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The History Pages

Unit Histories from
WW1, WW2 and upto 1984. Labour Corps research, unclaimed medals
and World War II
Personnel Records

../ main page / history index / unit histories and records

  Research Index

We will try to help you with your research but please remember that we do not do this full time. We will always respond to emails sent in and we reply to every email. Even though we won't get back to you with research results for quite some time we haven't forgotten you. Here are some sections which will first help you with your research.

Here are the sections :-

Labour Corps Research
   Ivor Lee and Lieutenant Colonel John Starling

Public Records Office
  for Labour Corps Research, WW1 and pre-1914

Pioneer Histories, Wartime Diarys, Labour Corps Research
  Lieutenant Colonel John Starling

WW1 and WW2 Personnel Records
  next of kin only

Army Medals
  unclaimed and replacements

Royal Logistic Corps and forming Corps enquiries
  Royal Logistic Corps Museum

Other Useful Sources of Information


  Labour Corps

The records of World War 1 soldiers are kept at the Public Record Office, Kew. Unfortunately enemy bombing in 1940 meant that many records were destroyed so that only about one-third still survive. In the case of a man who served in the Labour Corps the situation is made even worse as the bombing also destroyed their nominal rolls. This means that there are no official records of which Company a man served in. However Ivor and John's research means that very often he can identify where he served so please contact Ivor:-

Labour Corps Website

Even if you know the Company a man served in there is no guarantee that you will find a War Diary. None of the British based Companies kept War Diaries. Most of the overseas-based Companies either did not keep War Diaries or they have not survived. Those Diaries that do survive are kept at the Public Record Office however IvorI will be pleased to let you know whether reference is made to a specific Company.


  Public Records Office - for Labour Corps Research, WW1 and pre 1914

The National Archives at Ruskin Avenue, Kew, London holds service records for other rank soldiers discharged before 1921 and for officers serving until about 1922, although the records are not complete. It also holds war diaries for both world wars and sub units belonging to the Forming Corps. They also hold the Service records of soldiers from the pre-1914 era.

It can provide general guidance on holdings, including a useful information leaflet section, and point you to other sources. We cannot conduct research at the Public Records Office on your behalf - staff at Kewunable to undertake research, identify document references or check the content of the records for you. ID is required for a reader's ticket.

All enquiries should be directed to:

The Public Records Office
           Ruskin Avenue
           TW9 4DU
           Tel: +44 020 8876 3444

Public Records Office Website


  Pioneer Unit Histories and Wartime Diarys

Pioneer Corps Unit histories from World War I, World War II and upto 1984 are available on written request.
If anyone is doing research on the service of their relatives in the Labour Corps Major John Starling may also be able to help you, provided you have a service number and a company number. We offer this research service to family, relatives and fellow historians so please NO MILITARY COLLECTORS (please do not waste our time).

Lieutenant Colonel John Starling
           Royal Pioneer Corps Association
           51 St George's Drive
           SW1V 4DE

Alternatively you can email your requests to myself and I can pass them onto him.
            Please ensure you send me a company / unit number and


  WWI and WWII Personnel Records

If your ancestor died during the war you can find details of where he is buried or commemorated from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.

The Army Personnel Centre is the authority for all enquiries concerning the records of ex-servicemen. Records date from 1914 and go up to 1992, after which records are held by individual units. This includes territorial, volunteer, militia and home-defence forces and some colonial forces.

You should note that there is some risk that the official archives of the British Army personnel records between 1922 and 1940 are incomplete. This is because up to half of the original pre-World War II British Army soldier's personal records were destroyed or badly damaged following a World War II German fire-bombing raid on the War Office documents repository at Hayes in 1940. Those that survived are often in a poor condition having been damaged by both fire and water.

Information on the service records of the individual may be obtained by letter to :-

Historical Disclosures
           Army Personnel Centre
           Mailpoint 555
           Kentigern House
           65 Brown Street
           United Kingdom
           G2 8EX

Call: 0845 600 9663

When enquiring about an individual, as much of the following information should be included:

Full Name.
Service Number
Date of Birth
Most recent unit or unit from which the individual was discharged Rank at discharge.

The Records Office will then send the enquirer a Declaration of Kinship form which must be completed and returned before the search continues. A charge of £30 is made for each search and a turnaround time of about 2 months should be expected.


  Army Medals - unclaimed and replacements

The Army Medal Office at Droitwich Spa holds details of most campaign medals issued from the 1920s and is the authority for all questions concerning the entitlement to current campaign medals. The Office provides two main services:

Issue of medals post WW1 to those entitled persons who have never received them.
Replacement of medals under certain conditions for entitled personnel.

For both circumstances, an initial letter should be sent to the Medal Office explaining the precise request and the circumstances behind it. As much of the following information as possible concerning the original recipient or entitled person should be included and where possible backed up with photocopies only of supporting documentation (entitlement to medals is only determined from original records held by the Army):

 Full Name.
 Date of Birth
 Service Number
 Date of joining first unit
 Date of leaving / transfer / demob

Replacement of medals is only offered to the recipient or the immediate next of kin, and then only when clear and documented proof of loss is provided. Where a question concerns an event over seventy years ago, the Public Records Office at Kew should be the first point of contact (address above).

Ministry of Defence Medal Office
           Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency
           Building 250
           RAF Innsworth
           GL3 1HW
           Tel: +44 0141 2243600


  Royal Logistic Corps and Enquiries

The Royal Logistic Corps hold the full run of RLC and Forming Corps journals, which are readily available to researchers. They also hold unit records from the RLC and the Forming Corps, but these are not always complete and we are not responsible for any omissions. The contents of the archive reflect the material that has been passed to the Musium and they cannot carry out active collection to answer the specific interest of individuals. They do not hold reserve collections of classified documents or other items that are not available to the public.

THe RLC Museum has recently reopened following a major redevelopment of the main gallery space. The museum is not large, with the main gallery covering about 400 square metres, but it has a very wide variety of displays, arranged in chronological order. There is a very large archive of over 100,000 items, which, by appointment, can be viewed by researchers.

Royal Logistic Corps Museum
           Princess Royal Barracks
           GU16 6RW
           Reception Telephone: 01252 833371
           Corps Shop Telephone: 01252 833484

Royal Logistic Corps Museum Website

Royal Logistic Corps Museum Friends Website

email General Enquires and Lectures

email Curator


  Other useful sources of information

There are some good internet newsgroups that you can utilise to find out information. Google Groups is the easiest way to the access the internet newsgroups and it has an archive of over 700 million messages.

  Google Groups

Some useful newsgroups are:-


References Used and Recommended Reading

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Labor Omnia Vincit