However, if the soldier you’re researching served in an infantry regiment and you know they served in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Egypt or Sicily etc., then you can often identify the war diaries you need to check relatively quickly. present whereabouts if known”. Expect to receive a response in four weeks. British army. When a soldier got married during the war, had a child or their wife died, information relating to their military service was often recorded on the certificate. Many soldiers took a generous bounty in 1919 rather than be demobilized and remained in the army. Many of the records can only be found with any certainty if you know the number, unless the man had an uncommon name. The casualty lists are most useful for those who were wounded or went missing. From this information, hopefully, you’ll be able to work out if you have found the correct person. What was an Army Number or Personal Number? Army numbers are usually recorded on official documents issued during a soldier’s service. The collection is mostly alphabetical and has only been catalogued between the surnames Aaby and Lusted. However, you will need to know some information already if you’re searching for a common name. For other ranks this was originally a seven digit number and then increased to eight. The Ministry of Defence still has these service records and they usually contain First World War records as well. A surviving document which is often found within the family is an Army Book 64 Soldier’s Service and Pay Book. Again, an army number is often recorded. The most useful medal rolls are those for the General Service Medal with clasps Palestine 1945-48 and S. E. Asia 1945-46 due to the large numbers of Second World War soldiers qualifying for them. You’ll also find army numbers appearing on a variety of other documents in the appendices. I have a separate page explaining what an army number was and how to find a personal number, the officers’ equivalent. You can search for the journals on the main catalogue, however, you will need a reader’s pass to view them. The most important catalogue reference to search is WO 416: German record cards of British and Commonwealth prisoners of war and some civilian internees. There may also be a section in journals recording promotions, postings, enlistments and discharges. This article is more than 3 months old. A recruit’s information was entered when they joined the corps. Regimental/corps’ museums often have a set, the Imperial War Museum has a reasonable collection but your best bet is to visit the British Library in London. Pre-1920 If you’re researching a relative, ask family members if they have any documents or letters relating to the soldier. If the soldier you’re researching was awarded a gallantry medal, for example, the military medal or distinguished conduct medal, you can search their name in the WO 373 Series on the National Archives’ catalogue. Soldiers in the British Army are given an eight-digit number, e.g. It relied on militia organised by local officials or private forces mobilised by the nobility, or on hired mercenaries from Europe. This database contains a listing of World War II British prisoners of war. Army and personal numbers were … Includes army numbers from 558,471 to 558,761, allotted to personnel enlisted for the … Rise in number of British soldiers being sacked for drug use. However, it is a war diary’s appendices which offer the best chance. Information listed about the soldiers includes: name, rank, branch of the armed forces, regiment, POW number, and camp information. If you’re research… Often, an army number won’t be recorded on the card. An army number is also important if you don’t want to order a soldier’s service record, or while you wait for it to arrive as you can: There are a number of avenues you can pursue to try and find a soldier’s army number, however, in many cases, you will not be able to find it. “Corporal Grenadier Guards”. If you have concerns relating to past or present incidents please do not hesitate to contact the Safeguarding Unit. Also, you will need an uncommon surname as only initials were recorded. Unfortunately, journals are quite difficult to find. From that point on to this day, the number was given to the man when he joined the army and it stayed his personal n… This is a fee-paying website that offers a free trial period and you’ll be taken to the site if you click on the banner below. If a soldier was in an accident or injured themselves badly, especially while training with weapons, they often appear in the daily entry. Telephone: 020 7367 4747. If you find a soldier in a list of those awarded a mention, make sure you go back in that gazette edition to find the start of the list. I’ve never seen an army number appear on a 1914 or 1914/15 Star Medal Roll, though that’s not to say none exist on these documents. The Life Guards 294001 - 304000. It was used on all of his paperwork, so all of his records carry it. Nominal rolls are often divided up by company/squadron which can make them invaluable for tracking a soldier’s movements, as units were often split up. There is often a note regarding what happened to a soldier, for example, if they were sent to the reserve or were transferred to another corps or to a regiment. Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Militia Attestation Papers, 1800-1915, index - at Ancestry.com ($) If a soldier transferred to another regiment he got a new number. For example, if the soldier you’re researching served in the Northamptonshire Regiment and you know they served on Madagascar. They can tell you where they were dispatched to, what battles they fought in, awards … This is actually quite difficult to do if you don’t have knowledge of regimental numbers, as you can easily go astray, with some numbering blocks falling within the old regimental number system. If you need your number immediately, contact the records department directly by phone. Enlistment books … If you’re trying to find a soldier who served in the Royal Artillery or Royal Army Service Corps and that’s all you know, then there’s very little chance of success. All Army Numbers were scrapped from March 1950 and replaced by the new Service Numbers, which are allocated sequentially, starting at 2000000. The British army is on course to miss its targets for the number of recruits it should have by 2020. If you're interested in talking to us about what we could offer your school or college, please contact our outreach team on RG-NRCOutreachAdmin@mod.gov.uk or call us on 0345 600 8080 Discover more on our British Army Supporting Education website. This search tool can match army numbers from the 1920's to the end of World War 2 which was based on the regiment that a soldier joined initially, and the post war numbering system which is army wide. Not all regiments/corps published a journal but most did and these often contain sections recording births, marriages and deaths where you can find army numbers. Even for common surnames like Smith and Jones, you can often find the correct soldier providing you know some information about their service. Equivalent military ranks in the UK Navy, Army, Air Force and US Army, edited by Dr Duncan Anderson of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The difficulty with relying on a mentioned in despatches is you’re more likely to be faced with multiple individuals with the same name. Even if no army number was recorded, they often contain key information which may hold the clue to working out a soldier’s service. For most armies, this is the basic infantry fighting unit, a formation of eight to 14 soldiers led by a corporal or sergeant and comprising two 'fire teams' each built around one support weapon or light machine gun. A surviving document which is often found within the family is an Army Book 64 Soldier’s Service and Pay Book and an example is shown below. U.S. Army Enlisted Records & Evaluation Center ATTN: Locator 8899 East 56th Street Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN 46249-5301. The citation cards currently cost £3.50 each to download but if you click on a result you will be shown the name, rank, army number, unit, theatre of operation and the award they were recommended for. The second document which is far more likely to contain an army number is the Medal Roll for the British War Medal and Victory Medal which is also available on Ancestry. Instead, from 1942, recruits were allocated true Army (as opposed to regimental) ‘service numbers’, and thus, one cannot identify a soldier’s cap badge using their number, only that they had joined from 1942 onwards. The first is a Medal Index Card which is available to view for free on Ancestry. However, they are only useful if the soldier in question joined the Royal Artillery prior to April 1942 (when the General Service Corps was formed) or one of the regiments which made up the Royal Tank Corps between 1919 and 1934. The second system was introduced in 1920 under Army Order 388 with each regiment allocated its own block of numbers: Royal Army Service Corps 1 - 294000 and 10660001 - 11000000. When a serviceman moved, he would be given a new service number by his new regiment. The British Army Military Book of the Year (#BAMBY) is the Army's own annual literary prize. In the worst-case scenario, it will simply record “soldier”. Regimental orders are great documents in this respect, though only found in a small number of war diaries and usually only for units serving in Britain. To find out if a regiment/corps published a journal, look up its entry in the May 1939 Army List available to view for free on the National Library of Scotland’s website. Army Number Search Tool. I have found this collection to be very hit or miss. Search and download (charges apply) service records(WO 400) of non-commissioned officers and other ranks who served in one of the Household Cavalry regiments during the First World War. They’re indexed by Service Number, Rank, Full Name and Date of Birth – you’ll need to provide as much of this information as possible, together with your relative’s Regiment or Corps if it is known, to help locate service records. They are Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942 and Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records 1919-1934. The army’s 2020 strategy, published in 2015, aimed to have 82,000 army … However, they can be very helpful if a soldier continued to serve in the 1920s. If a journal was published, then it will be listed below a regiment’s/corps’ title. However, if you have a soldier’s army number, then they should be able to find them quickly in their database. The WO 213 series at the National Archives contains books listing Field General Court-Martials held in both Britain and abroad. War diaries are often your best chance of finding a soldier’s army number. When you contact the Army, we have a staff of individuals ready to talk to you. Royal Horse Guards 304001 - 309000. If a soldier died in service, you don’t need a death certificate or permission of the next of kin to order their file. If you’re researching a soldier who died during the war and trying to find their army number, use the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website instead. On Reginald’s register entry for the CWGC, it was recorded that he was the “son of Henry Charles and Alice Panton, of Chatham”. They recorded an individual’s rank and regiment, service number, birth place, occupation, attestation date and … Email me if you’re not sure attaching a copy of the Medal Index Card and I’ll let you know whether you’re looking at an army number. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. In some armies, the fire teams are called squads, making up a section. All Military in the Card Catalogue The database can be searched on Ancestry. HOW TO JOIN. Unfortunately, these are few and far between. The casualty lists can be searched on FindmyPast which offers a free trial. With this information, you can often work out the correct soldier or at least narrow it down to a couple of possibilities, unless you’re looking for a John Smith! Not every soldier appears who should, the dates of birth are sometimes wrong and only initials are used. Royal Army Medical Corps: 7539001: 7574000: Channel Islands Militia: 7574001: 7657000: Royal Army Ordnance Corps: 7657001: 7681000: Royal Army Pay Corps: 7681001: 7717000: Corps of Military Police: 7717001: 7718800: Military Provost Staff Corps: 7718801: 7720400: Small Arms School: 7720401: 7732400: Army Educational Corps: 7732401: 7733000: Band of the Royal Military College: … To talk to an Army recruiter, simply select one of the methods of communication below and someone will get you the answers you are looking for. Further biographical information can be found on the cards, including their next of kin. The modern system was introduced by Army Order 338 in August 1920. It is this number that you need when applying for a post 1920 Service Record. British Army Service records can tell you a lot about your military ancestors. In addition, the London Gazette’s search engine is poor and confuses letters, so it will often miss names. Army numbers often appear on both the envelopes and letters sent by and to the soldier. There weren’t many soldiers who served continuously between the wars, so First World War medal records aren’t particularly useful for working out the army number of Second World War soldiers. If you believe that somebody is posing as an Army Service Person, trying to fraudulently obtain money from you, we would strongly advise you to cease communication, to not send any money/gift cards and to contact Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime. From the later Middle Ages until the English Civil War, when a foreign expeditionary force was needed, such as the one that Henry V of England took to France and that fought at the Battle of Agincourt(1415), the army, a professional one, was raised for the duration of t… The medal rolls are divided by regiment/corps. It can be difficult to tell which is an army number and which is a regimental number. An example is shown below. The downside is that you’re going to have to know that the soldier in question got into trouble during their service, had a Field General Court-Martial and then spend a lot of time looking through the books. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. These have been indexed on Ancestry and can be searched in Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949 (General Series). However, it has a number of downsides. Only the 2nd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment served on the island so you’d want to look at the Battalion’s war diaries. You’ll often find them when a unit is about to embark for overseas service with the nominal roll below appearing in the war diary of the 2nd Battalion Welsh Guards and recording those heading for Boulogne to take part in the defence of the port. theft, losing property, self-inflicted wounds, mutiny, desertion. For example, they will usually provide at least the regiment or corps and often the rank, e.g. Numbers were then a maximu… In all probability this number would not be unique and could be repeated in many battalions and regiments throughout the British Army. The British Army is made up of the Regular Army and the Army Reserve. Another important source for army numbers is nominal rolls. If you’re researching a soldier who served in the inter-war period, then a regimental journal may hold the key to finding their army number. Army tank brigade equipped with Valentine tanks lined up in Britain. Each man was assigned a number which identified him from the other men. One of the most important is Army Form A.3009 Field Return of Other Ranks. This blog aims to guide the researcher through the maze of regimental numbers issued by the British Army between 1881 and 1918. Search the daily British Army casualty lists (WO 417) on Findmypast.co.uk (£). HOW TO START YOUR CAREER IN THE ARMY. Choosing to join the Army is one of the biggest decisions that you'll make, but once you've … Around 1929, the Royal Artillery’s attestation book changes the information which was recorded and only a soldier’s full name and army number are guaranteed to appear. - BBC's Learning Portal During the Second World War, the British Army published casualty lists recording officers and other ranks who had lost their lives, were wounded, went missing or were confirmed as prisoners of war. 25232301. However, soldiers were often transferred between regiments so you have to be careful. After training, they were allocated to their new cap badge, with this same training centre allocated service number. A Notification of Impending Release, a document relating to demobilization also frequently survives. I have seen plenty of army numbers on certificates so it’s by no means rare. In ideal circumstances, Part C should record a soldier’s army number, rank, name, regiment and a remarks column “e.g. The extract below was taken from The Crossbelts, The Journal of the VIII King’s Royal Irish Hussars: Volume 3: No.1: 1935. The Salvation Army is committed to preventing, identifying and responding to the abuse of children and adults. This article is more than 3 months old. During the Second World War, each soldier who served in the British Army was allotted a unique army number, usually on the day they joined or shortly after. In 1920, the way the army issued numbers changed. This form usually appears once a unit was abroad and it is “Part C Description of other ranks whose return to the unit is particularly requested” which will contain army numbers if it has been filled in correctly. The medal records are part of the WO 100 series which contains the names of well over a hundred thousand soldiers with their army numbers for the inter-war and post-war period. Unfortunately, you will need to know a bit about the soldier’s service to know which war diaries to check. You can customise your search by regiment, unit, cemetery, date of death, country they are commemorated in etc. Finding a soldier’s army number is very important if you want to. Pre 1920's, soldiers had regimental numbers … then there will often be multiple men with the same name and date of birth which can cause problems for the Ministry of Defence when they try to find the correct file. Army numbers are usually recorded on official documents issued during a soldier’s service. You’ll find men who enlisted in the Hussar, Lancer, Dragoon and Dragoon Guards regiments prior to their mechanization in this collection. For example, if you know they were wounded in Sicily serving with the Devonshire Regiment or they were taken prisoner at Dunkirk in 1940 while serving with the Royal Artillery, there won’t be many possibilities, even for common surnames. Each year, a shortlist of books is considered by ten judges, Regular and Reserve. This page will show you the steps you can take to try and uncover a soldier’s army number. Another document which frequently survives within a family is a Notification of Impending Release, which relates to their demobilisation. This is just one of a series of guides I’ve created to help you research those who served in the British Army during the Second World War: I offer a Second World War Soldier Research Service. Researching the Lives and Records of WW2 Soldiers, Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the British Army, Second World War Soldier Research Service, German record cards of British and Commonwealth prisoners of war and some civilian internees, General Register Office for Northern Ireland, Check to see if the soldier died during or shortly after the war by searching the number on the, Search the army number in the military section of Findmypast. First, look at my page on army numbers and see if the number on the Medal Index Card matches the number block of the regiment or corps. This important database contains the army numbers of soldiers who served in the British Army past 1920 and were born prior to 1901 whose service records are still held by the Ministry of Defence. Army Service Numbers The history of the British army service numbers and the P and Q prefix for the QAIMNS and QARANC British army service numbers, that were in use until fairly recently, were introduced post WWI in August 1920 (Army Order 338). [77] [78] Deployable combat formations consist of two divisions ( 1st Armoured and 3rd Mechanised ) and eight brigades. © Site contents copyright QARANC.co.uk 2006 - 2020 All rights reserved. You can never tell until you order a certificate how much information it will contain. The Devonshire Regiment was allocated numbers 5,608,001-5,662,000. If a soldier was taken prisoner of war in Europe and you have multiple possibilities, search their army number in the National Archives’ catalogue. Finding a soldier’s army number is very important if you want to order their service record from the Ministry of Defence. Find Military Friends / Genealogy Records, Find Friends - Search Old Service and Genealogy Records, Warlencourt Casualty Clearing Station World War One, NO 32 CCS Brandhoek - The Battle of Passchendaele, Example of Mentioned in Despatches Letter, Italian Sailor POW Camps India World War Two, First Eastern General Hospital Trinity College Cambridge, King George Military Hospital Stamford Street London, Medical Reception Station Brunei and MRS Kuching Borneo Malaysia, Camp Bastion Field Hospital and Medical Treatment Facility MTF Helmand Territory Southern Afghanistan, The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital Novel - a Book by CG Buswell, Claim Uniform Washing Tax Rebate For Laundry, Commemorative Cover BFPS 70th anniversary QARANC Association, First Time Nurses Wore Trousers AV Anti Vermin Battledress, Army School of Psychiatric Nursing Silver Badge, The Nurses General Dame Maud McCarthy Exhibition Oxford House London, Edinburgh Fringe Stage Play I'll Tell You This for Nothing - My Mother the War Hero, QARANC Association Pilgrimage to Singapore and Malaysia 2009, International Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine DiMiMED, QA Uniform Exhibition Nothe Fort Weymouth. While the Ministry of Defence will search for a soldier if you know their date of birth, many recruits gave a false one. There will be a paragraph recording which despatch the men were mentioned in. Nearly every man of the regiment appears at least once, as they record appointments, training courses and men going on leave. The regimental orders below is from the war diary of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) which has a complete set for the first year of the war. Despite these problems, it is still a very useful database. Call (DSN) 699-3735 or (866) 771-6357 (toll free). For example, if you’re looking for the number of an Andrew Boast who was wounded with the Devonshire Regiment in Burma your task will be considerably easier than finding a John Smith who you think may have served in the Royal Artillery. To find a mentioned in despatches, you’ll need to search a soldier’s name on the London Gazette. 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