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Thread: Hi

  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    United Kingdom

    Red face Hi


    I'm new to researching military records and I'm not really sure if I'll get much information but I'm hoping that I will and it'll help me to understand more about any family who served druing the 1st or 2nd World Wars. I was born in South Africa but all my ancestors came from Wales, England & Scotland. I'm known in the family as being the recorder of family history having taken over from my mother 30 years ago. She started in South Africa without the internet and relied on information passed down in the family and visiting libraries, etc.

    One story I am particularily interested in having been told it by my father. He had a cousin who was a pilot during the 2nd world war and was shot down over Italy where he was taken in by a family who hid him and then helped him get to the border and return back to England, before returning to his family in South Africa. He also had a brother in the navy who lost his life at sea.

    Looking forward to this new direction.


  2. #2


    Hello Sue

    Welcome to British-Genealogy.

    Service records for all personnel who served after 1921/1922 regardless of when they enlisted are still held by the Ministry of Defence. Full details of how to apply for them, links to the forms to send, and details of what documents are needed, can be found at

    The records held on Forces War Records relate to specific parts of a persons' service, e.g. if they were a prisoner of war, and although there may well be reference to that in the service records, those other records are a separate entity and are usually held at somewhere such as The National Archives. They're also usually un-indexed, which means you may have to browse through a thousand pages before you find a mention of your ancestor. Or possibly not find any mention at all, so in that regard FWR can save you a lot of time, to say nothing of wasted trips, to search those specific records.

    Link to a tutorial on FWR

  3. #3
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Some details of the brother who lost his life at sea might be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site,

    Regarding the pilot who was shot down, I know there's a website that's something to do with planes which either crashed or were shot down. I think this thread might contain a link to the site I'm thinking of.

    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  4. #4
    Knowledgeable and helpful
    Join Date
    May 2009


    If you need any info. on your British side of the family, let us have a few names and any other facts you may hold. (dates of birth etc) We might find something from census returns etc. that you don't already know!


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