Did your ancestor serve with the Royal Engineers and if so, did he become a casualty at some point? These records mostly cover the Second World War, but there are also some post WW2 records as well.
Each record comprises a basic transcription and an image of the man's casualty card. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include the following information about your ancestor:
Regiment or corps
Name, address & relationship of next of kin
Date card was generated
Details of casualty. Some of these details may also include date of birth and date of enlistment
There are over 17,000 Royal Engineers casualty cards which often provide detailed information about the individual concerned. In some cases cards include date of birth and date of enlistment and give the nature of the casualty. As new information was received, so the casualty card was updated andf this can clearly be seen from the multiple dates and different inks that appear on these cards.
These cards are a little larger than A6 (postcard size) and some also inlcude information on the reverse. Run-on cards are also used in some cases.
Use these cards to find out more about your Royal Engineers' ancestors and read these cards in conjunction with the Royal Engineers tracer cards, prisoner of war records and records from the Comonwealth War Graves Commission which you will also find on Findmypast.
Sapper William Francis Smith has a casualty card which tells us that he was born on Christmas Day 1919 and enliusted in the Royal Engineers on the 30th December 1939. He served with 560 Field Company and was reported missing in Malaya on the 15th February 1942. His next of kin were duly notified and it later transpired that William had been captured by the Japanese and was subsequently held at No 4 PoW Camp, Thailand. Sadly, William did not survive the war, dying of acute enteritis on the 6th September 1943. He was 23 years old and is buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand.
There are no fewer than 26 separate results for William Smith in military records on Findmypast, including multiple prisoner of war records.
The wildcard is the asterisk on your keyboard and it's an extremely useful tool. For instance, if you're not sure what your ancestor's army number was, but you know that it started with 1903, typing in 1903* would return results for all men who had the army number beginning 1903.
If you have an almost complete army number, but one or more of the middle digits is unclear, use the wildcard to help you. Let's say the number is 1903123 but the number 2 has been obliterated. In this case, you'd type in 19031*3 and you'd see all combinations of that number appearing.
The wildcard can be used in every search field on Findmypast and it can be used as many times as you like. If nothing else, use the wildcard to save your fingers and your keyboard. For instance, instead of typing in Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in a regiment field, typing in Arg* (or arg*) would bring up all relevant results.
Make that unassuming asterisk your best friend, it really is a very useful key.