Military Ancestry


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The database lists the names and place of commemoration of the men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars. It also records details of the 67,000 civilians who died in the Second World War. It is possible to search by surname, date, war, rank, regiment, awards or any combination

 Helpful  tips before you start Fill in as much information as you have, in the search box If you have the persons service number use it in the search box , but bear in mind that if they have changed regiments or service this will have changed. If you have Great War medals, look on the  edge of the round medals (back of the star) the regiment and service number can be found here.  Second war medals do not have the name or service number stamped on. If you don’t have the service number and the you come up with no results, try the following Use the middle name not the first name, sometimes people were called by their middle name. Use just an initial, first then second Try misspelling or use another spelling of the surname Remove the Regiment from the search.

Click here for CWGC search page


National Archives

The British Army Medal index card  can be quite useful, some may only have the name Regiment and service, other will show awards, place the person first entered the War

Click here for Medal index cards

Tracing British battalions or regiments during the First World War

Military Ancestry


Unit war diaries, trench maps and photographs are just some of the sources held in The National Archives. This webinar looks at how to find these records, and use them.

Click here for  Regiments search page

Merchant seamen

Search for relative that were awarded the Mercantile Marine Medal to merchant seamen and officers in the First World War

Click here for Merchant Seaman search page

Royal Air Force officers’ service records 1918-1919

These are service records of officers who served in the Royal Air Force during the First World War (1914-1918). This collection in series AIR 76 consists of the records of over 99,000 men. The records were created from the inception of the RAF in April 1918. However, they include retrospective details of earlier service in the Royal Flying Corps or Royal Naval Air Service.

Click here for RFC/RAF service records 1918-1919


Imperial War Museum

Military ancestry

Lives of the First World War

Sign up free to gain access to 487 million records, 7.8 million are free to view.

To view the 10.5 million military records and 469.5 million civilian records you will need to subscribe.

Subscriptions cost £6.00 per month or £ 50.00 per year.

Categories are.

Armed Forces.   Census, Land and Surveys.   Education and Work. Births,  Deaths and Marriages

IWM Search page


Ministry of Defence 

Military Ancestry

Copy of British military service records

You can apply for the service record of a relative by going to the link below

Records date from 1920 and may include:medals received medical records details about someone’s career, eg the units they served in date of death, if they died in service In some cases little or no information is available about someone’s military service.

Check the National Archives for service records from 1913 to 1920 or service records before 1913.

Who can apply

You can apply for a copy of your own service records if you are, or have been, a member of the

armed forces, eg the army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force

You can apply for a copy of someone else’s service records if one of the following apply:

you’re their immediate next of kin, eg spouse or parent

you’ve got consent from their immediate next of kin

you have a general research interest – you’ll only have access to limited information, unless

they died more than 25 years ago

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

You will also find a link to the Births, deaths, marriages certificates at the top of the records page

Click here for military service records


The London Gazette

Military Ancestry

Search the London Gazette for entries relating to promotions and gallantry awards. Entries can appear some years after the event. It may not be easy to find what you are looking for, but preserver and you may well come across it. Click on the link below, then fill our the Search the Archives box and start your search.

 Archives search

British Newspaper Archive

Military Ancestry


Over 10 million searchable pages, from more than 200 newspaper titles from UK and Ireland

Archives search

 Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. The Memorial’s purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war. Its mission is to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.

Click here for AWM search page

New Zealand War Graves Trust

The New Zealand War Graves Trust.  Where the photographs, research and background information  from the Trust’s project are lodged. You can search for a Casualty or a Cemetery.

Click here for search page


German War Graves

 The Volksbund provides information to relatives on all matters related to war graves, advises public and private institutions, promotes international cooperation in the area of war grave maintenance and encourages young people to come together to learn at the last resting places of war casualties.

This is an English translation of the German search box to help you

Click here for  German War Graves search page.

German War graves

American Battle Monuments Commission

The American Battle Monuments Commission is a small independent agency of the United States government that administers, operates, and maintains permanent U.S. military cemeteries, memorials and  monuments both inside and outside the United States.

Click here for ABMC search page