World War Two PoW records go online

By Daniel Cossins, 27 August 2009 - 3:51pm

The genealogy website Ancestry.co.uk launched a new online collection of records this week. Entitled 'British Army Prisoners of War, 1939-1945', the collection details more than 100,000 POWs captured during the Second World War.

The records include all British and Commonwealth soldiers imprisoned in Germany, Austria and Poland, and have never been available online before. 

Prisoners detained in the camp Oflag IV-C, housed in the infamous Colditz Castle, are included in these records. The camp held prisoners deemed particularly dangerous or high-risk by the German authorities, including serial escapee JRE (Jock) Hamilton-Bailie, who once almost managed to escape from Colditz wearing a tight-fitting black burglar's cat suit. 

The vast majority of the records are for British army personnel, although records for hundreds of Canadian and Australian troops are also included. The collection does not, however, feature the thousands of Airforce men shot down over Europe, who were recorded elsewhere.

As well as the POW records, Ancestry.co.uk has also published online the UK Army Roll for the entire Second World War, which gives the details of 170,000 British Army soldiers killed during the conflict, including those who died of wounds, disease and natural causes. 

These collections will prove to be vital tools for any researchers seeking to trace their military ancestors. 

Photo © wwiimemories.com

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