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How to make the most of our military records


Published on 13 Nov 2015 12:10 : armistice day remembrance day military records : 70 comments : 19771 views

Today we’re remembering all the brave men and women who’ve died in two world wars. Finding an ancestor who served time in the military can lead you to extraordinary stories of bravery, but from a genealogical perspective they can also be incredibly revealing. Service records can not only tell you exactly where your family member served but also more personal details like who their next of kind was or even give a physical description. A good place to start, if your ancestor was in the British Army, is the British Army Service Records. They go from 1760 to 1915 and provide detailed records of soldier’s careers. If your ancestor was an Air Force man why not try the Royal Air Force Muster Roll 1918. You can find out details about exactly what their job was and how much they got paid.

Many of the records on Genes Reunited are concerned with individual regiments. We have records for the Grenadier Guards, the Oldham Pals and the Paddington Rifles to name just three.

If you can’t find your ancestor’s military records then you might find them on a medal roll or a memorial roll. Many of the earlier medal rolls just recorded the officers but from the Waterloo Medal in 1815 other ranks were included as well. Memorial rolls were often organised by local newspapers or employers to honour those who had died in the First World War. What makes these different to the medal rolls is that they often include a brief biography and even a photograph of the men in uniform. The Manchester Employers Roll of Honour 1914 - 1916 is an excellent example.

But it’s not just service men in the records. You can also find nurses who served with both the Royal Red Cross and there are some extraordinary women who served as military nurses in our records of Military Nurses 1856 - 1994.

The military records that you can find on Genes Reunited can take you right back to the Napoleonic wars in the 18th century and they go right up to the 1990s in some cases. If your ancestor served his or her country then you stand a good chance of finding them here.

Comments

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by J H on 11 Nov 2015 11:47 :
Link to service records did not work
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by Terry on 11 Nov 2015 11:49 :
Dear Genes, I love your site your work ethic, but your sister site who sold me the 1939 credits for over twenty pounds, then when I found my loved ones only four out of eight names were readable, the rest were Blacked out, like the rest of my search for others not a good expierence, never again.Terry
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by Peter on 11 Nov 2015 11:49 :
ditto the above
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by Val on 11 Nov 2015 11:51 :
Link to service records didn't work for me either
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by Philip on 11 Nov 2015 11:52 :
Ling didn't work
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by Philip on 11 Nov 2015 11:53 :
Sorry, Link didn't work
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by Denis on 11 Nov 2015 11:54 :
link doesnt seem to work
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by Stanley on 11 Nov 2015 11:54 :
Links to all records came up with "bad request" ,despite repeated attempts.
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by Jennifer on 11 Nov 2015 11:59 :
Links for service records do not work.
JAO
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by Janet on 11 Nov 2015 11:59 :
link to service records did not work :-(
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by Lancia on 11 Nov 2015 12:01 :
The links on your site do not work. All records are "bad requests" :-(
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by Stuart on 11 Nov 2015 12:21 :
RAF link didn't work!
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by on 11 Nov 2015 12:26 :
Link to military records did not work for me. By the look of the comments there is something drastically wrong if we all can't get into the site. When are you going to fix it please!!! Alan
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by Sarah on 11 Nov 2015 12:44 :
Link didn't work. It came up as a bad request.
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by Francis on 11 Nov 2015 12:51 :
Not even going to try, based on the above comments...
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by Lorna on 11 Nov 2015 13:10 :
Link doesn't work ,tried a few times. Says "bad request". :-(
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by Carowhite on 11 Nov 2015 13:18 :
Like Lorna, I have found that the link doesn't work, saying 'Bad Request'. Very frustrating. :-S
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by francis on 11 Nov 2015 13:37 :
link doesn't work for me either,seems to be a problem for a lot of people
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by Ian on 11 Nov 2015 13:42 :
Would seem to be a bit of a disaster, don't think I will bother.
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by Ian on 11 Nov 2015 13:42 :
Would seem to be a bit of a disaster, don't think I will bother.
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by Ian on 11 Nov 2015 13:42 :
Would seem to be a bit of a disaster, don't think I will bother.
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by Ian on 11 Nov 2015 13:42 :
Would seem to be a bit of a disaster, don't think I will bother.
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by Ian on 11 Nov 2015 13:42 :
Would seem to be a bit of a disaster, don't think I will bother.
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by Ian on 11 Nov 2015 13:42 :
Would seem to be a bit of a disaster, don't think I will bother.
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by David Henry on 11 Nov 2015 14:01 :
I looked up my father 1939-45 Coldstream Guards. No records.
I checked my two grandfathers WW1 and Boer War. No records.
I have all their details but nothing on your site it appears.
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by Raymond on 11 Nov 2015 14:19 :
DID NOT WORK
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by Hans on 11 Nov 2015 14:25 :
No records for all my relations who I know served in the Royal Navy, British Army and now link not working
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by Peter on 11 Nov 2015 14:26 :
As I am a genes reunited member it seems unfair that I should have to pay to search as to whether there are indeed any records relating to my grandfather. I could understand having to pay once I am certain that there is a record of his service in World War 1 but not before I have found anything!!! :-S
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by Sue In Yorkshire. on 11 Nov 2015 14:28 :
Well Surprise Surprise,,

Like everyone else the links didn't work (fault of Brightsolid/GR.

Also who ever wrote the Paragraphs above getting us the have a look at the records on the war records should learn how to spell first.

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by on 11 Nov 2015 14:28 :
A 100% failure. Seems you may do yourself more good by taking this message down immediately
Don
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by Frank on 11 Nov 2015 14:34 :
Noting the previous comments, which appear to suggest that the whole thing is an absolute shambles, I will not waste time trying.
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by keith on 11 Nov 2015 14:45 :
father grandfather both in Grenader Guards
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by on 11 Nov 2015 15:00 :
I have also found that the link does not work consistently. Tried twice both blanks and on other occasion got in but which ever relative I tried each time came up with completely the wrong name.
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by carmel on 11 Nov 2015 15:39 :
Link to service did not work
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by Isabel on 11 Nov 2015 15:39 :
Link to service records failed
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by Jean on 11 Nov 2015 15:53 :
No access. What does bad request actually mean ???
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by Dorothy Ann on 11 Nov 2015 15:54 :
Link to service records failed :
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by Marion on 11 Nov 2015 16:15 :
Well what a disappointment!! PLEASE don't do this. If you can't get it right don't offer it as a service.
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by on 11 Nov 2015 16:19 :
Same problem as others. Link to records comes up as bad request.
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by George on 11 Nov 2015 17:03 :
Same as the other comments the link did not work
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by Edward on 11 Nov 2015 17:13 :
Link didn't work for me either and the same goes for the register from 1939 far to much blacked out data to warrant the cost :-( Shame because it promised so much :-(
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by Carole on 11 Nov 2015 17:51 :
I also found the Link does not work so not impressed with this site.
Carole
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by Gillian on 11 Nov 2015 17:58 :
The hypertext link is incorrect. This is the one that will take you to the page (after much digging on my part!)

http://www.genesreunited.co.uk/articles/world-records/full-list-of-united-kingdom-records/armed-forces-and-conflict/regimental-and-service-records

The link in the key description above leads nowhere useful.
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by Trevor James on 11 Nov 2015 18:21 :
can not find any navel records
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by Frances on 11 Nov 2015 18:24 :
When I tried to do this it came up with'bad request'. What does this mean and how can I overcome it>
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by Ann on 11 Nov 2015 18:37 :
I could not find any details as like many others it just said bad request. I was also very disappointed with the 1939 results' I spent over £20 and so many names blanked out I didn't find the information I wanted. :-(
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by David on 11 Nov 2015 19:00 :
Link to RAF did not work
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by James on 11 Nov 2015 19:12 :
glad i checked all the comments it saves me the disapointment
of having a go
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by Anthony on 11 Nov 2015 19:28 :
Waste of time! Link didn't work. :-(
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by Graham on 11 Nov 2015 20:57 :
It didn't work for me either.
Graham
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by Margaret on 11 Nov 2015 21:32 :
The webpage cannot be found :-(
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by nana02 on 11 Nov 2015 22:08 :
I was unable to open page
However if I went to search war records I was asked to pay to see
record I thought it was free today
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by ADH on 11 Nov 2015 22:53 :
You have not way that I can see of tracing people who served in the Merchant Marine. I had brothers who served on the ammunition boats in the North Sea and English Channel.
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by Doreen on 11 Nov 2015 23:42 :
looks like a big failure
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by bluejred on 12 Nov 2015 04:53 :
Worked for me on iMac in Longview, WA, USA, but found none listed.
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by John on 12 Nov 2015 07:23 :
I am not site admin, but just used to the mistakes people make with links etc.

There is an extra www.genesreunited.co.uk/ in the link, just remove that to get

http://www.genesreunited.co.uk/articles/world-records/full-list-of-united-kingdom-records/armed-forces-and-conflict/regimental-and-service-records/royal-air-force-muster-roll-1918

Above is the link for the RAF one
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by John on 12 Nov 2015 07:25 :
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by Barbara on 12 Nov 2015 11:05 :
Ditto all of the above. Links do not work. This is poor IT work.
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by Susan on 12 Nov 2015 11:06 :
it didn't work for me either.
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by vicaterry on 12 Nov 2015 11:12 :
Would it be possible for G R Int to take the trouble to REPLY and offer some EXCUSE or reason for this Shambles.
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by vicaterry on 12 Nov 2015 11:13 :
Would it be possible for G R Int to take the trouble to REPLY and offer some EXCUSE or reason for this Shambles.
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by christopher on 12 Nov 2015 11:41 :
Wouldn't it be a good idea to fix this before anyone else tries?
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by Richard on 12 Nov 2015 12:14 :
Like many others very disappointed with Genes at the present. Records not clear . I have two relatives killed in the Great War. National Archives have full detais but Genes seemingly can't find anything but its expensive following all their 'cul de sacs' to find this out
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by Doreen on 12 Nov 2015 13:48 :
Found my Grandmother & Grandfather but not the rest of the family WHY ? After all they were all living there. Could not find anyone else .Not even myself.
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by rossands on 12 Nov 2015 15:05 :
Why bother? Are you prepared to listen? Seems it is all a waste of time, not to mention money. Ann
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by Roy on 12 Nov 2015 16:20 :
All the Remembrance links come up as 'bad request' .
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by on 12 Nov 2015 16:50 :
Judging by the the previous reports this seems a waste of time and money
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by John on 13 Nov 2015 02:55 :
I tried to help, to put correct links (I am nothing to do with this site, but just worked out what the issue is with the links).

However, people still put up complaints after I posted the correct links, you should read through the comments first.

Please let me know if these don't work for you.

Reason for issue:
There is an extra "www.genesreunited.co.uk/" in all of the links above.
Just remove that and it will work, or use the following links.

Correct Link example, RAF:
http://www.genesreunited.co.uk/articles/world-records/full-list-of-united-kingdom-records/armed-forces-and-conflict/regimental-and-service-records/royal-air-force-muster-roll-1918

Similar for Service Records (then use the menu system to filter in/out records)
http://www.genesreunited.co.uk/articles/world-records/full-list-of-united-kingdom-records/armed-forces-and-conflict/regimental-and-service-records

Hope this helps, if anyone bothers to read.
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by Julia on 13 Nov 2015 09:52 :
The link to service records, does not work. Come on Genes, sort it out!!!!!! :-|
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by J H on 13 Nov 2015 17:46 :
what are you doing about the wholesale failures on this sight