Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Findmypast opens up First World War service records

Hot on the heels of Ancestry's vastly improved look, feel and functionality to its military records which I announced yesterday, comes a very useful enhancement to the search functionality of Findmypast's First World War service record search.

I refer specifically to the collection called "British Army Service Records 1914-1920" where the simple addition of a Keyword search box has just made life a whole lot easier for everybody.

To give a simple example, if you were interested in researching men of the 15th Battalion, London Regiment, finding them before today was a painful process. You could search on "London Regiment" but then you'd need to wade though all the results, ignoring all of those men who served in battalions other than the 15th.

Now though, you simply type in 15th Battalion in the keyword search box and you are presented with 6299 results. What's more, whilst in order to get the best results when searching for a regiment you need to be liberal with the use of wildcards - see my post on Findmypast's blog about this - you can forget about wildcards altogether on the keyword search.  Typing in 15th Battalion will return results for 1/15th, 2/15th, 3/15th etc.

This addition is going to be extremely useful for drilling down into service records. The sub units have been recorded in many cases but you simply couldn't get at them before today. Now you can.

I know what I'm going to be doing over the Christmas break.

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