family research information
MILITARY SERVICE RECORD
If a member of your family participated in the Polish Forces that fought with the Allies in WW2, then your first step is to obtain their full service records. The British Ministry of Defence (MOD) hold the records for most of the members of the Polish Forces that fought in the west. NB: Should they have the records, be sure to request the FULL service record, otherwise you will only receive a brief summary.
1. First, check if the MOD have your relative's records by sending an email to:
2. If they do have the service record, you will receive an email confirmation, along with attached documents that you need to fill out and send, along with a 30 GBP payment for each application. Please note that it does take several months before your request will be treated, as they are dealing with a backlog of requests.
Their mailing address is:
MINISTRY OF DEFENSE
APC POLISH ENQUIRIES
Building 1, RAF Northolt
West End Road
UK HA4 6NG
(from outside UK: +44 208 833 8603)
If your family member served in the Polish Armed Forces prior to 1939, you should write to:
Central Military Archives
ul. Czerwonych Beretów 124 00-910
If your family member served in the Polish Army in France 1939-1940 and who subsequently did not serve under British Operational Command, you should write to:
Centre des archives du personnel militaire
Place de Verdul
64023 Pau cedex
Tél : 05 59 40 46 92
Information to include:
* Your relative's name (including any variant spellings), date of birth, military unit (if known)
* Proof of kinship i.e all birth certificates back to the one that includes your relative
HOOVER INSTITUTION ARCHIVES
Houses the Wladyslaw Anders archives and Polish wartime archives. The collection includes over 18,000 original personal accounts and questionnaires of former prisoners and deportees - invaluable documents as they were filled in right after deportation, while the details were still fresh in peoples’ minds.
Contact: Irena Czernichowska Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (650) 723-3563
When requesting documents from the Hoover Institute, provide as much information as you can. Even if nothing was written by your relative, they still may have valuable information that was written by someone else; all eye-witness accounts are cross referenced.
Memorial Society in Russia
Memorial assists victims of the Soviet Gulag, conducts research into the history of political repression and publicizes the findings in books, articles, exhibitions, museums, and websites of its member organizations. The website uncludes a database of over a million victims of Soviet repression, however, the search function is only available in Russian. The . Web address is: https://www.memo.ru/en-us
To seek family records of arrested or deported Poles in the Memorial database, send a letter to:
Polish Committee of the Memorial Society
Malyi Karetnyi Pereulok 12
To obtain a certificate from th former USSR archives, you must send an original signed letter. Include as much of the following info as possible ...
Surname, name, and father's name of the arrested or deported person, the year and place of birth (for all members of the deported family, with indication of the family relationship)
Where they lived prior to arrest or deportation
Time of arrest or deportation
Kind of repression (arrest, sentence, imprisonment in penal labour camp, or deportation without any sentence)
The regions where they stayed in camps or in exile in the former USSR (especially the last plsace)
The time and place of release or death
The relationship of the person making the request to the arrested or deported person
International Tracing Service
The International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany, assists victims of Nazi persecutions and their families by documenting their fate through the archives they manage. Contact them to find information about your family members who were Prisoners of War or were slave labourers in Germany during WW2. Web: http://www.its-arolsen.org/en/
International Center on Nazi Persecution
Große Allee 5-9
34454 Bad Arolsen
Deutschland / Germany
T +49 5691 629-0
F +49 5691 629-501
Siberian Exile Cross
The Siberian Exile Cross is awarded by the Polish President to those who were forcibly taken to Siberia by the Soviets. According to the law that established this award, the person must have been alive in January 2004, at the time that the law was passed. Anyone who died before this date is not eligible.
The application must be approved by a Polish veterans' organization, or other Polish organization that is acceptable. (Check with your local Polish Consulate for a list of acceptable organizations.) Once approved, you then forward the application to your local Polish Consulate and they will send it on to Poland for processing,
Once processed in Poland, the cross and accompanying certificate is sent to your local Polish Consul who will make arrangements to present it. It can take some time to be processed, so do not expect a speedy turnaround.
Application for the Siberian Exile Cross:
Here is a translation of the application
that explains the different parts of the form:
Here is an example of a completed application:
Here is a blank application for you to fill out:
Application forms must be filled out in Polish, and must be either typed or handwritten in BLOCK letters. Cursive writing will not be accepted.
Attach as much information and proof as possible. Examples of this include:
Copy of a release document from Siberia
Copy of a document from the Hoover Institute Archives (see research info above)
Copy of a listing on the Index of the Repressed
A screen shot of the page of an archival list that includes the person's name:
Any of the military lists found in the Archival Lists section of this website