Top free military websites for family history


25 May 2016
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Discover your soldier ancestors with these top three websites

Discover your soldier ancestors with these top three websites. Researching the lives of your servicemen and women ancestors can make for some of the most rewarding family history research. Explore the sites below to start learning how your ancestors served their country.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission -

If you have an ancestor who died during either the First or Second World War, then the Commonwealth War Graves Commission can help. The website will tell you where your ancestor is buried (or which memorial his/her name is recorded on), date of death, regiment and number. If you are fortunate, there may also be details about his next of kin. They also provide details of civilians who were killed during the Blitz. There are also photos of the cemeteries and memorials.

The Gazette -

In addition to the campaign medals (the Victory Medal, the British War Medal, and the 1914 Star or 1914/15 Star) your ancestor may have been awarded a medal for gallantry, such as the Military Medal or Military Cross, Victoria Cross, or Distinguished Service Order. The date the award was made is recorded in the Government’s official newspaper, the London Gazette. There may be a citation, which describes why the award was made, but don’t expect one. In addition the Gazette entries note the officer’s career changes, eg promotions. The Gazette begins in 1665 and is still published today. This website is hard to use, but is well worth the effort if you find an ancestor listed.

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The Long Long Trail -

This website is an excellent site to search for information about the First World War. There is a vast amount of information about the servicemen, and also their regiments and the battles those regiments served in. Extremely useful for getting to grips with the details that you need to learn more about your soldier ancestor’s time during the First World War. This is a site you will find yourself returning to time and again – an extremely valuable aid to the family historian looking into the lives of their military ancestors.

For in-depth guides to the top free family history websites check out the latest issue of Family Tree. Every issue we bring you the top free websites for your genealogy research. 

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