Family Relatives has release three new military datasets of more than 35,000 British and Dominion Officers killed or captured during the First World War.
Family Relatives says: “We are proud to have added the following to our website:
- British Officers Prisoners of War 1914-1918
- Officers Died in the Great War 1914-1919
- The Bond of Sacrifice – A Biographical Record of British Officers Who Fell in the Great War
“The collection commemorates British military personnel who were taken prisoner, detailing their name, rank, regiment, camp location, date of capture and release date. Even those who escaped are included.
“The Bond of Sacrifice collection presents 4,000 biographies of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, arranged alphabetically to provide an invaluable record of the contribution and achievements of those who served.
“The collection lists a surprising number of Brigadier Generals including Hurdis Secundus Lalande Ravenshaw CMG who as a senior British Army officer during the First World War served at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and saw action on the North-West Frontier of India, in South Africa during the Second Boer War and in France and Greece during the First World War. In 1916 he was captured by an Austrian submarine with all his staff and held as a prisoner until the end of the war. [An Austrian submarine? I didn’t know Austria-Hungary had a Navy! – Alan]
“Another lists one of the war’s most popular heroes Captain William Leefe Robinson VC of the Royal Flying Corp. who shot down the first German Zeppelin airship over London and transformed the battle in the air over Britain. Captain Robinson was later shot down by German fighter aircraft led by the “Red Baron” Lieutenant Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen and captured.
“Reports that Robinson had been killed stunned the nation. However a letter to his fiancée confirmed he was a prisoner. Although safe, his captors made his life unpleasant and he was poorly treated as he and his fellow prisoners had made several attempts to escape and was sentenced to a month of solitary confinement. He and others were sent to the underground fortress of Zorndorf much as hardened escapees were confined in Colditz Castle in World War II.
“The records also tell us of those who lost their lives at sea when even hospital ships fell victim to enemy action. The nation lamented the loss of its largest ship the Britannic which was sunk in the Mediterranean. Mercifully of the 1,066 crew and wounded service personnel only 30 souls were lost. A huge contrast to its ill fated sister ship the Titanic when 1,523 were drowned out of the 2,228 on board.
“The records were digitised and provided online for easier searching and are a useful resource when researching family military history. The collection now forms part of the Family Relatives online military archives which number over 20 million records.”