How to look for records of... British Army nurses’ service records 1914-1918

How can I view the records covered in this guide?

View online

How many are online?

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  • All

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What are these records?

These are over 15,000 First World War service records for nurses in series WO 399 who served in the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve) and the Territorial Force Nursing Service during the First World War.

The vast majority of the records cover the First World War period only. There are some records for nurses who served before 1914 and some for those who served after the war. There are no records, however, after 1939.

What information do the records contain?

The records can tell you:

  • where a nurse trained (especially before the war)
  • references relating to their suitability as military nurses
  • hospitals, field ambulances, casualty clearing stations or other medical units they served in
  • what their superiors thought of them (confidential reports)
  • when they left the services

How do I search the records?

You can search the records in Discovery, our catalogue, by filling in the form below.

You don’t need to complete both fields to find a record.

Searching is free, but there may be a charge to download documents.

What do the records look like?

The majority of the records are based on pre-printed Army forms, which were then completed in ink or pencil.

The only items not on army forms are the references and any personal letters from the specific individual to the War Office or army nursing authorities.

To get an idea of what the records look like, see the record below of Marjorie Turton (catalogue reference: WO 399/8500):

Record of Marjorie Turton (9.03MB)