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WW2 military records

Post your queries about your military ancestors, or help fellow researchers find out about theirs.
Norfolk Nan
Posts: 175
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

WW2 military records

Post by Norfolk Nan »

You won’t be surprised that I’ve not dabbled in this area so far but as other avenues are drying up I thought I’d take a look. I’ve only two relatives who were called up and one never left the U.K. The other, my paternal grandfather, went overseas and probably to Africa, but there’s no one left who can tell me more. I just have a few blurry photographs and some snippets of gossip from my dad, not my grandfather himself. So, I have two questions to ask those with more experience:

1. As I don’t know which regiment is there any point trying to apply for his service record?

2. I read that next of kin will be given more information than the next generation, and the next even less. Is that true? I’m not next of kin, I’m a grandchild but the next generation still living so is it worth trying to get the service record?

Apologies for the waffle but it’s relevant waffle :D

meekhcs
Posts: 270
Joined: 02 Jun 2020, 18:19
Location: Lincolnshire, but Hampshire born and bred!

Re: WW2 military records

Post by meekhcs »

I think you will need to produce his service number and a death certificate, unless he died in service.

I am not sure re details. It may have changed, and hopefully Adrian will jump in with more info. Certainly when I ordered my Grandfathers records a few years ago I was not next of kin so I didn't receive the full record. HOWEVER I did get his full service record but not personal Family details.

Amazinggrace
Posts: 20
Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 16:22

Re: WW2 military records

Post by Amazinggrace »

When I ordered my dads service record from Glasgow.I sent a copy of the death certificate which gave me as informant.
I didn't have his service number but you either have to give date of birth OR service number. Only one is mandatory. As a belt and braces exercise I also sent a copy of his birth certificate.
Good luck.
Grace :D

Norfolk Nan
Posts: 175
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

Re: WW2 military records

Post by Norfolk Nan »

Is there any other way of narrowing down his regiment?

VALLMO9
Posts: 395
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 21:28

Re: WW2 military records

Post by VALLMO9 »

When my Mum ordered her father's WW1 records, she provided his DoB, service numbers, regiment, and death cert. She received his full set of records. It was a large set of records, due to the fact he served from 1915-1935.

You need to know the person’s full name, date of birth and service number. And you need to be immediate next-of-kin - OR - you’ve got consent from their immediate next of kin.

Were your relatives in the British Army or RAF?

Norfolk Nan
Posts: 175
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

Re: WW2 military records

Post by Norfolk Nan »

I think I'm on a sticky wicket here. One grandfather was in the RAF and never left the UK. I'm not interested in his service record at all. The other was in the army - I have photos but no details, just what my dad said he was told which wasn't much. My grandfather died in 1968 while visiting Australia and all his immediate next of kin are dead now too. I'm one of a lot of cousins but which of us is technically 'next of kin'? I'm not in touch with any of them and most live abroad so no help there.

I found the WW1 service records online of course, so easy compared with later events. None of them were career soldiers so not much to find anyway. Perhaps I'll abandon this idea :oops:

VALLMO9
Posts: 395
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 21:28

Re: WW2 military records

Post by VALLMO9 »

Did you locate the soldier in the online POW records links I provided earlier this month? FMP, Ancestry, and the TNA have POW records.

VALLMO9
Posts: 395
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 21:28

Re: WW2 military records

Post by VALLMO9 »

Was there a newspaper obit for your grandfather, who died in 1968? If you have a photo(s) of him in uniform, you could upload it to the Photos section of this Forum. Perhaps the uniform experts can narrow down which regiment he served with.

Norfolk Nan
Posts: 175
Joined: 16 Jun 2020, 11:54
Location: A Londoner lost in Norfolk

Re: WW2 military records

Post by Norfolk Nan »

Never a POW luckily so that's a dead end. I will upload the pictures, maybe someone can find something helpful. Thanks, Mo.

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AdrianBruce
Posts: 156
Joined: 14 Jun 2020, 18:57
Location: South Cheshire

Re: WW2 military records

Post by AdrianBruce »

As stated above, you do not need any service number or regiment - the application forms on https://www.gov.uk/government/collectio ... ce-records tell you what you do need to know.

You do need a death certificate or equivalent legal document.
Exceptions
- if the person was born over 116y ago;
- if they died in service, because in that case the MoD obviously does know they're dead.

The next of kin business - the MoD have decided that they owe a duty of care to the relatives of the deceased and if it's currently less than 25y since the death of the deceased, they will not release certain info unless they have the permission of the next-of-kin. Quite why battalions and campaign medals are judged sensitive, I have no idea - unfortunately they are the crux of the matter for many people. I suspect that these items are not sensitive but happen to be on the same form as medical data etc, which might be. Sadly the MoD can't be bothered to tell us the reason. (Unless anyone knows better).

So - to get the full Monty in the first 25y after death, you need to be, or to have the permission of, the next-of-kin. The NoK is the eldest child of the eldest child of...

After 25y, anyone should receive the full story. (Though I did once see advice that even then you should explicitly ask for the full details).
Adrian Bruce

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