Explore the Great War and Armistice in The National Archives
On this day in 1918, Allied and German troops signed a historic agreement to end the First World War. More than eight million men and women saw service in the British forces during 'the war to end all wars', a significant proportion of the British population.
The National Archives is an invaluable source of information on the conflict and holds a large collection of records from this time, many of which can be searched online.
Where to start
Soldiers' service and pension records provide the ideal starting point for tracing ancestors who fought in the British army.
Use our research signposts for help.
- Women at war: as well as the 15,000 nurses' records that we published online last week, you can also search around 30,000 Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) and 7,000 Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) records from the end of the war.
- Planning the war: Cabinet Papers from the time provide a fascinating insight into the discussions that took place before, during and after the war.
- Reports from the front: unit war diaries offer a unique glimpse into the daily actions of British forces around the world. We are currently digitising all of the diaries, but you can see a selection of them online now.
- Voices of the Armistice: our evocative series of podcasts, created to mark the 90th anniversary of the Armistice, bring alive the individual experiences of those who served in the First World War.
Our bookshop stocks a range of publications that can help you with your research.