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British Army WWI Service Records

Example of damaged service record
Do you have family members who fought with the British Army in World War I? If so, you might find them in Fold3’s new collection of British Army WWI Service Records (via the National Archives of the UK).

This collection has service records for non-commissioned officers and “other ranks” (soldiers below officer rank) of the World War I era British army. The soldiers in the collection are typically those who were discharged between 1914 and 1920, those who were killed in action or died of wounds or disease during that time, or those who were demobilized at the war’s end. Some of these soldiers may have enlisted as early as 1892. The records do not include those who served with armies from Commonwealth countries, nor those who continued to serve with the British army after 1920.

The range of service records available in this collection is limited by the fact that many of them were destroyed during a 1940 bombing, leaving behind only roughly 40 percent of the original number. However, despite this, Britain’s National Archives microfilmed all the surviving service records, and those records are what appear in this collection. Because of the bombing, some of the surviving service records are damaged, sometimes affecting their readability.

On Fold3, these records are organized by the soldier’s surname. Keep in mind that some names may have been misspelled in the records, and that some soldiers used initials or nicknames instead of their given first name.

The records include various forms, depending on the individual, such as attestation forms, medical history forms, casualty forms, disability statements, regimental conduct sheets, awards, proceedings on discharge, and others. From these records, you may find information like the soldier’s name, age, birthplace, occupation, marital status, regimental number, date of attestation, physical description, and more.

Examples of service record documents include:

Have you found any family members in the British Army WWI Service Records? Tell us about it! Or get started exploring this collection or other International records.


  1. Elizabeth N. Ganley says:

    Are there any Crimean war records?

  2. Susan E. Barr says:

    My Grandfather, Marion Raymond Reeder, served with the British in WW1. King Edward sent a letter to my Great grandmother that is now framed with postcards of the Royal family, King and the Queen. I also have his bugle that is original, stamped with manufacturer mark.

  3. Ian Carr says:

    My uncle lied about his age, was sent to the WW1 western front, and died of bayonet wounds in a British Casualty Clearing Hosptal at age about 16. A nurse wrote a critical letter to my GM, in 1916 The surname is Carr, I think his first name was James, but I’m not sure.

  4. L Hughes says:

    I have letters that my great grandfather wrote to my great-grandmother during his service in World War I. However, I have not been able to locate any records for him! I’m also not sure what other resources might be available! Any tips?

  5. Christel Gift says:

    My grandfather was in Franz Joseph’s, Emperor of Austria, elite Calvary. He served from 1901 to 1904 in Vienna.
    His name was Johann M. Stangl.
    He was born April 28, 1880.

    I have a picture of him in his uniform.
    i cannot read Austrian/German and would like to know where to find a record of his service.

  6. Nancy H. Cody says:

    My grandfather, Wm. Leonard Hall, served in the U.S. Army in WW I. He served with Co. M, 119th Infantry, 30th Division. The 30th Division was assigned to the American 2nd Corps and attached to the British Army. To boost morale, King George V visited the soldiers and presented a letter with his signature to each soldier. In June 1918 the division underwent extensive combat training under British supervision, and exchanged their American equipment & firearms for British equivalents. Leonard served as a messenger boy on the battle front at the Hindenburg Line. On 29 Sep 1918, the 119th & 120th infantry regiments attacked the German lines. Despite high casualties, the 30th Division broke through the Hindenburg Line on the Cambrai – St. Quentin front. On 19 Oct 1918, while on the St. Souplet Sector, he was under heavy shell fire & the noise so great he & his comrades could barely stand it. After this, Leonard noticed he could not hear from his left ear. He never regained his hearing in that ear. He served overseas from 12 May 1918 to 2 April 1919. He was honorably discharged at Camp Jackson, SC on 7 April 1919.