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National Roll of the Great War

(This collection is a work in progress)

This collection is a partial transcription, and indexing of the National Roll of Great War 1914-1918. This was the National Publishing Company’s ambitious attempt to create – in their own words an, “abiding record of the self-sacrificing services of all men and women who answered their Country’s call in her hour of need…whether on land, or sea, or in the air, in hospital, or camp or workshop”. Sadly by the end of the foreword the editor concedes, “The National Roll makes no claim to being a complete book of reference – in fact no such record could be compiled – but it may safely claim to supply a wonderful memorial of splendid services”.

Despite failing to become a comprehensive source, for the 150,000 people featured within the fourteen volumes it is far more than a wonderful memorial. The level of detail in many of the entries is comparable only with any surviving service records. The National Roll is also notable in the fact that a very high proportion of the service men and women featured survived the war, which makes the information featured even rarer to find.

The books were largely compiled by information submitted by friends or families of service people, which whilst potentially undermining the accuracy does mean the records are also able to provide information which the official records were not able to at the time.

Records in this collection are likely to include the following:

  • Transcription will include:
    • Surname
    • Rank
    • Service
    • Regiment/Corps/Ship etc.
    • Resided Town
  • Image may include:
    • Date of Enlistment
    • Date of Demobilisation
    • Additional units served with
    • Specific Duties or Rolls
    • Duty Locations
    • Battles fought in
    • Details of wounds
    • Medal entitlements
    • A wide range of smaller bits of information

Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.

Original Source: Transcribed from the National Roll of the Great War 1914-1918.

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