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Source Information

Ancestry.com. British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.
Original data: The National Archives of the UK (TNA).

War Office: Soldiers’ Documents from Pension Claims, First World War (Microfilm Copies); (The National Archives Microfilm Publication WO364); Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies; The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England.

The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided. Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225. Fax: 020 8392 5266.

About British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920

This database contains service records of non-commissioned officers and other ranks who were discharged from the Army and claimed disability pensions for service in WWI. These were also men who did not re-enlist in the Army prior to World War II. Approximately 5 million men served in the British Army in World War One (WWI) and these records contain many of them, especially if they claimed a pension.

These records contain a variety of forms, including:

  • Attestation forms - the form completed by the individual on enlistment
  • Medical history forms
  • Casualty forms
  • Disability statements
  • Regimental conduct sheets
  • Awards

Information available in these records includes:

  • Name of soldier
  • Age
  • Birthplace
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Regimental number
  • Date of attestation
  • Physical description

Historical Background:

The British Army World War One Pension Records are War Office (WO) records also known as the WO364 records and the ‘Unburnt collection’, due to these records surviving a World War Two bombing raid on the War Office in London where they were held. During this raid, a large portion (approximately 60 per cent) of the British Army World War One Service Records, also known as the WO363 records were destroyed by fire. The surviving service records have also become known as the ‘Burnt collection’. Although many of these records suffered water damage following the bombing raid, all surviving service and pension records were digitised by The National Archives, where both collections are held, as part of a major TNA conservation project.

Tips and Notes:

  • These records are unlikely to contain information on individuals who did not claim a pension.
  • These records are unlikely to contain documents on soldiers who were killed in action and had no dependents (as there would have been no one to claim a pension).
  • These records are unlikely to contain documents on soldiers who were discharged from demobilization at the end of the war and did not claim a pension (since they were generally not eligible for one).
  • Some records may have been stored and/or filmed in incorrect alphabetical order.
  • Some records may appear to be out of order due to a misspelling or misreading of the name.
  • Some soldiers did not record their first names; some of them only used initials, and others used nicknames or diminutive names.
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