Information on specific campaigns:

Service and ex-service periodicals and newspapers can provide background information:

Information on the organisation and units of the British Army:

  • Army website covering the structure and heritage of the British Army
  • The Long, Long Trail the soldiers, units, regiments and battles of the British Army of the First World War, and how to research and understand them. 
  • Work out where a unit fitted into the higher chain of command by using Orders of Battle:
    Order of Battle of Divisions (Part of History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents) [4 volumes] compiled by Major A.F. Becke by direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence (London: HMSO, 1935)
    Orders of Battle: United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939-1945 [two volumes] prepared for the Historical Section of the Cabinet Office by H F Joslen (London: HMSO, 1960)
  • British Military History covers the British Army and British Indian Army 1930-1956, providing an overview of formations and units, key events, personnel and regiments and some divisional histories.
  • Army Museum’s Ogilby Trust provides information on regimental museums across the UK, and can help you trace the history of regiments which may have been re-named or amalgamated during re-organisations of the British Army

Other helpful sources 

  • British Army, Deserters and Absentees in the Police Gazette 1914-1919 - the Police Gazette published regular lists with birth year, occupation, last known address and distinguishing physical characteristics on Find My Past (£)
  • Military personnel entitled to vote but serving away from home could register as an Absent Voter - lists 1918-1921 on Find My Past (£)
  • IWM’s Lives of the First World War is a digital initiative to create the permanent digital memorial to those who served in uniform and worked on the home front
  • Army Records: A Guide for Family Historians by William Spencer (Richmond, Surrey: The National Archives, 2008).
  • Tracing Your Army Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians by Simon Fowler (Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen and Sword, 2013)
  • The National Archive's ‘Help with your research’ guides cover a range of topics, explain how to find and use their records and signpost to other sources
Other things to look for:

Download a copy of our guide to tracing your British Army ancestry