As part of the WFA’s education aims, and to allow access to the records for family research as soon as possible, we are now able to offer a manual look-up service for the records. Note: there is a fee for this service which is to be paid in advance.

The destruction of the large majority of First World War British service records in 1940 has been a significant barrier for family and military historians for many years. Although the publication of The National Archives’ ‘Burnt Series’ records (those records that survived the 1940 London Blitz) was significant, these records account for only about 30-40 per cent of those five million or so British men and women who served in the Great War.

In addition to the Burnt Series is another set of records, called the ‘Unburnt Series’ (also known as the WO364 series to The National Archives) . These amount to a further 750,000 records of soldiers who were discharged for medical reasons during the War. They also include some pre-war soldiers whose term of service came to an end before 1920.

Despite the number of documents in both the Burnt and Unburnt series, there are large gaps in these records.

The WFA’s Pension Index Cards and Ledgers is likely to be a significant benefit in plugging these gaps. They will provide information to help further research with the Burnt and Unburnt records as well as in other avenues of research.

A random sample of the Pension Record Cards held by the WFA against the Burnt Series (WO364) has revealed only a limited amount of records in common, which reinforces the value of this new archive.

See the full announcement here: