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Forces-War-Records.co.uk is a British resource for researching military history. In particular, it allows you to locate family members who served in the armed forces, as well as a variety of military documents and medals details. You can build a family tree and also receive help from experts in the field of military research.
The three key features of this website are building family trees, finding military records and receiving expert advice. However, there are other features which may prove really useful. You can easily search for individuals based on their name and unit, or even find hospital records. This helps to build a picture of how your ancestors served, where they travelled and whether they were injured whilst serving.
There’s also a magazine available to annual members, which offers advice, tutorials and answers from military experts. These are professionally produced and provide unique insights into military history and current research issues.
The family tree builder is somewhat basic but has been designed with military families in mind, so allows you to link in service data and documents. You can also upload your family information from a GEDCOM file or just get going using the system provided. You can add family members and import data from the site, share, email and export the tree to share it with other members.
Data is well organized, although there aren’t masses of historic documents available. Still, those which have been provided are lovingly recorded online, with pictures and descriptions. This makes them really interesting to explore and share.
If you need assistance, there are a few options on ForcesWarRecords to help you out. You can request the assistance of a professional researcher, or even ask a military photos expert for their opinion on a picture. This is free of charge, so long as you’re a paying member.
The site focuses on a specific genre of genealogical research; namely, military history. Therefore it won’t be of much use if you’re looking for other documents. It’s also primarily concerned with UK records, so won’t help if you’re hoping to find information based outside of the UK. It’s not an expensive website, but because of these limitations, it doesn’t quite offer the value for money that some of its peers offer.
The site’s shop sells memorial scrolls, medals, CDs, e-books and gift packages, as well as Family Historian software. This is a welcome addition, and some of the items could make decent gifts for people with an interest in military history.
Despite its shortcomings, the specialist knowledge on Forces War Records makes it a really useful resource if you’re interested in British military history. The fact that paying members also have access to experts in this area is great, and a real bonus in terms of value and research options.
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