Guides to Researching WW2 Soldiers who served in the British Army

The guides below will help you to research either an officer or other rank who served in the British Army in the Second World War. Researching these soldiers can be a difficult task, as unlike for First World War soldiers, most of the information you will need to consult is not available online.

If you are just beginning your research, I’d recommend starting with my guide to ordering a British Army service record. Once you have a service record, you will then need to interpret and understand its contents which can be quite difficult. My list of British Army acronyms and abbreviations will help you decipher the military jargon.

The next stage of your research will be adding more information regarding the units a soldier served with. Depending on the unit, there can be a wide variety of resources to consult but the most useful will be a unit’s war diary. A war diary will record a unit’s location and daily activities whether in Britain or abroad. I have written another guide to help you find these documents.

My Six Most Important Guides to Help you Research Soldiers who Served in the British Army during the Second World War

The six guides below are the most important to help you to research a soldier who served with the British Army in the Second World War. I would suggest reading them in the following order:

Additional Guides to Researching Second World War Soldiers

Researching Soldiers who Served in the Royal Artillery

Researching Soldiers who Served in the Royal Engineers

Researching Soldiers who Served in the Foot Guards

While the most important documents to get hold of are a soldier’s service record and then the war diaries of the units they served with, a handful of Second World War records are online. The most important is the British Army Casualty Lists which are available on FindmyPast which also have other Second World War records. The banner below will take you to the website and they offer a free trial period.