During the months of September and October, I have carried out research for a wide range of WW2 topics, including Army service records, Army operations, Home Guard, Special Operations Executive and RAF Officers. Whilst WW2 service records are not yet in the public domain, although I can apply for them, there are many other sources available, mainly at the National Archives.
Some of my work linked to WW2 research has involved tracing living family members of the men who served, who often have inherited personal and military effects relating to their relative, have memories of the person themselves or have family stories to tell.
My other research into the Army has covered from the early 1830’s using Muster Rolls, through to mid Nineteenth Century Service and Medal records and, with the Centenary of the Armistice imminent, there has been increased interest in WW1, both concerning individuals and military operations from 1914-1918.
Research in newspapers has been particularly helpful to me recently. It has led me to discover a wide range of details. From a Military point of view it has provided further information on a man’s family, sometimes extracts of letters sent home from the battlefield, details of Gallantry Medals awarded, and more often in the case of Officers, an obituary.
From a Family History point of view, newspapers have supplied details and dates of family events, emigration, divorce, Wills, criminal activities and many more.
I always try to use as many sources of information as possible, to build up more detail and a wider picture of an individual or to help solve a brick wall or even to prove or disprove stories passed down through a family. Newspapers can also be consulted and searched in respect of events, Companies, buildings and people in a particular town or village.