Prisoners of war: selected records, 1715-1945
Search and download a wide variety of selected PoW records 1715–1945 on Findmypast.co.uk (£). They include records from the:
- Napoleonic Wars, 1799–1815 (including lists and accounts of naval and civilian prisoners)
- Crimean War, 1853–1856
- Second Anglo-Boer War, also known as the South African War, 1899–1902
- First World War, 1914–1918
The records are drawn mostly from the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, War Office, Admiralty and Air Ministry. For more details see findmypast.co.uk.
British prisoners of war: interviews and reports, 1914-1920
Search and download (£) interviews and reports concerning 3,000 British PoWs (WO 161) on our website.
These documents primarily concern servicemen who escaped internment, were repatriated before the end of the war, or were incarcerated in a neutral country. Approximately 750 pages of interviews and reports on First World War PoWs of ranks below those of commissioned officers are known not to have survived.
Selected records of prisoner of war deaths, 1914-1918
Search selected PoW death records (RG 35/45-RG 35/69) on bmd.co.uk (£).
They include deaths in:
- military and non-military hospitals
- enemy and occupied territory were notified to British authorities by foreign embassies
- registration authorities
- American authorities in charge of British internees
The majority of this information is in French.
Prisoners of war cards and lists, 1914-1918
Search by name the First World War prisoner of war cards on the International Committee of the Red Cross archive. These cards were created from lists sent to the ICRC by countries at war. The online material can also include enquiry cards from next of kin, repatriation lists and accounts of PoW camps. Please see their website for more information about this collection.
First World War service records and medal index cards
Upon repatriation, officers were required to detail the circumstances of their capture. If you know an officer was a PoW, their service record may have their capture report with it. In general, service records, especially those of other ranks, contain only minimal details of imprisonment, sometimes limited to dates of capture and/or release – you are unlikely to find any more than this on a medal index card.
For more details see the guides to:
Details of prisoners of war in the London Gazette
Consult the London Gazette on The Gazette website for sporadic mentions and details of British PoWs, especially officers. Includes PoWs from the:
- Crimean War
- South African War
- First World War