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Patriotic Belgian family whose seven sons are in the Army, c1914

Family History

Last updated: 23 July 2015

Although the National Army Museum holds a wealth of information on the history and traditions of the Army, it is not a repository for soldiers’ official service records.

If you are researching the military career of a friend or relative, the following information may be of use.

Soldiers' military careers

The National Archives

Holds surviving records relating to soldiers whose service ended in or before 1920 (other ranks) and 1922 (officers).

The Ministry of Defence

Holds records relating to soldiers who served after 1920 (other ranks) and 1922 (officers).

The National Register of Archives

Holds the private papers of senior British soldiers.

The Army Museums Ogilby Trust

Features detailed guidance on ancestor research and military genealogy.

Please note: You can also download the following National Army Museum information sheets:

Soldiers who died during the First and Second World Wars

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holds records relating to all those who died on active service in the two World Wars.

Scottish National War Memorial

Search online for individual casualties from the two World Wars, and those who have died since 1945.

Soldiers' wills

Soldiers' Wills

Search online for the wills of soldiers who died while serving in the British armed forces between 1850 and 1986.

Irish Soldiers' Wills

Search online for the wills of Irish soldiers who died while serving in the British Army during the First World War.

Former Army comrades

Lost Trails

A service run by the Royal British Legion which aims to reunite old Army friends.

Forces Reunited

A means of catching up with old Army friends.

Indian Army soldiers

The British Library Oriental and India Office Collections

Holds official records relating to European soldiers who served in the East India Company and Indian Army.

Please note: You can also download the following National Army Museum information sheet:

Prisoners of war

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Holds lists of all known prisoners of war and internees of all nationalities for the Second World War. Enquiries concerning these lists should be sent to archives.gva@icrc.org

Prisoners of the First World War: ICRC Historical Archives

Search online for individual data on prisoners of war and internees of all nationalities during the First World War.

Independent researchers

Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives

Box A, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA

Independent Specialist Researchers Association

14 Cranes Meadow,
Harleston,
Norfolk,
IP20 9BY