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The Western Front Association preserves a major Great War archive of 6.5 million records


Introduction The Western Front Association (WFA) is delighted to announce that it has secured the safe storage and preservation of a major archive of over six million Great War soldiers' pension record cards. Some two years ago, the WFA learned that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was no longer able to retain and manage its archive of Great War sol…

Release of Naval and Mercantile Marine Pension Records by Ancestry


Members of The Western Front Association will be delighted to learn that the first of a series of releases of the WFA's Pension Record Cards and Ledgers archive have been made available through Ancestry. The first two sets of records to be released account for about 0.1% of the records the WFA saved from destruction with a much larger release of …

Great War Pension Record Cards and Ledgers: deeper understanding


The history of the Great War is not just about generals and statesmen. In examining the Great War, we can often overlook the real people and the real lives that lie behind the "other ranks" who served in their millions. Many died during a long and arduous campaign, and we remember their sacrifices in a number of commemorative ways, not least on 1…

A Further Release of First World War Pension Records by Ancestry


Western Front Association members will already know that the Naval Records were released a few weeks ago, but today (10 November 2018), Ancestry have made 1.5 million records available on their Fold 3 platform (please see FAQs below regarding WFA members' access to these). Until The Western Front Association stepped in to save these ledgers and ot…

Understanding the Ledger Indexing


This article aims to set out some of the technical aspects of the indexing of - and subcategories that make up - the 'ledgers' in The Western Front Association's collection of Pension Record Cards. These ledgers have been scanned and digitised by our partner, and are available on their fold3 website. These are now available for WFA…

How to use the 'Browse' function on Fold3 when researching the WFA Pension Records


The intention behind this article is to explain how to access Pension Ledgers on the WFA's Library edition of Fold3 by using the 'browse' facility. The starting point for what follows are reference numbers that appear on the 'soldiers died' set of cards that have recently been published. It is of course possible in most cases that the cards and l…

Ep. 59 – British Widows of the First World War – Andrea Hetherington


Andrea Hetherington talks about her new book British Widows of the First World War (published Pen and Sword).

Pension Cards made available for 'Widows and Dependents of Other Ranks Died'


Members of The Western Front Association will be delighted to learn that another massive release of Pension Record Cards has been made available by our partners via their ‘Fold3’ platform. As ever, these cards are freely available to WFA members who log into the WFA website. What has been released? The cards comprise well over a mi…

The Ministry of Pensions during and after the Great War


The Ministry of Pensions was a truly monolithic organisation, by the end of 1920 it had 19,121 staff, was paying 1,600,000 pensions, and spending more than £23,000,000 per year. Above: The Bromyard Avenue site in Acton that was the Ministry of Pensions offices (built in about 1921) seems now to be a residential complex.  What is often lost in t…