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Find Military Friends
How to find old military records, army friends, genealogy service and applying for medals:
One of the nice things about serving in the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps is that many friends are made. Friendships are formed within the QARANC and with soldiers from many regiments and corps. Often such friends are posted and it is all too easy to lose contact, or misplace addresses or e-mails. There are many ways to get back in touch with former QA's and members of the armed forces. This find army friends and how to find military records page also has information about tracing the history and service records of deceased relatives who served in the army or worked as a nurse in the National Health Service (NHS).
I have published a book which tells the story of The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital which reveals her origins in the QAIMNS and where she meets a QA veteran of Afghanistan. She still walks her wards and tells her story by taking Scott Grey, a QARANC nurse, to the battlefields of World War One and beyond. This is the first in the series of Grey and Scarlet Novels by CG Buswell. Read the first chapter for free.
If you like this page and would like to easily share it with your friends and family please use the social networking buttons below:
For those looking to find military friends, for information on a former nurse of the QAIMNS, QARANC, Royal Red Cross, VAD and other nursing organisations please try Genes Reunited where you can search for ancestors from military records, census, birth, marriages and death certificates as well as over 673 million family trees. At GenesReunited it is free to build your family tree online and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to discover your family history and accessing army service records. Get 25% off any Genes Reunited standard and platinum subscription when you enter the discount code DISCOUNT25 when you reach the payment page. Valid until 31 March 2015.
Another genealogy website which gives you access to military records and allows you to build a family tree is Find My Past.
Tracing Your Family History Army
Those seeking help in tracing your family history for army personnel would benefit from reading the book Army (Tracing Your Family History) from the Imperial War Museum which guides the beginner in tracing relatives involvement in twentieth century warfare. Tracing Your Family History Army includes details on where to find service and casualty records; an explanation of the military structure and rank as well as explanations of the resources available from the Imperial War Museum. There is also a useful addresses section and a select bibliography where further help and information can be obtained.
Commonwealth Graves Commission
The Commonwealth Graves Commission website at www.cwgc.org.uk holds the service records of soldiers and QAs killed in action. Their address is:
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road
The National Archives in Kew (used to be called Public Record Office) holds each army service record of soldiers and QAIMNS personnel who survived their World War One service and those who served in the forces before 1921. Some records may not be complete due to London bombing raids of the Second World War. The National Archives website is www.nationalarchives.gov.uk and the address is:
The National Archives
For example British Army nurses service records for the Great War 1914 to 1918 are retained by the National Archives as are some prior and after these dates. This page details what type of information they keep, such as confidential reports and what units they served in. There is a sample record to view online. With thanks to Terry Hissey.
Army Personnel Centre
Soldiers, QAIMNS and QARANC personnel who served after the year 1921 records are stored at the Army Personnel Centre. Their contact details are at:
Army Personnel Centre
65 Brown Street
The Army Personnel Centre will then send you their search questionnaire and certificate of kinship. Please note that it should be the eldest surviving relative who applies for the information and he or she will have to sign a certificate of kinship.
Information needed to make searching for the military records of a deceased relative include, surname, Christian name, rank held on discharge, service number, regiment or corps, date of birth and year of discharge from the Army, Navy or RAF with reason for leaving, ie demobilisation, completion of regular engagement, medical discharge or end of National Service. Any details known of disability pension, wounds, injury or illnesses from army service should be included in the request for service details of an ex-serviceman/woman search document.
There is a small charge for the information and in 2008 this was £30. Qaranc.co.uk do not think there is a charge for widows and widowers. Payment details are included in the pack. Please do not send any money until requested by the Historical Disclosures Section. They will also need proof of death of the serviceman or woman such as a copy of their death certificate, obituary notice or funeral certificate. These should be copies since documentation may not be returned. This is needed to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
It can take up to four months for information to be sent back to the applicant. Welfare enquires are given priority over family interest enquires. Records may not include specific theatres of operation or action seen but could include medals and awards though not citations. Few records contain photographs.
The Army Personnel Centre advise relatives who have completed their search to also approach the respective Regimental or Corps museums which may store war diaries. Details can be found at www.armymuseums.org.uk Many have teams of researchers who can help with information and photos of specific time periods and locations.
As an example of information that can be obtained please read the George Main - Gordon Highlanders WW2 page.
How to order records of a new or replacement birth certificate for someone born in a British Military Hospital overseas
Find Old Army Friends
Members of the QA Association can be serving QA's and those who have retired or left the army so is a great way to find old army friends. Any member of the QA Association can ask for help in tracing and contacting a former member. Use the address or telephone number on the QA Association page.
Military Medical Records
Those seeking information about their Military medical records should contact :
Central Health Records Library
Tel: (01702) 299302
Applying For Medals
When applying for medals of your own, a deceased relative or replacement medals further information can be obtained from:
MOD Medal Office
Telephone Number 0141 224 3600
There are several websites where soldiers and ex-soldiers can register for free in order to contact or be contacted by former comrades. After registering you can post a biography or profile for others to read such as where you now live, hobbies, interests, other postings, promotions, medals, family news, etc. If someone reads about you during a military search and remembers you then they can get in touch. Some of these sites may charge a small fee if you want to send messages to other members.
Other services from such websites include arranging reunions, sharing memories, remembrance, being able to upload photos, chat rooms and message boards.
The websites that I am aware of are:
Armed Forces Friends at www.armedforcesfriends.co.uk
Military Service Record
Scarlet Finders is run by an ex QA who specialises in tracing information about military and civilian nurses who nursed during the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. This information includes details of their military service record and includes nursing service and how he or she lived and worked.
Scarlet Finders have helped people learn about a family member who has served in:
- Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS)
- Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR)
- Territorial Force Nursing Service (TFNS)
- Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS)
- Queen Alexandra's Military Nursing Service for India (QAMNSI)
- Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC)
- Members registered to the General Nursing Council (GNC) and Central Midwives Board (CMB)
The research report undertaken by Scarlet Finders can be read in the example page. Such information is obtained through databases, consensus, records held at the Imperial War Museum, National Archives, records from the Army Medical Services Museum and other resources that Scarlet Finders can expertly tap into to gain important information that will help families learn more about a descendant.
Historical information can be obtained for nurses who served in the First and Second World Wars and even as far back as the Boer War.
There is a small charge for the research report, but this is worth paying to get expert research help from a team that will be able to accurately source material that could be time consuming for someone who does not know their way around researching records or getting permission to access records and files. In addition you get the benefit of help from someone who has served in the army and worked as a nurse.
This is of particular benefit to someone looking for information about a dead relative such as a grandmother or tracing a family tree but may not have the time to do extensive research or know where to start looking.
Scarlet Finders is also pleased to look at photographs and give advise or give a preliminary assessment from the written information you give them. For more information visit www.scarletfinders.co.uk
Military Genealogy Forces Reunited is the only site where you can find military records of over 2 million British Armed Forces personnel exclusively cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships of the British Armed Forces going back to before 1630, making your genealogy task much easier and more complete.
Forces War Records
Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.
If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.
Official QARANC webpage.
QA Association website.
In The Company of Nurses Book.
Who Remembers Me is a free to search site that helps you to find old friends and colleagues using their easy to use and fast search tool which just needs the person's first name and surname. Search for friends in the separate section for the Army, or use the sections for school friends, colleges, universities, workplaces, places of worship, sports teams, neighbours and pubs.
Nurse Dating Websites
Uniform Dating is a Worldwide dating site for people whose work means wearing a uniform. This means you can meet firefighters, police officers, military personnel, prison officers etc. Uniform Dating is an ideal site for QA’s looking for friendship, love or romance. It is also an ideal dating and friend website for those looking for members of the QARANC. Visit the Uniform Dating website at www.uniformdating.com
Forces Pen Pals
Claim a free trial for Forces Pen Pals where you can show your support for members of the UK Armed Forces. Forces Pen Pals is a unique social networking site for members of the British Armed Forces, their friends, family and people who want to talk to, meet up with or show their support. There is even a Military dating section where you can get in touch with members of the Armed Forces. At Forces Pen Pals you can view profiles, add your own profile, visit the chat rooms and find pen pals who are in the Army, Navy and RAF.
Forces War Records
Forces War Records are a military genealogy site where you can find military records of over 3.5 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships of the British Armed Forces.
The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital Novel - a Book by CG Buswell
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