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Requesting UK Service Records


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27 replies to this topic

#1 alieneyes

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 05:35 PM

Unlike the United States, Canada and Australia gaining access to the service records of WWII UK veterans, whether they be alive or dead, killed in action or prisoner of war, is not the easiest thing.

The Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, as components of the Ministry of Defence, must comply with the UK Data Protection Act of 1998.

If you are not next-of-kin it can be done but will require the ability to locate the veteran and have him apply for his own records or, more often than not at this late date, locate his family and have them apply on your behalf. This can get very expensive and involves applying for birth, marriage and death certificates from the General Register Office, not always with positive results.

If you are next of kin, and can prove it, then your options change. Keep in mind that in WWII most next of kin would either be parents, spouses or siblings and these are the names the relevant military records will have on file. In most cases parents and spouses have passed away and it is up to you to show the connection.

If you visit this site:

Service records

you can access the required forms and depending on the branch of service your relative served in (click on logo of branch of service) obtain the necessary address where to send your inquiry.

What if your relative was not a British serviceman but was part of the many exile militaries (eg. Polish, Czech etc) based in the UK in WWII? Click on the link that says "Non UK and Commonwealth Service Personnel" for some additional information and addresses.

The personnel at these agencies are hardworking people who do their best to get you the information you have requested but as is the case in this age of cutbacks they are trying to do more with less.

I guess that's the nice way of saying you'll be waiting a while as the internet has opened up a whole new world for genealogy and the MOD has stacks of requests from next-of-kin.
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#2 LRusso216

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 07:56 PM

Thanks for this alieneyes. I'm pinning the thread so that our British members have a handy reference point for accessing British military records. I hope it is as helpful as the thread for US records.

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#3 bdmalta

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 06:16 PM

This detailed account sums the situation up well but don't give up - you may be lucky! I've had mixed fortunes, trying to track down members (or descendants) of RE Bomb Disposal Malta for a book using family history techniques, including 'reunited' sites. I had two major successes: one officer living in the same county as me who'd written a diary, and the cousin of another who was accepted as next of kin, allowing me access to the Army Service Record.

#4 Lesleym

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 09:40 PM

My father has had the forms to request his fathers records for the past two years. Not knowing whether to send them in or not.

He FINALLY sent them last week and got a reply today, saying that he could expect a reply to his request within the next 6 - 8 MONTHS !! :eek:

So if you are thinking about it, do it now and don't wait like my father did.

#5 trooper

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:44 PM

having trouble locating british army records .If you know your relative,s regiment or corps . Try regimental museum
you could be lucky lots of imfomation is available .Get in touch with the curator .

#6 BFBSM

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 06:09 AM

having trouble locating british army records .If you know your relative,s regiment or corps . Try regimental museum
you could be lucky lots of imfomation is available .Get in touch with the curator .


But remember a large number of the Regimental Museums are run by volunteers and they may not be open every day of the week, so you may be waiting a while for a response from there too. But it would probably be quicker than the records.

#7 matt3cx

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 04:22 PM

I could do with some/lots of help in trying to find out about what my granfather done during ww2,like many he didnt talk about it when he returned so my gran didnt know much,and she has now passed away.All we know is there are pictures of egypt, and italy and pictures from Cortina D Ampezzo,he also had a badge with a black cat in a red back ground, his name was wilfred palmer, and i think his number was 1114562, any ideas????

#8 sonofacameron

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:32 AM

That is the badge of the 56th (London) Infantry Division. You now need to find which regiment he was in. Details of the Division here; 3rd Infantry Division [British] 1939-1945

#9 4th wilts

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:10 AM

Nightmare,bloody useless nightmare.4W
"G-Garmans here.? I don't care much for Garmans .!"Thanks 4th wilts.:) !

#10 urqh

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 05:40 AM

Anyone requesting recent RAF records not just ww2..will find some coming back with a comment that fire destroyed the rest of file..Not all..but some I know in RAF who I served with are getting this back in last few years.


British Army 1939-1945 - World War II Tribute Video

 

 

[URL="http://youtu.be/Zbp_4XBmD4w"]

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 


#11 SirJahn

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 02:47 PM

How would one go about requesting service records of Indian soldiers from WWII.  I have the names of two Indian Nursing Sepoys that were in the Rennes POW Hospital and would like to follow up on them.  In particular if they filed E&E reports.

CPL  Sohan Singh

N/Sepoy  Bashir-Ud-Din Ahmed


Dale
LTC USA (Retired)

#12 Toppers

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:07 AM

I am after my dads ww2 records.  He passed away in 91 and my mother in the last 7 years.  I am his son and wondered what I need to get a set as I seem to have a hole in his service from May40 to May 44 no photos or records etc.

 

He was RAF Police at the end but I think he was an armorer at the time he enlisted.



#13 Owen

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:29 AM

I am after my dads ww2 records.  He passed away in 91 and my mother in the last 7 years.  I am his son and wondered what I need to get a set as I seem to have a hole in his service from May40 to May 44 no photos or records etc.

 

He was RAF Police at the end but I think he was an armorer at the time he enlisted.

 

Did you not see link in my post #6 on your earlier thread?

http://www.ww2f.com/...-on-war-photos/

 

Click link, print off forms, fill them in & send them off with payment.



#14 dbf

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:28 PM

Just noting that there is a change to the information on the original post from 2009, regarding applications in connection to deceased personnel. It is possible to apply without consent of NOK, and there are two tiers of info available depending on time which has elapsed since death.

 

A copy of their death certificate should be enclosed as proof along with application and fee. If however they are on eg CWGC register, a printed copy of their online certificate should be sufficient.

 

https://www.gov.uk/r...service-records

 

Request for Service records of deceased Service personnel
 
Under the scheme, and in recognition of the duty of care owed to the family of the deceased subject, for a period of 25 years following the date of death of the subject and without the consent of the next of kin, MOD will disclose only:
 
surname
forename
rank
service number
regiment/corps
place of birth
age
date of birth
date of death where this occurred in service
the date an individual joined the service
the date of leaving
good conduct medals (for example, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (LS&GCM)), any orders of chivalry and gallantry medals (decorations of valour) awarded, some of which may have been announced in the London Gazette
 
 
After this period, and if it is held, in addition MOD will disclose without the requirement for next of kin consent:
 
the units in which he/she served
the dates of this service and the locations of those units
the ranks in which the service was carried out and details of campaign medals awarded

 

Cutbacks aren't the only reason for long turnaround periods when applying. The department doesn't just deal with Historical applications but also with all other enquiries from those on pensions, as well as dependents etc. Any applications by veterans themselves should get priority and are processed free of charge, or for a surviving spouse. Apply as soon as possible, wait turn, keep an eye on bank account to see if cheque has been cleared through account.



#15 Toppers

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:23 PM

cheers just asking, I am waiting for a death certificate from my sister to complete the form and send it off.

 

I have items of my dad from May 1940 when he was enlisted, but nothing till May 1944 that's a big hole in his life in WW2.  We can find nothing amongst the personal stuff we have between us.  It may be lack of recording by him or lost , but it is strange.  We feel sure he enlisted as an RAF armorer and transferred to the RAF Police but have no dates etc.

 

what is the current fee?



#16 Toppers

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 04:36 PM

yes sorry just wanted clarification that's all, you have been a big help as me and my elder sister are really keen on finding out more.  Like most WW2 men he never talked much, only a little to me when I enlisted in the Army.  But he had a stoke soon after and was unable to communicate clearly enough.  This may fill in the holes we have...

 

 

 

Did you not see link in my post #6 on your earlier thread?

http://www.ww2f.com/...-on-war-photos/

 

Click link, print off forms, fill them in & send them off with payment.



#17 Toppers

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 05:37 PM

is this the place to order online death certificates?  https://www.ukoffici...icateOrder.aspx



#18 dbf

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 06:36 PM

£30 Fee for application for copy service records, as per link in my post above.

 

 

what is the current fee?

 

 

 

is this the place to order online death certificates?  https://www.ukoffici...icateOrder.aspx

I think that's an agency.

 

 

I've used General Register Office for copy certificates

http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/

 

Just to be clear, Death certificates aren't available online. You get a physical certified copy in the post.

You can order them online.



#19 Toppers

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 04:58 PM

Ok so I got my dads death cert and I have the forms ready, however it is asking for his NI number, dates of joining and leaving.  I do not know these, but i know the rest, rank, service number, arm etc.

 

Do I need the NI number?



#20 dbf

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 05:19 PM

I shouldn't think so - DOB and 'service' number should be enough to ensure correct identity when conducting the search.



#21 Toppers

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 05:30 PM

ok who is the cheque for £30 made out to?



#22 4jonboy

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:03 PM

Toppers-the details are on the form aren't they? ie
 
"Cheques should be made payable to "The MOD Accounting Officer" when searches of the RN/RM or Army service records are requested.
For searches of RAF records, cheques should be made payable to "HMG Sub Account 3627". "

 

 

Lesley


  • Owen likes this

Very proud daughter of a 56 Recce
My father served with the British 78th Infantry (Battleaxe) Division in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.

He was one of the "D-Day Dodgers"


#23 Toppers

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:13 PM

forgive me I am going blind and daft at the same time :mummy2:



#24 LRusso216

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 02:09 AM

Dang. I was going to suggest that it be made out to me. :lol:


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#25 Toppers

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 05:55 PM

ok got my dads stuff but may need some help deciphering it all. seems to have been busy!






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