The information that we hold in our archives is primarily historical records of the antecedent Regiments and their many units rather than individual soldiers service records. Information and photographs can be found for a very limited number of RWF soldiers via the Enquiries service but this cannot be guaranteed.
For individual soldier’s service records we would recommend that you, in the first instance, contact those offices where the service records are kept. Individual service records are held by:
The Great War 1914-18 and earlier
The National Archives (NA) at Kew, formerly the PRO, holds the personal Service Records of soldiers and officers who served prior to 1920. Sadly about 60% of the 1914-18 Service Records were lost during the Blitz in 1940. The odds are therefore against your locating a Great War soldier’s Record. 1914-18 Service Records are also available online via www.ancestry.co.uk but a subscription charge is required.
The National Archives also holds the following; Pay Lists, Muster Rolls, Records of Pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Medal Rolls for campaigns between 1793 and 1904, Great War Campaign Medal index cards, Great War Medal Roll Books in regimental or unit order and War Diaries for WW1 and WW2.
The National Archives publishes useful guides for researchers -
• Army Records: A Guide for Family Historians
• First World War Army Service Records
These titles are available from the National Archives Online Bookshop.
Useful National Archives web sites:
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk (includes the on-line catalogue PROCAT)
www.1901census.com (1901 UK Census)
www.1911census.co.uk (1911 UK Census)
National Archives, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU
Tel: 0044 (0) 208876 3444
All Service Records of soldiers who served after 1920 (including those who enlisted earlier and were in service at this date) are held by the Ministry of Defence at the Army Personnel Centre. A fee is charged for each search, even if no material is discovered. A special form has to be completed prior to the search. It is essential that you quote the Regiment and Army number of the soldier concerned. There is always a long backlog of enquires so it may take some weeks to receive a reply. To download an application (SAR) form - visit www.veterans-uk.info and click on 'service Records'.
Army Personnel Centre, Historic Disclosures, Mailpoint 400, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow G2 8EX. Tel: 0044 (0)141 2243303 or 2242023
Casualties in World War 1 and 2
For soldiers who lost their lives during the two World Wars, grave or memorial details are available on-line from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at: www.cwgc.org
Please note: We do not hold Service Records of individual officers and soldiers. Please visit this section for information regarding Service Records and how to trace them.