MOD launches online orders for RAF records

The MOD has begun rolling out its online record ordering system as it continues to work through a backlog

RAF pilots scramble to their planes, November 1940

RAF service records from 1920 onwards can now be ordered online from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), as it continues to face a backlog of military service record requests.

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Post-1920 military service records for the UK are currently held by the MOD, although they are now in the process of being transferred to The National Archives in batches in a process that is likely to take six years. Records for anyone who remained in service after 1964 will remain with the MOD.

Currently records of deceased servicemen and women can be requested by the person’s next of kin via postal application in what has long been regarded as an archaic system.

The MOD piloted a scheme for enabling online orders of the records at RootsTech London in 2019, and virtually during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020.

The Ministry has now made the online ordering system available here, but only for RAF records.

Although the new system will simplify the process of ordering and fulfilling orders, it does not provide instant access to records and RAF records are still subject to the delays that have been caused by a huge backlog of orders at the MOD.

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Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine