This week we are sharing many tales of bravery and courage in our special supplement marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Here are some tips for how to trace back to find out your relative’s role in the Great War.

First steps:

It may sound obvious but the first thing you need is your relative’s name and if they had more than one make sure you include all of them in your search.

A regiment or regiment number will also really help your search, it is also worth asking any older relatives if they can help you.

Where to start your search:

Your local library is the perfect place to start, they will have archives of newspapers from the era and many libraries also have free access to Ancestry.

Where to search online:

Medals Index Cards is a good place to start as medal cards were held for every active serviceman sent abroad.

Search for them online at The National Archives website at

The London Gazette, which lists medal awards for outstanding soldiery, is also available to search online

How to use the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website:

This is a great resource and if you think your relative might have been killed in action it’s the best place to start your search.

The commission website can be found here and a search can reveal the date of death, age and where they are buried, among other details.

Next steps:

Not all First World War records are complete but hopefully the websites above can give you enough information to cross reference.

If you’re struggling to find a record of your relative’s active service but know which regiment they served with, you could also try looking for their regimental war diary.

This gives a general overview of the regiment’s experiences during the war.

Aside from searching online a visit to the regimental museum or The National Archives where many of these diaries are now stored can be helpful.

Other good sites to search:

l Local and county archives

l Regimental museums

l Parish records - some are online, a quick web search should help you to learn more

l The Great War website also has a useful guide and lists plenty of other places to search

Searching for relatives can be real detective work but it’s very rewarding when it comes off - once you start piecing together your research you could have an amazing story to tell.