If you would like to use the international tracing and message services, we can arrange an appointment for you at your nearest Red Cross office.
We will help you fill in a form which asks a lot of questions, including your and your family member's details, your relationship to the sought person, the last known address of your loved one and how you lost contact. We need as much information as you can give us to help us find your missing relatives.
If you do not speak English, you can bring along an adult family member, colleague or friend to help you. We can also try to provide an interpreter.
After you fill in the form
We will send the information you give us to the Red Cross or Red Crescent National Society in the country you believe your relatives are in, or to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who will try to find them. Our ability to trace people and deliver Red Cross messages depends on the information you can provide and local circumstances, including the security situation, in the relevant country.
We will only share the information you give us with your permission. No one will be able to find out from us where you live. You do not have to add your own address to the forms if you do not want to. You can use the British Red Cross as your contact address.
The Red Cross will always work as quickly, efficiently and thoroughly as possible. We will keep in regular contact with you and, as soon as we have information for you, we will contact you. However, we cannot tell you how long your enquiry may take.
Tracing families separated in the Second World War
The effects of war can be long lasting. The British Red Cross is still restoring contact between families who lost touch during the Second World War.
If you want to trace or find out the fate of close family members, or access records about your own life, we may be able to help. We work with Red Cross National Societies in the countries affected by the Second World War, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and also the international tracing service (ITS) to do this.
What information is required?
We need as much information as possible to trace relatives. We will help you fill in a form which asks for information such as the person's name, last known address, how you lost contact, places of detention, places and periods of forced employment and family details.
This information is then sent to the relevant Red Cross National Society who use it to search for relatives. In addition, we may send the information to ITS which holds records on civilians who suffered in Germany or on German occupied territory between 1933 and 1945, or to the ICRC whose archives hold records of prisoners of war.
To trace family members please contact your nearest Red Cross office.