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Where to go to search for army records

The full range of records of people serving in the Army is beyond the scope of this article, which is aimed at setting you off on the right track. For a more comprehensive list see, for example, Fowler and Spencer, Army Records for Family Historians.

Public Record Office (PRO)
The best place to start your research for any army service before 1923 is the Public Record Office. At its main site in Kew the PRO holds the official War Office records, 1660-1964. There is also an extensive library on military history and many reference books and finding aids. At the Family Records Centre (FRC) in central London, access is available to indexes of deaths in the First and Second World Wars and to regimental registers of births, marriages and deaths.

Public Record Office
Kew
Richmond
Surrey TW9 4DU
General telephone: 02088763444
Telephone number for enquiries: 0208392 5200

Telephone number for advance ordering of documents (with exact references only): 02083925260
Internet: http://www.pro.gov.uk

No appointment is needed to visit the PRO in Kew, though you may have to order some of the documents you require for your research in advance. You will need a reader's ticket to gain access to the research areas. To obtain a ticket you need to take with you a full UK driving licence or a UK banker's card or a passport if you are a British citizen, and your passport or national identity card if you are not a British citizen. Note that the last time for ordering documents is 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 4.30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 2.30 p.m. on Saturdays.

 
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