In the latest release of First World War military records, TheGenealogist has brought online the most comprehensive collection of 'Wounded' from the First World War - over 1.3 million records of servicemen wounded in the British and Commonwealth forces. Covering servicemen of all ranks, from all walks of life, the comprehensive records of Casualty Lists now available on TheGenealogist cover all the years of the First World War.

The newly released Casualty Records uncover the many stories and illustrate how big the task was of keeping accurate records in the chaos and confusion of war. The dates given on the Casualty List records give us an insight into when our ancestors would have received the news about a relative serving at the front.

Many servicemen were wounded on more than one occasion and if the wound was not too severe, a soldier could find themselves back in front line action in a relatively short time.

The Casualty Lists on TheGenealogist offer a full history of soldiers, sailors and airmen who were wounded in the First World War. For details of all wounded British and Commonwealth troops this is a complete, unique resource now available online. From famous war poets to the brave soldiers in the 'Pals' Battalions, the shocking numbers of wounded servicemen are listed in complete, accurate detail. Many servicemen received wounds of varying degrees: for some it was the end of their war, for others they were back in action within days. Using the new Casualty Lists you can see if and when your ancestors were wounded in the line of duty.

Case Study: Harold Macmillan

Former British Prime Minister and Conservative politician, Harold Macmillan, of the famous Macmillan publishing house, fought with The Grenadier Guards in the First World War. In September 1915 at the Battle of Loos, as a young Lieutenant, he was shot in the hand (which never fully gained mobility) and received a glancing bullet wound to the head and ended up hospitalised back in Britain.

After recuperating, he returned to the front lines in France in mid-1916 in preparation for the Battle of the Somme. Leading an advance platoon in the battle, he was severely wounded and spent an entire day lying in a trench with a bullet in his pelvis. Macmillan spent the final two years of the war in hospital undergoing a long series of operations and he was left with a limp for the rest of his life.

Harold Macmillan
Harold Macmillan's 1915 Casualty List Entry
Harold Macmillan's 1916 Casualty List Entry

Case Study: Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon, joined the Sussex Yeomanry in 1914, but was transferred and commissioned in the 3rd Battalion (Special Reserve) of The Royal Welch Fusiliers as a second lieutenant in May 1915. In November, he was sent to join the 1st Battalion in France.

He was first wounded by a German sniper during a raid near Fontaine-les-Croisilles in April. His first casualty record appears on the 27th April 1917. Recuperating back in England, Siegfried then famously made his anti-war stance known and his objections were read out in Parliament.

On the 13th July, not long after returning to the front line, Siegfried was wounded by 'friendly fire' near Arras. A British soldier shot him in the head mistaking him for a German soldier. Again, luck was with him and he survived. It was another very fortunate escape for a man who went on to become one of the recognised major war poets of his generation.

Siegfried Sassoon
Siegfried Sassoon's 1917 Casualty List Entry
Siegfried Sassoon's 1918 Casualty List Entry

Case Study: Daniel Laidlaw

Daniel Laidlaw, a career soldier from Little Swinton in Berwickshire, re-joined the army aged 40 as a Piper in the 7th Battalion, The King's Own Scottish Borderers , 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division.

At the Battle of Loos, troops of his battalion were ordered by General Douglas Haig to attack the heavily fortified German positions in their sector. The Scottish troops faced in front of them with a thick cloud of chlorine gas were hesitating but Piper Laidlaw climbed out of the trench and under fire began playing his pipes to inspire the troops and they successfully resumed the attack. He was wounded in both legs but had carried on playing for as long as he could. His actions earned him the Victoria Cross.

Daniel Laidlaw
Daniel Laidlaw's Casualty List Entry
Daniel Laidlaw's Medal Entry

TheGenealogist has a wide and varied collection of military records available to access. Find out more on how you can discover your ancestors from a range of subscriptions available.

The stories in this article are copyrighted to TheGenealogist and cannot be reproduced without permission. Please contact our Press Office on 01722 717003 if you wish to use any of the information contained on this page.

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German Prisoners of War carrying wounded soldiers
German Prisoners of War carrying wounded soldiers
Wounded soldiers arriving home
Wounded soldiers arriving home