Template:Did you know nominations/Winifred Lamb

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Winifred Lamb

  • ... that archaeologist Winifred Lamb deciphered submarine codes during WW1?

Improved to Good Article status by Eritha (talk). Self-nominated at 22:03, 4 January 2020 (UTC).

  • Symbol possible vote.svg Article is in date (actually passed GA status on 3 January, but a day is not much to quibble over. It is long enough, well sourced, meets all policies. No significant copyvio detected, no QPQ needed as you do not have any previous credits. AGF on offline sources. As to the hook, the article states "she probably worked" - not that she definitely did, as the hook states. "Submarine codes" is ambiguous in the context of military operations, why not use what the article uses - "coded messages sent to German submarines"? Similarly it would be better to write 'World War I' or 'First World War' as the article does, rather than WW1. As to being an 'archaeologist', she had studied "Classics with a specialisation in Classical Archaeology", and undertaken some archaeological fieldwork during her studies, but her career as an archaeologist seems to have only begun after the war, she went straight from being a student to war work. P.S. This wasn't picked up at the GA review, and is not neccesary for passing this DYK nom, but the phrasing "leaving after the end of the war in December 1918" would probably be better worded as "leaving after the war, in December 1918." So as not to confuse the subject and imply the war's end was in December, and with "after", "the end" is redundant. Otherwise, the article seems up to scratch, but the hook needs addressing. Spokoyni (talk) 01:59, 5 January 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, all good points! hook could be changed to "... that archaeologist Winifred Lamb worked as a codebreaker during World War 1?" to avoid the 'probably' issue. I described her as an archaeologist as that's what she's best known for (as well as her museum curatorial work), and she was collecting and carrying out archaeological work (in the British Museum; publishing in JHS) during her war-work as well, but something like "... that archaeologist Winifred Lamb had previously worked as a codebreaker during World War 1?" would make it clearer that the bulk of her archaeological work came afterwards? Eritha (talk) 10:29, 5 January 2020 (UTC)

A lot of these changes look good - I have to say I think the thrust of the hook is excellent, not often you think of someone whose primary interests and career were in archaeology taking a role in cutting edge military cryptography (though Dilly Knox had a similar background). I think the 'previously' addition neatly deals with the issue I raised, 'codebreaker' reads fine to me. It's still the 'probably' that is causing me thought though. We know she worked at Room 40, which was the cryptanalysis section of naval intelligence. But there were other jobs and roles within it besides codebreaking - later in the war direction finding became an important part for example. Do we know for sure that she was doing codebreaking? If we can't be sure, perhaps something like the alts I've drawn up might work? By the way, it is a very interesting article and a great read on a fascinating individual! Spokoyni (talk) 15:54, 5 January 2020 (UTC)
  • ALT1 ... that archaeologist Winifred Lamb had previously worked as a codebreaker during World War I? - if the codebreaker role is explicitely known and sourced, otherwise perhaps:
  • ALT2 ... that archaeologist Winifred Lamb had previously worked in naval intelligence during World War I?
  • ALT3 ... that archaeologist Winifred Lamb had previously worked in Room 40, the Royal Navy's cryptanalysis section, during World War I?

I have double-checked sources and they don't make it entirely clear, so ALT2 or ALT3 would be best, I am happy with either! and thanks, I'm glad you found it an interesting article :) Eritha (talk) 12:36, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

Symbol redirect vote 4.svg Sounds good! Requesting third party approval of Alts 2 and 3 since I proposed the hooks. Spokoyni (talk) 14:09, 7 January 2020 (UTC)