FAQs - Historical Enquires
Below are some common questions about historical enquires. They cover what you need to make a historical enquiry, cost and how long it will take for research to be completed. If you still have questions about historical enquiries, please complete a general enquiry form.
What does the Airborne Assault Archive hold?
In terms of research about individuals we do not hold large amounts of data. We may be able to find some information relating to an individual, such as parachute course records, as long as we have a service number and details of the units served with. We do not hold their individual service record.
What information does the Airborne Assault Archive need for an enquiry?
The more information we have, the easier it will be to answer your question. Include names of regiments/battalions, full names of persons, places and dates in your enquiry. If you are not sure of the information, still include it, but tell us you’re not sure.
How do I put an enquiry into the Airborne Assault Archive?
Use the enquiry form on the previous page under Contact Us. Please provide as much information as possible.
Is there a charge for enquiries to the Airborne Assault Archive?
For each enquiry we would ask for a minimum donation of £35, based on an hour’s research. The donation is regardless of whether we find information or not, so please make sure you provide all the information you have and ask clear questions for our researchers to answer.
The donation supports the conservation of our records held in the archive and helps us to meet the costs incurred by our volunteer researchers.
How long does an enquiry take?
It depends on the individual enquiry and volunteers available to answer it. We aim to answer them within a month.
Where can I apply for replacements medals?
Where can I find the service details for myself/or relative?
The service record contains information such as when and where they joined, where they went to, if they were promoted and any courses they attended.
The Army Personnel Centre Historical Disclosures Section has access to Army records dating back to the 1920s and can supply information to the next of kin of deceased former soldiers and officers who have served since 1920, and to other enquirers, provided that 25 years have passed since the death of the subject.
Where can I get details of Polish Service Personnel?
Royal Navy and Army:
Polish Correspondence Section
West end Road
Why is the Service Number important in my research?
Each soldier is given a service or army number that normally stays with them throughout their career. In our records there is likely to be a number of men with the same surname, with the same initials or even no initials. There may also be a spelling error of the surname. The service number accurately identifies the individual.
Have you considered contacting other museums and archives?
If the person you are researching transferred into the Airborne, another museum may hold information on them. If they belonged to a unit such as the Royal Artillery, Royal Army Medical Corp or Royal Engineers, you could try their respective units. For more information on Army Museums visit www.armymuseums.org.uk .
You may also like to try the Commonwealth War Graves site www.cwgc.org who have an online database of all those who died in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. Another useful resource is the National Archive site who hold the war diaries for units http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk .