Second World War British Army casualty lists available online

Image of a black and white photograph of casualties of the D-Day landings being loaded into vehicles at the pierheads, June 1944

Loading casualties of the D-Day landings at the pierheads, June 1944 (catalogue reference: DEFE 2/499)

The records of more than 1.1 million British Army officers, nurses, and other ranks reported as killed in action, missing, or taken prisoner have been published online at Findmypast.

Released in association with The National Archives, the British Army casualty lists 1939-1945 (file series WO 417) are comprised of daily lists prepared by the War Office. Each list covers the various expeditionary forces serving in different locations across Europe, Africa and Asia. They also cover those killed or injured at home or at overseas stations outside theatres of war. In some cases, the lists also recorded casualties suffered at sea when transport ships were attacked by enemy vessels.

The records consist of fully searchable transcripts and scanned colour images of the original documents. Each entry lists the person’s name, rank, service number, regiment, status, and previous theatre of war. The image may also provide additional information such as a date of death or a notation on their previous status.

Data captured by the records reveals that the fiercest fighting took place in France, with more than 158,000 casualties reported. More than 104,000 military personnel were either killed, wounded or captured elsewhere in Northwest Europe. The jungles of Malaya and the Western Desert of Egypt and Libya also saw large numbers of British troops lost.

David Langrish, Military Records Specialist at The National Archives said: ‘At this time of year we unite to remember those who gave up their lives for our future.

‘These daily War Office casualty lists provide insight into the multitude of dangers faced by men and women serving with the British Army during the Second World War.’

Read our guidance to help with your research of First and Second World War casualties.

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