Finding Polish Roots in the UK – research aid

Searching for Information about Polish Service Personnel who moved to the United Kingdom during World War 2

The following detail has been provided by clients we helped during 2006 /07 who wanted to find information about a relative who had travelled to the United Kingdom during 1944 and served with the Polish Armed Forces under British command in Scotland until October 1946. After leaving the army he settled in the United Kingdom, married and had a family and never returned to Poland, he died in 1985.

Our clients only had minimal knowledge about their relative’s early life in Poland but they had some basic army identification documents from his time in Scotland. Using this limited army information our client began their search which quickly produced details that became the foundations for a full and very successful family history research project.

The MINISTRY OF DEFENCE in the United Kingdom has a specialist Archive Department that holds records of all Polish Service Personnel who served with the British Armed Services during and after World War 2. The Contact details for this department are shown below:-

Building 28 B, RAF Northolt
West End Road
Ruislip, Middlesex
United Kingdom

Telephone 0044 20 8833 8603
Fax 0044 20 8833 8866

The contact to speak to is Mrs B. Kroll

Important Note

All Ministry of Defence personnel records are held in confidence and so to protect this confidence and in view of the Data Protection Act no details are disclosed without the written authority of the subject person involved or if the person is deceased then from their official next of kin.

Following a request for information a “Certificate of Kinship” form will be sent to the applicant, this has to be completed and submitted with the following documentation.

Death Certificate of ex serviceman and
• Marriage Certificate (in the case of widows)
• Birth Certificate (children) + the Death Certificate of mother if applicable or written consent if information is to be released to a person other than the widow.
• Any other documents, which prove kinship.

Photocopies of documents are acceptable.
Other than for the widows of an ex servicemen there is a charge of £30 payable by Cheque or International Money Order, made payable to “Ministry of Defence – Accounting Officer“.

The information that was provided to our clients included many previously unknown details that are shown below.

• Service number and Rank

• Names of Parents

• Religion

• Civilian occupation prior to Army Service

• Service with the Polish Forces under British Command

• Service with the Polish Resettlement Corps

• Discharge details and Conduct

• Details of a previously unclaimed War Medal ( which was subsequently claimed )

• Former Army Service and History in Poland

• Details of his next of Kin and Address in Poland during World War 2