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Prisoner of War Collection on FamilySearch

As most researchers will know it can often be costly to subscribe to various Genealogy websites if all you are looking for is information in relation to your relatives time as a Prisoner of War.

But, were you aware that FamilySearch has a free collection that can be consulted?

The Prisoners of War, 1715-1947 Collection identifies refugees & individuals who were taken as prisoners of war during major conflicts around the world. The records contain the names of military personnel, diplomats, missionaries, civilians & merchant seamen from nations worldwide. While the records are housed at the National Archives in Kew, the events included took place all over the world.

Their website states that Conflicts include:

· Napoleonic Wars, 1747-1889

· Crimean and Boer Wars, 1795-1951

· World War I, 1913-1918

However, I did look for my Great Uncles World War 2 entry along with another Airman I recently researched & found that their details are also included.

Stalag X B Sandbostel - Public Domain Wikicommons

This collection includes records from the following record series:

· ADM 1, Admiralty & Ministry of Defence, Navy Department: Correspondence & Papers

· AIR 1, Air Ministry: Air Historical Branch: Papers (Series I)

· BT 167, Registry of Shipping & Seamen: Precedent Books, Establishment Papers, etc.

· CAB 45, Committee of Imperial Defence, Historical Branch & Cabinet Office, Historical Section: Official War Histories Correspondence & Papers

· CO 693, Colonial Office: Dominions (War of 1914-1918), Prisoners Original Correspondence

· FO 372, Foreign Office: Treaty Department & successors: General Correspondence from 1906

· FO 383, Foreign Office: Prisoners of War & Aliens Department: General Correspondence from 1906

· MT 9, Board of Trade and Ministry of Transport & successors: Marine, Harbours & Wrecks (M, H and W Series) Files

· WO 161, War Office: Miscellaneous Unregistered Papers, First World War

· WO 900, War Office: Specimens of Series of Documents Destroyed

This collection appears to include much more as the two WW2 Records, I searched for are taken from AIR20 & AIR40.

Ok, this free website will not show you the actual record. It will however in most cases provide the prisoners name, service number, country of capture & rank as well as the series name, number & repository. In a lot of cases, it will also provide a link to the subscription website that has digitised this. If you are struggling to find a record then this would be an easy & free way to check what might be available.

You do need to create an account to search, but again it is free. Search now via this link


Check out the list of the subscription site collections we can Access in relation to Air Force Research on our website, if you would like us to consult these on your behalf then please get in touch.


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