Great Britain, Prisoners of War Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Great Britain

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at
Great Britain
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Location of Great Britain
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Record Description
Record Type Prisoners of War
Collection years 1715-1947
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives of England, London, England

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection includes military records from the wars in which the United Kingdom took part, covering the period 1715-1947. The records were filmed at the National Archives of England and the index is being created by

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

The collection contains mostly British Prisoner of War records.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following lists indicate potential information given in each type of record. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all of the listed information. Information contained in these records will vary depending on the war and the country where the prisoner was captive.

Foreign Office Records

  • First-hand prisoner accounts
    • Dates of military service
    • Dates of imprisonment
  • Letters regarding prisoners of war

Records of prisoners of war in the Far East

  • Records or certificates of death
  • Name of deceased prisoner
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death
  • Nationality of deceased
  • Rank and area of service

Records of prisoners of war in various localities

  • Names of prisoners of (but not limited to) the following nationalities--
    • British
    • French
    • American
    • Danish
    • Dutch
    • Spanish
  • Place and date of capture
  • Quality (military rank)
  • Ship name
  • Place of nativity
  • Age
  • Date and cause of death
  • Physical description

Second World War Records

  • Name of prisoner
  • Father’s name
  • Mother’s name
  • Place of origin
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of Capture
  • Occupation/rank
  • Camp/unit
  • Destination of report

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before beginning a search in these records, it is best to know the full name of the individual in question, as well as an approximate time range for the desired record. When entered into the search engine on the Collection Page, this information provides the quickest, most reliable path to finding the correct person. Of course, other information can be substituted as necessary. Search by name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page to return a list of possible matches. Compare the individuals on the list with what is already known to find the correct family or person. This step may require examining multiple individuals before a match is located.

Compare the information found on the images with what is already known determine if a particular record relates to the correct person. This process may require examining multiple records before the correct person is located.

For Help Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

Although some of the WWII records of prisoners in Japan are written in Japanese, English translations are included for most information on the record. If you should need further help, see the following resources:

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking for, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the index entry record for future reference. See below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if allowed to do so.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use an estimated age to determine an approximate year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in civil records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are the England Census and the England Civil Registration records.
  • WWII Japanese prisoner of war records may include “destination of report”. This may be where the prisoner’s family were living at the time. Use this location to search for family members’ names in local records.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names. Remember that it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches.
  • Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.