is the custodian of the records of service of service personnel and Home Guard records until they are opened to general public access at the National Archives.
Subject to the payment of an administration fee of £30 per record and provision of a death certificate (except where death was in service), certain information can be provided from the records of service of service personnel on request under the publication scheme.
Under the scheme, and in recognition of the duty of care owed to the family of the deceased subject, for a period of 25 years following the date of death of the subject and without the consent of the next of kin, The administration fee of £30 will be waived for requests from those who were the spouse or civil partner of the subject at the time of death (or parent if there was no spouse or civil partner).
Where the consent of the immediate next of kin has been given for its release to a third party, the 25 year threshold will not apply allowing the release of all the information available under the publication scheme at any time, subject to the payment of an administration fee of £30 per record and the provision of a death certificate (except where death was in service).
Before requesting information you are advised to carry out searches from sources that provide access to the details of deceased service personnel at no cost, such as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission ( aims generally to provide information where the above conditions are met, it will not disclose any information under the publication scheme where this could prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of its forces.
In the very rare case where release of information from a record might be prejudicial, the applicant will be advised of the relevant Freedom of Information Act statutory exemption that applies to its non disclosure.
The information that is held on individuals varies depending on which service they served with, when they served and the length of their service.
In a small number of cases little or no information may be held.
Applicants should be aware that the £30 administration fee is non-refundable whatever the outcome of the search.
If you wish to apply for a search you should download, complete and send to the following forms: For those who are not the immediate next of kin, and who are applying without the consent of the immediate next of kin, download and complete the ‘Application part 1: general enquirer’s form’ and the ‘Application part 2 form’ for the appropriate service (Royal Navy, British Army or Information contained within the Home Guard records is very limited.
With a few exceptions it normally consists of one double sided A4 sheet of paper (Army Form W3066) containing personal details on enlistment and very little else.
No details are held of the duties performed by an individual during his service.
As required for requests for the records of service of service personnel, there is also a non-refundable administration charge of £30 and it should be noted that a considerable proportion of searches for Home Guard records prove to be unsuccessful.