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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree Christmas 2017 > Was your ancestor in the Army during World War II?

Was your ancestor in the Army during World War II?

The WW2 service records for all three armed services have survived in their entirety, but have not yet been publicly released. Keen military researcher Graham Caldwell offers some solutions and advice on ordering the documents

PLAN YOUR RESEARCH LIKE A MILITARY CAMPAIGN

RECOMMENDED READS

Highly recommended and very affordable reference books to use are British Army Cap Badges of the Second World War by Peter Doyle and Chris Forster, Military Photographs & How to Date T hem by Neil Storey, plus Brian Davis’s invaluable British Army Uniforms & Insignia of World War Two. Used copies are regularly found online using the world book search agent http://used.addall.com

For WW2 there are ways around unlocking your British and Commonwealth ancestors’ classified WW2 record, but it entails a good deal of knowledge, complicated paperwork, cost, and the frustration of a long wait! This article will tell you how to go about it successfully to obtain British and Commonwealth WW2 service records.

Successful application tips

To successfully apply for a British WW2 Army ancestor’s dossier, the first thing that you need to do to is to find out what regiment (such as the Royal Warwickshire Regiment) or what corps (example the Royal Engineers) he or she served in. This is because they are indexed by full name, rank, service number and date of birth; of which at least one of the latter two is mandatory, but it’s also very important to include the regiment or corps, if known, for a search to be successful, because the fee is nonreturnable if the record is not found.

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About Family Tree

Welcome to the Christmas issue of Family Tree – we’ve got festive family history treats galore in store for you. Dive into our delicious feast of digitised documents – rare historic collections for you to enjoy browsing and researching on your device. Enjoy some genealogy jollies: a family history crossword, quiz and memories of Christmas traditions from centuries past. And last but not least, this issue sees the launch of the Family Tree Academy – this is your opportunity to hone your family history skills. In part 1, this issue, we’ve got documents for you to decipher, old handwriting for you to transcribe and a research case study for you to pit your wits against. Join in with our learning experience today to become a better family historian!
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