Prisoners of War 1914-1918
Search records of 7,703 British Army Officers who were Prisoners of War between 1914 and 1918.
The records will usually tell you the following about your ancestors:
- First and last names
- Date they went missing
- Date they were repatriated
Some records have additional notes, for example, death in captivity. The records provide an extremely valuable source of information about your WWI ancestors.
Background to the records
The volume was first printed in 1919 for private circulation and was compiled from records kept by the enquiry office of Messrs Cox & Co. (bankers and regimental agents), which opened in September 1914 and gained the War Office's full support.
The records also include information about officers of the Royal Air Force, Royal Naval Air Service, Royal Naval Division and officers of the Dominions. The original aim of the volume was to give advice and information to relatives about wounded officers of the British Expeditionary Force. A system evolved of obtaining all available information on officers reported as missing and this gradually came to be the main work of the enquiry office.
The information was gathered in various ways but predominantly by means of the fact that a missing officer's cheque was often the first intimation that he was a POW.
Begin with the basics
The name of the person you are searching for may not be recorded in the way you expect. Henry John Davies, for example, may have been recorded as Henry Davies, Henry J Davies, H Davies, or even H J Davies. We suggest that you initially search using the person’s last name only. If you receive too many results, you can then add a first name to narrow them down.
First name and last name variations
If you don’t find the result you want first time, it is worth trying every possible variation in the first and last name fields.
Your ancestor might have used a different first name in everyday life from the one that appears on official records. For example, your great-uncle Jack’s birth name might have been John. Last names can often be spelled in many different ways, for example, Smith, Smyth or Smythe.
We’ve added an ‘Include variants’ tickbox next to both fields to allow for common differences in spelling or incorrect spelling. If you can’t find someone recorded under the name you expect, try ticking the ‘Include variants’ boxes to include variations of the name in your results.