British Army Service Numbers: Explained

See when a service number was issued by the British Army since 1950.

A Brief History Of British Army Service Numbers

Service personnel for the British Army have been issued a seven or eight digit service number since 1950.

Before the 50’s, service numbers were issued at regimental level.

These service numbers would then stay with that soldier forever.

For example, if you or I were to join the Royal Tank Regiment before 1950, our service numbers would be somewhere between 7868001 – 7891868.

A more detailed explanation can be found here: WW2 Army Service Numbers

If we transferred to Royal Army Medical Corps later on, the number would stay the same but be different to those who started in the RAMC.

Army Service Numbers After WW2

Due to a huge influx in new soldiers, the British Army devised a new service numbering system.

Rather than being dependant on the starting regiment, service numbers would now be issued Army wide.

The table below shows you Army numbers from 1950 onwards.

British Army Service Numbers By Year

Service NumbersFromUntil
22000000 to 22199408October 1950
22199409 to 22460786October 1950February 1951
22460787 to 22562759February 1951July 1951
22562760 to 23052500July 1951June 1955
23052501 to 23188252June 1955October 1955

23188253 to 23479123October 1955May 1956
23479124 to 23845071May 1956October 1960
23845072 to 23969619October 1960April 1964
23969620 to 24033484April 1964October 1964
24033485 to 24057159October 1964April 1965
24057160 to 24076468April 1965December 1966
24076469 to 24182226December 1966April 1969
24182227 to 24262662April 1969September 1971
24262663 to 24302033September 1971September 1972
24302034 to 24315610September 1972January 1973
24315611 to 24322198January 1973February 1973
24322199 to 24355527February 1973August 1974
24355528 to 24369281August 1974September 1975
24369282 to 24475540September 1975May 1978
24475541 to 24520161May 1978March 1979
24520162 to 24579860March 1979August 1980
24579861 to 24587118August 1980March 1981
24587119 to 24753060March 1981December 1985
24753061 to 24854044December 1985November 1988
24854045 to 25012465November 1988January 1992
25012466 to 25027818January 1992July 1993
25027819 to 25065603July 1993July 1997
25065604 to 25130600July 1997February 2001
25130601 to 25136865February 2001August 2001
25136866 to 25139703August 2001August 2001
25139704 to 252xxxxxAugust 2001to March 2007

British Army Service Number Lookup

If you’re hoping to find military personnel by their service number then you’re out of luck.

There is no, open source database of Army numbers and the soldiers they’re assigned to.

Rather than trying to look up British Army service numbers, you could try and request military service records but only if that person passed away more than 25 years ago.

The Star Of A New Era

April 2007 saw the new Army numbering structure for all tri-services start with 3000.

This system should allow for ~10 million soldiers to have a service number beginning with 3.

At the current rate of new service personnel joining, it looks as though this system will be in place for a very long time.


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