World War I
All packages and their eventual content are dependent on the amount of information available and the records found. There are no guarantees as to a positive search result in every case. In the absence of a service record or other documentation no refund of the initial search fee can be given as it only covers the time spent on the search itself and not its result. Once the initial search has been completed the researcher will contact the enquirer to notify them of the findings of that search and advise them whether there is sufficient information to proceed with a particular package. The enquirer then chooses which package they want based on the amount of information available, their personal requirements and their budget.
The Standard, Gold and Gold Plus packages are recommended for those soldiers who have surviving service records. Please note that around 60% of all First World War service records were destroyed by fire after a German bombing raid over London during the Second World War. Of those that remain, many are badly damaged. These packages are possible to research and put together without service records but are much more difficult and require much more time to assemble. They would therefore enter the realms of bespoke enquiries and fees would have to be negotiated and agreed in these cases if the enquirer still wished to proceed with a fuller and more comprehensive report.
If the subject of an enquiry is a soldier whose military service encompassed periods both before and after 1914, or who served in both World War I and World War II, then a bespoke package may apply, depending on the circumstances of that service. The case will be evaluated to ascertain whether it is likely to take time and resources well beyond those usually required for the completion of a standard package. If so, then a bespoke package would be appropriate. In these circumstances, the research team at Unknown Soldier will discuss the case with the enquirer with a view to providing an estimate of the time needed and a quote for the cost of the finished package. All outstanding payments (the cost of the package) must be made prior to the report being completed.
Basic Report (Included in the cost of the Initial Search)
The Basic Report is a brief summary of a soldier's service between 1914 and 1920 and covers the salient points of that service. It is presented in a folder. The cost of the report is incorporated within the Initial Search Fee of £40 and therefore no supplementary payment is required. This report is ideal for enquirers who simply require the rudimentary details of a soldier's military service and provides the following information where available:
- Date of enlistment
- Place of enlistment
- Regiment or corps
- Service number
- Secondary regiment or corps if applicable
- Secondary service number if applicable
- Embarkation date
- Theatre of war
- Date of death if died in service
- Circumstances of death if died in service
- Place of burial or commemoration if died in service
- Date of discharge if survived the war
- Reasons for discharge
- Silver War Badge
award details if discharged due to wounds or sickness
- Gallantry & campaign medals awarded.
Standard Report £125
The Standard Report is a comprehensive summary of the soldier's full military service presented in a folder with a themed cover page and all subsequent sheets watermarked with the regimental badge. This report is based on the findings of both the Initial Search and a further period of half a day of research to ascertain more facts and detail and gain a more in-depth knowledge of the subject of the enquiry and his or her service. As well as the information contained in the Basic Report the following additional material will be included where available:
- The soldier's date and place of birth
- Details of immediate family
- All census information found prior to enlistment
- A list of any major battles and actions in which he fought
- Details of promotions, conduct and awards whilst in service
- All census information found on the soldier after his discharge from the army if applicable
- Details of marriage and children
- Date and place of death if not in service
- Copies of all relevant documentation such as service records included as appendices to the finished report.
Gold Report £360
The Gold Report is presented as a full narrative of a soldier's military service. It places the soldier as the central character in the story of a particular episode in British military history. It is packaged in a presentation buckram cloth folder in a choice of colours with a themed cover page and all subsequent sheets watermarked with the regimental badge. This report is based on the findings of both the Initial Search and a substantial period of research to ascertain more facts and detail and gain a more in-depth knowledge of the subject of the enquiry and his or her service. The cost also covers the extensive time required to complete the final report and present it in its finished form. It contains everything mentioned in the Standard Report but the report itself is in narrative form. It includes the following additional material:
- A history of the regiment or regiments in which the soldier served
- A full account of the campaigns in which the soldier served
- A full account of the major battles and actions in which the soldier fought
- Relevant maps to illustrate battles and campaigns
- Relevant pictures and images to accompany the narrative
- Trench maps to illustrate exactly where a soldier was during salient points in his wartime service.
Gold Plus Report £375
The Gold Plus Report is identical to the Gold Report except that the finished report is presented in a leather folder in a choice of colours, embossed with a personalised heading on the front cover.
The Gold and Gold Plus Reports would be ideal as gifts to a family member or someone special and can be passed on through future generations as family heirlooms and permanent records of an ancestor's military exploits.