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lukepulford

Researching WW1 military records

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    Over Christmas was chatting to my grandad and he revealed he had an uncle who died at the Somme serving for the 1st Northants. I have done some research and found out basic info about him and his life. Have looked on ancestry etc, regimental war diary, local historical societies etc. Have booked to take grandad over to see his memorial on Thiepval. Has anyone done similar and looked into members of their own family? Does anyone have any ideas of where else I can find information on people who served in the First World War? Thanks. Luke

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    Yes we did a lot of research into my grandfather who served in 10th Btn Warwickshire Regiment. We did a lot through the Western Front Assn but living in London we could access the Public Records Office at Kew.

     

    As a private soldier you cannot trace him much but if you know his Battalion/Brigade/Division all the day to day records are at Kew and all the history books detail the activities at Divisional/Brigade level. If you know what his Battalion was doing then you know what he was doing.

    Also most divisional histories available on line. Check records with Commonwealth War Graves, that contains some personal records.

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    You could get in touch with the Royal Anglian Regt association, the Northants are one of the old line regiments from which the Royal Anglians were formed.

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    I'm currently researching the family tree of an old friend on his behalf. A lot of the Government WW1 records were destroyed in a bombing raid during WW2 so it might be better to look locally - local newspapers, historical societies and any associations linked to that regiment. Many regiments were merged and so the records could be with the parent regiment.

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    When doing the family genealogy for our sons my wife happened upon the Chelsea Pensioners Army Records.

    She thinks that it's from there (she's not at all technically minded - bless) that she obtained the Army Book of my great grandfather. This listed his army career from start to finish. Many pages of his promotion and demotion ( for fighting). His time in the Ashanti campaign. Really fascinating stuff.

    You could do no worse than give it a try.

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    I was told a lot of WW1 records were destroyed by WW2 bombing. Not sure if this is true though.

    I need to do research on my grandfather and great uncle who were at Ypres.

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    It is true a lot of records were bombed out by the Germans ,but the local history society,s have loads of info.We did my wife,s family tree as her dad<89 years young >thought his granddad died in the first war but didnt he died in the Boer war.

    There,s also loads of info at regimental museums ,he was Sherewood Forester,s and the Worcs and Sherewoods association were very helpful.There,s still war diaries and company level order,s etc that list names and events.keep at it and dont give up ,the was a gap with a family widow of his uncle and her kids from the first war as woman were,nt on the electoral register so "dissapered"when he died till reappearing 6 years later on a rent book.

    Try Kew records office and if you have a birthday date Ancestry.co.uk have "bought" a lot of your family records from a slimy goverment that would sell your granny for a fiver .

    Also try the online first world war website if your have their regiments and ranks the surviving records are on there atb

    Edited by clakk

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    I'm currently researching the family tree of an old friend on his behalf. A lot of the Government WW1 records were destroyed in a bombing raid during WW2 so it might be better to look locally - local newspapers, historical societies and any associations linked to that regiment. Many regiments were merged and so the records could be with the parent regiment.

    A lot of the old WW1 records were in a government building which was bombed but they weren't all destroyed. However in recovering them they all got out of order and have never been resorted. Some have water damage, some are partially burned. However, volunteers are resorting them and trying to conserve as much information.

     

    So more information is coming out all the time.

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    This place is a good source of knowledge http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php

     

     

    If you haven't booked somewhere to stay this place is run by an ex REME chap called Dave Platt whose knowledge of the Somme is 2nd to none. http://www.beaumonthamelview.com/ Dave does guided tours & will research your relative if you give him the basic info.

    Edited by poppythedog

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    Thanks guys. Really helpful input thank you. This is very addictive!

     

    Not WW1 but just researched my uncle, WW2, and discovered he won the Military Medal in Holland ! very addictive as you say....just managed to find the citation as well.

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