5 steps to adding information from Prisoner of War records

Released British POWs enjoying their first meal in freedom after they met British troops. Ath, 14 November 1918. Image © IWM (Q 11443).

Released British POWs enjoying their first meal in freedom after they met British troops. Ath, 14 November 1918. Image © IWM (Q 11443).

Was the person that you’re remembering a prisoner of war during the First World War? Our very own Charlotte Czyzyk talks you through how you can use newly digitised prisoner of war records to find out more about their life story.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is digitising its vast archive about prisoners of war in the First World War. Altogether, 5 million cards on prisoners and 500,000 pages of records associated with these cards will be available to view online.

We’re revisiting the Life Story of VC winner Sidney Frank Godley to show you how can use this rich new records set to find out more about a person’s life, and connect the records to their life story page on Lives of the First World War.

5 steps to exploring the ICRC records

1. Go to grandeguerre.icrc.org and enter the person’s surname into the search box:

2. Names are listed in alphabetical order so scroll down to find the index card that you are looking for. Hover your mouse over the index card and click ‘More information about this Person’:

3. Enter the reference numbers written on the index card into the search box on the right to see records in more detail:

4. Click the magnifying glass to zoom in. Check any abbreviations used in the text in the Glossary on the right:

Step42

List German abbreviations Abbreviation explanation French translation English translation
verw. verwundet blessé wounded

5. Add the link to this source on Lives of the First World War using the ‘Add an External Reference’ tool, and then add facts from this evidence:

Have you used the ICRC records to make an incredible discovery about the person you’re remembering? We want to hear from you! Comment below with your stories.

  • Search the ICRC records and get connecting the records to life story pages.
  • Like our Facebook page and join in with our amazing discoveries discussions every Friday from 12pm.
  • Charlotte Czyzyk is Life Story Coordinator at Imperial War Museums.
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