British Army WW1 Service Records now complete on

6 Nov

Yesterday announced the completion of the British Army WW1 Service Records. Records relating for surnames from A to N were previously available on the website, but now the collection is complete.

These records are known as the “burnt documents” because 60% of the original records were destroyed by enemy action during the Second World War. Previously they were only available to view on microfilm at the National Archives (series WO363).

The contents of each service record varies greatly, as does the legibility of some of the pages, many of which show clear signs of fire damage. According to Ancestry the service records “contain a variety of information concerning all aspects of the army careers of those who completed their duty or were either killed in action or executed, including the soldier’s name, date and place of birth, address, next-of-kin, former occupation, marital status, medical records, service history, regiment number, locations of service and discharge papers“.

It is not just military service information that you can find in these records, it was in the service record of William James GASSON that I first discovered that his father (and my 2x great-grandfather) George Thomas GASSON had been admitted to a lunatic asylum.

I had a quick look last night, and it looks like the only close relation is William Henry TROWER (my 1st cousin 3 times removed) and their doesn’t seem to be anything unusual contained within his documents. I am sure other relations will come to light once I carry out a more thorough search.

2 Responses to “British Army WW1 Service Records now complete on”

  1. Alex November 6, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    I’ve found syphilis in those WW1 service records. It did feel every so slightly wrong to know that (wasn’t a relative, but was a resident of my one place study), but I’m sure plenty of the records have a similar story.

    Happy to hear that Ancestry have released the remaining records in the collection – now I’m off to hunt!

  2. James Daly November 8, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    Glad to hear that they’ve made these records available, im sure they will help a lot of people with their research

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