For the first time in its entirety, in either printed or electronic format, this definitive resource (which has been housed in encrypted form at the Public Record Office at Kew since 1949) has been published as a fully-searchable CD ROM. Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914–19 revolutionised our understanding of casualties from that conflict. This new CD ROM tells us what happened to the generation which followed them.
‘The creation of an Army “Roll of Honour”, preserved in the Public Record Office under the reference WO 304, was first discussed in the War Office in January 1944, as a direct result of the failure of accurate lists being published in the national press. It was soon realised that a single roll of honour would enable the War Office, units of the British Army, and other organisations, to obtain data concerning casualties from a single source, and so be less time consuming than consulting a variety of other records.
The “Roll of Honour” was compiled between the end of 1944 and March, 1949. It was estimated to have taken 40,800 clerical staff hours to compile and produce. The data for the roll was punched on to card, each hole representing a certain item of information. The cards were fed into a Hollerith Machine (an early type of data processor), and the eventual roll was produced on an A3 paper print out.
The information captured in the roll represents that which the War Office felt appropriate for their own purposes, and the information which the Imperial War Graves (now Commonwealth) Commission desired, and that which could be made public.
Information on the original roll is contained in both plain and coded text. Apart from surname and forenames, army service number and date of death, all other information: (rank, first unit served in, unit serving in at time of death, place of birth, place of domicile and place of death), were all given numerical codes.
Individuals found in the roll died between 1 September 1939 and 31 December 1946, and also included are those deaths in service which were non-attributable (natural causes, etc.) as well as those, of course, who were killed in action or who died of wounds or disease. The roll does not include ‘disgraceful’ deaths, i.e. men executed for capital crimes whilst in the army, for example.
By decoding WO 304 and putting it into a fully searchable database and plain text, the original “Roll of Honour” can now be used and understood by researchers, genealogists and military historians alike.”
William Spencer –
Military Specialist at the Public Record Office and author of the best-selling guides Army Service Records of the First World War and Army Records for Family Historians
The Army Roll of Honour on CD-ROM contains the complete Roll preserved at the Public Record Office under reference WO 304 It incorporates software that allows searching of every element in each record. Searches can be executed for: Regiment or Branch of Army at 1st September 1939, Regiment or Branch of Army at death, surnames, Christian name(s), initial(s), born (major towns or county), place of domicile (major towns or county), army number, rank, theatre of war or place where fatal wound was sustained or death occurred, decorations, and by date.
Searches can be made by one or as many elements as you wish. For example, you could search for every soldier who died during the Western Europe Campaign 1944/45; or in North Africa or At Sea or indeed in any of the other 31 Theatres of War or places classified. It is even possible to search for all privates called William, who died in Burma. As with Soldiers Died in the Great War CD-ROM, you will have at your fingertips data that would have been months of toil – and a very hefty card index system to produce – on the screen in a matter of seconds.
The software package has been designed with drop down lists for Branch of the Army, Regiment, or Theatre of War, and on screen buttons for you to click on with your mouse for other elements within the search field, to keep typing to a minimum. In fact, if you can read and type with one finger, however slowly, you will be able to use this database to its full potential. After completing your search you can view and sort the data on screen and print out your results. A ‘Wild Card’ facility has been incorporated within the search engine that will further enhance the location of an individual’s record. We have included the facility to print out a full colour memorial scroll for any casualty on this database creating a fine keepsake, for families and future generations, of a soldier’s sacrifice.
Minimum System Requirements: The minimum system requirement suggested to run this CD-ROM is a Pentium (or equivalent) PC, 12X CD-ROM drive, 64MB of available RAM, SVGA display (thousands of colours or more), 48MB free hard disk space and Windows™ 7, 8, 10 or VISTA
Recommended System Requirements: The recommended system requirement is a Pentium III PC with 48X CD-ROM drive, 512MB of RAM and an SVGA monitor.
Price + v.a.t. (£29) (v.a.t. is applicable to all U.K. & European