WW1 airmen records to go online

By jonbauckham, 18 July 2013 - 12:55pm

A leading family history website has been awarded a contract by The National Archives to make thousands of RAF and RFC service records from the First World War available online

Thursday 18 July 2013
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Family historians will soon have a new route to the records of their airman kin.

Yesterday (17 July), genealogy website findmypast.co.uk announced that it had been awarded a tender by The National Archives to scan, transcribe and upload the service records of thousands of men who flew with the RAF and the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War.

The original documents, which form record series AIR 79 at The National Archives, can provide researchers with a unique insight into an individual’s military career, including details of medals awarded, discharge dates, promotions and their families.

Parts of the collection also feature notes from the Ministry of Defence regarding men who enlisted during the First World War and continued to serve right through to the Second World War more than 20 years later.

It is estimated that, once live, the digital collection will contain 360,000 transcripts and 800,000 scanned full-colour images dating back to 1912.

“The AIR 79 record set includes fascinating information on many incredible RAF airmen. The documents offer great insight and contain some amazing images," says Paul Nixon, Content Licensing Manager at findmypast.co.uk.

“This significant project will allow these records to become more widely available to an international audience and make it easier than ever before to find an airman’s record through the straightforward search function.”

Although it is not yet clear when the project will be finished, findmypast.co.uk's military collections are already proving to be comprehensive.

Last week, the website announced it had added the service records of more than 50,000 officers and ratings from the Royal Navy Division between 1914 and 1920. Comprising men who fought in the Royal Navy and its reserve forces, the papers offer details about seamen such as name, address, next of kin and even swimming ability.

take it further

► Search the existing military collections at www.findmypast.co.uk

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