British Army Service Records | (2023)

Coldstream Guards 1800-1947 This set has been made available by The Coldstream Guards Charitable Fund. It comprises of many different regimental history records including Discharge Books, Courts Martial Book, Decorations and Rewards and Officers' Statements of Services.

The Coldstream Guards are the oldest regiment in the British Army in continuous active service, the regiment’s origins date back to the English Civil War. The Regiment has served in every major conflict and many minor ones since it raised.

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Scots Guards Enlistment Registers, 1799-1939 This set has been made available by the Scots Guards. It comprises regimental enlistment records from 1799 to 1939. The attestation books record the place, date, and age of the soldier at the time of attestation. You will also find the soldier’s birth place, spouse’s name, marriage date, and trade prior to joining the army. The books also recorded if the individual received medals or was wounded during service, as well as the individual’s rank at the time of discharge.

The Scots Guards can trace its origin back to 1642 when they were known as the Marquis of Argyll’s Royal Regiment. Throughout its history, the regiment has also be known as the Scots Regiment of Foot Guards, 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards, and the Scots Fusilier Guards. Finally, in 1877, the regiment received its title as Scots Guards. The enlistment records include the names of men who served in the Seven Years War, the Napoleonic War, the Crimean War, and the two world wars.

Scots Guards Officer Enlistment Registers, 1642-1939 The officer enlistment books provide dates of promotion to officer ranks such as lieutenant, captain, major, or lieutenant colonel. The remarks column details the officer’s mobilisation dates and resignation dates, as well as whether the officer was wounded or received medals or awards. Some records will include a date of death, especially in cases where the officer was killed in action or died of wounds. These books have been made available online by the Scots Guards.

WO 22 - Royal Hospital Chelsea: returns of payment of Army and other pensions 1842-1883In this series, you will find documents related to pensions paid by the Royal Hospital Chelsea. They will detail a soldiers’ change of residence and date of death. Furthermore, they detail the rate of pension paid and whether and when a pension was expired, reduced, renewed, or increased. The date of admission to out-pensioners will give you an indication as to when your ancestor retired from the armed forces.

WO 23 - Royal Hospital Chelsea: admission books, registers, and papers 1702-1876This series was created to administer pensions payable by the commissioners of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, to both in-pensioners and out-pensioners. These superannuation books recorded your ancestor’s rank, department or regiment, date of commencement, rate of pension paid, and payment dates. Some of the books will have additional notes such as birth dates and whether your ancestor was an in- or out-pensioner.

(Video) Channel 4 News, launches WWI British Army Service Records, 1914-1920

WO 25 – Royal Engineers Officers’ Service Records In this series, you will find records of service for officers in the Royal Engineers. In the documents, you can find details of their rank and dates of service. The forms also include the campaigns your ancestors served in along with information on any marriages, births of children during service and the names and address of next of kin.

WO 76 - Regimental records of officers' services 1775-1914
The records found in this series were created by individual regiments and pertain solely to officers. They do not include every regiment and the level of information for each regiment varies. In the documents, you can find your ancestor’s rank, regiment, service dates, commissioned ranks, and promotions. You may also be able to learn additional background about your ancestor prior to his joining the forces, for instance his date and place of birth and his education background, including if he could speak any foreign languages.

WO 96 - Militia service records 1806-1915The WO96 series includes your ancestor’s attestation form, which was completed when he was recruited. The form includes marital status, occupation, details related to any previous service, residence, and next of kin. Each form recorded your ancestor’s medical examination; here you can find a physical description of your ancestor including height, hair colour, and eye colour. The forms were updated during his service and will have a full service history.

WO 97 – Chelsea: pensioners British Army service records 1760-1913These records were collected and recorded to determine a person’s eligibility for a pension from the Royal Chelsea Hospital. They recorded an individual’s rank and regiment, service number, birth place, occupation, attestation date and service history. Some will include a statement about the person’s character and proceedings of the regimental board.

WO 121 - Chelsea: pensioners' discharge documents 1760-1887The records found in this series are similar to WO97. This series contains some of the collections oldest records. They recorded a person’s birth place, the length of service, and why the soldier was discharged. For example, in the records we find Lieutenant Colonel Robert Able of Norwich, who was 43 years old when he was discharged, ‘Having the rheumatism and being worn out’ after serving for 20 years and 6 months.

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WO 122 - Chelsea: pensioners' discharge documents, foreign regiments 1816-1817These records are certificates of service for pensions from foreign regiments: King’s German Legion, Foreign Veteran Battalions, and the Royal Foreign Wagon Train. In this series, you will find your ancestor’s rank and regiment, home parish and length of service and regiment, as well as his physical description. Some of the documents include both portrait and landscape layouts; use the rotation feature on the left side of the image to rotate the image in order to read the document better.

WO 128 - Imperial Yeomanry, soldiers' documents, South African War 1899-1902The soldiers featured in these records enlisted with the Imperial Yeomanry for a short period during the South African War. They are similar to other attestation records and contain the same information. The Imperial Yeomanry, a volunteer cavalry regiment, was created on 24 December 1899 by Royal Warrant because of a need for more troops in South Africa.

WO 131 - Chelsea: documents of soldiers awarded deferred pensions 1838-1896This collection comprises 42,000 images relating to the records of 6,000 men for the period 1838-1896. You will find nominal rolls of soldiers awarded pensions as well as discharge documents of pensioners. The documents recorded a soldier’s rank and regiment, enlistment date, age at enlistment, promotions, reductions, and years of service. You may also find a statement about the soldier’s conduct and notes of distinguished service.

WO 339 - Officers' services, First World War, regular army and emergency reserve officersThis series is presented on Findmypast as transcript-only. The transcripts were created from records and correspondences related to officers in the regular army and the emergency reserve during the First World War. These records have not yet been digitised but can be viewed in their original state at The National Archives, Kew, London.

WO 363 - First World War service records 'burnt documents'Around two-thirds of the 6.5 million WO 363 documents were destroyed during the bombing of the War Office Record Office in London in September 1940. Many of the surviving records, which pertain to the service of non-commissioned officers and men, were either burnt or damaged by water from the firemen’s hoses and are known as the “burnt documents.” Please note that the WO 363 series may contain poor quality images due to the fire and water-damaged condition of the original documents.

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WO 364 - First World War pension claimsWO 364 are service records of non-commissioned officers and men who were discharged from the British Army and who either claimed disability pensions for war service from 1914 to 1920 or who were deemed likely to claim a pension. These records were stored with the Ministry of Pensions and, therefore, escaped the bombing that so decimated the records we now find in WO 363.These records are unlikely to contain any papers for soldiers who were either killed in action and had no dependents or who were discharged as part of the demobilisation at the end of the First World War and did not claim a pension.

WO 374 - Officers' services, First World War, personal filesThis is an index of men who served as officers in the British Army during the First World War. Original papers for these men can be viewed in their original state at The National Archives, Kew, London. You can discover your ancestor’s rank, regiment and service number.

WO 400 - The Household Cavalry 1801-1919The Household Cavalry is the oldest and most senior units in the British Army, dating back to 1600, and are the Queen’s official bodyguards. The Household Cavalry comprised the 1st Life Guards, 2nd Life Guards and the Royal Horse Guards. During the First World War, a fourth regiment, The Household Battalion, was also raised, and this collection contains the service records of non-commissioned officers and men who served with all four regiments. Today, The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is stationed at Hyde Park Barracks and provides the army’s mounted state ceremonial duties, making them the public face of the British Army. These regimental records will provide you with your ancestor’s service history.

British Army, Soldiers’ Address 1914-1918These names and addresses of soldiers were written into an address book of a local Folkestone woman as the men passed through the town on their way to France during the First World War. Some of them would not return. Our thanks to Geoff Tabrah for sending us this family heirloom so that we could copy and preserve these men's details. The book was originally owned by Geoff's wife's great-aunt.


Can you look up military service records UK? ›

You can apply for either: your own service records if you are, or have been, a member of the armed forces. the records of someone who's deceased if you're eligible, for example you're their immediate next of kin or you're researching them.

Can I view my military service records online? ›

You can also check the status of your military records request by signing in to milConnect and going to the Personnel File tab within the Defense Personnel Records Information (DPRIS) section. This is also where you'll review and download your files once they're ready.

Can you look up military records for free? ›

Generally there is no charge for basic military personnel and medical record information provided to veterans, next of kin and authorized representatives from Federal (non-archival) records. Some companies advertise DD Form 214 research services and will charge a fee for obtaining copies.

How do I find my grandfather's military records for free? ›

You can find veterans' military service records from World War I to the present from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). The NPRC houses many types of records, including Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF).

Where can I find British military records? ›

4.1 General repositories
  • Cambridge University, Churchill Archives Centre. ...
  • Imperial War Museum Department of Documents. ...
  • King's College London, Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives. ...
  • Leeds University Library, Liddle Collection. ...
  • National War Museum of Scotland. ...
  • Southampton University Library. ...
  • Army Museums Ogilby Trust.

How do I find my British ww2 service records? ›

Records of individuals

Military service records of the Second World War, including those for servicewomen and military nurses, are still held by the Ministry of Defence. Visit the GOV.UK website for further information.

Are military service records public? ›

Access to Records, Information for the General Public:

Without the consent of the veteran or next-of-kin, the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) can only release limited information from the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) to the general public.

How do I verify someone's military service? ›

Verification of Military Service

Please use the Defense Manpower Data Center's (DMDC) Military Verification service to verify if someone is in the military. The website will tell you if the person is currently serving in the military. The site is available 24-hours a day.

Can grandchildren request military records? ›

Most veterans and their next-of-kin can request copies of their DD Form 214 and other 20th Century military and medical personnel records online, via eVetRecs. 2. What form do I use to request information from military service records? Please use the Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records.

Can you get military records on Ancestry? ›

Searching military databases

From any page on Ancestry®, search all military records by clicking the Search tab and selecting Military. If your search results contain more records than are helpful, try adding information to your search one field at a time until you get results you can use.

How do you find family members who fought in ww2 for free? ›

If a family member served in World War II, the next step in your research is the National Personnel Records Center and Military Personnel Records in St. Louis, Missouri. It is the repository of personnel files for discharged and deceased veterans of all branches of service.

What is the best website for military records UK? ›

Findmypast's British Army service records is one of the most significant British Army collections available online. There are more than 8 million records available.

How do I find ww1 British soldiers records? ›

Search military records of non-commissioned officers and other ranks on (charges apply) and (charges apply) including service records (WO 363), pension records (WO 364) and campaign medal cards.

How do I find my father's record in ww2? ›

If the individual came home then his discharge papers will provide a lot of valuable information. If you do not have these papers you will want to contact the National Personnel Records Center To get this information you must fill out a Standard Form 180.

Where can I find 2nd World War 2 service records? ›

One of the best places to start looking for Soldier Records are on Rolls of Honour. These are kept by many organisations including schools, universities and companies, and often show complete lists of servicemen and women that can include details such as rank, regiment and medal details.

How do I find family members who fought in ww2 UK? ›

To identify your ancestor in British war records from World War II, a good place to start might be the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website.
Conscription records may include the following types of information:
  1. Name.
  2. Birth date.
  3. Date of conscription and date military service began.
Dec 20, 2019

How to find a veteran by name for free? ›

The National Archives offers a database of veterans that individuals may search for free, on most occasions. The free military records search is helpful for confirming service along with other documentation.

How do I find out if someone was in the Army UK? ›

Visit the GOV.UK website for information about how to request a summary of a service record not already transferred to The National Archives from the Ministry of Defence (MOD). These are available to next of kin and members of the general public on request to the MOD, provided the subject is no longer living.

Who is next-of-kin for military records? ›

Who is considered the veteran's next-of-kin? The term “next-of-kin” is defined by the United States Government as one of the following individuals: the spouse or surviving widow (if not remarried) or the parent, child, or sibling of the veteran.

Who is considered next-of-kin for military records? ›

The next-of-kin is defined as any of the following: the un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran. Next-of-kin must provide proof of death of the veteran, such as a copy of the death certificate, a letter from the funeral home or a published obituary.

What benefits can I get if my grandfather was in the military? ›

Elderly Veterans may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military Veterans. VA benefits include disability compensation, pension, education and training, health care, home loans, insurance, Veteran Readiness and Employment, and burial.

Can I get my deceased father's military records? ›

Online requests may be submitted to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) by a veteran or deceased veteran's next-of-kin using eVetRecs at .

Does FamilySearch have military records? ›

This includes indexes to service records, service and pension files, enlistment registers, bounty land warrants, prisoner of war records, soldier home records. The FamilySearch Library's major collections of United States military records are described in United States Military Records under the war headings.

Is ancestry com free for military? ›

There is currently no military discount for military members, veterans, and their families. However, on federal holidays such as Memorial Day, you will find a nationwide tribute on social media and a free search of military records using Fold3®.

Is there a list of ww2 veterans? ›

Last survivors
Grigor Baindoerasjvili1918/1919Germany
Jale Bainisika1914/1915Fiji
Richard M. Barancik19 October 1924United States
Clarence Beavers12 June 1921United States
76 more rows

How can I find out where my grandfather served in ww2 free? ›

Free access to the collection is available at the FamilySearch Library U.S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945. It lists name, state, rank, service, plot, and burial date.

Who is considered a World War 2 veteran? ›

(1) World War II veteran The term “World War II veteran” means a person who— (A) served during World War II— (i) in the active military, naval, or air service of the United States during World War II; or (ii) in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, while the forces ...

Can you verify someone's military service? ›

Verification of Military Service

Please use the Defense Manpower Data Center's (DMDC) Military Verification service to verify if someone is in the military. The website will tell you if the person is currently serving in the military. The site is available 24-hours a day.

How do I find my father's Royal Navy records? ›

The National Archives (TNA) holds most of the service records for men who served up to the 1920s. The National Museum of the Royal Navy holds some additional records at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.

Is there a database for military personnel? ›

The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) is the repository of millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century. (Records prior to WWI are in Washington, DC.)

How do I know if I'm being scammed by a military person? ›

Military Scams: What to Look For
  • They say they are on a "peacekeeping" mission.
  • They say they are looking for an honest woman.
  • They note that their parents, wife or husband is deceased.
  • They say they have a child or children being cared for by a nanny or other guardian.
  • They profess their love almost immediately.

How do I pull someone's military records? ›

To access military service records, requesters may:
  1. Mail a letter or Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records to: National Personnel Records Center. 1 Archives Drive. St. Louis, MO 63138.
  2. Fax a letter or Standard Form 180 to: 314-801-9195.
Jan 23, 2023

Does ancestry have military records? ›

Resources on Ancestry®

The U.S. Military Collection on Ancestry contains more than 100 million names and 700 titles and databases of American military records.


1. Ancestry Family History - Military Records | Ancestry
2. How To Find Military Ancestors - Expert Q&A | Findmypast
3. Ancestors & Regiment Records - | Findmypast
4. The British Army: Militia and Special Reserve
5. Forces War Records | Genealogy tutorial
6. Top level tips: First World War army records
(The National Archives UK)


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