I’ve taken a small break during the “Hunt for Golden Treasure”.
Sometimes a genealogical break is needed, it’s a chance to recharge the batteries, take a few steps back and re-evaluate all the available information at hand.
However, a pause doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning my search entirely. A giant white Polish eagle has landed on another branch of my family tree, and it’s been staring at me.
My latest ancestral adventure is tracking down our Dziadzio’s Polish WWII military records.
From what I know, Dziadzio (Kapitan Franków) was a career Army man and had previously enlisted well before the war. However, during the war he was part of “Anders Army” formally known as the 2nd Polish Corps, British 8th Army. Therefore I know my search must begin with British documentation.
To obtain Polish WWII Military records, you’ll need to contact the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence… and before I tangent off into my “I hate Churchill” speech, let’s discuss the protocol to attain records.
I sent an e-mail (NOR-PolishDiscOffice@mod.uk ) to a lovely woman named Margaret, stating the name of my Dziadzio and the unit he was in. She was so obliging, I had a speedy response with confirmation his records were on file. (Thank you Margaret!)
In order to receive Polish Military records, you will need assistance from your soldier’s next of kin; this is only if the soldier is deceased. Next of Kin would be your soldier’s closest living relative, usually a wife or a parent.
For Dziadzio’s records, his next of kin would have been my Babcia, but since she has also passed his next of kin would be a child.
Before you can attain any records you must present the Ministry of Defence with a few documents to verify who the next of kin is.
For my Dziadzio’s records I had to scan and submit:
- Kapitan Franków’s Death certificate
- Anna Franków’s Death certificate (wife)
- My dad’s birth certificate
- And a Ministry of Defence signed “Next of Kin” form, filled out by my dad
If you cannot find a death certificate, contact your local vital records department. You can request a copy, usually with a fee involved.
Once all documents have been submitted and approved, a £30 money order, cheque or postal order must be made payable to “Ministry of Defence – Accounting Officer”.
I’m currently on this last step, (the money step) fingers crossed there are many records to immerse myself in. Stay tuned for an update!