Primary Research Sources | Military History Web Sites | Genealogy Links
The Public Records Office London
This is The National Archive for England, Wales and the United Kingdom. It brings together the records of central government (over 9,500,000 files in the catalogue) a very large percentage of which refer to the armed services. These records span an unbroken period from the eleventh century to the present date. The Records Office is open to the public from all over the world. All you require is proof of identity (a passport for example) to gain a free readers ticket.
The Imperial War Museum
This pre-eminent institution welcomes approaches from the public for research and study purposes. The Departments are,
Art - Documents - Exhibits & Firearms - Film - Printed Books - Photographs - Sound Records. The department of Printed Books has for example, over 100,000 books as well as extensive collections of pamphlets, periodicals, maps and technical drawings.
The Army Museum
The Army museum tells the story of the Army from the fifteenth century to the present day and of Commonwealth Forces up to their independence. The museum library however, has a collection of over 35,000 books which can be accessed by ticket holders through the reading room which is open from Tuesday to Saturday. There are also archives of photographs and prints.
The Regimental Museums can be a great source of information, however there strength is in information on the regiments rather than the individual soldier.
The Western Front Association
The Western Front Association (WFA) is a registered charity in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1980 by the noted military historian John Giles. The WFA is widely regarded as a first class example of an historical interest group.
It has a superb map collection as well as a good reference section. It also has an excellent virtual tour section of battlefield and other interesting sites.
The Long, Long Trail
Chris Bakers website The Long, Long Trail tells the story of the British Army in The Great War. In my view, this is probably the best WWI site on the net it covers the Western Front in some detail and is full of very informative information.
The National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum tells the story of the Navy through its huge collection of over two million artefacts on all things naval. In addition to this it also has online catalogues of, Historic Photographs - Library & Manuscripts - Prints & Drawing Collections.
The Family Records Centre
The sites aim is to help you find the government records and other sources you need for your family research. The site is in two parts, Topics & Partners. In the Topics section you will find the information on Births, Marriages, Deaths, Census and Migration ect. In the Partners section you will find information on each member of FamilyRecords.Gov.uk consortium. Civil registration of life events started in England and Wales in 1837 in Scotland in 1855 and in Ireland in 1864.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Commission was established by Royal Charter in 1917. Its duties are to mark and maintain the graves of the members of the Commonwealth forces who were killed in the two World Wars (about 1,700,000 men and women). To build and maintain Memorials to those who have no known grave (about 725,000) and to keep records and registers, including a record of the civilians who died as a result of enemy action in WWII (about 67,000).
The only site where you can find military records of over 2 million British Armed Forces personnel exclusively cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships of the British Armed Forces going back to before 1630, making your genealogy task much easier and more complete.