Researching ancestors 1919- present

Useful hints & tips for military research.

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Researching ancestors 1919- present

Postby apowell » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:25 am

Military Documents

How to obtain service records

The form and additional Information on how to complete this form can be found on the veterans uk website.

The MOD is the custodian of the records of service of Service personnel and Home Guard records until they are opened to general public access at the National Archives. Subject to the payment of an administration fee of £30 per record and provision of a death certificate (except where death was in service), certain information can be provided from the records of service of Service personnel on request under the publication scheme.

Soldier - Next of Kin includes:
1) Spouse/ Partner or Parent (if no Spouse) of Soldier
2) Son / Daughter of Soldier
3) Grandchild of Soldier
4) Father / Mother of Soldier
5) Brother / Sister of Soldier
6) Nephew / Niece of Soldier
7) Grandparent of Soldier

Whoever is living and closest to the top of the list must apply, or approve the form so you can apply.

**If you aren't on the above list or if you are on the list, but someone in the family is alive and closer to the top of the list, you need their consent to apply, or you must apply as a General Enquirer.

The information that is held on individuals varies depending on which Service they served with, when they served and the length of their Service. In a small number of cases little or no information may be held. Applicants should be aware that the £30 administration fee is non-refundable whatever the outcome of the search.

Note: You MUST have the Soldier's Service Number and/or Date of Birth to apply. You must also provide a copy of the soldier's death certificate (unless they died in service).

Website link to order service records: ... cords.html

Merchant ships and seaman during WWII
The War Medal 1939–1945 was a British decoration awarded to those who had served in the Armed Forces or Merchant Navy full-time for at least 28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. In the Merchant Navy, the 28 days must have been served at sea. It is sometimes described as the "Victory Medal" for World War II, although that is not its correct name.

National Archives link: ... ls-ww2.htm

British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 (varies websites fee payable)
This database contains a listing of World War II British Army, Navy and Air Force prisoners of war (POW). Information provided about them includes:
•Branch of the armed forces
•POW number
•Camp type
•Camp number
•Camp location
•Record office
•Record Office number
•Stalag – camp for enlisted personnel

The Geneva Convention of 1929 established the rules for the treatment of prisoners of war that were used in World War II. Over 100,000 soldiers of the British Armed Forces were captured during this war and placed in prisoner of war camps. There were two types of POW camps run by the Germans that soldiers were assigned to. These were:
•Oflag – camp for officers

There were separate camps for navy, aircrews, and civilians.

The German camps were named according to a numbering system, beginning with a Roman numeral representing the military district the camp was located in. Following the Roman numeral could be a letter. This letter represented a specific camp within the military district. If the camp was a sub-camp, “/Z” was then appended to the end of the number. If the camp was a main camp, then the “/H” was appended to the end of the number. You will see this nomenclature in the “Camp number” field of this database.

British Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945 (varies websites fee payable)
This database contains the Roll of Honour – a listing of British Army casualties from World War II.

The original data comes from the National Archives records series WO 304, War Office: Roll of Honour, Second World War. This Roll was compiled from various War Office records between 1944 and 1949. Originally the data was encoded onto cards using a Hollerith Machine (a unit record machine), the original print outs of which are kept at the National Archives. The cards have since been decoded and transcribed by the Naval & Military Press and published on CD.

Information recorded on the Roll of Honour includes:
•Name of soldier
•Initials, titles, and decorations
•Enlisted rank
•Rank at time of death
•Enlisted Regiment
•Regiment at time of death
•Theater of War or country where wounded or died
•Death date

Commemorate the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars. Our cemeteries, burial plots and memorials are a lasting tribute to those who died in some 153 countries across the world. Our Register records details of Commonwealth war dead so that graves or names on memorials can be located.

General websites: (information only) (information only) (paid subscription) (Paid subscription/pay as you go vouchers) (paid subscription) (documents can be viewed for free at the National Archives or ordered-fee payable depending on data protection laws)
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