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Research for between the wars and after WW2

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Hello to everyone on here. I have been collecting medals for over ten years and have mainly been concentrating on the Victorian era as this was a time when the British Empire ruled the waves and covered half the globe and we were engaged in dozens of little campaigns all over the place for example on the North West frontier in India, Sikkim, Tibet etc. Then there were the bigger campaigns like the Opium wars, Crimea and the Boer War. This presents all sorts of research opportunities like the history of the campaign, the geography of the area affected, the history of the regiment and most importantly the soldier that won the medal, the amount of details you can discover are incredible, the story of a man's life is revealed from the tiniest detail and it is often one of extreme hardship. I feel vey lucky to be collecting at a time when we have such amazing access to these records such as enlistment and discharge documents and the medal rolls all a few clicks of a mouse away.

I have been using Find My Past and Ancestry with some success. I usually find the Boer War enlistment papers are available, less so the Egypt campaign between 1882 and 1889 and  the Afghan wars, I guess maybe a third of these are available. More recently I have been looking at the National Archives website, but finding it very difficult to use. There seems to be reams of "How to" pages but none of it actually tells you how to do anything. I spent ages last week having online chats with N A employees with not much success. All I wanted to know was how to access Royal Marines records and then I worked it out myself in the end. I went on the Ancestry site, clicked catalogue from the drop down list and then typed in Royal Marines followed by the Marine's name.

All the above is a bit of a digression. What I'm hoping someone on here can tell me is, how do I access military papers for soldiers who served between or after the World Wars. I've tried dozens of different searches but have found nothing.  Thanks   Dave

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Welcome to the GMIC!  I am in Canada and can only speak for the situation here, but between confidentiality rules and slow digitization of records - beginning with the oldest, for obvious reasons - I do know that WWII records are harder to research than WWI and 'between' and 'after' the 'Wars' quite tough.  However I'm confident that some of our UK members will offer useful advice.

Again, welcome, and good luck in your hunt!


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Many thanks for the welcome Peter. I guess it probably does have something to do with confidentiality and the fact that there are still people alive who served in the Korean War which is the medal group I have whose recipient I would like to research. If I make any progress on this line of research I will post it up here.

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