The surviving officers' records are available to view by the public for free at the National Archives in Kew.The Service Records of 139,908 officers are included in this class of records held at the National Archives in Kew, London.
On occasion, compulsory conscription was enforced and even "press-gangs" were used.
You may find evidence that an ancestor served in the military from family records, biographies, census, probates, civil registration, or church records.
They were individuals who ended their service with the Army before 1922, they were a regular British Army officer before 1914-1918 or they were commissioned into the Special Reserve of officers.
An index of 23 volumes for all the officers' records in WO 339 is provided in a separate classification of WO 338. When the individual is found there will be a “long number” identification for him.
The main files on each individual officer were destroyed by enemy bombing in the Second World War.
As these are supplementary files, the amount of information they contain may be varied.Military records are potentially of great genealogical value and may provide information not found in any other source.These records identify individuals who served or were eligible to serve in the military.Also there will be the detail of his surname, initial(s), regiment, “long number” and rank.This “long number” will be required to find him in the WO 339 class of records, which is arranged by “long number”.For information about how to find medal records for British servicemen go to our page at: British WW1 Medal Records 1914-1920 This book offers an introduction to the Service Records which survived damage in the Second World War for soldiers and non-commissioned officers.