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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Ancestry adds WW1 Service Medal & Awards Books

As promised at Back To Our Past last month (see show report), Ancestry has added the
British WW1 Service Medal and Award Roll Books 1914–1920 to its database.

This collection of 6,256,145 entries contains records of people who served in WWI and were entitled to medals and awards. Most of the records relate to the Army but there are also some referring to the Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force (RFC/RAF), to civilians such as medical staff working in military bases, to people mobilized for other war service, e.g. in colonial labour corps, and to allied personnel who assisted British soldiers behind enemy lines.

The Roll Books give the date the issue was approved and record the issue, or cross-refer to another issuing body, e.g. the Air Ministry for some members of the RFC/RAF receiving the British War and Allied Victory Medals.

An important feature of this collection is the inclusion of the battalion's name. This may allow researchers to discover more about the military history, battles, postings and events their ancestor lived through. First port of call should be the Battalion's War Diary, if it has survived.

Records include details such as name, rank, unit, and possibly other service details.

The medals and awards concerned are:
  • The British War Medal;
  • The Allied Victory Medal;
  • The 1914 Star (the Mons Star) and bar added in 1919;
  • The 1914–15 Star;
  • The Territorial Force War Medal;
  • The Allied Subjects Medal.

You'll find more information about each of the medals and what they represent by following the link above.