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  1. #1

    Default Service records post 1921 incl. WW2 & after

    Service records from WW2 (indeed, starting from 1921) and after have not been released by MOD yet. The forms to apply for a copy of service records for someone who has died are HERE.

    See #2 and #3

    NOTE added in the Time of Corona. Thanks to staff home working, assorted lockdowns and inevitably some illness, at the time of writing (11 Feb 2021) delays of up to 18 months in processing applications seem to be happening. We have no way to know when this will ease, so you may feel that it's at least worth getting a place in the queue. In the mean time, why not try other information (not service records) sources - see the last paragraph of this message for a start.

    Read the whole page - I don't always notice when they update it until someone tells me.

    There are 5 different sets of forms depending on which service your ancestor served in; Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army, Royal Air Force and Home Guard.

    You need to first fill out form V6 for either Next of Kin or General Enquiry depending on your circumstances. These require you to identify yourself, where you live and with the Next of Kin form identify how you are related to the serviceman or woman.

    The second form required is labelled part 2 and is dependant on the Armed Service your ancestor served in. This is where you must provide all of the information you currently have on the ancestor you are searching for and what information you would like to receive. The more you can give the MOD at this point, the more likely it is they will pick up your request and also eases the time taken to find the record.

    As you will see from the info on the site, the amount of information provided to anyone other than the next of kin is limited for up to 25 years after the death, after that, anyone can apply.

    You will need a copy of the death cert, unless your ancestor was killed during the war. You will also need to pay a £30.00, non-refundable fee. It can take up to 12 months for the information to be found, however it is well worth doing as it is NOT available anywhere else.
    Their site has been updated, and now says that the spouse or civil partner of a deceased service person does not have to pay the fee. If there is no spouse or partner, a parent can order the records without paying.

    If the serviceman/woman is alive, only they can apply, but the copy is free. The first set of forms on THIS PAGE labelled DPA SAR for Data Protection Act, Subject Access Request will need to be filled out by this person or with attached and signed written consent.

    You may find the National Archives site HERE useful.

    The main source of online info for WW2 is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, HERE, but of course it's not a lot of help if the person survived the war!

    Forces War Records have a number of Second World War datasets which includes lists of Officers for the three Armed Services, Aircraft Losses in Fighter, Bomber and Coastal Command and daily reports of Army casualties, deaths, prisoners and MIAs as well as POWs captured by Germany, Italy and Japan. These lists can and often do include survivors, regrettably they are not however 100% complete. Details for these collections can all be found HERE
    Last edited by Pam Downes; 17-11-2022 at 7:57 PM. Reason: updated

  2. #2


    Good news! The MOD has finally begun releasing WW2 service records. However, see the press release before you get too excited HERE. The records are being released in stages, by service, unit and birthdate (currently 115 years old) over 6 years. For some, the hard copy will still be quicker.
    They are also now seeking a digitization partner.

    They don't specify costs (see section 19 on the press release for links).

    Obviously, it's going to be a massive job and many of us will need to be patient, but at least the light at the end of the tunnel is visible.

    Thanks to Megan for the heads up.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    I've found a message posted by one of the FWR staff a couple of months ago regarding applying for service records.
    Quote Originally Posted by ForcesVeteran View Post
    Hi everyone, The application procedure has changed in the last few months and further details of the way to apply for Full Service Records is here:
    You will have to read the details to find out exactly what's changed, but one of the main things (in addition to those records which have been/are in the process of being transferred to The National Archives as per post #2), is that you no longer need to provide a death certificate for someone who was born 116 or more years ago.
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”


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