Commando Research


This section, and its sub pages shown under ‘ Content ‘ in the side Navigation panel, gives the reader an insight into how best to research the content within the Commando Veterans Archive, and  also provides some useful information about external avenues for your further research.  It additionally provides detail on how you can add to our Archive any information or photos that you consider may be relevant. 

View some frequently asked questions here FAQ's.

Asking questions or adding information to this site
We do not have access to official service records and our website archive contains most of the information we do have. If you have any questions about an individual, or you wish to add information about, or photos of an individual, then you should register on our Forum and ask your question, or add your information, in a message there. Before you do so have a read of additional avenues of research below, including the links at the foot of this page, then post your forum message. [go to forum registration....]

Service Records, Numbers, and Medals
This Archive does NOT have access to official records of any individuals’ military service. These are an essential source of information for researchers, and getting a copy of them is defintely a good starting point. If the nearest next of kin applies a photocopy of the entire record will be provided; otherwise you will only receive a transcript with limited detail.
Where a service number is shown on our nominal rolls they should be treated as possible but not confirmed. They are often transcribed from war diaries or from lists provided by veterans themselves and occasionally errors are found. Contact the Archive if you suspect an error.
Follow the links on the side navigation panel of this page to find out more about applying, and/or to view a glossary of common abbreviations used.

National Archives Kew
The National Archives hold most of the separate Commando Units War Diaries and these can be viewed by arrangement with them. You will need a reader’s ticket, arranged through them, and again get as much information about your target research before your visit. You will need at least a day and maybe longer but again well worth the visit and an invaluable source of information.
Please check with the National Archives [visit their website] as to their regulations and rules as these do change from time to time.
You can find some useful Commando file references at the National Archives on the side navigation panel of this page.

Now read on from the links below, or the side navigation panel on the right.

Prisoner of War Photos

The National Archives have high resolution images from the German Record Cards of British Prisoners of War (WO 416 files) that they have almost completed digitising and are searchable for free on their website. They still have to add surnames commencing N-Z.

The regrettable thing is that what you will find is only a transcript of the card and no photo. To get the photo you will have to pay. I discovered this after I sought their permission to reproduce some I had been sent by a visitor to the NA. Despite telling them that even the Bundesarchiv had given me permission to reproduce some of their images after the St. Nazaire Raid for the Commando Veterans Archive website, they advised me they were contractually bound to charge a fee for websites such as our one. This despite it being non commercial, educational and, I would like to think, some degree of historical importance militarily.

Basically £40 + vat for 20 photos with further restrictions such as resolution below 72 dpi and watermarking to prevent misuse. To date I have added pages on around 750 commando prisoners of war with many more coming. As such we will not be able to add these photos to those pages in our Archive. We ourselves make no charge for our content.
Each of the entries below where I have found a reference to the German Record Cards I have included that as one of the sources. Obviously family members may be interested in privately applying for a copy of the image.
Commando Veterans Archive Prisoners of War (work in progress):
Search the National Archives database of WO 416 files here: 
Pete Rogers
Content Manager
Commando Veterans Archive

‘Prisoner Escape Reports’

Reports from the War Office are in the National Archives WO208 series [view online....]

Linked Content: