Millions of lives were touched in half a century of conflict between 1899 and 1953. From the empire-building Boer War to Cold War hotilities in Korea, professional armies were swelled by volunteers and conscripts. The World Wars, the greates conflicts ever known, had unprecedented impact. Over a million men and women enlisted and served in British armed forces alone during 1914-1918, and the figure for the Second World War was even higher. Almost every family has ancestral links to the Services, but finding details on individuals has often proved a difficult task. This clear, accessible guide shows how to get the ebst from all sources now available. It gives expert advice on researching men's and women's service records for over 50 years of conflict, including Army, Navy, Air Force, nursing organizations and merchant seamen. Wide-ranging in scope and practical in approach, it shows how best to trace an individual's career, including medal and gallantry awards, prisoner of war files, Home Guard records and casualty lists. Women who served are well represented, from the online release of Women's Auxiliary Corps records to First World War nurses, while newly available naval records open whole new avenues for reserach. Special techniques and tips are provided for tracing family members in the Commonwealth and Dominion forces and the Indian Army. Information from the official Gazetteer of the UK and Great Britain shows how to pinpoint American units as thet sered in Britain, and a special section draws on British and American sources to trade details of US servicemen and GI brides.
William Spencer has been Military Specialist at The National Archives since 1996. He served in the Royal Navy before joining the Archives in 1993 and possesses an MA in War Studies from King's College, London. He is the author of the bestselling Army Service Records of the First World War (3rd edition) and Air Force Records for Family Historians.