Photograph of nurse and patients at an RAF hospital (Catalogue reference: INF 2/43/1169)

This is a brief guide to researching records of nurses who served with the Royal Air Force. While some records can be found at The National Archives, most material is currently held by the Ministry of Defence and the Red Cross.

  • What do I need to know before I start?

    • Try to find out:

      • the name of the person
      • the name of the nursing service
      • a geographical location and date range to help focus your search
  • What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

Did you know?

The Royal Air Force Nursing Service was established in 1918 and renamed Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service in 1923. It was a women-only service until 1980.

Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) were non-military organisations created in 1909 and based on the Japanese voluntary aid system. Members were trained by the St John Ambulance Brigade and served alongside all branches of the armed forces.