Second World War:
Navy, RAF and Indian Services Staff Deaths
A first-rate resource for all seeking WWII deaths
Publisher: S&N British Data Archive
t. 01722 716121
Even though this CD was first produced back in 2004, we decided to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day by having another look to discover how it could help in your World War II research.
Part of S&N's Overseas Births, Marriages and Deaths Series, the CD has an advantage over other military lists (which usually list officers) as it records all the men and women, officers and other ranks, of the British Army, Royal Navy, RAF and Indian Service who died abroad during the War. The details of the British fighting in the Indian Service whose role in the War is often overlooked, are a welcome, if relatively short, inclusion here.
When you start up the CD you are presented with a menu that gives links to the seperate four services (the Army and Navy are split between officers and other ranks, while the RAF lists all casualties together). Each index is vast, spanning hundreds of pages, with most entries showing name, rank, service number/rating, unit or branch, and year of death - the Indian service only lists rank, unit and age. Once you've found your ancestor, you can use the unit/rank and service number in particular to go on to learn more about their experiences from 1939-45, and wherethey're buried via the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Unfortunately, the Army Officers file appears to have been copied from the damaged original, and despite digital touch-up is very hard to read in places. Also you can't automatically search the pages, as you can with the newer S&N CDs, which means you have to go through each file alphabetically to find the fighting forebears you're looking for.
Despite these minor flaws, there are only good things to say about this colossal resource with its wealth of invaluable data. There is simply no better CD out there for helping you find out more about family who paid the ultimate sacrifice in WWII.