How to look for records of... Indian Army personnel

How can I view the records covered in this guide?

View online

How many are online?

  • None
  • Some
  • All

Order copies

We can either copy our records onto paper or deliver them to you digitally

Visit us in Kew

Visit us in Kew to see original documents or view online records for free

Pay for research

This is a brief guide to researching Indian army records during British rule. The vast majority of these records are currently held by the British Library.

This guide will help you to find out if the information you are looking for exists and, if it does, where to find it or more information about it.

What do I need to know before I start?

Before the formation of the Indian Army in 1859, the Honourable East India Company raised and maintained its own army which consisted of both indigenous and European troops.

Before 1947, the Indian Army was made up of both European officers and Indian soldiers.

The British Army was also present in India, alongside the British Indian Army.

Try to find out:

  • the regiment and rank of the person you are interested in
  • a geographical location and date range to focus search

What records can I see online?

There are no significant collections of Indian army records online.

What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?

There are no significant collections of Indian army records available at The National Archives. However, we do hold a set of published Indian Army Lists 1903-1939 (more details below).

What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

Indian army service records

Contact the British Library for information on Indian Army service records held in the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collection. These also include records of the Honourable East India Company.

What other resources will help me find information?


Search the India Office Family History Search database for births, baptisms, marriages and deaths of mainly European people in India from about 1600 to 1949.

Indian Army Lists

Trace the careers of Indian Army officers in the quarterly publications of the Indian Army List, available at The National Archives for 1903-1939 and the British Library for 1889-1947.

Information on officers varies but should include:

  • rank
  • date of first commission/date of entering service
  • date of appointment/promotion to current rank
  • date of joining regiment
  • date of birth