Category Archives: World War One records

TheGenealogist adds another 15,000 names from 53 new War Memorials

In time for Armistice day TheGenealogist has added to their War Memorial records on the website so that there are now over 383,000 fully searchable records.

Mark Herber's photo of a War Memorial at Olds, Alberta
War Memorial at Olds, Alberta in Canada newly added to TheGenealogist

This latest release includes war memorials from Worcestershire and South Yorkshire as well as some further monuments from Australia, Canada, London and various other British counties. A more unusual one added in this release is from Olds, in Alberta, Canada – the memorial is a Sherman tank!

War Memorial at Olds, Alberta in Canada newly added to TheGenealogist

Fully searchable by name, researchers can read transcriptions and see images of the dedications that commemorate soldiers who have fallen in the Boer War, WW1 and various other conflicts.

 

These new records are available as part of the Diamond Subscription at TheGenealogist.

Read our article on War Memorials that reveal WW1 heros, The neglected Sheffield soldier finally recognised, at:

https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/war-memorials-that-reveal-ww1-heroes-681/

 

Launch of new website – War-Memorial.co.uk

War-Memorial.co.uk, is the brand new website dedicated to Photographing, Transcribing and preserving war memorial records for the future, has just launched online providing a unique service that allows the researcher to find their ancestor using the largest collection of combined War Memorial records and images currently available anywhere.

war-memorial-5-sm

This project is based on Mark Herber’s growing collection of war memorial photographs and personally checked transcriptions. It honours those men and women, who died or served our country in military conflict over the years and it already features over 20,000 detailed photographs of more than 1,200 memorials, commemorating over 270,000 people, with their names (and the memorial’s information about them) transcribed and indexed.

With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by, War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors immortalised on the country’s war memorials.

Details that can be found in these memorial records include:

  • Name
  • Regiment, unit or ship
  • War or date of death
  • Rank and medals
  • Photograph of the War Memorial from multiple angles and zooms

War-Memorial.co.uk’s collection includes a very large number of records from the Boer War of 1899-1902 and WW1 and WW2, but it also includes memorials from as early as the 17th century up to very recent conflicts such as Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. Soldiers, sailors, aircrew and civilians are all featured – and not just those who died. Many men and women who served but survived also appear in the records.

Using the sophisticated search technology and just basic details you can locate full information on War Memorials on which men and women are commemorated, find more details about them (such as their regiments, ships, ranks and medals), discover the location of the War Memorial and see images of the memorial itself and a close up view of the name of your ancestor!

War-Memorial.co.uk is offering some great value options to suit every pocket starting at £5 for a month’s access, £9.95 quarterly, or take out a great value annual subscription at only £29.95.

With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by. War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors immortalised on the country’s war memorials.

 

Example of finding your ancestor in the records

Here we find the unusual records of a Thomas Ambrose, who was killed in 1916 by a bomb from a German airship flying over Sudbury. The transcribed record details how he died and where he is commemorated, as shown below:

war-memorial search

Each transcript brings up details of the memorial with overview images of the entire memorial so you can find your ancestor using just their name, locate their memorial and add the images and information to your family history records, or even plan your visit!

 
war-memorial

Click here to find out more: http://war-memorial.co.uk/

Battle of Jutland

 

This week sees the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Jutland. Many websites have been publishing their own stories to commemorate this event and browsing TheGenealogist’s Featured Articles section I found this one that draws on some of the excellent records for Jutland available on their site.

As they say in the piece:

TheGenealogist has a comprehensive Battle of Jutland record set that provides researchers with a full list of the men killed or wounded in the battle with their rank, name of ship and date of death taken from official Admiralty sources. Within these records we can find the brave Boy (1st Class) Cornwell alongside his comrades in arms that died in this battle 100 years ago. It includes the commander of the 1st Cruiser Squadron, Rear Admiral Robert Arbuthnot, who went down with his flagship HMS Defence.

The Battle of Jutland Roll of Honour database at TheGenealogist was initially based upon the Admiralty’s Registers of Killed and Wounded (from The National Archives). These were cross-referenced with the Naval Who’s Who of 1917 and subsequently the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, along with other records. Where possible the records online are cross-referenced to entries at the CWGC’s website, as with other Roll of Honour records at TheGenealogist. This combined database is uniquely available on TheGenealogist.

Read the full article here:

http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2016/jutland-jack-cornwell-the-battle-of-jutlands-youngest-vc-332/

From the Image Archive on TheGenealogist

From the Image Archive on TheGenealogist: Boy (First Class) J T Cornwell of HMS Chester, though mortally wounded, stands at his post amid the dead and wounded crew.

New WW1 Records Released

New avenues of research are opened up by the latest release of unique Great War records online.

During the First World War many servicemen were reported as ‘Missing’ or ‘Killed in Action’ and for the first time you can now search a comprehensive list of these online. Usefully this includes the changing status of soldiers as the facts became clearer over time, as many assumed dead were found alive and those reported missing had their status updated.

TheGenealogist logo

This new release from TheGenealogist contains over 800,000 records. Included are 575,000 Killed in Action records, over 226,000 unique Missing-in-Action records and 14,000 Status Updates.

Over 100,000 people previously reported as missing had further status updates:

  • 59,500 were later reported as killed

  • 47,400 were later reported as PoW

  • 2,000 were later reported as rejoined

  • 4,200 were later reported as “not missing”

  • 8,400 were later reported as wounded

Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist comments:

“The telegrams and published lists of Dead and Missing must have had a huge impact on the lives of our ancestors. These records give an insight into what must have been an emotional roller coaster. They also give new avenues of research into what some researchers may have assumed were dead ends.”

These records are now available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.

Example 1 Thought to be dead

Some people initially reported to be dead may turn out to be alive; the change in status is usually reported in the War Lists. If it had been assumed that an ancestor was dead, from the initial report, it could reopen a closed off branch of a family tree for further research.

An example of this type of positive record status change is Flight Sub Lieutenant Trechmann who was first reported as “Died As A Prisoner” in the Daily Lists of 6th June 1917.

Flight Sub Lieutenant Trechmann who was first reported as “Died As A Prisoner” in the Daily Lists of 6th June 1917.

By the end of July 1917 his status changed to Previously Reported Died As A Prisoner, Now Reported Alive and Still a Prisoner.

Finally, in December 1918, his records show that he was Repatriated.

PoW camp in the image archives on TheGenealogist

Example 2 Thought to be wounded

A different illustration, on many levels, is that of the 5th Earl of Longford. Within the Daily Casualty List on TheGenealogist for the 6th September 1915, we can find Lord Longford who had previously been reported as “Wounded”.

5th Earl Of Longford

Lord Longford "Wounded" 6 Sep 1915 in records on TheGenealogistHis status was then changed to be “Now Reported Wounded and Missing” and this alteration appeared in the daily list of the 27th September 1915

Lord Longford Previously Reported Wounded in Military records on TheGenealogist

During the First World War, Brigadier-General Lord Longford was in command of a division sent from their base in Egypt to Suvla on the Gallipoli peninsula as reinforcements during the Battle of Sari Bair.

The initial attack by other Divisions on Scimitar Hill had failed. With his men waiting in reserve, the 5th Earl and his troops were then ordered to advance in the open across a dry salt lake. Under fire, most of the brigades had taken shelter, but Lord Longford led his men in a charge to capture the summit of Scimitar Hill. Unfortunately, during the advance, he was killed.

Earl Longford’s body was never recovered and so, in the confusion of war, he was first recorded as “Wounded”, and then “Wounded and Missing”. Eventually, in 1916, he would be assumed to be dead.

Posterity tells us that the peer’s last words were recorded as: “Don’t bother ducking, the men don’t like it and it doesn’t do any good”.

To read more about these records and to read a featured article on TheGenalogist here.

World War I attack on Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool

On this day in 1916 the German Navy’s battle cruisers bombarded the north east of England.

The Germans had hoped that the raid would draw out the Royal Navy’s capital ships in pursuit of the raiders and so forcing them into engaging in a sea battle. Their tactic was for a large number of ships of the German High Seas Fleet to join the fight by following on behind.

The British force, however, managed to avoid being drawn into an unbalanced fight with the bulk of the German fleet. Unfortunately for the towns attacked, signalling errors and deteriorating weather meant that the raiding ships managed to slip the Royal Navy’s attempt to intercept them. The tragedy was that nearly 140 people – predominantly civilians – were killed and 600 were injured.

Searching TheGenealogist website, I have found a contemporary report in one of the newspapers and magazines on this site which give a flavour of how enemy actions were reported in Britain. The Great War  periodical gives us the sense of British outrage, at the time, under the no holds bared title of Crimes Germany has committed.

The Great War Issue 87 on TheGenealogist
The Great War Issue 87 on TheGenealogist

“The Bombardment by German warships of the coast towns of Scarborough, Whitby, and the Hartlepools, on the morning of December 16th, 1914, was a murderous act of barbarism.”

and later…

“A  Berlin newspaper proclaimed this wholesale slaughter to be ‘a further proof of the gallantry of the German Navy”

If you are researching ancestors from the First World War then the articles in these publications on TheGenealogist can be very useful to fill in background and sometimes find an ancestor named in a report.

Unique Military Medal Records released by TheGenealogist

Over 117,000 ‘Military Medals’ were awarded in the First World War for ‘acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire’. These records are now available to view online complete with an image of the actual Medal Card and a link to the official government publication of the time. It’s a unique, comprehensive set of records available only onTheGenealogist.co.uk.

The Military Medal was the equivalent to the Military Cross (MC) which was awarded to commissioned officers. The Military Medal ranked below the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), which was also awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army but was still a very prestigious award to be honoured with.

The Military Medal was awarded to ‘Non Commissioned Officers and Other  Ranks’ for showing exceptional courage in battle. It was also awarded for those that risked their lives trying to save others, often in extreme danger. The Medal Records on TheGenealogist show people from a wide range of backgrounds and social classes, including a number of young women from very privileged families who chose to drive ambulances and rescue the wounded in the mud of battle.

The role of ‘stretcher bearer’ was one of the most dangerous jobs of the time and the records show many women bridged social constraints of the time to risk life and limb to help rescue and bring in soldiers wounded in battle.

If you’d like to find out more, TheGenealogist has full details of the new medal record release including some fascinating case studies on the brave recipients of the Military Medal.

Find out more at TheGenealogist Military Medal Collection.

Military Medal Winners
New record release from TheGenealogist covers the 117,000 winners of the Military Medal

Latest free event at The National Archives

The National Archives have announced a number of talks and events, many of them free over the coming months.

With the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War,  there’s a free talk  on the 5th August 2014 at 2pm entitled: “The Royal Navy and British Army Go To War:  Mobilisation and their Roads to War 1914.”
This talk will discuss what happened to the Royal Navy and the British Army between the end of July and the end of the first week in August 1914, how the two services were mobilised for war and what records The National Archives holds and what the records tell us.

The speaker will be William Spencer, the Principal military specialist at The National Archives. More details including how to book a place on the event can be found at The National Archives website.

 

New military record sets added to TheGenealogist

Recent developments at TheGenealogist have seen the release of over 650,000 individuals who died in the First World War. Details include name, rank, regiment, place of birth, place of residence, place of enlistment, service number and the cause, date and place of death. These records are uniquely linked to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to show you where your ancestor is commemorated.

Soldiers Who Died in the Great War has been added to the huge military collection on TheGenealogist, encompassing many unique record sets from Casualty Lists and War Memorials,  to Rolls of Honour and much more.

Further details are available from TheGenealogist website.

Soldiers who died in the First World War
New First World War records added to TheGenealogist

Top secret MI5 files now available online..

For those family history researchers interested in tales of the underground world of secret espionage, The National Archives has announced the release of over 150 top secret MI5 files. The records are to be made available online for public viewing for the first time. The MI5 files date from around the time of The First World War and are part of the programme from the TNA to commemorate the centenary of the start of The Great War.

The files contain a wealth of material about organisations and individuals involved in espionage or under surveillance during the period of the First World War. It details the secret history and the agents operating in a time of war.

Some of the agents listed in the records include the famous British nurse, Edith Cavell who helped Allied soldiers to escape from behind enemy lines and Mata Hari, the Dutch exotic dancer who was convicted of spying for Germany and was subsequently executed by the French authorities in 1917.

There’s more information available from The National Archives website.

Mata Hari wartime spy
Mati Hari, one of a number of spy records now available online