How To Get Polish Military
Records From the UK MOD
As mentioned on the prior page, the Polish army (in the Middle East at the time) fell under British command from the 5th April 1942 and so all Polish army records were retained by the British Army.
There is an extremely good chance that your Polish Relatives records are here in the UK. We will show you how to get Polish military records from the MOD in Britain and then how to get records from Poland as well.
Where To Apply To For Polish Military Records In The UK
If you are trying to locate Polish military records held by the MOD in the UK then this section is for you.
Here is the address of where to send your application. Do not phone or email unless absolutely necessary as they are very busy people!
Detail You Need To Provide
When you write to request your relative's military records please include:
- The name of your relative (including all variants)
- Their date of birth
- Military unit (if known)
- Proof of kinship i.e all birth certificates leading back the way to the one that named your relative.
- Death certificate of your relative
Why Not Use Our Pre-Prepared Letter?
Below is a link to a free Microsoft Word template letter for RAF Northalt. Simply insert your details, add the relevant backup documents (plus the MOD fee) and you are ready to go!
How Long Will It Take?
It will take up to 3 months for you to get the records. It's a long wait...but remember, patience is a virtue!
What Records Will I Receive?
The wait for your relatives records can be a very tense and exciting time, wondering what you will receive. Here I will tell you what will be received so that you can be prepared.
A "Zeszyt Ewidencyjna" is a small A5 16 page booklet or notebook giving some basic details on what commanding office they were under, their health grade, thumbprint and some other details on battles they were in etc. The booklet is written in Polish. Don't worry, i'm going to show you in due course how to get this translated. See my grandfathers one here.
Karta Ewidencyjna - A 2 page (double side, so 4 sides in all) document. Somewhat similar detail to the above, but in my grandfathers case a lot more further detail was provided.
There are a lot of military abbreviations PAY ATTENTION HERE these when properly decoded will tell you where the person was, what unit they were with and if you do the research on these dates, places and units will also tell you what your relative did.
Nothing is for free in this life, you are going to have to get good at research. I will show you methods, tips and tricks that I used to discover an explosive goldmine of information (no exaggeration!). See my grandfathers one here.
Army Profile Record
A simple one sided A5 document with the persons name, date of birth, parish, town they lived in, height, weight and a few other details. The best bit? It has a military photo of the person on it! Click to see my grandfathers profile record
What To Do Next
Once you have gotten your records from the UK MOD and had them translated here are just some of the things you can do next:
- Update your family tree on a site such as www.ancestry.co.uk . On your Polish relatives records within the site, add all the key facts and dates. This open up the possibility of finding more relatives through the website.
- Research what Gulag or camp they went to in Siberia or Kazakhstan. Then use Google extensively to find out information and life stories from that camp. (Try this site too "Chronicles Of Terror": https://www.zapisyterroru.pl/dlibra)
- The UK MOD records should indicate where they were stationed in the Middle East in 1942. Research photos and life stories from that time and plot your relatives trip from Pahlevi to the temporary camp they were at in the Middle East.
- Learn more about the Polish military unit they were with in the UK. There is plenty of info on Google about these!
- Locate the ship they crossed from Krasnovodsk in USSR to Pahlevi in Persia under General Anders. Research more about Pahlevi in 1942, try to envisage what your relative went through.
- At the end of the war, many poles were in "Polish Resettlement Camps". Try to find out if yours was. Learn more about these camps on Zosia's website: http://www.northwickparkpolishdpcamp.co.uk.
- Around 1949 onwards, many Poles who came to the UK in World War 2 "naturalised" as UK citizens under a national scheme held out to them at the time. The records are with National Archives and can be searched here: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/naturalisation-british-citizenship/?fbclid=IwAR20gvFcqWLE25LrQ1vr7DZLo6kMn_8z5-OjJvULas3mIJOZSvLPsMmayvo#5-naturalisation-1949-1986