Army Service Records (ASR)

Service records are the official army file on a soldier. These files will include the attestation papers, discipline records, postings , medals and any correspondence which make them the most important records for people trying to find out about army ancestors.

Records of the old Regiments of Line have often been destroyed but most are available from 1881 with the formation of the new County Regiments.

Sadly during World War Two a German bombing raid hit the storage facility for the records and started a fire which destroyed most archived records which makes life difficult for people researching the Great War.

Service records of Soldiers up to 1920 are held by the National Archives and available online some of the paid records such as Ancestry and FindMyPast.

Records relating to soldiers who served after this are held by the Ministry of Defence Historic Disclosure Unit.

Due to UK Data Protection Law the consent of the next of kin is required  before full information can be released on soldiers who served after 1920 which includes World War Two service. Those records are well preserved and will give a good picture of the soldiers army career.

The army will usually disclose the below details even if consent of the next of kin is not available :-

Up to 25 years following the death of the serviceman

Forename and Surname

Rank and Service Number

Regiment and Corps

Age, Place and Date of Birth

Date of death if this occurred during service

Date of enlistment and leaving

Good Conduct and Gallantry Medals awarded

Over 25 years following the death of the serviceman

The above plus

Units in which he/she served

Dates and location of service

Ranks in which the service was carried out

Details of Campaign Medals

A fee ( Currently £30) is payable for any application