UK Military Service Records

A detailed guide on how to get a copy of military service records.

A Detailed Guide On How To Request UK Military Service Records

Did you know that you can access almost anyone’s military service records in the UK?

Whether you’re researching the military history of a family member or you need your own service records, it’s completely possible to do so.

You can even search for other records such as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, the Armed Forces Memorial roll of honour, the National Archives for service records from 1913 to 1920 or service records before 1913.


How To Apply For Your Own Military Service Records

If you have ever been a member of the Armed Forces, you’ll be eligible to make a request.

Requests are made by downloading this form and returning it to the address relevant to you (Section 5).

You can also use this form if you’re acting on behalf of the person, for example if you have lasting power of attorney.


How To Get Someone Else’s Service Records

If you’re trying to source another person’s military records for research purposes then you’ll only have access to limited information, unless they died more than 25 years ago.

When you make a request for a person that died less than 25 years ago, a restriction is placed on the information you receive as a duty of care by the MOD.

If you are their next of kin or have the consent of one, your application should go through quicker.

You need to know the person’s full name, date of birth and service number.

Military Service Records Application Process

To get this done, you need to fill in two forms and send them off.

The first form is called a request form.

You need to download, print and send the forms if you meet the following criteria:

Next Of Kin / Or You Have Consent

The administration fee of £30 will be waived for applications from those who were the spouse or civil partner of the subject at the time of death (or parent if there was no spouse or civil partner).

Not Next of Kin / No Consent

A fee of £30 is required for each request.


Next, the form you need to complete is the search form.

There are three different forms depending on what the person served as.

British Army
Royal Navy / Royal Marines
Royal Air Force

Once both forms are complete, post them.

The records you receive from 1920 onwards will consist of the following:

  • surname, first name, service number, rank and regiment or corps
  • place and date of birth
  • date they joined and left the armed forces
  • date of death, if they died in service
  • good conduct medals
  • details about their career, for example the units they served in – you can only get these 25 years after the date they died, unless you have consent from their next of kin
  • In some cases little or no information is available about someone’s military service.

Please Note: Some requests may be refused to protect the security or operations of the Armed Forces.

Resources

  1. Resources
  2. How To Apply For A Veterans ID Card
  3. Buying A Veterans Railcard
  4. Military Service Records
  5. Military Acronym List