Sources of  Information ref. WW1 and your Family

Military Medal

Below are over 40 different sources of information that you can use to research the role of any family member you suspect or know took part in WW1.

You may have been alerted by an artefact such as a medal or certificate, or by family stories.  Routes into further information are many, so you are recommended to “dip in” to as many routes as seem relevant-. Sometimes one website will have nothing, whereas another gives great detail. That is the fascination of Family History!

DEATH RECORDS:     Death certificates are available for a cost of £9.25p.      A subscription site with a range of data bases including WW1 information e.g. 1919 list of war dead.

(The National Roll is available at and

De Ruvigny Roll of Honour 1914-1918 two private lists one for officers the second for other ranks which is not complete  and does contain some photographs  and be found. See also   and  )

“Soldiers who died in the Great War” was published after the war by HMSO in 1921.  Available from libraries, regimental museums and second hand book shops. This list has been used as the basis for the Ancestry data base.

A record of Officers killed is available from “Cross of Sacrifice” published 1993 .The Imperial War Museum, Libraries and the National Archives and .

The War Graves Roll of killed and wounded naval and marines available via the National Archives ADM 242

also available to view on

RAF records and information via

Commonwealth War Graves Commission .   Searchable free data base of war dead.  This is the Principal  “Debt of Honour List”    Information on all aspects of the work of the Red Cross during WW1 and in wider context.  A searchable data  base from their records will be available in late 2015 which may include Prisoners of War in WW1      Soldiers Wills. Free search for a name , £10  to print or read. These may be handwritten wills or collected from pay books or other sources.      British Library Newspapers.  A source for a wide range of information. This can be accessed by visiting the BL or on line.     Imperial War Museum.  Currently  running exhibitions, workshops, related to WW1.

The Times , The Scotsman,  London Gazette  all feature promotions , awards, medals, death announcements.  Many families will have paid for articles to be published.


The Army List has been published every  year  from 1800’s and is available on CD to purchase,  from a  library and  a free down load   from    . It is an annual list of all officers giving details of regiment and rank, divided either into quarters or half yearly.


Book:  Peter Ducker s “British Campaign Medals -WW1” is available on Amazon £5.57p giving a summary of the medals issued.      Ancestry have easy to follow videos on their WW1 site  one of which will take you through a Medal card with clear a explanation  and how to use them in research.    Using the search engine will take you to a section on WW1 war medals with an explanation  of medals available .  The NA covers in great detail what is available to down load.    This site is a generic web page covering the Great War.  Medals are only a small aspect on this site           A web site dedicated to WW1 in all its aspects and another source of information about medals and entitlement.    The Long Long Trail   An excellent resource which is very readable and covers every aspect of military life. This is a first port of call in tracing or searching for information on a regiment or brigade. A resource used in conjunction with regimental war diaries to learning more about the part your ancestor played in WW1     A general research of this site  eg  army regiments  ,The Somme gives explanations of regiments ,battles and military information.      A searchable data base.  Offers monthly subscription to search records £8.95 a month. £71.95 per year and paid researcher s.  Trial  search for free and see what they hold.


SERVICE RECORDS:    The most complete records available continually updated and liked to National Archives. Subscription site.    A subscription site with a good range of records that  can be used in conjunction with Ancestry.  There are some records that are not on ancestry. The Newspaper archive is easy use and does provide information in terms of family announcements, articles  and local interest in WW1.      The original source of all military and service records.  They will direct you to depositories eg Woodhorn who may have information stored. Easy searchable data bases and down loads available or can be ordered on line /post/ telephone. Looking for volunteers to help with digitalising War Diaries.

WAR  MEMORIALS     The UK National Inventory of War Memorials     North East War Memorials  Project     The War Graves Roll of  killed and wounded  is on the National Archives

Royal Navy and Marines war memorial s are available via   for RAF memorials


MUSEUMS:    National Army Museum. Building currently closed but website active.    Woodhorn Museum and archives for Northumberland area.   Durham Light Infantry records     Nth. Fusilliers Museum  in Alnwick Castle Alnwick.   Research undertaken for anyone with a Nortumberland Fusiliers ancestor  £35.  ( Can be long delay). £20 to visit and read original Battalion War Diaries , St George Gazette , Trench maps , diaries and more     Important resource of all known local war deaths    Imperial War Museum    Regional museums plus new WW1 feature in London site.

All Guards Regiments hold their own records and can be contacted  e.g
Regimental  Archivist
Coldstream Guards
Wellington Barracks
Birdcage Walk
London SW 16HQ


OTHER  USEFUL WEBSITES  Western Front  founded in 1980 by  J.Giles  aims to promote and keep interest in the First World War.  Local branch meets at Alnmouth  holds talks from interesting speakers    Origins in the years after WW1 to provide welfare, comradeship and represent ex personnel. Today continues to support armed service personnel . Best  known for Poppy appeal and fund raising.   London , Edinburgh,  Belfast gazettes (Official military record)      Information, poetry etc.  General Public were asked to contribute their personal  memorabilia  to project and 6,500 items are available to view on line       For those interested in searching for their Canadian ancestors in WW1. 70% of Canadian Expeditionary Force were originally from Great Britain. All Canadian War Diaries are on line and free to use.      A resource to view  trench maps of WW1. Can be used in conjunction with the War Diaries to trace ancestor’s experiences.      Full lists of  hospital ships/ sunk ships, military hospitals  and auxiliary  hospitals       A Google search of ancestor/regiment may take you here . A chat room which answers questions  about every aspect of WW1 by  interested researchers. Many of the respondents have acc ess to war diaries and are happy to help..         Films made at the time, personnel returning to hospital. Pathe have a number of films made at the time showing different aspects of WW1 eg boarding trains for France     Comprehensive site covering nurses and hospitals during WW1          Along-running project          A BBC magazine for family genealogists , free articles to read, subscription available.    A Genealogy   web site specialising in Scottish Records, some free data bases available or pay as you go by tokens.  WW1 Soldiers effects  ledger available similar to a will.                   One-stop link to other genealogy sites     (be patient, a big file) for Alnwick Absent voters ie serving abroad  in 1918 ) Other Absent Voters Lists can be found  via the Northumberland Fusiliers web page or by googling Absent Voters, or local Records Office.      Further information on WW1 general information This site is aimed at being an educational resource and has interesting  general topics.        Millions of stories, but a subscription site. Try it!      Official MOD site full of information.

For service records post after 1920 you can mail to:

Army Personnel Centre,
Disclosure 2,
Mail Point 555,
Kentigern House,
65 Brown Street
Glasgow  G2 8EX
Tel     0845 6009663

This address is for relatives that are deceased and you will have to complete a disclaimer and pay a fee.

Please note that every effort has been made to check that these references are as described, but the NDFHS cannot accept any responsibility for the content or accuracy of websites beyond its control.