Friday, November 5, 2010

Free Access to World War 1 Military Records

Ancestry.co.uk have announced that from Sunday 7th November until 14th November you can search and view the original historical documents from three British Army collections completely free. The collections are World War 1 Service Records, 1914–1920, World War 1 Pension Records, 1914-1920, World War 1 Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920.

Their website says:
British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920
The surviving service records of non-commissioned officers and other ranks who served in World War 1 and did not re-enlist in the Army prior to World War 2. With the final release, this database now contains the entire service records collection. The type of information contained in these records includes: name of solider, age, birthplace, occupation, marital status, and regiment number.

British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920
Service records of non-commissioned officers and other ranks who were discharged from the Army and claimed disability pensions for service in World War 1. These were also men who did not re-enlist in the Army prior to World War 2. The type of information contained in these records includes: name of solider, age, birthplace, occupation, marital status, and regiment number.

British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
This database contains the Medal Rolls Index, or Medal Index Cards. The collection currently contains approximately 4.8 million people, which is nearly all of the total collection. The records can be searched by first and last name and Corps, Unit or Regiment.

It’s easy to search them, and you may find hidden gems. My father told me often that his uncle, Charles Golding, rode into Jerusalem immediately behind General Allenby during World War I. General Allenby was accepting the city’s submission from the Ottoman Empire ruler. I’ve found that Charles was a captain on the expeditionary force but I haven’t managed to check his role.

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