Salute your ancestor's service this Remembrance with new and exclusive military records

4-5 minute read

By Jessie Ohara | November 11, 2022

Honour your First World War ancestors like never before.

This Remembrance weekend, it's time to pay tribute to the stories of our military ancestors. Discover two brand-new prisoner of war collections, alongside additions to First World War honour rolls, and more. Read on for a rundown of everything that's new.

Prisoners Of War Sound Recordings 1916-1918

In a Findmypast first, we've released 56 sound recordings of servicemen in German prison camps in the First World War, in partnership with the British Library.

These men all recite the Parable of the Prodigal Son. This was an attempt by the Germans to understand and record regional dialects, so the men are from all across the country and are of all different backgrounds. The oldest man in the collection is 59 and served with the Merchant Navy - the youngest, a private with the 1st Gordon Highlanders, was only 20 years of age.

Each record will include a link to the audio recording on the British Library website, as well as additional detail on the serviceman. You may find notes on their trade, family life, religion, place of origin and the date they were captured. This could help you search through our vast collection of military records, parish records, or even our newspaper archive to track them down and discover more about them.

Walter Chapman's Merchant Navy service record and photo. View this record here.

Walter Chapman's Merchant Navy service record and photo. View this record here.

One of the men listed in this collection, Norfolk-born Walter Chapman, can also be found in our Britain, Merchant Seaman, 1918-1941 collection. Alongside his service record is a photo. With his voice, his portrait, and details of his service, we can fit the puzzle pieces together and now build a multi-dimensional picture of who Walter was. It really doesn't get much more moving than that.

Have you found an ancestor's voice in this collection? We'd love to hear about it. Email [email protected] or tag us on social media @findmypast to let us know.

Prisoners Of War, General Correspondence, 1915

If you've located ancestors that were captured and imprisoned in German camps, then don't miss this collection.

A snippet from this collection. View this record here.

A snippet from this collection. View this record here.

It offers a fascinating glimpse into the hardships of prisoner of war camps in Germany. Comprised of official government documents, reports, and even personal letters from loved ones, the context given in these records helps add some nuance and detail to the struggle of captured servicemen. Many of these records describe concern over the conditions of the camps, as well as some first-hand accounts of imprisonment.

There are a few named individuals in this collection too, so it's definitely worth a search to see what you can find.

British Rolls Of Honour and Nominal Rolls, First World War

We've released an additional 251 records from Coventry to this collection.

Private W. Beacon, listed in the Coventry Roll of Honour

Private W. Beacon, listed in the Coventry Roll of Honour. View this record here.

The information you'll find record to record will vary, but often you'll get their birth year, details of their previous occupation, and more information on their time serving in the military. Some records, like the one above, also include photos, making this another poignant collection to dive into this Remembrance.


So much of global history has been touched by the First and Second World Wars, and millions of families across the globe were affected. This Remembrance, we want you to share your family stories of wartime heroes with us, so we can help honour them for the generations to come.

All you need to do is upload a short video of you sharing your ancestor's story, and you could be in with a chance of winning a 12-month Pro subscription amongst other prizes. Why not have a browse through other members' stories while you're there? Let's salute their service together this weekend.

Discover World War 1 in print

Amongst 18 brand-new titles from all across England and Scotland, we've released specialist title, the War Pictures Weekly and the London Illustrated Weekly.

The War Pictures Weekly and the London Illustrated Weekly, 1916.

The War Pictures Weekly and the London Illustrated Weekly, 1916.

First published in 1914, the beginning of the Great War, the paper proclaimed its purpose:

"'The long-foretold Great War has come at last... We intend to describe fully every picture, and to give a short and comprehensive résumé of the week’s doings, but not to burden our Readers with lengthy repetitions of what they have probably already read in their daily papers.'"

It featured an array of illustrations from the First World War, ranging from German infantry, fighting that took place across land, sea, and air, to depictions of food riots on the Home Front. Its prose was short and pithy, often quite sardonic at the state of the nation during the war.

A depiction of a German fireship in World War 1, 1915.

A depiction of a German fireship in World War 1, 1915.

Perhaps most unnerving is its predictions of how the Great War would be perceived for years to come. In some instances, it recommends its readers keep copies of the newspaper to pass down to their children, as in its own words:

"'The present War will be the greatest ever known.'"

Once you've gotten lost in the pages of this title, it's difficult to pull yourself out. Don't end your research there, though - we have another 17 new titles and 89 updated titles for you this week, so here's a full list for you to browse.

New titles:

Updated titles:

Share this article

About the author

Picture of Jessie O'Hara - Brand Marketing AssistantJessie O'Hara