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How do I find where a soldier was buried in WWI?

With the end of the First World War, both warfare strategies and methods in which the fallen heroes are memorialized were altered forever. Finding the burial spot for one World War I soldier may not be an easy job, but with proper supplies and techniques it can be accomplished. Here are some steps you can take to find where a soldier was buried during WWI.

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1. Gather information

The first thing you should do is gather as much information as possible about your soldier. Such information may include his or her full name, date of birth, date of passing on, etc. The data above is intended to assist in the selection process. There is also a need to remember that in writing out surnames and names, errors can arise on this count which may direct the search very far away from the searcher himself or herself for whom the search was meant and remember about it. For example, similar instances are likely to occur when writing down the year of birth, the place where conscription was done (the office), or the home address. Consequently, where it is suspected that there may be spelling mistakes on surnames, names, and patents, it is necessary to consider all possible variations of orthographic deviations of this notion.

2. Check military records

For someone to locate a soldier who died in the First World War, one should go through their military files. The burial records can provide details about where they are buried like the cemetery and tomb number or plot.

3. Contact the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)

A search facility for accessing the names of the around 1.7 million casualties amongst those who perished in both sets of World Wars is provided by the CWGC. You can access a searchable database that is accessible through their website by visiting this site to learn more about the soldiers' burial places.

4. Search online databases

The National Archives in the United Kingdom and the American Battle Monuments Commission are a couple of the websites that hold such records of those who died during World War I. Some of the databases could give info on the burial site of a specific soldier and can be helpful for genealogical research. For instance, the National Archives has a large number of military personnel files concerning where a particular soldier served or was buried. The United States Battle Monuments Commission provides a search facility whereby one can look for the burial place or remembrance of a soldier.

5. Visit war cemeteries and memorials

Use your knowledge of the general place where they were killed to find them on a list of names found in those areas' war cemeteries or monumental inscriptions. On its site, the CWGC has a map of all their cemeteries and memorials, across the globe. Doing so can help people locate the grave spot of a certain soldier and reveal their sacrifice on the battlefield. It is worth noting that not all the soldiers would have marked graves because others could have been presumed as missing in actions or even their remains could not be retrieved. In such instances, paying homage in memorials or monuments for war dead is perhaps a significant token of commemoration.

6. Contact local authorities

In case you locate exactly where the enemy soldier perished; you can inform the government officials in such a place whether he died and his grave location. These may guide you on the name of the cemetery or memorial that the dead soldier was buried in.

7. Hire a professional researcher

In case you run short of resources on information concerning a soldier's grave site, you need not despair as there are experienced researchers who specialize in the First World War military records that one could easily contact. Such data may even be restricted for unauthorized access or use by the public at large because they could be privileged members and enjoy special facilities from their employers' organizations. In addition, you can contact scholars and local historians dealing with World War I. Preferably, such individuals should be conversant with the area of combat or particular regions. Include references to sources used in supporting arguments. They are vital in identifying where the tombs might have been left.

8. Check with family members

You could also get the exact spot where the soldier was buried by the living relatives. Moreover, they might possess letters or papers that indicate where the soldier was laid to rest.

9. Explore the national archives

You can do research to determine where you can get information regarding the grave of a soldier who happened to be a compatriot. Also, they could have soldiers' lists and others that are useful in your search.

Do not forget that locating a military graveyard of World War I may be an energy-consuming process. To maximize the likelihood of one finding the needed information, it is essential to explore different channels and sources of information. Moreover, some burial grounds may remain unknown as they were either destroyed by wars or lost with time in this disorderly scenario of chaos.

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