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Some First World War veterans continued to serve with the army after the war and for the records of these officers you may need to read the advice in our guide to British Army officers in service after However, many of the records in the First World War collections cover service up to Medal records: Low on detail but, unlike service records, available online. All soldiers of all ranks who served in a theatre of war were issued with at least one campaign medal; some were also awarded medals for gallantry and meritorious service though there are few surviving records of this type.
You will need to know which unit, often a battalion, an officer served with to effectively search these records. If you do not know the exact unit in which he served you may be able to find out by consulting the medal records. Whether other records survive or ever existed for an officer depend upon a number of variable factors. If, for example, an officer was wounded or taken prisoner, records may survive recording these events. Online records Unit war diaries from the Western Front, Mesopotamia and Gallipoli, — See below for advice on searching for the war diaries of units that served elsewhere in the world during the war.
These cards provided an index to the medal rolls see below. Not all officers applied for their campaign medals. If an officer did not apply, there will be no medal index card. You may find abbreviations on a roll entry — some of these abbreviations are explained in our guide to British Army medal index cards. The campaign medal roll usually contains the same information as the medal index card, but it may also provide the battalion or equivalent unit number.
The badge was awarded to all of those military personnel who were discharged as a result of sickness or wounds contracted or received during the war, either at home or overseas.
These online versions include all the First World War lists, originally published at monthly or quarterly intervals. What remains was heavily weeded prior to and in many cases this means that nothing remains for many officers. WO includes officers who were given a temporary commission in the regular army, those who were commissioned into the Special Reserve of officers and those who were regular army officers before the war.
Long numbers for officers in the WO series start with the first letter of the surname and the first vowel of the surname. The number for Anderson, for example will start with AE references starting with a P refer to records which are still held by the Ministry of Defence.
To search WO with an officers name and number, remove the initials from the number. This series of records, WO 95, also contains diaries for units located on the Western Front, in Mesopotamia and Gallipoli, but for advice on locating those diaries see the Online records section of this guide. The cards record details of the pension entitlements of soldiers and other servicemen killed or injured in the war, both of officers and other ranks, and of the widows and dependants of deceased soldiers.
The much larger collection of originals are in the care of The Western Front Association WFA but had previously been held locally, around the country, and then by the Ministry of Defence.
The Absent Voter Lists enabled servicemen and women away from home to vote by proxy or by postal application. They record the address, service number and regimental details of each person. These are the original printed versions of the online lists described above.
There are monthly lists — , quarterly lists — and — and half-yearly lists — , as well as the ongoing modern Army List — , for the regular army in this period. All the monthly lists and the quarterly lists for — include officers of colonial, militia and territorial units. All lists contain dates of commission and promotion.
David H. Huntoon