Prisoners of War

Prisoners of War

Discover the details of those taken prisoner and interred by the enemy with these exciting and exclusive records in association with The National Archives

Were your ancestors captured by the enemy?

Were your ancestors captured by the enemy?

Findmypast is excited to announce that it has been awarded a licence by The National Archives to digitise for the very first time Prisoners of War records. Comprising an array of record sets held at The National Archives, the records are diverse and varied and will eventually upon completion span the years 1715 to 1945. They tell your ancestors’ stories of capture, escape and prisoners exchanges between warring nations. You will find detailed testimonies about the conditions of the prison camps and discover what life was like for prisoners of war across the centuries. The size and the scope of these records will make them a fascinating resource for genealogists. The records not only include military personnel, but also civilians, diplomats, missionaries, fishermen and merchant seamen. 

To start, we are releasing thousands of records from the First World War, including records from the Gallipoli campaign. These comprise both combatants and non-combatants interned by Allied forces and the Central powers. You will discover telegrams related to prisoner exchanges, lists of captured merchant seamen and the vessels, correspondence between embassies related to the conditions of prisoner camps and much more.

Over the coming years we will continue to update the collection and add more records. The entire collection encompasses prisoners taken during the Jacobite risings in 1715, through the Napoleonic Wars and prisoners held in Jamaica, Barbados, Portsmouth and Dartmoor. You will find colonial prisoners from the American War of 1812 and South African POWs during the Boer War. The collection also includes both world wars with prisoners being interned in Turkey, Germany, East Africa, Greece, Japan and Britain.

Relevant records

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Discover your ancestors in these prisoner of war records and the most comprehensive British military collection online with a subscription to Findmypast.