How to look for records of... Deaths in the First and Second World Wars
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
This is an introductory guide to records of deaths of British and Commonwealth servicemen and women and also, to a lesser extent, civilians who died in the First and Second World Wars. This guide will help you to find out if the information you are looking for exists and, if it does, whether it is held at The National Archives or in other archives.
What do I need to know before I start?
What records can I see online?
What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
What other resources will help me find information?
Did you know?
There were over a million deaths in the British military over the course of the First and Second World Wars, with the First World War alone accounting for some 886,000 fatal casualties in the British armed forces. In addition to this, there were close to 70,000 British civilian deaths, the vast majority of these occurring in the Second World War.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was set up in 1917 and aimed to commemorate all those in the Commonwealth forces who had died as a result of the First World War. This remit later expanded to include deaths during the Second World War.
Death certificates are not held at The National Archives.