Tuesday, 25 August 2009

WW2 British Roll of Honour and POW databases - Ancestry

Ancestry has released two new important military databases for World War Two on its website at www.ancestry.co.uk:

1) UK Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945

This database contains the Roll of Honour – a listing of British Army casualties from World War II (WWII).

The original data comes from the National Archives records series WO 304, War Office: Roll of Honour, Second World War. This Roll was compiled from various War Office records between 1944 and 1949. Originally the data was encoded onto cards using a Hollerith Machine (a unit record machine), the original print outs of which are kept at the National Archives. The cards have since been decoded and transcribed by the Naval & Military Press and published on CD.

Information recorded on the Roll of Honour includes:

•Name of soldier
•Initials, titles, and decorations
•Enlisted rank
•Rank at time of death
•Enlisted Regiment
•Regiment at time of death
•Theater of War or country where wounded or died
•Death date

2) British Army Prisoners of War, 1939-1945

This database contains a listing of World War II British Army prisoners of war. Information provided about them includes:

•Army number
•POW number
•Camp type
•Camp number
•Camp location
•Record office
•Record Office number

The Geneva Convention of 1929 established the rules for the treatment of prisoners of war that were used in World War II. Over 100,000 soldiers of the British Army were captured during this war and placed in prisoner of war camps. There were two types of POW camps run by the Germans that soldiers of the British Army were assigned to. These were:

•Oflag – camp for officers
•Stalag – camp for enlisted personnel

There were separate camps for navy, aircrews, and civilians. The German camps were named according to a numbering system, beginning with a Roman numeral representing the military district the camp was located in. Following the Roman numeral could be a letter. This letter represented a specific camp within the military district. If the camp was a sub-camp, “/Z” was then appended to the end of the number. If the camp was a main camp, then the “/H” was appended to the end of the number. You will see this nomenclature in the “Camp number” field of this database.

Both databases were previously available on CD from Naval and Military Press.

(With thanks to the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog)


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