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UK and Ireland: Military Records
Beckett, Ian. F. W. First World War: The Essential Guide to Sources in the National Archives, The National Archives (2002). [ISBN: 1903365414]
["No serious historian or enthusiast working on the First World War can afford to be without this major reference work. The National Archives, the archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom - holds the most comprehensive and important collection of official documentary records relating to Britain's involvement in the war. Here, for the first time, within thematically arranged sections, this wealth of material is systematically listed and explained. . ."]
The article British Military Records by Jay Hall originally appeared in the September- October 1987 issue of Everton's Genealogical Helper. Some updates have been made to the article, and additions have been made to the Source list at the end of the article.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is responsible for the care of the graves of our Army, Navy and Air Force personel who died in war. The Commission has provided on-line search facilities for their Casualty Database which lists the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two World Wars and also the 60,000 civilian casualties of WW2.
The London, Edinburgh, and Belfast Gazettes are the official newspapers of record in the United Kingdom. As well as the current editions, the website includes searchable archives of the complete gazettes from WW1 and WW2 containing medal awards, army and navy commissions, promotions and much more.
The Officers Died and Soldiers' Memorials pages give details of military casualties in campaigns from the 18th century to the present time.
Forces Reunited - "military records of over 1 million British Armed Forces personnel and over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships of the British Armed Forces going back to before 1630".
Naval and Military Archive - numerous databases with records of "most of those from Britain who died in military service in both World Wars". A well-indexed pay-per-view site.
Forces War Records: "military genealogy records from WW2, WW1, Boer War, Crimean War and beyond ... of over 2.5 million British Armed Forces personnel" - a commercial service, with some free search facilities.
War of 1812: Privateers - "research sources for the study of privateering during the War of 1812. Much of the data was gathered as part of a project for the, late, Institute of Maritime Studies, University of St. Andrews with most of the material coming from the National Archives at Kew, London."
Military Records - Ancestry's "service records, medal records, casualty lists and other Army records and Navy records" (subscription site).
Spencer, William. Air Force Records for Family Historians, The National Archives (2000). [ISBN: 1 873162 93 6]
["This research guide is essential reading for those tracing the career of an ancestor who served in one of Britain's air forces. It covers not only documents relating to the RAF and the WRAF but also the Royal Flying Corps, the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Naval Air Service and also the Royal Engineers' balloonists. The book explains how to use the wealth of records held at The National Archives to trace the careers of both officers and other ranks within these services. . ."]
Spencer, William. Army Service Records of the First World War - Third Expanded Edition, The National Archives (2001). [ISBN: 1903365236]
["Army Service Records of the First World War (Third Expanded Edition) is the latest edition of this best-selling guide, updated to include all of the recent releases of records relating to personnel of the First World War. This title has been one of The National Archives Publications' most successful titles in recent years. This updated edition was published to coincide with the transfer to The National Archives in early 2001 of the British Army Nurses and Indian Army Records."]
Swinnerton, Ian. An Introduction to the British Army: Its History, Traditions and Records, Birmingham, Federation of Family History Societies (1998) 47 pp. [ISBN: 1860060315]
["Not understanding the basic organization, history and tradition of the modern army can be a severe handicap when using military records. An insight into its foundation, commands and ranks, uniforms, identification of regiments, records, portrays clearly how a knowledge of these will greatly assist the researcher."]
Parachute Regiment War Dead, buried in France. Bern and Fay Robins who have provided pictures of many war graves of members of The Parachute Regiment in France. The have also provided details from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission about these individuals.
British Regiments In Canada gives details of the deployment of British Army units in North America prior to 1870. Family History Library film numbers of soldiers attestation and discharge papers are also provided.
Pappalardo, Bruno. PRO Pocket Guide Using Navy Records, The National Archives (2001). [ISBN: 1873162928]
["This revised edition of Using Navy Records outlines the wealth of records available on maritime careers. It explains the main types of records available, where to begin searching and how to develop your search further. There is a huge body of resources available mainly at The National Archives for searching to find an ancestor who was in the Navy. This title will help you begin your search for your relative and then you can find a record of what they looked like, kept to identify him in case of death or desertion. You can also find which ship he served on, where he went and details of his career including punishments and promotions."]
Pappalardo, Bruno. Tracing Your Naval Ancestors, The National Archives (2003). [ISBN: 1903365376]
["This is a new and comprehensive guide for family and naval historians, archivists, librarians and medal collectors. It explains the wide and diverse range of records and secondary sources which can be used to trace genealogical and career information in relation to the men and women who have served in the Royal Navy, and the naval reserve and auxiliary forces formed to assist it from 1660 to modern times. Among other topics, the contents include: service records, ships' musters and pay books, campaign and gallantry medals, casualty records, pensions, court martial, medical records and operational records. With an easy to follow and accessible format, this up-to-date guide provides illustrations of key documents, lists of useful websites, publications and addresses which will help researchers identify key and overlooked sources vital to tracing naval ancestors."]
Three Decks - Warships in the Age of Sail - "the premier web resource for researching naval history during the Age of Sail. Three Decks features detailed information on vessels, crew, shipyards, dockyards, naval actions, geographical locations and much, much more"
Broadside - a collection of pages describing life in Royal Navy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
Age of Nelson - "databases covering the Royal Navy officers who fought in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815, and the seamen and marines who fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805".
Trafalgar Ancestors - the National Archives' searchable database of "all of those who served in the Battle of Trafalgar (on the British side!) along with their service histories and any biographical details we've found".
Mariners-L mailing list - "discussions about merchant marine and naval ships and the men who made their lives at sea from the earliest recorded times to the present day".