Researching with our records

There is no definitive Prisoner of War or Civilian internee record for any given individual. Instead, for any captive, there is usually a variety of possible records and you may need to conduct a series of separate searches on our Catalogue, Discovery, or one of our partner sites, before you have exhausted all possibilities. We hold a very wide variety of records specific to British and Commonwealth Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees but very little on individual German or Italian prisoners of war as these records were returned to those countries after the end of the Second World War. Our prisoner of war records typically include:

Our civilian internee records for German, Austrian and Italians resident in the UK typically include:

  • Internment tribunal cards recording personal details of the individual and the decision of the tribunal and any subsequent decision.
  • Alien Personal Files – these survive for those that became naturalised British subjects and can include an account of their time as internees.

Most of these records have been indexed by name but sometimes only by surname and the initials of forename(s). Some are available to download throughout partner sites; others are made available as original records at Kew, though requests for digital images can be made through Discovery.

Our research guides

The Research Guides below provide information on more sources relating to individuals and the camps they were detained in and are the starting point for your research: