Get more from Forces War Records

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - HOW TO -

1 Do a sim­ple search

Go to forces-war-records.co.uk. This is the home­page, from which you can ask the ex­perts and carry out sim­ple searches for sol­diers and sailors for free. You will need to take out full mem­ber­ship (com­plete the prompts that pop up to do this) to find out any de­tails. Mem­bers have ac­cess to the full Forces War Records web­site.

2 Mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal records

If you just want to search the hos­pi­tal records on Forces War Records, click on the quick link on the left-hand side of the home­page then type the name of the man you are re­search­ing in the search box that ap­pears. In this in­stance, I want to find out more about Sergeant W Cald­well who served in the Northum­ber­land Fusiliers in the First World War.

3 Hos­pi­tal record de­tails

Cald­well’s en­try is quite full, al­though not all the hos­pi­tal records are so com­pre­hen­sive. It tells us about his in­juries – he was shot in the leg – and where he was sent af­ter he left the Ca­su­alty Clear­ing Sta­tion. He ap­pears to have sur­vived the Great War.

4 Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion

Scrolling down gives us more in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing de­tails of where his bat­tal­ion in the Northum­ber­land Fusiliers served. There are sim­i­lar en­tries for ev­ery ser­vice­man. Al­though they can be help­ful, each man’s ser­vice was very dif­fer­ent.

5 WW2 Army Ca­su­alty List

A gen­eral name search for Pri­vate A L Acutt brings up an en­try in an­other new set of records – the WW2 Army Ca­su­alty Lists. He was re­ported miss­ing on 16 July 1940 in France and also ap­pears on the site’s list of pris­on­ers of war in Ger­many. He sur­vived the con­flict in a PoW camp.

6 ‘Sol­diers Died in the Great War’

I am also in­ter­ested in what they hold on my great un­cle Ri­fle­man Stan­ley Crozier, killed near Cour­trai in 1918. A name search brings up ma­te­rial based on his ‘Sol­diers Died in the Great War’ dataset en­try, com­piled by the War Of­fice in the early 1920s and read­ily avail­able else­where.

7 Reg­i­ment or unit his­tory

You can also search by reg­i­ment or unit. In this case, I want to find out more back­ground in­for­ma­tion about the Northum­ber­land Fusiliers. There’s a brief his­tory, al­though no doubt you can find more de­tails else­where on­line.

8 Col­lec­tions List

There is also an in­creas­ing num­ber of e-books and other re­sources that may add to your knowl­edge of your an­ces­tor’s mil­i­tary ser­vice. Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est are the War Di­aries – mem­oirs and di­aries writ­ten by the men who were there.

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