CWGC Headstone

Military Careers of Servicemen

Do you want to learn more your ancestor's involvement in the First World War, Second World War or military engagements of the 19th Century?  Are you intrigued by a name appearing on a local war memorial or a Commonwealth War Graves headstone in a local cemetery?  You may have a copy of a military service record but would like some help in deciphering and interpreting it.

A range of sources and resources, including Battalion war diaries and Regimental histories, is used to identify ancestors who served in the military and to research their service career during the 19th century and early 20th century.

Many First World War service records were destroyed by enemy action during the Second World War, and so military service details for 1914 - 1918 vary greatly in depth and detail.  An initial assessment would be carried out to establish what details might be available for each serviceman's military career.

Support can also be offered for research into servicemen of the Second World War - these service records are not yet publicly available although the Ministry of Defence is currently transferring them to the National Archives.  It is anticipated that this transfer of service records, there are nearly 10 million of them, will take until about 2027 to complete.

Records still held by the MoD are now free to order but, due to current pressures on the department, records can take a number of months to arrive.  Records now held by the National Archives can be obtained through a Freedom of Information Request for which they make a charge.

Hourly rate - £20

For some servicemen initial research may indicate that it might not be possible to extend the project beyond a few basic details but, where more information exists, a timeline and short biography will be compiled with copies/ photographs of relevant documents included.

(Typically, researching an individual serviceman would cost between £60 and £120 to complete but for larger projects a reduced hourly rate would apply. )

Page from a FWW War Diary

Surviving War Diaries from the Second World War are also available at the National Archives at Kew and can be photographed and/ or transcribed by Waymark Genealogy.  

Second World War diaries are in the process of being digitised but very few are currently available online. 

First World War Diary Transcription

The War Diary provides a fascinating account of the day to day experiences of the Battalion.  Through its War Diary we get an 'at the coal face' view of the movements and actions of each Battalion and this enables a better understanding of the experiences of a soldier in that Battalion.

Although officers are mentioned more regularly, please be aware that the War Diary rarely mentions individual soldiers of 'Other Ranks' by name.

Waymark Genealogy can transcribe specific sections of the requested Battalion diary for you and map the movements of that Battalion.

Hourly rate - £20