Heroes’ Memorials Demanded for Czech Assassins of Holocaust Chief

The following teaser is from an article posted August 21, 2016 at theguardian.com:

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The assassination of Reinhard Heydrich is recognised as one of the most audacious operations of the second world war. But Ján Kubiš and Josef Gabcík, the two British-trained Czechoslovak paratroopers credited with killing one of Hitler’s most fanatical henchmen and chief mastermind of the Holocaust, are believed to be buried in Prague in an unmarked grave.

Now campaigners are calling on the Czech Republic to rescue their remains from obscurity and give them the burial they deserve. The pair are believed to lie in Ďáblice cemetery in Prague in a common plot also used to bury executed Nazis and wartime collaborators. The spot is close to where thousands of political prisoners killed under Czechoslovakia’s former communist regime are thought to be buried.

Read the full article.

Records of WWI British Conscientious Objectors Come to Light

The following teaser is from an interesting article posted August 1 , 2016 at http://alittlebitofstone.com:

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Stories of [British] conscientious objectors and how bakers, butchers and farmworkers fought conscription are amongst a rare collection of Military Appeal Tribunal records being published for the first time.

Conscription was first used by the armed forces in 1916 and those who sought exemption were brought in front of Military tribunals to make their case. After the war, the Ministry of Health ordered that all tribunal records be destroyed, but an oversight meant Staffordshire’s collection survived.

Now, exactly one hundred years later, Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Archive and Heritage Service have published this rare collection, making them available online.

It’s believed the tribunals were held in County Buildings in Stafford and the records were hidden away there only to be discovered many decades later.

Over 20,000 individual cases for the Local and Appeal Tribunals reveal the lives of the men called up to service and the stresses and strain it had on work and family life.

Read the full article.

War-Memorial.co.uk Launches Online

The following press release is from Mark at War-Memorial.co.uk.

War-Memorial.co.uk, the brand new website dedicated to Photographing, Transcribing and preserving war memorial records for the future, has just launched online providing a unique service that allows the researcher to find their ancestor using the largest collection of combined War Memorial records and images currently available anywhere.

This project is based on Mark Herber’s growing collection of war memorial photographs and personally checked transcriptions. It honours those men and women, who died or served our country in military conflict over the years and it already features over 20,000 detailed photographs of more than 1,200 memorials, commemorating over 270,000 people, with their names (and the memorial’s information about them) transcribed and indexed.

With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by, War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors immortalised on the country’s war memorials.

Details that can be found in these memorial records include:
● Name
● Regiment, unit or ship
● War or date of death
● Rank and medals
● Photograph of the War Memorial from multiple angles and zooms

War-Memorial.co.uk’s collection includes a very large number of records from the Boer War of 1899-1902 and WW1 and WW2, but it also includes memorials from as early as the 17th century up to very recent conflicts such as Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. Soldiers, sailors, aircrew and civilians are all featured – and not just those who died. Many men and women who served but survived also appear in the records.

Using the sophisticated search technology and just basic details you can locate full information on War Memorials on which men and women are commemorated, find more details about them (such as their regiments, ships, ranks and medals), discover the location of the War Memorial and see images of the memorial itself and a close up view of the name of your ancestor!

War-Memorial.co.uk is offering some great value options to suit every pocket starting at £5 for a month’s access, £9.95 quarterly, or take out a great value annual subscription at only £29.95.

With regular additions of photographs, names and information to War-Memorial.co.uk expected as the months go by. War-Memorial.co.uk is the place to find your ancestors imortalised on the country’s war memorials.

For further information contact: war.memorials@yahoo.com

Example of finding your ancestor in the records

War-Memorials_570pw

Here we find the unusual records of a Thomas Ambrose, who was killed in 1916 by a bomb from a German airship flying over Sudbury. The transcribed record details how he died and where he is commemorated, as shown below:

Each transcript brings up details of the memorial with overview images of the entire memorial so you can find your ancestor using just their name, locate their memorial and add the images and information to your family history records, or even plan your visit!

Online database of Holocaust victims hits 1 million records

The following teaser is from an article posted on usatoday.com

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The Nazis aimed to erase the Jewish people. Now, 70 years later, contributors around the globe are etching victims’ names back into memory through an online memorial that’s just hit 1 million records.

World Memory Project, a collaboration between the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and genealogy website Ancestry, is a free online database that lists information about millions of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Launched in May 2011, the project hit one million records this month, a major milestone made possible through over 3,500 volunteers from 18 different countries. The contributors spend hundreds of hours indexing archived documents from the Holocaust Museum into an online software provided by Ancestry.

Read the full article.
Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update for February 16 & 22, 2016

The following is from FamilySearch:
FamilySearch Logo 2014

You will find new marriage records from Kansas and Maryland this week along with England Devon Bishop’s Transcripts 1558-1887, England Lancashire Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004, and United States World War II Prisoners of War 1941-1945. I’ve also included updates from February 16 on the following list. Check out all of the marriage records from a variety of states, including New York, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio. Other highlights include New York New York Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted 1917-1957, California San Francisco Airplane Arrival Card Index 1936-1949, Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920, and New Zealand Auckland Waikumete Cemetery Records 1886-1943. Find these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

California San Francisco Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving 1954- 1957 – 375,314 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
England Devon Bishop’s Transcripts 1558-1887 – 256,201 – 93,511 – New indexed records and images collection
England Lancashire Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004 – 481,340 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Indiana Gary and East Chicago Crew Lists 1945-1956 – 17,094 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Kansas County Marriages 1855-1911 – 148,676 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maryland Marriages 1666-1970 – 96,638 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Delayed and Corrected Vital Records 1753-1900 – 31,701 – 11,788 – New indexed records and images collection
United States World War II Prisoners of War 1941-1945 – 143,374 – 0 – New indexed records collection

BillionGraves Index – 227,783 – 227,783 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Canada British Columbia Marriage Registrations 1859-1932; 1937-1938 – 6,123 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
California San Francisco Airplane Arrival Card Index 1936-1949 – 22,858 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
England and Wales Census 1861 – 2,504,271 – 111,092 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
England Durham Diocese Marriage Bonds & Allegations 1692-1900 – 35,079 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Florida and South Carolina Airplane Arrival Manifests 1944-1945 – 0 – 127 – New browsable image collection.
Florida Knights Keys Passenger Lists 1908-1912 – 5,399 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Honduras Civil Registration 1841-1968 – 0 – 609 – Added images to an existing collection
Idaho Birth Index 1861-1911 – 60,430 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Idaho Death Certificates 1938-1961 – 118,152 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Illinois Cook County Deaths 1878-1994 – 3,732,138 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Indiana Marriages 1811-2007 – 276,945 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Bergamo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1866-1901 – 6,965 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Caltanissetta Civil Registration (State Archive) 1820-1935 – 78,629 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Grosseto Civil Registration (State Archive) 1851-1907 – 113,690 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Modena Civil Registration (State Archive) 1806-1942 – 67,474 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Prato Civil Registration (State Archive) 1866-1923 – 7,183 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Reggio Calabria Civil Registration (State Archive) 1784-1943 – 0 – 2,143,899 – Added images to an existing collection
Italy Viterbo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1870-1943 – 90,051 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Kansas County Marriages 1855-1911 – 311,857 – 2,333 – Added images to an existing collection
Kansas Marriages 1811-1911 – 185,068 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Liberia Marriage Records 1941-1974 – 24,625 – 24,406 – New browsable image collection.
Louisiana Parish Marriages 1837-1957 – 46,810 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maine Crew List Arriving at Eastport 1949-1958 – 7,239 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maryland County Marriages 1658-1940 – 53,762 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Minnesota County Marriages 1860-1949 – 570,213 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Mississippi Tippah County Marriages 1858-1979 – 19,583 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Missouri County Marriage Naturalization and Court Records 1800-1991 – 57,837 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York County Marriages 1847-1848; 1908-1936 – 252,052 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York New York Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted 1917-1957 – 1,270,298 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) 1891-1924 – 0 – 3,243,611 – New browsable image collection.
New York Passenger Lists 1820-1891 – 30,480 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New Zealand Auckland Waikumete Cemetery Records 1886-1943 – 0 – 971 – New browsable image collection.
North Carolina County Marriages 1762-1979 – 1,796 – 1,796 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
North Dakota Manifests of Immigrant Arrivals 1910-1952 – 11,631 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ohio County Marriages 1789-2013 – 92,719 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ohio Washington County Court Records 1810-1930 – 0 – 6,421 – Added images to an existing collection
Oklahoma County Marriages 1890-1995 – 126,532 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ontario Births 1869-1910 – 125,109 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Pennsylvania Crew Lists arriving at Erie 1952-1957 – 44,119 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Áncash Civil Registration 1888-2005 – 0 – 3,146 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Cajamarca Civil Registration 1938-1996 – 0 – 3,175 – Added images to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984 – 180,213 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Poland Radom Roman Catholic Church Books 1587-1966 – 1,884 – 62 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Portugal Portalegre Catholic Church Records 1859-1911 – 4,441 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
South Africa Netherdutch Reformed Church Registers (Pretoria Archive) 1838- 1991 – 48,422 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Spain Province of Cádiz Municipal Records 1784-1956 – 0 – 57 – Added images to an existing collection
Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920 – 0 – 189,353 – Added images to an existing collection
Utah County Marriages 1887-1937 – 337,714 – 124,465 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Venezuela Archdiocese of Mérida Catholic Church Records 1654-2013 – 0 – 405,819 – Added images to an existing collection

Belarus Receives Copies of Deportation Orders of Austrian Jews Murdered in the Trostenets Concentration Camp

The following teaser is from the January 18, 2016 edition of belta.by:

View of the charred remains of Jewish victims burned in a barn by the Germans near the Maly Trostenets concentration camp.
View of the charred remains of Jewish victims burned in a barn by the Germans near the Maly Trostenets concentration camp.

MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) – Austrian historian Hubert Steiner gave Belarus the copies of the deportation orders from the Austrian State Archives containing the names of the Austrian Jews who were killed by the Nazis in the concentration camp Trostenets, BelTA learnt from the Embassy of Belarus in Austria.

Hubert Steiner’s visit to Minsk on 15-20 January has been organized by the Belarusian embassy in Austria. For many years the historian and referent of the Austrian State Archives has studied the deportation of Austrian Jews to the death camp Trostenets during the Second World War.

Read the full article.

From what I’ve read, 201,000 people were murdered at Trostenets – most shot in the back of the neck. And there are those who claim that there was no holocaust… Very disturbing.

Japanese Internment Camp Documents to be Digitized

The following is from the San Jose Mercury News website:

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Over the next two years, San Jose State and 14 other campuses in the California State University system will be digitizing 10,000 documents into a searchable database called the CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project. A $320,000 grant from the National Park Service will soon make these pieces of history available to the public online at http://csujad.com/.

The project is aimed at shedding light onto an aspect of American history that is often overlooked.

Read the full article.

Thanks to a tweet from Vernon FamilyHistory for the heads-up.

The National Archives Announces Partnership to Digitize WWII Aerial Photography

The following is from the National Archives Press/Journalists webpage.

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November 2, 2015 Washington, DC… The National Archives today announced its partnership with the National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP) to digitize historic World War II aerial photography. For the first time, these historically valuable images will be made accessible online to anyone, anywhere.

This partnership marks the first digitization of the National Archives’ aerial film holdings. Under the partnership, NCAP will digitize more than 150,000 canisters of aerial film from the National Archives’ records of the Defense Intelligence Agency. These aerial photographs were taken by the U.S. Navy and Air Force for military reconnaissance and mapping projects.

More than 40,000 canisters of World War II aerial film will be the focus of digitization under the first stage of the five year pilot project. Once digitized, the public will be able to access these materials free of charge from National Archives research facilities nationwide. The National Archives will receive a copy of the digital images and metadata for inclusion in its online catalog.

The National Archives works with partners to digitize and make available National Archives holdings. These digitization partnerships provide increased access to historical government information through the increased availability of information technology products and services. See NARA’s Principles for Partnerships for more information. A list of current partnerships is online.

The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), based in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, holds one of the largest collections of aerial imagery in the world, estimated at more than 25 million aerial photographs. NCAP collects such records, in both digital and physical formats, to preserve them for generations to come, and to make them widely accessible. NCAP’s online digitized collection, valued by historians and researchers, is also used to help locate unexploded bombs from World War II and to identify contaminated land where development is being planned throughout Europe.

The U.S. National Archives is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and online.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

National Public Radio Has Posted a Database of American Vets Secretly Exposed to Mustard Agent During WWII

National Public Radio has posted a database of American veterans who were secretly exposed to mustard agent during WWII. I tried out the search engine and immediately located two Canfields in the database. Click on over, read the full article, and search for your family members.

The following teaser is from the article posted November 3, 2015 at the NPR website.

NPR has compiled the first public database of American veterans who were secretly exposed to mustard gas in military experiments conducted during World War II.

Officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs told NPR that since 1993, the agency had been able to locate only 610 test subjects, to offer compensation to those who were permanently injured. NPR’s database, compiled over six months, includes more than 3,900 individuals and information about the last known location of more than 1,700 of them.

Read the full article and search the database.

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Thanks to The Weekly Genealogist, Vol. 18, No. 39, Whole #764, November 4, 2015 for the heads-up.

The World War II Research and Writing Center Website

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With the release of the British 1939 Register at the FindMyPast website, we’re once again discussing WWII research. When I got involved in genealogy forty years ago, WWII was a rather recent occurrence and many of us just skipped right over it while doing our research. Now – with 70 years separating us since the war, genealogists are scrambling to locate information, and in some cases interview the few remaining WWII veterans. Many of us are writing about what took place during the war years.

Turning to American WWII research, my friend, Jennifer Holik, has a website that is of help to anyone wishing to research and write about their WWII ancestor. Her site includes a number of wonderful resource pages. From the home page, click on any of the horizontally rotating illustrations. They are:

Jennifer’s website also includes the following pages:

News
Consulting
Appearances
My Books Good stuff!
Research Another place to click for the resources listed above.
Stories
Writing This includes themes, prompts, books, websites, and more!
Research Collective People who perform WWII research on specific branches or theaters of war.

I am using the website and its resources to help in my own research. I highly recommend it to my own readers.

The Holocaust Center for Humanity Opens in Seattle

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A Holocaust museum has opened in the Pacific Northwest. According to the website, it’s called The Henry and Sandra Friedman Holocaust Center for Humanity, and is located at 2045 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121. For those familiar with downtown Seattle, that’s the corner of 2nd Avenue and Lenora. I first heard about the center a couple days ago while making a run to the bindery, which is located in Seattle. If you live in the area, I’m sure a visit would be worthwhile.

See their website at: http://www.holocaustcenterseattle.org/

The following teaser is from an article posted at the KIRO Television website:

SEATTLE — At the Holocaust Center for Humanity are images that are by now familiar to anyone who has studied the Holocaust and World War II: the now tattered shoes, the drab sameness of their uniforms, the haunting faces of those who never made it out alive.

For Peter Metzelaar, they are the images of his childhood.

“The fear—knowing I’m being hunted,” reminisced Metzelaar. “Is that this time they’re going to get me?”

At the museum is a photograph of him in kindergarten—in his native Amsterdam.

The Star of David is sewn into his clothes, an indication that the persecution of Jews had begun.

A horror he survived, he says, by hiding.

“Nobody in my family came back,” said Metzelaar. “Only my mother and I survived.”

Read the full article.

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update for October 5, 2015

The following is from FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Logo 2014

Major additions this week to the United States World War II Draft Registration Cards 1942, Brazil Sao Paulo Immigration Cards 1902-1980, Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014, Italy Asti Civil Registration (State Archive) 1803-1814 1911-1935, Maryland Baltimore Passenger Lists 1820-1948, Massachusetts Boston Crew Lists 1811-1921, and New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1997 collections. Twelve additional collections were also updated this week. See the table below for details.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Brazil São Paulo Immigration Cards 1902-1980 – 991,910 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Brazil São Paulo Immigration Cards 1902-1980 – 0 – 13,738 – Added images to an existing collection
Colombia Catholic Church Records 1576-2014 – 0 – 1,377,861 – Added images to an existing collection
Honduras Civil Registration 1841-1968 – 178,391 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Italy Asti Civil Registration (State Archive) 1803-1814 1911-1935 – 0 – 279,461 – New browsable image collection
New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1997 – 0 – 724,182 – Added images to an existing collection
Nicaragua Civil Registration 1809-2013 – 0 – 17,580 – Added images to an existing collection
Peru Cusco Civil Registration 1889-1997 – 176,344 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

UNITED STATES DATABASES
California San Diego Airplane Passenger and Crew Lists 1929-1954 – 47,380 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Idaho County Birth and Death Records 1883-1929 – 33,063 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Kentucky Confederate Pension Applications 1912-1950 – 25,786 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Maryland Baltimore Passenger Lists 1820-1948 – 873,918 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Boston Crew Lists 1811-1921 – 424,219 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Missouri County Marriage Naturalization and Court Records 1800-1991 – 29,690 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Missouri County Marriage Naturalization and Court Records 1800-1991 – 3,961 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Montana Cascade County Records 1880-2009 – 79,821 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Montana Teton County Records 1881-2012 – 11,394 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Utah Weber County Marriages 1887-1939 – 94,859 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Headstone Applications for U.S. Military Veterans 1925-1949 – 352,726 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States World War II Draft Registration Cards 1942 – 1,067,147 – 1,067,143 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

Help Us Publish More Free Records Online
Searchable historical records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of online volunteers worldwide. These volunteers transcribe (or index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are always needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published weekly online on FamilySearch.org. Learn how you can volunteer to help provide free access to the world’s historical genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Google Posts Largest Online Archive of WWII Russian War Letters

The following excerpt is from an article posted at luerzersarchive.com:

RussianWar-Lettter-250pw

Google collects the biggest online archive of war letters in Russia. The project is fronted by a typographic illustration by Willem Rabe.

A typographic illustration made up of characters from around 800 documents serves as the interface to the biggest online archive of Russian frontline letters from WWII. The “Living Memory” project was developed by agency Friends Moscow for Google Russia.

Hundreds have submitted postcards and letters from their family archives, and there are contributions from media, private collectors and museums – many of the documents from a national archive non-profit organization.

The website is in Russian, but you can still experience it.

Read the full article.

Check out the website.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

British WWII Prisoners of War Records Published Online as Britain Marks 70th Anniversary

The following is from FindMyPast:

FindMyPast.Com

Today, 4 September 2015, one million records of service men, women and civilians who were taken captive during World War II are published online for the first time at Findmypast.

The publication, in association with The National Archives, marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on all fronts on 2 September and the anniversary on 5 September of the liberation of the notorious Changi Prison camp, located on the eastern side of Singapore.

For the first time online, relatives and historians can search through the records of some of the most infamous POW camps of World War II. Included are the records for Stalag Luft III, the Nazi camp renowned for the mass escape by British and Commonwealth prisoners that inspired the film The Great Escape, and the Far East Prisoner of War camps immortalised in films such as The Railway Man.

The records cover the period 1939-1945 and contain the names, ranks and locations of Prisoners of War, along with the length of time spent in camps, the number of survivors, details of escapees and the nationalities of prisoners. Britons represent the largest number in the collection, followed by Dutch, Americans and Australians. In addition to this type of data, the collection comprises 360,000 images, including pages from personal diaries and photographs. Many official World War II records remain classified, making this an invaluable resource enabling members of the public to research the histories of relatives and those held captive during the war.

Prisoners of War 1939-1945 forms part of the wider Prisoners of War 1715-1945 collection. To find out more about these fascinating records, visit www.findmypast.com/prisonersofwar.

Included in the records are:
· Ronald Searle, whose harrowing sketches depicting the inhumanity of life in the camps of the Far East are in stark contrast to the much-loved St Trinian’s cartoons for which he is most known

· Immunologist Dr Bill Frankland: at 103 years old (and still a practising doctor), he is just one of many prisoners who did not speak of their experiences until very recently

· Eric Lomax, whose defining account of life in the camps, The Railway Man, was made into a major feature film starring Colin Firth

· The names of the 76 escapees from Stalag Luft III, immortalised in The Great Escape, grouped according to their fates

· Archibald Henry Flanagan, father of the Australian novelist Richard Flanagan, whose haunting traumatic experiences as a Far East POW inspired The Road to the Deep North which won the Man Booker Prize in 2014

· Accounts showing that the shooting of British POWs by the Nazi’s – in defiance of the Geneva Convention – was conducted at the ‘express personal orders’ of Hitler.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast, says: ‘Many of those who were captured during WWII endured barbaric conditions and found it difficult on their return to discuss the experience. Today’s publication allows the public to explore their story, and learn more about this dark period.’

David Langrish, Military Records Specialist at The National Archives says: ‘Extraordinary stories of ordinary men and women whose lives were caught up in the calamities of war have been told for years, but the online publication of these records makes it much easier for a wider audience to research this period and even find members of their own family. The National Archives are committed to widening access to our shared national records and the publication of these files is a significant development in facilitating this.’

About Findmypast
Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

About The National Archives
The National Archives is a government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). As the official archive of the UK government and England and Wales, we look after and make available to the public a collection of historical records dating back over 1,000 years, including records as diverse as Domesday Book and MI5 files.

Our 21st-century role is to collect and secure the future of the record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible as possible. We do this by devising technological solutions to ensure the long-term survival of public records and working to widen access to our collection. The National Archives also advises on information management across government, publishes all UK legislation, manages Crown copyright and leads the archive sector. We work to promote and improve access to public sector information and its re-use. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk www.legislation.gov.uk

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Launches New Online Resources

The following is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website:

CWGC-Document-244pw

The digitized records cover British, Irish and Commonwealth casualties from the Second World War, together with records for most other nationals commemorated at CWGC sites: this includes the records for German soldiers. The release of the CWGC’s Second World War records follows the successful release of the First World War archive in August 2014.

The documents give a unique insight into the process of commemoration undertaken by the armed forces and the CWGC during and after the war, and include details of personal headstone inscriptions, date of death, rank, regiment and even some documents which show the journey of the deceased to their final resting place. The records are freely available to the public through the CWGC website at www.cwgc.org

Read the news release.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.