How to Obtain Polish WWII Military Records (part 1)

Captain Frankow sitting with fellow soldier somewhere in Palestine WWII

How to Obtain Polish WWII Military Records (Captain Frankow sitting with fellow soldier somewhere in Palestine WWII) | alex inspired

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.

How to Obtain Polish WWII Military Records - Dziadzio as a young man in his military uniforms | alex inspired

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.

How to Obtain Polish WWII Military Records - Dziadzio as an older man in his military uniforms | alex inspired

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!

Click here to read Part II about my record adventure!

24 Comments

  • Reply How to Obtain Polish WWII Military Records (part 1) - Alex Inspired March 2, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    […] How to Obtain Polish WWII Military Records (part 1) […]

  • Reply Stefan Wiśniowski January 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    People wishing to learn more about the Polish mean and women fighting in exile during World War II (Navy, Air Force, Parachute Brigade, Polish 1 Corp (Maczek’s Army), Polish 2 Corps (Anders Army), Polish People’s Army (Berling’s Army) are invited to join the Kresy-Siberia Group, which is dedicated to research, recognize and remember Poland’s citizens fighting for freedom and survival in occupied eastern Poland and in forced exile during WW2. https://www.facebook.com/groups/KresySiberiaGroup/

    • Reply peter rushton March 28, 2017 at 8:55 am

      My father-in-law was Laeonard Sulikowski who died around 1978 at the age of 52. A refugee from Poland during WW2 who fought in the polish free army , was captured by the Germans and spent some considerable time as a POW on Alderney in the channel isles. He managed to survive and spent an initial period of time in Lincolnshire where he met his wife, Danuta. I have no details other than that but really want to find out more and was hoping someone could help.

      • Reply alex March 29, 2017 at 8:55 am

        Hello Peter! thanks for visiting!

        So awful to hear about your Father-in-law being captured as a POW. I couldn’t even imagine 🙁

        My best recommendation is (if both Laeonard and Danuta have since passed), email Margaret NOR-PolishDiscOffice@mod.uk and ask if there are any records on file regarding Laeonard Sulikowski. If there are, follow the steps above, instead sending your wife’s birth certificate along (if she is next of kin). I hope this helps – please let us know how you make out.

  • Reply How to Obtain Polish WWII Military Records (part 2) August 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    […] I am overwhelmed with what I received in the mail from Margaret! Click here to read my previous post about how to Obtain Polish WWII Military Records (part 1) […]

  • Reply Monika August 7, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    I’m so excited I came across your blog! I’ve been wanting to obtain my father’s military records for years (he passed away when I was 12) and have not been successful. I’ve known about the MoD, but could not find the proper forms or an email address to contact anyone. At one point I sent them an actual letter, but never heard back. I’ve used the links you provided and found the next of kin forms, but I’m wondering what other form you needed to fill out. I’m seeing separate forms from army, navy, and air force, but nothing that would be for Polish soldiers. I’ve also emailed the address you provided for Margaret, but have not heard back. I’ve printed the next of kin forms to fill out and with the help of my mom I’m gathering all the documentation to prove she’s next of kin. Where can I find the form to request the service record of my tata? I would appreciate any help!

    • Reply alex August 10, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      Hey Monika! so sorry for my delay in responding to you 🙂

      I’m so happy you found my blog. YAY! you’re on your way to discovering so many things. As long as you have everything listed above, and the next of Kin form, you should be on your way. I feel like maybe the office is being flooded with requests recently – I have seemed to spark the influx. Oopsie!

      So my best advice to get your Tata’s records are to gather everything you can, from above. I didn’t have to send in any other forms that I can recall, but I can double check and get back to you as soon as possible 🙂

  • Reply Dean malik March 24, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Such a good read, and has helped me.
    My grandad Stefan Franciszek Malik was a paratrooper, for the 1st independent polish brigade.
    He fought in Arnhem in operation market garden, as well as in Italy.
    It was only recently I have discovered that he changed our surname after the war, when he moved to England.
    I’m trying to find information about him, and his family before the war.
    Dean malik

    • Reply alex April 3, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Hey Dean! thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I can only imagine the stories he had, do you happen to have any photos? I have been having a lot of success with a few Facebook Groups and Polish Military sites and forums. If I stumble upon his name in any of my findings, I will contact you. 🙂

  • Reply Colin Whyte May 18, 2018 at 3:24 am

    Hello Alex,
    It was very interesting to read your blogs. I am setting out on a journey to try and trace the father of a close friend of mine. He was a young Polish soldier attached to the British Army – Philip (perhaps Filip) Kwasniewski. Philip formed a relationship with my friends mother which lead to my friend being born in a Displaced Persons camp in West Germany after her mother was sent there after Germany’s invasion. My friends mother and father separated when Philip went to England to be demobilised. My friend and her mother later migrated to Australia.
    I would appreciate any advice you can give me to progress my search.

    thank you, Colin

  • Reply Leon Weber December 10, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I’m also looking for my father Zygmunt Jan Weber polish military career records. He was born in the polish corridor on October 17,1910. In Trzebun Koscierzyna Poland. Was in the polish army. Went to secondary school to study topography and map making. He was doing such work for the army when war broke out After the fall of Poland zygmunt returned to the family farm in Tzrebun. The Wehrmacht approached my grandfather saying that two of the four boys needed to join the Wehrmacht. They refused . Zygmunt and his brother Leon were taken to Germany as forced labor. Zygmunt ended up in Mathausen concentration camp and was liberated by the British. Zygmunt ended up in the UK in the polish resettlement Corp. He immigrated to New York in 1951 and passed away in 1975. I did email Nor-polishdiscoffice@mod.uk looking for info. Any direction or advice is appreciated. Leon Weber

  • Reply Bob March 19, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Alex,

    I have some photos of my father in the Polish Corps in Italy and I would like to know who the other soldiers are in them. Also, their descendants may not have a copy and might like to see. Where is the best forum to ask the question and post the photos?

    Bob

    • Reply Jo June 28, 2020 at 11:46 am

      Hi Bob, I’d love to see the photos in case my grandfather is in them

  • Reply Adrian Swirski July 13, 2019 at 7:56 am

    Hi Alex
    I am just starting to find out about my father his name was Franciszek Swirski he was a paratrooper and jumped at Arnhem so im hoping to be able to find some information about him i have tried several site but come up blank so far

    • Reply alex April 4, 2021 at 2:40 pm

      Hey Adrian! So incredible! Have you heard anything yet!? I would love to know more!

    • Reply Peter Malecki June 17, 2021 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Adrian I worked with Frank at Listers, what a great guy. My brother and I are fairly well advanced in researching my Dad. Would love to share our knowledge with you and where we found stuff

      Pete Malecki (Wotton Under Edge)

  • Reply John Sosna December 27, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Hi Alex, I must be doing something wrong as I have emailed NOR-PolishDiscOffice@mod.uk at least 3-4 times and have not had a reply, as yet. Perhaps they are inundated with requests?
    I am trying to get a copy of my father’s military record (Dr. Giersz Sosna – W.5127 (1939-1945). He somehow managed to get out of Poland via Russia, Romania (where his division was interned) and eventually on to North Africa and Italy with General Anders’ Polish 2nd Army Corp (British 8th Army)
    I have some of his medals from North Africa (Tobruk & Al Alamein) and a decorative ribbon and certificate from Monte Casino but I would love to have a more comprehensive record of his service. I also have some photos taken in the various campaigns which may be of interest to others. Any advice as to where to post them and how best to proceed with getting some info from NOR-PolishDiscOffice@mod.uk ?

    Regards, John

    • Reply alex January 4, 2020 at 1:14 am

      Hey John! Sorry to hear you haven’t heard anything back yet. I am wondering if they are inundated with requests. If you can wait a tiny bit longer, or maybe there’s an alternative email address … I will go and see if I can find out more information!

  • Reply JULIA ROGULA April 4, 2021 at 7:05 am

    Hi Alex and everyone. Have just discovered this site as have decided to investigate dad’s army record. Named Czeslaw F. Rogula who served with and was a young officer in 22nd Company, Polish Army Service Corps. His Corps badge was Syrenka. This must have been Gen Anders lot as he met him several times. It was in this Company he met and had fun with Wojtek the famous bear. It is detailed in Aileen Orr’s book Wojtek The Bear. If any of you have relatives who served in that company it is worth a look as has photos too. It details the history of him with the soldiers in that Corps as they moved campaigns. I also have photos of dad at officer school in Italy and with other soldiers in Italy so could share if you know a relative who was in that company. Thanks Alex for info about getting war records, will try.

  • Reply Andrzej August 5, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    I spoke with a lady at the MOD records office this morning (+44 208 573 3831) who asked me to get in touch with the Glasgow MOD records office (+44 141 224 3303 or +44 345 6009663) regarding service records of Polish personnel. So far I have not been able to get through.

  • Reply Leila Hays September 26, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    Hello, I would like to receive information as to the Polish Army my father served in WWII. I have an Identification serial #, but I will need to find out more information. What is the best way to find out this information?

  • Reply Alejandra April 24, 2022 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Alex,
    I´m also trying to find out about my grandfather though I don´t have much info. I was told he was a soldier but before WWII because by 1933 he was married to my grandmother and living in Argentina. His name was Marcos Wagmister (or Markus Wagmeister). He was born in 1896 (I don´t know if Poland was considered Poland in 1896 (no idea of town/city). Is there any possibility of finding out through parishes/churches?
    I would appreciate any advice you can give me to progress my search.

  • Reply Wendy Akar September 17, 2022 at 12:38 pm

    My father was Bazyli Szabala , he died 25/08/80 aged 68. He came to Scotland in 1943 with the Polish Resettlement Corp. I have been trying for years to find information but up to now have failed miserably.

  • Reply stefano pecorelli November 10, 2022 at 3:49 pm

    Good day
    I am Stefano Pecorelli
    i am writing to you from South Africa were i reside
    I am the son of the journalist Mino Pecorelli that was murdered in Rome on the 20 March 1979
    My father was a veteran of war having fought during the Italian liberation war
    with the Polish Army in ww2
    At the age of 16 he voluntarily joined the Polish Army 2nd Corps and contributed to the victory of Monte Cassino
    He was in the 2nd Company Commandos under the command of Leut.
    Felix Kepa
    He was decorated from Gen Anders with the highest medal of honor of the Polish nation the Polish Cross of Merit with Swords
    of which i am the custodian
    I am in possession of all the proving papers and documentation iincluding a photo of my father in the Polish uniform
    I am writing to you to establish contact and to know if you might have any records or a file reference of my father were i can follow his time in the
    Italian Liberation War
    At this stage i am informing you that i am available for any further contact
    cordially
    Stefano Pecorelli
    Cape Town
    South Africa

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