Prisoners of War 1939-1945
About the Prisoners of War 1939-1945 records
Search for your ancestors in the following sets of records:
- Prisoners of War 1939-1945 – British Navy & Air Force Officers: 19,229 records
- Prisoners of War 1939-1945 – Officers of Empire serving in British Army: 39,808 records
- Prisoners of War 1939-1945 – British Army held in German territories: 107,000 records
You can search each set of records separately, or all at once, by selecting 'Prisoners of War 1939-1945' from the search box drop-down menu.
These records are an important source of information about your WWII Prisoner of War ancestors as both Officers and other ranks are shown.
In most cases, the records will tell you the following information about your ancestors:
- Army number
- Camp number
- Prisoner of War number
- Camp type
- Camp location
- Notes (where applicable)
Below you can see further information about the types of camp that British Prisoners of War found themselves incarcerated in:
- Transit camp (Dulag or Durchgangslager) these camps were a collection point for POWs before they were reassigned
- Transit camp of the Luftwaffe (Dulag Luft or Durchgangslager der Luftwaffe) transit camps for Airforce POWs
- Base camp (Stalag or Stammlager) enlisted personnel POW camps
- Officer camp (Oflag or Offizier-Lager) the officers' POW camps
- Luftwaffe base camp (Stalag Luft or Luftwaffe-Stammlager) POW camps for Allied aircrews administered by the German Air Force
- Marine camp (Marlag or Marine-Lager) POW camps for Navy personnel
- Marine internment camp (Milag or Marine-Internierten-Lager) internment camps for merchant seamen
- Internment camp (Ilag/Jlag or Internierungslager) internment camps for civilians
These records complement The Army Roll Of Honour which lists the British Army dead from WW2 and includes more than 145,000 records.
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.