View Full Version : WW1 pensions on Ancestry

24-08-2007, 4:19 AM
Is the WW1 Army Pensions database, that is searchable through Ancestry complete? or in a similar state as the Medal Rolls.
I am unable to find an Uncle that lost both legs. I assume he would've received a pension for such a wound but I have no confirmation.

Peter Goodey
24-08-2007, 8:53 AM
Ancestry claims it's complete and in another place someone reported doing an analysis that suggested that it is indeed complete.

However, that's not to say that your ancestor's records actually made it to the National Archives :(

Have you read the history and caveats in the National Archives catalogue (on the Full Details tab for WO 364).

It's not impossible that the papers were misfiled elsewhere. Some military papers can be found among the pension records of the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance (PIN).

Terry Reeves
24-08-2007, 4:59 PM
I can say from my own experience, they are not complete by any means and has been mentioned by Peter, the administrative background is worth reading.

With regard to the PIN records, these are civilian files and do not contain a full set of service papers, but do have a summary of service which is very useful when WO 363 or 364 papers cannot be found. However, only a representative selection of these files were kept.

Terry Reeves

25-08-2007, 12:09 AM
Thank you both for your experience, I appreciate it very much.

Appears that short of a $2400 airfare to visit Kew myself, I would need the services of a professional to confirm any real information.
Thanks again

ET in the USA
25-08-2007, 1:06 AM
I found 4 names of interest on the WW I Pension database, but when I tried to pull up the original image, to see if I could figure out who they really were, all I got was the last line ! -something about "National Archives ..." I think.

Has anyone else had this experience where the entry is there but the image is missing? I played around with other names and anything starting with the letter 'T' was a no show. Other letters, closer to the beginning of the alphabet worked fine. I emailed Ancestry an error message for the first 2, but after finding that every one was missing, I lost interest. The original occurrence was a couple of weeks ago. I have checked back since and there has been no change in the image status.

25-08-2007, 1:08 AM
Hi Tony,

Ancestry have loaded all that there is of WO 364 (though it is of course possible that some were missed when scanning). WO 363 will be loaded in 2008.

The following is from the National Archives site:

23 February 2007

Ancestry launches British Army World War One service and pension records - second most viewed collections at The National Archives:

Pension records (Catalogue reference WO 364) relating to soldiers discharged on account of sickness or injuries sustained during the War are now available to download from Ancestry

The remaining service records of soldiers who killed, died or who survived the war will (Catalogue reference WO 363) will be available online by the end of 2008

Medical, service, conduct and death records for British soldiers

Detailed case studies available

Ancestry in partnership with The National Archives today launched online the first phase of the War Office (WO) service and pension records collections for approximately 2.5 million British soldiers who served from 1914 through to 1920.

Known as the WO 363 British Army Service Records and WO 364 British Army Pension Records, the collections will be released in a number of phases from today, starting with the early pension records. The online resource will provide vital details for family history researchers, military enthusiasts and family members wishing to learn more about the military service and experience of their ancestors.

Although five million soldiers from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales fought in World War One, around 60 per cent of the service records for these soldiers were destroyed during a German bombing raid on the War Office in London in September 1940.

The originals for all surviving records, many badly damaged during the bombing raid, have been conserved by The National Archives and comprise the two collections to be made available online for the first time by Ancestry, fully indexed and including original images.

Searching the name index will be free and pages from the original files available for viewing by subscribed members or with Pay per View.

Although the collections vary in detail, users will be able to discover key information in both, including physical description, regimental number, service history, locations served, date and place of birth, former occupation, next of kin and promotions.

The pension records, which relate to soldiers discharged on account of sickness or injuries sustained during the War, include the medical records relating to the disability for which a pension was granted.

The service records describe the careers of soldiers who completed their service, were killed in action, executed or died of their wounds or disease, and provide full details of their service, and where recorded, death.

25-08-2007, 1:12 AM
I found 4 names of interest on the WW I Pension database, but when I tried to pull up the original image, to see if I could figure out who they really were, all I got was the last line ! -something about "National Archives ..." I think.

Hi ET,

Others have reported viewing issues however these seem to be resolved when they load Ancestrys "Enhanced Image Viewer"

If you have this and still cannot view an image post the details of the soldier here and I will see if it works for me.

ET in the USA
25-08-2007, 1:25 AM
Thanks for trying, I am using Ancestry Library Edition for free at the local county public library. Each time I view my first image of the session, the screen asks me to click here to view or click here to load enhanced ...

One time I tried the enhanced viewer option and it told be I needed permission from the administrator (or something). Anyway, it wouldn't do it so I don't think that is an option.

Why would it need to be enhanced for the pension images but not for census images ? and, why would Brown work but not Thould if that was the reason?

25-08-2007, 1:28 AM
Hi ET,

I have been in communication with a person who had the same problem as you at their library however I was able to download the images at home without any problems.

I can try and view the image if you like.

ET in the USA
25-08-2007, 3:58 AM
OK Thanks Doug. There are 4 for THOULD and I'm sort of doing an unofficial 'One Name Study' :) so want to know who they are related to. (Like if next of kin, nearest relation, etc is on original but not on little typed index entry)

This may be a dumb question, but what are you going to send me (actual images ?) and how ? Do I need to send you a personal message so you have my email address without sending it out to the world ???

25-08-2007, 4:24 AM
Hi Elaine,

I can see the images.

Rather than taking up the bandwidth with information of no interest to others if you PM me I can transcribe the relevant bits for you.

It might be an idea if you speak to your librarian and get them to install the viewer.