The format of your report

Every report that I produce contains the following sections. The length, content and presentation of each section depends on the findings and how much explanation needs to be provided.


  • Who engaged me to carry out the work
  • Our starting point: what was known about the soldier

The sources searched and the results of those searches:

  • Description of the sources (location, document types and their significance)
  • Notes on what was found or not found, and any significance of the latter
  • Citations or links to sources found

Narrative of the soldier’s story:

  • Summary of the man’s personal background before joining the army
  • Chronological narrative of each step of his military story
  • Explanation of technical matters and why things happened to him, when and the way they did
  • Expanded detail of key events, such as when he became a casualty
  • Identification of any gaps or uncertainties in the story
  • His entitlement to medals and pension
  • Summary of the man’s personal background after leaving the army, if applicable

Technical and background information

  • Explanation of laws and army regulations applicable to the man’s military story (for example, if he was conscripted into service or discharged on medical grounds)
  • Summary war history of the unit(s) with which he served, and an explanation of the size, structure and role of such a unit
  • Any other information that may help to provide a good understanding of the context of the man’s military service

Potential next steps you might consider

  • A suggested reading list
  • Local archives that may hold useful documents