Badges of Honour – Silver War Badge Database now on Ancestry.

 In General, Research Tips

Every November, we pay tribute to the millions who have fought and died for Britain over the last century. This ritual began after World War I, where hundreds of thousands of our ancestors were killed, and many more were injured. With the latest military update from Ancestry, you can discover whether your family’s WWI heroes were rewarded for their sacrifice.

The Silver War Badge Records, 1914–1920, reveal more than 800,000 servicemen who were entitled to one of the Great War’s most distinguished awards. The Badge was given to men who were discharged due to illness or wounds—they wore it at home so they wouldn’t be accused of not doing their duty.

Details included in the database include their rank, when they started and finished in the Forces, the unit they were discharged from, and why they were discharged.

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If you are successful finding your ancestor on the SWB  and want to know more about what was happening on the day he was wounded or made ill, then a search of the relevant battalion war diary around the time of his discharge may unveil more information. The war diaries are held at Kew Gardens and will need a personal visit, but it may well be worth it. If you cannot get down to London for a personal visit, then a researcher such as may be able to help you search on your behalf.


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