Scottish Genealogy

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

This is the first in what will basically be a series of 'shout-outs' highlighting resources that are available for family history research online, but which not everyone may know about.

An incredibly rich range of resources can be found at the home of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.  They maintain what is called the "Debt of Honour Register" which is the Commission's online database listing the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars.

You can search by name, place, nationality, and by other options and if you can find the individual for whom you are searching then you will see a good amount of information [where available].  Often you can see the Name, Nationality, Rank, Regiment, Age, Date of Death, Service No, Casualty Type, Grave/Memorial Reference, Cemetery, and often additional information like the names of their parents.

This, in turn, might lead you to more interesting information sources - like military service records, recruitment records, or soldier's wills.  All in all, it is a very useful resource - not a complete listing of the war dead - but a great place to start.

War Graves at a cemetery in Belgium
Image: Marc Aert /

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