Officers’ service records (1914-1922)
Search our catalogue for references to officers’ service records by name in record series WO 339 and WO 374:
The content of the files varies – some have simply a note of the date of death whilst others contain attestation papers for those commissioned from the ranks, a record of service, personal correspondence and other items.
Alternatively, click on the links below to search more specifically for references to:
- records of officers who finished serving before 1922, by first and last name in WO 339. WO 339 includes officers who were given a temporary commission in the regular army, those who were commissioned into the Special Reserve of officers and those who were regular army officers before the war
- records of officers given a Territorial Army commission or a temporary commission, by last name only in some cases and by first and last name in others, in WO 374. For common surnames which return huge numbers of results you may need to check the online indexes in WO 338 for the officer’s long number (please be aware that the online indexes are very large files and only suitable for download on a fast and unlimited broadband connection). Long numbers for officers in the WO 374 series start with the first letter of the surname and the first vowel of the surname. The number for Anderson, for example will start with AE (references starting with a P refer to records which are still held by the Ministry of Defence). To search WO 374 with an officers name and number, remove the initials from the number. For example if the long number is AE/279, simply search for Anderson 279.
Famous army officers
Service records of a few notable individuals such as Wilfred Owen and Field Marshal Douglas Haig are in WO 138.
Army casualty lists (1939-1945)
Browse by date the daily army casualty lists in WO 417 – these cover British Army officers, other ranks and nurses. They state the individuals’ rank, service number, date of becoming a casualty and type of casualty. It sometimes gives the unit/battalion number – you can use this to locate a unit war diary.
The term ‘casualty’ covers anyone in the British Army who was killed, wounded, missing, or was a prisoner of war.
To access these records you will either need to visit us, pay for research (£) or, where you can identify a specific record reference, order a copy (£).