Forces War Records (www.forces-war-records.co.uk) is the website to visit for those researching their family’s military history.  Specialising only in military history, the genealogy site contains over 22 million records of individuals who have served from medieval times - right through to the present day.  This fascinating site also has crack team of professional researchers and military experts on hand to personally uncover extra layers of history about long gone forebears.  Its mission is to hold the most in-depth, accurate and helpful military records available.

Records include those from the British Army, Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Marines, Territorials – and even the Merchant Navy.  

Forces War Records (FWR) was created at the request of sister site Forces Reunited members who had hit dead-ends whilst looking for military service information on their ancestors using other genealogy sites.  Uniquely, Forces War Records contains records for British and Commonwealth armed forces personnel that are cross-matched with over 4,000 regiments, bases and ships going back to 1350.  Users can find ancestors who were serving during the Napoleonic Wars (including Waterloo and Trafalgar), Victorian conflicts (Boer War, African Wars, Crimean War) World War One, World War Two and more recent events too.  

Initial searches are free, but for a subscription costing, at most, £8.95 a month, users have complete, unrestricted access to Forces War Records’ data.  Every time a search is made all files are cross-referenced automatically and every relevant article will appear where a particular ancestor is referenced.  Search results can include such information as an individual’s rank, nationality, service number, campaign medals, regiment, battalion and promotion dates and more).  Unfortunately, many records have been lost or destroyed over the years, but Forces War Records has one of the most comprehensive collections available.

Typical further files are those killed or injured in action, those mentioned in dispatches or awarded medals.  The site also holds many exclusive lists which are unavailable elsewhere.  They include imperial prisoners of war held in Italy, 1943, Home Guard officer lists from 1939-45 and The British Jewry Book of Honour, 1922.

The Forces War Records team works tirelessly to ensure that its existing data is added to daily as new records, from across the world, become available.  Two of FWR’s expert researchers are also permanently embedded at the National Archives at Kew, to search out fresh data for adding to the site so it can be quickly and easily retrieved.  Such investigations would take an unskilled person many days to seek out if they visited the centre personally.

Original documents transcribed
Every detail of these original, often fragile and fading records is painstakingly transcribed by a team of fastidious data entry analysts.  To ensure the very highest levels of accuracy they are all UK-based with English as their mother tongue – and Forces War Records is the only site that transcribes virtually all its own data, meaning records can be amended or altered if more verifiable, correct  data subsequently comes to light.
FWR has also compiled a fascinating historic documents library that holds over 1,000 publications, some more than a hundred years old.  Pictures, journals, poignant and beautifully written personal war diaries are just part of the archive.

Expert researchers and ‘personal research’ service
Forces War Records’ customer support is exceptional.  It employs a team of professional genealogical researchers, many of them history graduates or former military personnel who add supplementary contextual nuggets to the files.  For instance, a record noting an ancestor’s ‘emergency commission into the Medical Corps’ is explained to the lay person as a period when more doctors had been urgently recruited.

For those trying to solve riddles of old black and white military snapshots, photo experts can help with when they may have been taken and other fascinating insights.  Combined, all of these additions paint a much fuller picture than can be gleaned from a simple name record.  A visitor forum and Forces War Records shop, selling bespoke memorial scrolls and reproduction medals, enrich the experience still further.

When the ancestral trail goes cold, help is only a click away, with expert historians on hand to act as personal researchers.

For further media information, please contact:

Neil White  neilwhite@forces-war-records.co.uk