Millions of lives were touched in half a century of conflict between 1899 and 1953. From the empire-building Boer War to Cold War hostilities in Korea, volunteers and conscripts swelled professional armies. The World Wars, the greatest conflicts ever known, had unprecedented impact. Over a million men and women enlisted and served in British armed forces alone during 1914-18, 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 very best from all sources now available. Wide-ranging in scope and practical in approach, it shows how best to trace an individual's career, including medals and gallantry awards, prisoner of war files, Home Guard records and casualty lists. 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 they served in Britain, and a special section draws on British and American sources to trace details of US service and GI brides.
By William Spencer, A6, 246 pages, pub. The National Archives 2008
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