Friday 6 November 2015

Free Military records from Ancestry, 6–11 November
Ancestry is offering six days of free access to its worldwide Military Records collection, including a brand-new records set – the UK, WWII Civilian Defence Gallantry Awards, 1940-1949.

The worldwide Military Records collection includes more than 200 million records from different conflicts. Free access is available from today until 23:59 (GMT) on Wednesday 11 November. If you don't already have an account with Ancestry, you'll need to register with your name and email address. Ancestry will then send you a username and password to access the records.

UK WWII Civilian Defence Gallantry Awards, 1940–1949

Published online for the first time, the UK's WWII Civilian Defence Gallantry Awards, 1940–1949 contain fascinating and often heartbreaking details of more than 5,000 awards for civilian gallantry during the 1940s. In detailed accounts – often spanning several pages per individual – the records reveal the names of civilian heroes who were awarded medals for acts of bravery, as well as their place of residence, date of birth and date of the award.

The collection serves as a poignant reminder that while thousands of men and women fought across the world during WWII, more than 1.9 million civilians served as Civil Defence Volunteers back home on British soil. Some worked as air raid wardens, first aiders and firewatchers, but some were ordinary civilians who showed incredible bravery in the face of disaster, sometimes giving up their lives to save others.

Civilian Defence awards could be given to men, women and children, who carried out or supported Civil Defence duties on the Home Front.