(UK) Britain Enemy Aliens and Internees WW I and WW II Collections #general
Jan Meisels Allen
Recently, findmypast released over 139,000 records of "enemy aliens" who
were investigated during both World Wars. These were released in
association with the (UK) National Archives. The majority of the records
are >from World War II.
These enemy aliens/ foreign nationals were categorized to determine the
threat they posed to national security. Category A designation meant an
immediate threat they posed to national security and need for internment,
Category B were individuals not initially detained but given some
restrictions on travel and ownership. Category C were women-both refugees
or based off their marriage were considered enemy aliens.
A number of those not interned were allowed to serve the British Armed
Forces-in the Pioneer Corps-the only British unit that enemy aliens could
serve in early in the war. These were predominately Jews and political
opponents of the Nazi regime. I normally only report on subscription site
collections that are made available at no charge, but due to the nature of
these records and the large number of Jews in World War II who had escaped
to England >from Germany and Austria who ended up fighting for the British.
By the end of World War II, one in seven Jewish refugees joined the British
forces. Many of these men appear in the records.
To read more go to Thomas MacEntee's posting on GeneaPress at:
To search the records go to:
[or http://tinyurl.com/jph3uzr --Mod.]
If you do not have a subscription to findmypast, their database is available
at Family History Centers/Libraries available to use at no charge.
Findmypast put together a number of collections available at the National
Archives (England and Wales) to make this particular block of records. The
cards are >from the HO 396 series of records at the National Archives. You
may search these through the National Archives online site discovery at:
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C9260 . Apparently, only
the cards' fronts were digitized and there is important information on the
back of the cards. The findmypast cited link above also lists other digital
Thank you to Jeanette Rosenberg OBE for information on this new collection.
I have no affiliation with findmypast and am posting this solely for the
information of the reader.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee