Genealogy Part 8 – Military Records

Most of us will have ancestors who have been in the army, navy or air force. You may be able to get your relatives service record.

The Imperial War Museum has guides on:

  • Tracing Army Ancestry
  • Tracing Merchant Navy Ancestry
  • Tracing POWs
  • Tracing RFC and RAF personnel
  • Tracing Royal Flying Corps & Royal Air Force Ancestry
  • Tracing Royal Navy Ancestry

which are downloadable here:
www.iwm.org.uk/server/show/nav.00100a

If your ancestor died in action (since 1914) you will be able to find details at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
www.cwgc.org

8.1    Useful web sites for tracing your ancestor’s military history

Army Museums

www.armymuseums.org.uk/ancestor.htm
Contains guides to tracing ancestors in the army

BBC
www.bbc.co.uk/history/trail/familyhistory
Includes guides to military records

Carl’s Cam
www.carlscam.com
Pictures and lists from war memorials in Cheshire

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
www.cwgc.org
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds details on all the 1.7 million servicemen and servicewomen who have died on operations since 1914, as well as the 60,000 civilians who have died in bombing raids.

Imperial War Museum
www.iwm.org.uk
The Imperial War Museum, the multi-branch national museum of war and wartime life from the First World War, through the Second World War, to the present day.

Liddle Archive
www.leeds.ac.uk/library/spcoll/liddle
The Liddle Collection was founded over thirty years ago to collect and preserve first-hand individual experiences of the First World War. The archive includes original letters and diaries, official and personal papers, photographs, newspapers and artwork, as well as written and tape-recorded recollections.

National Archives
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/militaryhistory
The National Archives has a huge collection of records dealing with Britain’s military history.

RAF Museum at Hendon
www.rafmuseum.org.uk
The archive collection has been built up through the donation of various types of material by individuals and organisations, in the following categories.

  • Personal Papers
  • Aircrew logbooks
  • First World War casualty cards
  • Record cards for aircraft, vehicles, marine craft & aircraft accidents
  • Site plans for RAF airfields and non-flying stations
  • Building drawings
  • Propaganda leaflets
  • Air Transport Auxiliary records
  • Company papers

Next: Wills and Probate Records

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