Detective work by a British historian has unearthed information that could enable thousands to piece together their family histories.
Peter Barton had been commissioned by the Australian government to carry out research, following the discovery of a mass grave on World War I battlefield at Fromelles in France.
That trail led him to the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, and to the card indexes and registers compiled between 1914 and 1918. Details include whereabouts of prisoners, their condition or injuries at the time of capture, and the location of field burials.
Some of the records refer to other mass graves, with exact directions as to where they were dug, and the identities of the soldiers who were buried. Where possible, the registers include home addresses and next of kin.
The Red Cross is working to bring the archive to digitise the records and they hope to have the archive online by 2014. Read more about WW1 Records Found in Red Cross Archives
For more Military Records see The Canadian Military Heritage Project