FindMyPast has added 4.2million WW1 British Army records from the National Archives' catalogued War Office collections WO363 (service records, known as the Burnt Documents) and WO364 (pension records). About one-third of the records survives; the rest was ing destroyed during WW2.
These collections have been searchable on Ancestry for some time, but, by re-indexing the record sets, FindMyPast have captured an additional 600,000 names. The company says this is down to a more thorough transcription process which allowed it to identify and index lists of 'names that appear tucked away in individual service papers'.
"The vast majority of men appearing in these lists have been indexed for the very first time," says the publicity material. "While the information may only extend to a line or two of printed matter, for many thousands of people this will be the first time they have uncovered details of their ancestor’s participation in World War 1."
The record of any one individual may consist of between one and a hundred pages that cover everything from physical description of the soldier to details of the battles and campaigns he participated in and remarks on his conduct and character.
Within the collection are some service records for men who fought in the Boer War, and also men who should not be included in these series at all. FindMyPast say the earliest pension record discovered is for a man born in 1832, who enlisted in the 94th Regiment of Foot in 1850!