service records in the series WO 364 - the 'Unburnt Documents' -
were recovered by the War Office from the Ministry of Pensions and
other government departments after the Second World War. They mainly
concern men who were discharged (with pensions) from the army because
of sickness or wounds received in battle between 1914 and 1920.
Aside from the usual military forms, most of the individual files
in WO 364 thus also contain detailed medical records. See Thomas
The individual service records at The National Archives vary
in size from a single sheet to dozens of pages. Common items to
be found in them include: attestation papers (giving basic information
about name, address, date of birth and next of kin); medical records;
discharge papers; and Army Form B 103 (Casualty Form - Active Service),
which provides information about an individual's military career.
WO 363 does not contain service records of soldiers from the Dominions
or the empire. However, some records for soldiers of the British
West Indies Regiment and the West
India Regiment may be found in WO 364 (for soldiers discharged
Aside from the main sources in WO 363 and WO 364, The National Archives also
holds other material that may provide information about ancestors
who fought in the British army during the First World War. The Ministry
of Pensions files in PIN 26, similar in content to those preserved
in WO 364, contain a small number of further pension records for
those discharged on medical grounds during the war.
Although they rarely mention ordinary soldiers by name, official
diaries (WO 95 and WO 154) contain daily records for the units
in which they served. Further basic information can also be found
in the lists of campaign and gallantry medals - see Medals
awarded during the First World War.