Posted by on 5 November 2010 in Record Collections

I’m pleased to say that the British Army WWI Service, Pension and Medal Index Rolls collections are now free to view! Find out more and search these free collections.

This week our blog will be featuring a series of military themed articles – so make sure you come back and see what’s new each day.

We’ve decided to make these records free to search, between today and midnight on the 14th November, to enable more people to find details of their family members’ army service during WWI. Together the Service, Pension and Medal Index Rolls collections provide a significant opportunity to make these discoveries since they contain the remaining records of those who served in the army and you should be able to find a Medal Index Roll even if you are unlucky and don’t find a Service or Pension record.

There’s a huge variety of information contained in the Service and Pension records.  Sometimes these records can be difficult to understand but it’s well worth persevering- I’ve been surprised by how short some of ancestors were and how many tattoos some had. I’ve found details of illness, injuries, pension applications and deployment details, plus a soldier with a very long record of bad conduct, including being drunk and disorderly and swearing at a senior officer!
If the service records of your family members are not available (many were destroyed in the Blitz) you can always visit The National Archives or the museum for their regiment to find out the movements, battles fought and losses of your relative’s regiment.
We hope that by finding out more about the service of our family during WWI we can all understand more about the sacrifices they made for us.

2 Comments

John Hamrock 

John Hamrock of http://www.ancestor.ie thinks this is a super resource for Irish people who served in the British military.

7 November 2010 at 10:39 pm
Winnie Mary Scothern 

Hi, My mother once told me that her brother “went down with his ship in the war”, She said it was “The Hood”, but my cousin thinks that it was the “Lusitania”. We think he may have been in the Merchant Navy so it could have been either ship. His Name was BERNARD KELLY, born in Hartlepool in 1895/6, I’ve found him on the 1901 Census aged 5, his Father was Bernard Kelly his Mother was Margaret Kelly nee Coulthard. Hope someone has a list of the Crews of these 2 ships when they were sunk, The Lusitania in 1915, the Hood in 1941.
Hope someone can help please. Winnie Scothern (Mrs)

15 November 2010 at 7:29 pm