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WW1 - RESOURCES 3



 World War 1

Resource

Category:

1914-1918

Resources 3

British Army Regiments



English Regiments

Durham Light Infantry:

During the First World War - the Great War - 1000s of volunteers from the mines, shipyards, farms, shops, schools, offices and industries of County Durham joined the DLI. By 1918, the Durhams had raised 43 battalions - like the Durham Pals - with 22 seeing active service overseas - on the Western Front, in Italy, Egypt, Salonika and India. The DLI fought in every major battle of the Great War - at Ypres, Loos, Arras, Messines, Cambrai, on the Somme, in the mud of Passendale and in the final victory of 1918. Some 13,000 Durhams died on these battlefields, with thousands more wounded, gassed or taken prisoner. Six Durhams were awarded the Victoria Cross during the Great War - Thomas Kenny, Roland Bradford, Michael Heaviside, Frederick Youens, Arthur Lascelles and Thomas Young.

Welsh Regiments

Please let us know of links for any mssing regiments

The Welsh Guards:

The Welsh Guards was raised on 26 February 1915 by order of King George V, in order to complete the national complement of regiments of Foot Guards identified with the countries of the United Kingdom. On inception the Regiment took its place alongside the English Grenadier Guards and Coldstream Guards, the Scots Guards and the Irish Guards. Two days later, the Battalion mounted its first King's Guard at Buckingham Palace on 1 March 1915 - St David's Day.
On 17 August 1915 the 1st Battalion sailed for France and formed part of the Guards Division. Its first battle was fought at Loos on 27 September 1915 and the Regiment's first Victoria Cross was won by Sergeant Robert Bye at Pilckem in July 1917.


Scottish Regiments

Please let us know of links for any mssing regiments


Royal Scots:

“World War I saw the number of battalions increased to 35 of which 15 served as active front line units. More than 100,000 men passed through these battalions, of whom 11,162 were killed and over 40,000 wounded. Seventy-one Battle Honours and 6 VCs were awarded to the Regiment as well as innumerable individual medals. The active service battalions were involved in all areas from the Western Front to the Dardanelles, Macedonia, Egypt and North Russia.”


Voluntary Aid Detachments

In 1909 the War Office issued the Scheme for the Organisation of Voluntary Aid. Under this scheme, the British Red Cross was given the role of providing supplementary aid to the Territorial Forces Medical Service in the event of war.

In order to provide trained personnel for this task, county branches of the Red Cross organised units called voluntary aid detachments. All voluntary aid detachment members, who themselves came to be known simply as 'VADs', were trained in first aid and nursing. Within twelve months of the scheme's launch, they numbered well over 6,000.

Membership grew still further on the outbreak of war in 1914. The British Red Cross and the Order of St John of Jerusalem, a body which was also empowered to raise detachments under the War Office Voluntary Aid Scheme, combined to form the Joint War Committee (JWC) to administer their wartime relief work with the greatest possible efficiency and economy, under the protection of the red cross emblem and name.

Index cards for around 90,000 WW1 VADs are expected to be digitised by the British Red Cross and be available online by the end of 2015.  

Information courtesy of British Red Cross



We provide information over four pages on just some of the many resources available to help you with your WW1 Centenary Project and research.

If you know of any resources not listed please email us at places@oneplacestudy.org

 Belgian refugees

In 1914-15 Belgian refugees arrived in France and the Netherlands in large numbers. Around 160,000 refugees found shelter in the UK, where the government kept a close watch on them. At the outset wartime photographs and paintings depicted them as desperate people in need of emergency assistance, but also stoic victims of German aggression, as in Nora Neilson Gray’s portrait of The Belgian Refugee. In Britain more than 2,500 committees provided charitable relief to Belgian refugees.

Available through Findmypast:

1914-1920

Available through Forces War Records:

1914-1920
















Royal Marines

Royal Navy

Available through Findmypast:
















WW1 at Sea

The only full scale confrontation of the war between British and German fleets took place on 31 May 1916 and came to be known as the battle Jutland.

Jutland was to be the largest naval battle the world have ever seen, and proved catastrophic for both sides. The British lost three battle cruisers, three cruisers, eight destroyers and suffered 6,100 casualties while the Germans lost one battleship, one battle cruiser, four cruisers and five destroyers and 2,550 casualties.

The outcome of Jutland came as a huge shock to the British Admiralty as the British fleet had clearly outnumbered German forces (151 to 99). Jutland was surprisingly still seen as a victory as it established Britain had command over the North Sea.

During the course of the war the Royal Navy lost; 2 dreadnoughts, 3 battle cruisers, 11 battleships, 25 cruisers, 54 submarines, 64 destroyers 10 torpedo boats and suffered total casualties of 34,642 dead and 4,510 wounded.

Source: Findmypast blog

WW1 in the Air

The birth of the RAF

The top scoring fighter pilot of WWI with 80 kills, von Richthofen was variously claimed by Captain Roy Brown of 209 Sqn RAF, Australian gunners of the 24th Machine Gun Company and members of the 53rd Battery, 1402 Field Artillery Brigade.

Source: RAF

Who shot “The Red Baron”?

Please let us know of links for any regiments not listed





Irish Regiments

Please see WW1 R4 page

‘Pals’ Battalions etc.

Available through Findmypast:

Royal Fusiliers:

Royal Sussex Regiment:













Available free:




Available through Forces War Records:


Prisoners of War

Listing of 7,703 named officers including Army, RFC/RNAS/RAF, Royal Naval Division and Dominions

Available through Ancestry:

Available through Forces War Records:






British Army

records

Army pension records

Service records of NCOs and other ranks who were discharged from the Army, claimed disability pensions for service in WW1 and did not re-enlist in Army prior to WW2.

Available through Ancestry:

Service records of NCOs and other ranks who served in WW1 and did not re-enlist in Army prior to WW2.

Available through Ancestry:

Available through Findmypast

British Army Service Records 1760-1915

Available through Findmypast

- records containing 4,060 names of officers who served with the Welsh Guards, and nominal rolls of Warrant Officers and NCOs.

Army service records

Army Lists

Available through Forces War Records:





British Red Cross

Available through Forces War Records:

1914-1920














Jutland - full-scale confrontation

Seamen serving ashore

Register of deaths of servicemen in the Royal Naval Division in WW1. Information includes name, service branch, unit, date of death, cause of death, service history and burial information.

Available through Ancestry:

Available through Findmypast:

Available through Forces War Records:

Royal Naval Division (RND)

RND Casualties

RND Service Records

Seamen serving ashore

The Royal Naval Division was formed in August 1914 from naval reserve forces when warships of the fleet were fully crewed. The tradition of naval personnel serving on land had been long established and a shortfall in infantry divisions in the army led to the formation of the RND to supplement the army. The RND was retained under Admiralty control even though they were fighting on land alongside the army. Reserve personnel from the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Fleet Reserve and the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve with a brigade of Marines were assembled at Crystal Palace to form the RND.


Available through findmypast

Available through Forces War Records:














Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Available through Findmypast:














Available through findmypast

Merchant Navy

Available through The National Archives:

Ships Lost at Sea

The British Red Cross Register of Overseas Volunteers contains the details of over 17,000 individuals who served overseas with the British Red Cross during WW1. At the start of the war, the British Red Cross joined forces with the Order of St. John Ambulance to create the Joint War Committee to assist with medical care in the field. The register includes men and women who worked with the Voluntary Aid Detachments, Scottish Women’s Hospital, Order of St. John and many more. Women played a significant role during World War 1 through their involvement with these voluntary organisations and evidence of this can be viewed in the records.


Available through Findmypast:

1914-1918

Available through Forces War Records:

1914-1918













Military Nurses

Available through Findmypast:


Royal Artillery Attestations

Available through Findmypast:
















© IWM (Q 27757B)


Around 4,000 Belgian refugees lived in the self-contained village of Elisabethville in Birtley near Gateshead which was administered by the Belgian authorities.

More information at Beamish Museum

Also see:

A formal approach to military aviation began in 1911 with the formation of an Air Battalion within the Royal Engineers with Headquarters at South Farnborough. Progress by other European Powers in developing their aviation services dictated that still further organisational changes were needed and, on 13 May 1912, the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was formed. This absorbed the air role of the Royal Engineers and was initially comprised of five sections – Military and Naval Wings, a Reserve, a Central Flying School at Upavon and the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough.

When war broke out in August 1914, the RFC was ready, albeit with limited resources, for duty overseas.  The success of the RFC proved the value of aeroplanes not only for observation but also for fighter (or scout) and bombing uses. They were to play a vital role on the battlefield and various techniques in communications, observation and reconnaissance were evolved.

The RFC under the direction of the War Office and the Royal Naval Air Service under the Admiralty (as the Naval Wing had become immediately prior to the war) made an immense contribution to the conflict. Although sustaining heavy losses, they served with distinction on all fronts, notably in France, as well as on Home Defence.

By mid-1917, the advent of German bombers and the threat of Zeppelins (which had raided London and the East coast during that year) meant there was a need for further administrative and organisational change. The Government decided to accept a recommendation that an air arm, separate from War Office and Admiralty control, should be established. The Air Council was formed in January 1918 and the Royal Air Force was formed on 1 April 1918, unifying the Military and Naval roles of the RFC and RNAS into an independent service.

Information courtesy of Museum of Army Flying


This database contains approximately 28,000 index cards and 34 photograph albums of aviators who were issued with their flying licences (certificates) by the Royal Aero Club from 1910-1950. These included the first military and naval personnel to become pilots.

Available through Ancestry:

Available through Forces War Records:

Aviator Certificates

Available through The National Archives:


Available through Findmypast:


Available through Forces War Records:


While many famously expected the war to be 'over by Christmas', Lord Kitchener, the newly appointed Secretary of State for War, was unconvinced. He warned the government that the war would be decided by the last million men that Britain could throw into battle.

With conscription politically unpalatable, Kitchener decided to raise a new army of volunteers. On 6 August 2014, Parliament sanctioned an increase in Army strength of 500,000 men; days later Kitchener issued his first call to arms. This was for 100,000 volunteers, aged between 19 and 30, at least 1.6m (5'3") tall and with a chest size greater than 86cm (34 inches).

The call to arms was augmented by the decision to form the units that became known as Pals Battalions. General Henry Rawlinson initially suggested that men would be more willing to join up if they could serve with people they already knew. Lord Derby was the first to test the idea when he announced in late August that he would try to raise a battalion in Liverpool, comprised solely of local men. Within days, Liverpool had enlisted enough men to form four battalions.

Liverpool's success prompted other towns and cities to follow suit. This was the great secret behind the Pals: civic pride and community spirit prompted cities to compete with each other and attract the greatest possible number of new recruits.

Information courtesy of Bruce Robinson, BBC History


RAF records

WW1 at Home

BBC World War One at Home

World War One At Home launched in February 2014, with the release of 223 stories across radio, TV and online. There will be similar releases in June, August and November, bringing the total stories on the site to over 1,000, with many more to be published in 2015 and beyond.

In WW1, more pilots lost their lives through accidents than in combat.

1,368 civilians were killed by German Zeppelin and bomber raids in WW1.

Source: Scott Addington

Auxiliary Hospitals

Zeppelin raids

German postcard depicting Zeppelin bombing raid courtesy of James W, Gerard

Damage caused by Zeppelin raid on Kings Lynn

courtesy of Norfolk Museums & Archaelogy Service

The first fatal Zeppelin air raid on Britain took place over Norfolk on 19 January 1915 causing damage to buildings in Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn and resulting in four dead.

British Army

records

The Middlesex appeal tribunals 1916-1918 records are the case files of over 8,000 men who appealed against their conscription into the army during WW1. Men applied to local military tribunals for exemption, and could appeal against a local tribunal's decision to the county appeal tribunal. These records cover the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal only.

There were seven different grounds on which men could apply for exemption including health reasons and financial obligations.

As many appellants were refused exemption you can potentially find information on men who later fought in the war. The records also provide an insight into the health, work and home lives of a cross section of men resident in Middlesex, making them a valuable resource for social, local, military and family historians.




Conscription appeals

Army Mutineers

Although around 6,000 men were charged with ‘Mutiny’, just 42 were for front line soldiers serving in France/Flanders. This compared with over 25,000 such offences being tried for French soldiers at that time

Available through Forces War Records:

The British Army has always demanded the highest standards from its nurses. Shaking off any past reputation of nurses as being drunken, immoral and untrustworthy, it insisted that members of the Army Nursing Service and its successors were highly trained and educated women of impeccable social standing. As the Services expanded rapidly during the Great War, standards remained high, maintaining an elitism within the nursing profession.

Courtesy of ScarletFinders


At the outbreak of the First World War, the British Red Cross and the Order of St John of Jerusalem combined to form the Joint War Committee. They pooled their resources under the protection of the red cross emblem. As the Red Cross had secured buildings, equipment and staff, the organisation was able to set up temporary hospitals as soon as wounded men began to arrive from abroad.

The buildings varied widely, ranging from town halls and schools to large and small private houses, both in the country and in cities. The most suitable ones were established as auxiliary hospitals.

Auxiliary hospitals were attached to central Military Hospitals, which looked after patients who remained under military control. There were over 3,000 auxiliary hospitals administered by Red Cross county directors. See the List of Auxiliary Hospitals in the UK during WW1.

In many cases, women in the local neighbourhood volunteered on a part-time basis. The hospitals often needed to supplement voluntary work with paid roles, such as cooks. Local medics also volunteered, despite the extra strain that the medical profession was already under at that time.

The patients at these hospitals were generally less seriously wounded than at other hospitals and they needed to convalesce. The servicemen preferred the auxiliary hospitals to military hospitals because they were not so strict, they were less crowded and the surroundings were more homely.

Courtesy of British Red Cross

21 April 1918 - Baron Manfred von Richthofen, otherwise known as "The Red Baron" is shot down and killed near Corbie.

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