United Kingdom, World War I Service Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920 .
Whenever possible, Family Search makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record Custodians, The National Archives. The United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920 collection is available to the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The images can be viewed at a FamilySearch Center near you.
This collection will include records from 1914-1920 It contains records from two publications in the National Archives:
- WO 363 (War Office: Soldiers' Documents, First World War "Burnt Documents") surviving records of service for non commissioned officers and other ranks who served in the 1914-1918 war and did not re-enlist prior to the outbreak of war in 1939 and
- WO 364 (War Office: Documents from Pension Claims, First World War) service records of non-commissioned officers and other ranks who were discharged from the Army and claimed disability pensions for war service between 1914 and 1920 and did not re-enlist prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. The records are unlikely to contain information on individuals who did not claim a war pension.
Military records are of great genealogical value and may provide information not found in any other source. These records identify individuals who served or were eligible to serve in the military. Military service (other than the militia) was usually a lifetime career. Officers came from the upper classes; soldiers usually came from the poor.
The National Archives at Kew in the London area is the caretaker of most of the military records. It is important to understand the "fonds" or the way records are grouped. There is a Department code (ADM for admiralty, WO for War Office, etc) and a series number.
These records are the service files of soldiers who were discharged from the British army between 1914 and 1920. They are a collection known as the "unburned documents." They represent about 8 percent of the soldiers who served during those years.
The article British Military Records has more information about these records.
These records may contain the following information:
- Name of Soldier
- Place of birth
- Marital Status
- Date of marriage (If married)
- Wife’s maiden name
- Military rank
- Date of enlistment
- Place of enlistment
How to Use the Record
To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
Name of soldier
Search the Collection
To search the collection image by image, Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒Select the appropriate "Name Range - First Letter"
⇒Select the appropriate "Name Range - First Two Letters"
⇒Select the appropriate "Name Range - Surname" which takes you to the images.
Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.
Using the Information
- Use the age to calculate the approximate birth year.
- Use the place of birth and calculated birth year to search for a birth record.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection, see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citation for individual images are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on "show citation" box. United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920". Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. National Archives, Richmond, Surrey, England.