Remembrance Day: A guide to tracing ancestors involved in the First World War

PUBLISHED: 17:05 06 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:05 06 November 2013

North West Kent Family History Society president David Cufley

North West Kent Family History Society president David Cufley


Have you ever wondered where you came from and who your ancestors in the First World War were?

As we approach the centenary of the Great War, interest in tracing family history is growing.

Members of the North West Kent Family History Society, which covers Gravesham and Dartford, meet once a week to delve in to the past.

President David Cufley has spent the past three decades tracing his relatives and says the process is not about the destination, but the journey.

He says: “The National Archives at Kew houses masses of literature which can be a big help, but technology now means the days of painstakingly sifting through records could soon be gone.”

Even just having a name can get you started but a service number and/or regiment would help, even more so if sadly they were a casualty.

The society say a good starting point is the Medal Index Cards, which provides details of campaign medals for all who served in the Army, which can be found via the commercial company Ancestry.

The service is available for free in both Dartford and Gravesend Central Library’s.

A comprehensive list of websites, both for the UK and overseas, is also available on the Federation of Family History Societies website - - via the WW1 centenary tab.

The society also recommends visiting the National Archives at Kew and using the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website (

Membership to North West Kent Family History Society costs just £10 a year, and includes around 30 lectures each year, as well as access to the resource centre.

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