Saturday, February 6, 2010

Military Stories

Last Sunday's programme, the fifth episode of the new 'Digging up Your Roots', which is broadcast on 92-95 FM every Sunday at midday until 21 February was about military stories.

If you have a question to ask, write to: Digging Up Your Roots, BBC Radio Scotland, Beechgrove Terrace, Aberdeen, AB15 5ZT or email them at .

If you missed this, it is available as a podcast for another day.

The first article was a unique letter written by Andrew Anderson, a machine-gunner, on a march to Germany.

Copies of his letter have gone to the regimental museum, local museums, and schools. They recommend that paper documents should be kept in acid-free plastic.

At the beginning of World War II, Germans and Italians were allowed to escape being interned if they volunteered for the British Army Pioneer Corps which provided general labour for the Army, building roads and railways, unloading and loading ships.

Although the stories were interesting, I felt that the discussion about record sources was more useful.

Look in regimental war diaries for details of soldiers.
Prisoner of War camp records are available at Children and Families of Far East Prisoners of War, and for other theatres through the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Liberation questionnaires (completed by mainly British and Commonwealth Prisoners of War of all ranks and services), Air Ministry Combat reports, unclaimed medals are at the National Archives at Kew.
Service records at Veterans UK.
Information about World War I is at The Long, Long Trail.

They talked about the "Dead Man's Penny" - a bronze memorial plaque, 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter, inscribed with the dead person's name, which was sent with a scroll to the next of kin to all those who died in the Great War (World War I ), there are lots of websites about this, and one that has nice pictures is

I was also interested in the account of an Alexander Macleod who died of cholera in India in 1845, because they talked about a bill of sale of his possessions, and a receipt by his widow.

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