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Explore everything from nurses to the Navy this week

6-7 minute read

By Jessie O'Hara

25 March 2022
Explore everything from nurses to the Navy this week

And with 169 new and updated newspaper titles, there are more stories than ever before.

This week, we have two additions to existing record sets and one entirely new collection, so if you've been struggling to locate an ancestor in our indexes before today, make sure to take a look.

We've added nearly 4,000 new records to this collection, across seven parishes. You can find a full parish list here.

An image from the Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions.

Not only will monumental inscriptions give you biographical details of your ancestor, such as birth name, birth year, and death year, but they can be incredibly useful when discovering other relatives. Often, families were buried together, and their inscriptions placed next to each other on the headstone. By locating one ancestor, you may be able to trace entire families, expanding your family tree.

A monumental inscription from the Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions collection.

A monumental inscription from the Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions collection.

On these graves, you may also find poetry, poignant goodbye notes, and final sentiments, making this collection particularly well-rounded in terms of painting a bold picture of your ancestor's life. You won't find these records on any other site, so make sure to take a browse.

We've added nearly 9,000 records to this collection. These records mainly focus on military nurses who served in the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve) and the Territorial Force Nursing Service during the First World War.

Military nurses from Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, 1944, from the Findmypast Photo Collection.

The information in these records varies considerably, but you may be able to find out your ancestor's rank or rating, education and qualifications, training school, or even father's occupation, making these a valuable resource for your military research.

Nurses from Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, setting up their beds in a trench, 1944, from the Findmypast Photo Collection.

After the Boer Wars of 1899 and 1902, the reorganisation of the Army Medical Service led to the formation of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service by royal warrant in 1902. Like the Army Nursing Service, it was often stipulated that these women had to be over 25, single, and of a higher social class - though the social standing requirement was largely dropped during the First World War.

Did your ancestor take their service to the seas? You may just find out in our new Indian Navy Records of Service index.

The Indian Navy's first cruiser, replacing HMS Achilles, 1948, from the Findmypast Photo Collection.

This set works well as a complimentary resource to the Indian Army Records Of Service 1900-1947. If you have traced your ancestor's military history through the Indian Army, this set could help you solidify their journey.

You may be able to discover crucial information such as rank, regiment, and time served.

Military women throughout the ages

Women didn't just take the role of nurses during the First and Second World War. Due to the sheer scale of the Great War, women's involvement became less frowned upon and more of a necessity. The Women's Royal Air Force was created at the same time as the RAF, allowing women to serve during the First World War and introducing them to a new form of labour. You can find over 31,000 of these service records here.

The Women's Royal Air Force was often filled with volunteers from the previously-existing Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, which you can find our records for here. This collection is a rich resource for any family historian, as it does not just include service records, but often documents such as application forms, health forms, and physical examinations. This means you may not just discover your ancestor's rank or rating, but their height, build, religion, distinctive marks, medical issues, nationality and permanent address.

An example of the a medical history record from the Women's Auxiliary Corps collection.

An example of the a medical history record from the Women's Auxiliary Corps collection.

That's not all, though. Discover the Honourable Women of the Great War, 1914-1919. This focused collection contains incredible biographical detail around women that were honoured for their service during World War One, including years of service and country of service. However, a closer look at the image rather than the transcription may give even more information, such as a biography of their pre-war activities, accounts of their service during the war, and their place of permanent residence or resignation. You may also find a photograph of your ancestor, making this collection exceptionally valuable for your research.

An image of the Marchioness of Londonderry, from our Honourable Women of the Great War collection,

An image of the Marchioness of Londonderry, from our Honourable Women of the Great War collection,

If you're looking to discover more about the social landscape as women entered the services, our expansive Photo Collection contains an incredible range of photographs throughout the Second World War. You can find women in the trenches, setting up camp, or in hospitals, all serving their country in these stunning black and white images.

We may have released three incredible new additions to our records this week, but we haven't been idle with newspapers. This week, we have 22 brand-new titles, and an absolutely immense 147 updated titles. Discover the 'Record of Commercial Progress in Australia' in McPhun's Australian News, which documented everything from gold mining to emigration - or, if you're feeling more political, discover the Kent Times' outspoken support of the working classes with its proclamation that 'liberals of the towns and villages of Kent have long felt the want of a more spirited and more earnest press representation'. Discover everything that's new below.

To discover the stories that have caught your eye, just head to our newspaper archive and filter by title.

If you've found an incredible story in one of our newspaper titles or records, we want to hear from you. Tag us @findmypast on social media, or email discoveries@findmypast.com for a chance to be featured on our website.