Trying to trace personnel records?

The original published a list of resources for tracing personnel and units. It is well out of date now: but we thought it was worth preserving as a historical record, so here it is!

The original, unedited (and therefore obsolete) record ......

Please note that the MOD retains many thousands of records of former members of the British Armed Forces, many of which are not held on computer. As it creates a time consuming task when checking them, a fee (currently £25.00) is levied for each record researched. Only the Serviceman or his widow are exempt the fee. Payment may be made in Sterling by cheque, UK Postal Order, or International Money Order.

Visit Veterans' Agency Service Records

Veterans Agency Helpline


Army service records are archived and stored by the Regiment or Corps. It is important that this information is included when requests for details from service records are made. Requests for Army service records should be made to the addresses below. Please note that the Household Cavalry and the Foot Guards keep their own archives.

As of August 2002, all records for all ranks that enlisted prior to 1920 will be held at the Public Records Office (PRO) Unfortunately two thirds of First World War service records for the Army were destroyed during the Blitz of London in the second World War. For a statement of service or part of the information contained in the service record for an Officer or Other Rank who served from 1920 onwards please write to one of the addresses listed below:

For personnel whose discharge date is less than 3 years ago or reserve liability ceased less than 3 years ago:

Army Personnel Centre, Disclosure 1, Mail Point 520 Kentigern House 65 Brown Street Glasgow G2 8EX

For personnel whose discharge date is more than 3 years ago or reserve liability ceased more than 3 years ago:

Historical Disclosures Mail Point 400 Kentigern House 65 Brown Street Glasgow G2 8EX

Records for all ranks that served after 1920

The Army Personnel Centre now has a focal point for requests for the entire contents of a service record, regardless of where the record is stored. Please write to:

Army Personnel Centre, Disclosure 2, Mail Point 515 Kentigern House 65 Brown Street Glasgow G2 8EX

When Army personnel discharge their Service Record is retained at the Army Personnel Centre for 3 years after discharge or 3 years after Reserve Service liability has finished. The records are then archived at the Defence Records 2a. For service records of Household Cavalry Personnel please write to:

The Curator The Household Cavalry Museum Combermere Barracks Windsor SL4 3DN

For service records of Footguards Regiments other Ranks please write to:

Regimental Headquarters, ****** Guards, Wellington Barracks Birdcage Walk London SW1E 6HQ. (******** Please insert the Regiment )

SSAFA Forces Help

National charity helping serving and ex-Service men, women and their families in need. Committed to helping people in need, suffering or distress, regardless of age or condition.

Army Benevolent Fund

The Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) is the Army's national charity and is committed to the welfare of Army and ex-Army personnel and their families.

The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion is the UK's leading charity safeguarding the welfare, interests and memory of those who have served in the Armed Forces and their dependants.

Army Families Federation

AFF is a registered charity that acts as a unique two-way communications link between the British Army and its families

Army Welfare Service

(AWS) provides comprehensive community and personal support to servicemen and women and their families.


Prior to 1972 all RN personnel were given their service record when they discharged. For pension purposes the RN retained pay details. Therefore the only information held on RN personnel who served prior to 1972 is their Service details (number, rank, name etc) and a list of dates and ships/shore bases. Records for RN personnel are held in different locations according to the period served and rank.

Records for Officers who enlisted prior to 1914 are held at the Public Records Office (PRO). .

Records for Officers aged over 60 years and Second World War RNR/RNVR are held at:

Navy Correspondence MoD Repository Government Buildings Bourne Avenue Hayes Middlesex UB3 1RS. E-mail:

Records for Officers under the age of 60 years that are still serving or retired are held at:

Officers' Mobilisation Section, Room 171, Victory Building, HM Naval base Portsmouth PO1 3LS.

Royal Marines

Records for Officers who enlisted before 1926 are held at the Public Records Office (PRO)

Records for Officers and Other Ranks who enlisted 1926 onwards are held at:

Historical Records Royal Marines, Room 038, MoD Centurion Building Grange Road Gosport PO13 9XA.

Records for Ratings who enlisted prior to 1924 and First World War records for WRNS are held at the Public Records Office (PRO)

Records for Ratings who enlisted between 1924-1939 and WRNS who enlisted between 1939 and 1955 are held at:

Navy Correspondence, MoD Repository, Government Buildings Bourne Avenue Hayes Middlesex UB3 1RS. Email:

Records for Ratings who enlisted 1939 onwards and WRNS who enlisted 1956 onwards are held at:

Naval Pay and Pensions (Accounts) Centurion Building Grange Road Gosport PO13 9XA

Royal Fleet Auxiliary: Room 11 Lancelot Building HM Naval Base Portsmouth PO1 3NH

Royal Naval Benevolent Trust

The RNBT exists to give help at times of need to the members of the 'RNBT Family' - those who are serving or have served as RN ratings or RM other ranks and their wives, husbands and other dependants.

The Royal Naval Association

Established to further the efficiency and well being of the Service, preserve its traditions and encourage recruiting. To provide facilities for bringing members together and advise members and their dependants on personal matters.

Royal Navy & Royal Marines Reference Site

These pages contain a broad range of information including Families Information Briefs on Operational, Personnel and other issues.


Please write to:

PMA(Sec)1b, Building 248A RAF Innsworth Gloucester GL3 1EZ

Service records of RAF Officers that served prior to 1922 and Airmen that served prior to 1924 have been transferred to the Public Records Office (PRO) (

The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund exists to provide assistance to those of the extended Royal Air Force Family

The Royal Air Force Association

RAFA Welfare covers a wide range of welfare services for all members of the Air Force Family.