The Second World War

by Phil Tomaselli
Published by The Federation of Family History Societies.

The Second World War was long, complex and brutal. People living between the years 1939 to 1945 played a part in this great event.

Researching ancestors who took part in the Second World War can be challenging because individual service records are not yet openly available. There is much else that is and this book looks at the sources for tracing men and women who served in the armed forces and Merchant Marine.

The book is rather slim, a mere 48 pages, but in it the author provides a wealth of detail of each branch of the armed forces with information on the how and where to access available sources. It appears that service details are available to veterans and their next of kin by post from the various locations such as the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow.

There are some pitfalls in pursuing research that are worth noting, i.e. anomalies such as Tank Corps and armoured regiments being listed under Cavalry.

All the relevant War Office Indexes are listed by section of service such as British Army in France 1939/1940 which are under ref. WO 167 and Home Forces under ref. 166. These can be researched at The National Archives at Kew.

For more helpful information the author has included a list of further reading material.

The book retails at Stg.£4.95