Wartime Marriage Certificate

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Guy Hudson, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    I am interested to know what information can be found on a marriage certificate issued during the war in England. If it is for the marriage of a serviceman will it include his service number and unit?

    I ordered a certificate of a soldier that was married in Scotland in January 1942 and all it stated was that he was engaged in war service.

    amberdog45 likes this.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I have a copy of an English marriage certificate, from 1930s, and it states number, rank and regiment of the groom.
    A birth certificate I have a copy of, also interwar period, gives father's occupation merely as "Soldier". This occupation was actually incorrect but then the informant was neither of the parents.

    I'm guessing info recorded would be entirely reliant on what was offered and what was deemed acceptable by the Registrar.
  3. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Guy, was it the full marriage certificate or a copy of the extract from the register? Did you order it via Scotlandspeople?

    My great uncles wife died in 1939 and her death entry on the register revealed he was a private with the Glasgow Highlanders. Had it not been for this information I would never have been aware of his service. It didn't state service number on the death register.
  4. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member


    There has never been any legal requirement, in wartime or otherwise, for descriptions of persons named in birth, marriage or death certificates to include full armed forces particulars, and even when such particulars are included, there is no absolute guarantee that the particulars are correct.
    dbf likes this.
  5. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    My parents were married in 1941, when my father was a private in The Loyal Regiment, having been called up the previous year. On their marriage certificate it gives his rank, regiment and Army number.
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  6. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    I have a birth certificate issued to a Polish airman by the RAF and even this document includes his name, rank and number. I think, in war time, it must just depend on who takes the details as to what information appears on any certificate. See attached

    Attached Files:

  7. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    I suspect the case might be that soldiers and other military personnel were used to giving name rank and number as a matter of course - I have several marriage certificates from my research in which the details are all there, but other information is either wrong or somewhat misleading.
  8. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Thank you for the confirmation, very helpful.

    It was the full marriage certificate ordered through Scotlandspeople.

    As Dbf commented;

    I'm guessing info recorded would be entirely reliant on what was offered and what was deemed acceptable by the Registrar.

    I'm assuming this is the case. The soldier was a Commando, I wonder if this had any bearing on the information offered?

  9. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    The podcast primer I'm always recommending on the vagaries of civil registration is Audrey Collins' 60m edutaining ...
    ... to quite likely introduce some of you to human factors you've yet to realise. The Scottish registration system has always differed slightly from the English/Welsh system but, as a Scot herself, I've never found Audrey slow to flag up any important differences to her mainly-English Kew audiences.

    Then, FWIW, there's a rank, service # & trade example here:
    Need help with marriage certificate & RAF terminology - Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy - WW2 Talk

    And there's always site:ww2talk.com "marriage certificate" at DuckDuckGo to maybe unearth more examples ...

    :twocents: Steve
  10. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Just had a look at my parents marriage certificate....Mum and dad were married in August 1940, dad enlisted in the RAF in August 1939 and the certificate gives his rank service number and that he was serving in the RAF
    Owen and Guy Hudson like this.
  11. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    Just looking again at my parents' marriage certificate and I notice that, as well as giving my father's rank, regiment and number, it describes my mother as a 'patcher in a barrage balloon factory'. You could certainly tell there was a war on!
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  12. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    1940-08-18 - RG's parents' wedding.jpg
    My parents' 18 Aug '40 marriage cert, just had them as 'draughtsman' & 'shop assistant' - maybe dad subconsciously looking forward to his employer securing his reserved occupation release ? But what I'd not noticed before was his still wearing an RE cap badge 17 days after wholesale transfer to RA - room for speculation there ! FTR, mum had then yet to join the WAAF and the best man was RAF.


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