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Mine a myriad of military records this week with three brand new collections

2-3 minute read

By Jessie O'Hara

22 July 2022
3 new collections of second world war records

Discover the Second World War like never before.

If you've been searching for more detail on your military ancestors' experiences during World War 2, then this week's release is for you.

Here's a rundown of everything that's new.

If your ancestor was a member of the service personnel who gave their life under the Royal Air Force or their own national air service, then make sure to check out this collection. It covers both airmen and airwomen across seven years, including the years of World War 2.

RAF pilots during WW2. View this photo here.

RAF pilots during World War 2. View this photo here.

These records don't just cover Britain and the Commonwealth such as India, Australia and New Zealand, but also span across the globe, including the Allied air services of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United States and Yugoslavia. Also included are locally recruited airmen in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, making this an incredibly crucial collection for more global military research.

Within this index you'll also find immensely rich detail on your ancestor's military experience, giving you precise details such as rank, unit, aircraft type, and aircraft serial number. You may also discover their date and cause of death, their burial place, and if they had any honours or awards, helping you build a bold picture of their military experience.

Another collection with rich, full detail, discover if your ancestor gave their life while serving with the Bomber Command. Bomber Command officers were volunteers, and they had the highest attrition rate of all service personnel, with an average age of death of 23.

Bomber Command officers in WW2

Bomber Command officers in World War 2. View this photo here.

The work to create this index was undertaken by a team of volunteers at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) in Lincoln and took six years. You will not only find standard military information, but also parents' names, place of burial, next of kin, and trade.

Your ancestor may not have directly served, but that doesn't mean they didn't experience the struggles of war. Discover more about your ancestor's military experience and browse this collection to see if they suffered the effects of an air raid during 1940-1941.

Air raids in Sheffield cause massive building damage.

Air raids in Sheffield cause massive building damage. View this record here.

A more focused collection, you'll find name, age, and birth year in these records. There is also a field for extra information - usually, this is an address or a hospital, but in the case of military personnel, this may be information regarding their service.

We've added nearly 100,000 new records to this expansive collection, all from the West Riding of Yorkshire.

These records span across 19 parishes in this area, covering All Saints, St Mary, St Peter, Wesleyan Chapel, Nethertown United Reformed, St Paul, St Michael, Baptist Church, St Peter, St James, Bankshill, Bruntcliffe Lane Cemetery, Old Chapel, Queens St Wesleyan Methodist, Rehoboth Congregational, St Mary in the Wood, St Peter (Morley). Holy Trinity and St Mary (Woodkirk). They cover the wide-ranging years of 1737-1954, so if you have ancestors in the North of England, be sure to check back and see if you can spot them.

It's a global week for newspapers this week, with updates to titles across England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Canada, and Barbados. This also includes significant updates to our special illustrated title Black and White, from the year 1897. The full list of updates is below.

Updated titles:

  • Aldershot News, 1977, 1981
  • Aris’s Birmingham Gazette, 1742-1745, 1747-1760, 1762-1771, 1773-1790, 1792-1797, 1799, 1802, 1805-1807, 1810-1812, 1815-1816, 1818-1823
  • Barbados Agricultural Reporter, 1896, 1911-1922
  • Birmingham Mail, 1878-1879
  • Birmingham Weekly Mercury, 1967, 1995-1997
  • Black & White, 1897
  • Bootle Times, 1986
  • Bucks Advertiser & Aylesbury News, 1864-1865, 1951
  • Cambridge Daily News, 1897, 1986
  • Chelsea News and General Advertiser, 1988
  • Cheshunt and Waltham Mercury, 1996
  • Derbyshire Times, 1925-1926, 1929
  • East Galway Democrat, 1920
  • Edinburgh Evening News, 1951, 1954, 1956
  • Glamorgan Gazette, 1972
  • Harrow Observer, 1996
  • Herts and Essex Observer, 1987
  • Kentish Express, 1855-1871, 1893-1895, 1898-1960, 1962-1972
  • Lewisham Borough News, 1919, 1923, 1952
  • Munster Tribune, 1958
  • Nantwich Chronicle, 1977
  • Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 1928
  • North Star (Darlington), 1920
  • North Wales Weekly News, 1986
  • Nottingham Evening Post, 1983, 1997
  • Ottawa Free Press, 1903, 1907-1908, 1912, 1914
  • Runcorn Weekly News, 1986
  • Salford Advertiser, 1990
  • South Wales Daily Post, 1992
  • South Wales Echo, 1950
  • Southall Gazette, 1989
  • Sunday Sun (Newcastle), 1939
  • Surrey Herald, 1988

If you've discovered something new about your military ancestors, we want to hear about it.

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