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!

13 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 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

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