You can apply a military service records for one of the following positions:
- if you are or have been a member of the armed forces, your personal service records
- If you’re qualified (for example, if you’re their direct next of kin or you’re studying them), you can access the data of someone who has passed away.
How long it takes
Your application might take up to a year to be processed.
Explain why your application is urgent in your form or a covering letter so that it can be prioritised.
Other ways to find military service records
You can also search:
- 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
Apply for your own records
If you are or have been a member of the armed forces, such as the Royal Navy (including Royal Marines), British Army, or Royal Air Force, you can request your personal military service records.
Fill out a request for your personal records by downloading and filling out the form (PDF, 64KB)
Send it, along with any supporting papers, to the address on the form. There is no charge.
If you’re operating on behalf of someone, such as if you have a durable power of attorney, fill out this form.
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Apply for the records of someone who’s deceased
If any of the following apply, you can request a copy of someone else’s military service records:
- You’re their direct family member, such as their spouse or parent, and they’ve given you their permission.
- Unless they died more than 25 years ago, you’ll only have access to restricted information if you have a broad research interest.
You’ll need the person’s full name, birth date, and service number.
Fill out two forms: one for a request and one for a search. All forms are available in PDF format if you are unable to access ODT files on your device.
Fill in a request form
You must first download and complete the appropriate request form. Depending on whether the individual was a relative or not, there are several paperwork to fill out.
Next of kin
Use this form if you’re the next of kin or have the next of kin’s consent.
Not next of kin
Use this form if you’re not next of kin and do not have next of kin’s consent.
Fill in a search form
Download and fill in the relevant search form, depending on whether the person was in the:
Post your forms
Send both forms to the address on the search form, together with the £30 cost for each separate record and any supporting papers (such as a death certificate).
If you were the person’s spouse or civil partner at the time of their death, there is no charge (or their parent, if there was no spouse).
You can pay by cheque or postal order if you live overseas, or by banker’s draft or international money order if you live elsewhere.
If you’re operating on behalf of someone else, such as if you have a durable power of attorney, follow the procedures for applying for your own military service records.
What information you’ll get
Records date from 1920 and may include:
- 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