Posted by: mcfinder | June 25, 2010

Using Ancestry.co.uk to find your family heroes

Almost all of us have a family member who fought for King and Country during the First World War. With digitisation of army and pension records, as well as medal cards, ancestry.co.uk is a great resource for anyone wanting to find out more about their family heroes from WW1.

There are a vast number of service records available online (Although the search is a bit clunky and don’t forget that about 80% of all service records from WW1 were destroyed during the Blitz). Some of the details you can find on these records are great, obviously there is the basic name, age, place of birth, next of kin, but then there is extra details such as hair and ey colour, tattoos or scars, any wounds during engagement etc.

Nearly everyone who served in WW1 received a campaign medal. The Medal Index Cards have also been digitised onto ancestry.co.uk and will tell you what campaign medals they won, as well as rank/regiment/service number and perhaps the date they went to war and the theatre (i.e Western Front, Egypt etc.) they served in.

Another fascinating search is the De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour which has short (a single paragraph mostly) biographies of many of the fallen soldiers. It only covers a small percentage of the total war dead, but can be a rewarding search.

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