United Kingdom, World War I Service Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United Kingdom
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Location of United Kingdom
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Record Description
Record Type World War I Service
Collection years 1914-1920
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
The National Archives


What is in This Collection?

This collection will include records from 1914-1920 It contains records from two publications in the National Archives:

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.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians.

These images can be viewed online by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a Family History Center near you, or the Family History Library. Also, the images are viewable to users who have contributed to the FamilySearch Indexing effort. Learn how to be a part of FamilySearch indexing here.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Service records may contain the following information:

  • Name of Soldier
  • Place of birth
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Marital Status
  • Date of marriage (If married)
  • Wife’s maiden name
  • Military rank
  • Date of enlistment
  • Place of enlistment
  • Religion

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the soldier
  • Approximate date of service

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select Name Range - First Letter
  2. Select Name Range - First Two Letters
  3. Select Name Range - Surname to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the age to calculate the approximate birth year
  • Use the place of birth and calculated birth year to search for a birth record
  • Use the spouse's name to search for a marriage record
  • Use the soldier's age and location of the military unit to find his family in census, church, and land records
  • Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have served in the same unit or a nearby unit

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Titles may be clues to property ownership, occupations, rank, or status within the community
  • Check for variant spellings of the names
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. In addition local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
  • Search the records of nearby military units

Record Finder

Consult the England Record Finder and Wales Record Finder to find other records

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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 support@familysearch.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.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.