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Military history question

Just a family conversation. Military records of personnel who served in WWII and before.

Any online resource? They all been digitised and made public? They available on paper but not online? Or it’s all still covered by privacy regs?

13 thoughts on “Military history question”

  1. Still covered by privacy regs?

    How is Great Great Uncle Wilt going to posthumously grant permission under GDPR for you to know how often he had a pubic delousing?

  2. You can apply via but unless immediate next of kin, the person has to be deceased for at least 25 years. Or you could try the National Archives.

  3. Most pre WW2 were destroyed when the Luftwaffe bombed Woolwich. If one is very lucky there are officers’ records available from the Public Records Office some are digitised but most can be copied and sent on for 3quid or so.
    Theyve revamped the website so many of the links I knew have gone.

  4. I used to successfully find details of my great grandfather and his siblings who were killed in WW1. also looks interesting although I haven’t tried using it as you need to provide your email address and set up an account.

  5. Forces war records is promising but it is still a work in progress, Every now and then they send me an email saying that they have added to their database a guy with a first and last name matching one or other of my great-uncles. So if you are lucky they may be able to help you

  6. Dunno about military records.

    I am pleased though that there is progress in digitizing U.S. census data. I have spent too many hours straining my eyes looking at photo copies of hand written records from a hundred years ago.

    Another great advancement is the digitization of graveyard data, such as on

  7. My dad got my great grandfather’s military record from the navy (pre First World War) through to his death in service in 1917 (tragic accident – moral of the story don’t go into the services if you’re accident prone).

    It was interesting. There was a photo of him (you wouldn’t cross him), a physical description and a list of all the ships he’d been on. We assumed they had all sunk but he seemed to change ship regularly as he got promoted.

    Dad either got these from the National Records Office or the Imperial War Museum. I’ll see if he can remember and update this post.

  8. @Tim W

    Anyone can visit the Army Chapel in Edinburgh Castle and read the service records. No entry charge to Castle for Chapel only visit.

    My father found some of his cousins who served and died in WWII

    Edinburgh City Chambers public archive has military records going back to at least 1500s – Why? Originally anyone who wanted King’s schilling for joining Scottish Army – as opposed to Clan/Laird army – had to come to Edinburgh


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