Whittle was serving as a sergeant in the First World War when he was decorated with the Victoria Cross, following two separate actions against German forces during their retreat to the Hindenburg Line in 1917." This eliminates a repeated "during" and removes the slightly confusing juxtoposition of the Germans attacking while they're retreating (I know what you mean but it looks odd in print).
Substituted in favour of your's. Thanks, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 22:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Not a stumbling block but the second para is quite long. You could begin a third para starting at "Wounded three times during the war..."
Done. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 22:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
First World War:
  • "On 6 August 1915, Whittle transferred to the Australian Imperial Force in order to actively serve overseas". First off, "actively serve overseas" sounds a bit clunky and should probably be replaced by "see active service overseas" or simply "serve overseas". Beyond that, however, the motivation doesn't ring true to me since he'd already seen active service overseas in the Boer War - comment?
What I ment in this case was so he could actively serve overseas in the First World War, as no permanent Australian Commonwealth unit was deployed overseas; only the AIF and Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force were. However, I have changed it to "in order to see active service overseas during the war." Feel free to tweak, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 22:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
All check out.
  • It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  • He seems to have had a few run-ins with authority during the war, almost to the extent that I wonder if it's worth mentioning in the intro as a general point. If so, it might be a new first line to the proposed third para I suggested above, which would also help fill the para out a bit.
Done. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 22:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
First World War:
  • "In late November, Whittle was admitted to hospital suffering from an illness" - I'm guessing no source mentions just what the illness was?
Nope. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 22:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • "Rallying his men, Whittle rushed the post and commenced bombing the occupants with grenades. He chased the men as they began to retreat down the trench line, before the Germans were forced from the position." Seriously, which men did he chase as they began to retreat, his or the Germans?
Changed to: "He then proceeded to chase the Germans as they began to retreat down the trench line, before they were forced from the position."
  • "...forgo four days detention". Don't we mean "undergo four days detention"?
Done. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 22:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Checks out.
  • It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
Checks out.
  • It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b (lack of images does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
All check out.
  • Overall:
    a Pass/Fail:

Generally this is very good, as usual. The Victoria Cross subsection really races along, I got quite caught up in reading it to see what happened next - well done! If you can address the above points in the next week, I'll have no probs passing it. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 13:20, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for reviewing the article, Ian. I think I have addressed all of your concerns above, and have replied to each appropriately. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 22:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Made one minor change/link but everything else looks fine. Have to rush off so won't be able to complete all the 'paperwork' for an hour or so, but in the meantime this is a pass - good work! Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:26, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Pre-FAC copyedit[edit]

Bryce, mainly just did everything direct. Of course the prose is already extremely good and probably wouldn't fall foul of FAC in any case, but there were places where a few words less would seem to suffice. Just a few bits to discuss:

  • You might consider a subection Early service at the start of the WWI section, to balance the Later service after Victoria Cross - just a thought though, don't think it's vital.
  • "Discharged from the navy in 1907, Whittle joined the Australian Army soon after and was posted to the Army Service Corps". I recall removing "soon after" around the time of GAN and you reinstated it. I still think it adds nothing, since not having it there implies the same quick succession.
    • At the time, I figured cutting out the "soon after" didn't fully convery that as soon as Whittle was discharged from the navy he joined the army. However, on reflection, I see that you are right and have removed the two words. Thanks, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 00:03, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "...upon arrival in France during April 1916. Eight days later, on 13 April, Whittle was promoted to lance sergeant". I'd prefer "...upon arrival in France on 7 April 1916. Eight days later, Whittle was promoted to lance sergeant". It looks odd to me that we start with a vague time, i.e. "during April", and then go to precise times, i.e. "eight days" and "13 April".

Hope this helps. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 14:03, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Does very much so. Thanks, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 00:03, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Just one note though; I hope you don't mind, but I changed back your copy-edit in regards to the announcement of Whittle's DCM in the London Gazette in order to remain consistant with what I have done in other Aus VC bios, but also because I find it slightly more informative. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 05:12, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
No prob at all - I look fwd to the FAC...! Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 09:14, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Abraham, B.S. (talk) 09:27, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Commonwealth armed forces?[edit]

I am not sure I understand the first sentence of the article (version). In particular what constitutes the "Commonwealth Armed Forces" ? It clearly does not refer to the collective armed forces of the Commonwealth member nations. So does it refer to armed forces of some subset of Commonwealth nations, the armed forces of the Commonwealth realms, or was there a particular historical entity specifically called the Commonwealth armed forces (redlink!). If someone knows the intended meaning, the sentence can be reworded appropriately for accuracy and clarity. Abecedare (talk) 19:14, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

It means that any member of the British armed forces or any member of one of the armed forces belonging to a Commonwealth nation can win the Victoria Cross. It seems quite clear to me to be honest. Cavie78 (talk) 23:52, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Yep, precisely as Cavie78 explained. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 02:37, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that is what the sentence seems to say, but that is a false claim!
For example, soldiers in the post-independence India, Pakistan, Bangladesh armed forces, are not eligible for VC ... nor does it rank in the hierarchy of military honors for such nations (the highest military awards for the three are Param Vir Chakra, Nishan-i-Haider and Bir Sreshtho respectively). As far as I know this is true for most, if not all, Commonwealth nations since their independence (some Commonwealth realms may be the exceptions). Do we have an actual source for the claim, which we can use to phrase it accurately ? Abecedare (talk) 03:26, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
No, it is not false. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are no longer Commonwealth nations, and prior to independence they were eligible for the Victoria Cross. If a nation that formed part of the Commonwealth is granted independence, it is no longer part of the Commonwealth of the British Empire and no longer eligible for the Victoria Cross, particularly as the create their own honours systems, as you have demonstrated. The article claims that the Victoria Cross is the highest gallantry decoration for British and British Commonwealth armed forces, and is correct, particularly in a historical context from the date in which the award was made to Whittle. Just about every single book, source, document and so fourth that deals with the Victoria Cross substantiates this fact. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 03:48, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I think there is some basic misunderstanding of the involved terms: India, Pakistan etc are no longer part of the Imperial British Empire/British Commonwealth but they, along with some 50-odd other countries, most certainly are Commonwealth Nations (= member states of the Commonwealth of Nations). Perhaps the error in the article can be corrected by specifying that the VC is awarded to armed forces members of Britain and the British Commonwealth (which no longer exists, having been replaced by the Commonwealth of Nations) ... but given that this article is an FA, I would prefer if we had actual reliable sources for whatever claims we include. Abecedare (talk) 04:06, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
PS: Abraham, re-reading your response, I see that you too (unlike the article!) say that, "Victoria Cross is the highest gallantry decoration for British and British Commonwealth" (emphasis added). I do believe this to be true, and if there is agreement on that, we can make the simple correction to the lede sentence. Let me know what you think. Abecedare (talk) 04:09, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough. I can understand where you are coming from, but at the same time I do not quite agree the article at present is incorrect and, as I have stated above, it is covered in most sources detailing the Victoria Cross including those that I used when writing this article. I guess the main issue I have is that the Victoria Cross, while no longer, was the highest gallantry decoration for those former Commonwealth nations that have now been granted independence, and particularly for the context of this article as being of a Victoria Cross recipient of 1917, is most definantly correct. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 04:30, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
It was true at the time Whittle's award was made. The point is covered in more detail in teh Victoria Cross article itself, which is the logical place for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by David Underdown (talkcontribs)
Great! I think we have agreement , and have made the Commonwealth -> British Commonwealth substitution in the lede for clarity.
The only point we seemingly differ on is whether India et al are former Commonwealth nations; I disagree with that since the London Declaration was signed in 1949 specifically to change the formulation of Commonwealth and ensure that that did not happen - however, that issue is not really relevant to this article. Nice work on the main article, by the way. Cheers. Abecedare (talk) 21:48, 18 August 2010 (UTC)