How to look for records of... Wars: an overview
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
This is a brief guide to researching British government and military records of a war involving Britain. Guidance is available for some major conflicts elsewhere on this site, but this guide will help you find general records not covered in other research signposts.
War records are wide-ranging, sometimes incomplete and are kept in a variety of places. This guide will help you gain a general overview of the main sources of the information that exists, and where to find it. This guide is for people interested in the subject of a war as opposed to those interested in finding a specific person who fought in a conflict.
What records can I see online?
What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
What other resources will help me find information?
Did you know?
There are many records covering conflicts and wars at The National Archives. Try searching our catalogue with a specific term, name or subject to help focus your search.
There is likely to be some overlap between separate departments on any given subject. For example, a decision made during the Second World War may have been informed by the Foreign Office (FO), discussed by the Cabinet (CAB) and Prime Minister (PREM) and then carried out by the army (WO), Royal Navy (ADM) and RAF (AIR).