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Service Records

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Service Records

Postby MissCardiff » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:31 pm

I'd like to see the service records for my great grandfather who was in WW1. He wasn't killed but know he was severely injured as he spent 3 years in hospital after the war (according to my grandmother). William Thomas Llewelyn Burston 1901-1974.

Also my grandfather was in the RAF at the end of WW2 and just after, and spent time travelling the world including a long stint in Singapore. Ronald Wilmer 1933-2004.

Just don't know where to start, and want to keep the costs to a minimum?

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Re: Service Records

Postby Sylcec » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:56 pm

Only a small proportion of WWI Service and Pension records have survived, most having been destroyed by fire or flood in the Blitz (WWII). There is a much larger collection (5 million +) Medal Index Cards available. All these are available on I have done a search but been unable to identify William T L Burston in any of the above datasets.

It may be that his name was spelled or transcribed wrongly or that he used one of his other given names, rather than William. It would help if you had a little more information - e.g. any idea which Regiment he served in? Where was he born? There may be information about his service and return home in local newspapers from his home town. If your grandmother is still alive to ask, then she may know this, and may also have some memorabilia from his war service, such as his medals. He would have been awarded the British War & Victory Medals. Given that he was born 1901, it is unlikely that he would have joined before the last years of the war. If he was invalided out early, then he may also have a Silver War badge.
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Re: Service Records

Postby nwhite1 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:25 pm

Like Sylcec states I'm finding it hard to get any matches with the name William Thomas Llewelyn Burston. I can find a few William Burston's Medal index cards via the National Archives, though I'm not sure which is correct for you as he might of used one of his given names. So would need a little more information.

Regarding your grandfather who served in the RAF during WWII, unfortunately all WWII "service records" are still classified and only held by the MOD. They are not being officially released until 75 years after the end of WW2 i.e. 2019. However all is not lost. As you are a blood relative ( you can apply directly to the MOD for their service record. Please see the website 'Veterans-UK' for details and application form, note there is approx. 12 month wait and a charge of around £30.

The only time information on WWII records are available outside the MOD, is when there is other information outside the service record, such as a medal award, mention in despatches, POW captive or certain other special interest information.
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Re: Service Records

Postby ColinB » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:37 pm

The forms for requesting WW2 service records are now available from the MOD pages on the website : ... ce-records

You need 2 forms , one for the person making the application and one for the service person ( scroll down the page to find the relevant forms for yourself and RAF personnel ). The fee is £30. Whilst many people find that it takes a long time for the application to be processed it does depend on how much information you can give and how busy they are . In my case I received my father's record in about 3 weeks.

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Re: Service Records

Postby rbatkinson69 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:35 am

For everyone's information, I recently recieved my father's post WWII service records from the UK, cost me nothing, as my mother as next of kin was entitled for them for free. So while the serviceman's wife/husband is still alive you can get for free. Took about 2 months to come, I was most pleased to recieve them in that time frame. Best of Luck to all
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