Download our tutorials on understanding your ancestors record

Researching your ancestor’s military history? There’s so much information out there that it can be hard to know where to start and to find exactly what you are looking for.

Forces War Records knows it can be a daunting task to get started, so we have a wide selection of FREE PDF tutorials and a video guide to help you with your genealogy research. Each tutorial can be downloaded and kept for future reference, or whenever you hit a brick wall.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced researcher these tutorials can help you.

Tutorial - Understanding your ancestor's military record

Military records can sometimes be difficult to read or understand. This guide explains the terminologies, abbreviations and acronyms often used in records.

Tutorial - Breaking down brick walls

How to get started... 10 simple steps from Simon Fowler, a member of AGRA, to kick-start your genealogy research or help you if you've hit a brick wall. 

Tutorial - Quick guide to requesting WW2 records

This guide will tell you how to search for your military ancestor's WW2 records. Discover what you'll need to track him down. 

Tutorial - Getting Started with your military research

Getting Started Guide - Your complete guide to researching YOUR military ancestor: Where to start, how to search, and what to do if you hit a brick wall.

Tutorial - Starting your Research guide

This guide will tell you how to get started with your research with this fascinating and amusing insight into family tree research.


  • Expert knowledge at your disposal

We transcribe military personnel records from a vast array of sources, many of which are untapped by anyone else, and unavailable anywhere else on the internet. Our archive has been built from sources such as the following.

  •            National and Local Archives
  •            Military Museums
  •            Official Army, Navy and Royal Air Force lists
  •            Rare books such as university or company rolls of honour
  •            Battalion histories

Our 'Historic Library' archive also includes thousands of rare books, magazines and other documents, all of which are available for you to view online. Many of these contain mentions of service personnel, but all of which contain fascinating insights in to the life of a soldier, sailor and airman.

We then combine the personal records with more specialist information about regiments, ships, squadron and so on, to help you piece together your ancestor's military journey.


To show you how we get your ancestor's records online, we’ve put together this short video. (See below)

If you need any help with your research or have hit a brick wall then don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts via our support centre.

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