Searching for Service Records on the WW2 Nominal Roll

Nominal Roll website

On this Nominal Roll site you can search by Name, Service Number, Honours, or Place (of birth, locality of residence, enlistment) to see a summary of a person's service record. Once found it is possible to print out a copy.

If the name is known, but not the service number, then click on the Name tab, select Army and then enter as much detail as possible. The more detail, the smaller the number of results.

If the Service Number is known then this will give the details immediately. From this summary a certificate can be printed, and a link to the National Archives site is provided.

Searching for Service Records on the National Archives Website

On this site you can access detailed service records by viewing online (if available) or purchasing a soft or hard copy of the records.

As an example, imagine we are looking for a member of the 2/24th Battalion whose name is Smith:

Using the Basic Search Option

  1. Enter family name first and then other names in the 'Keywords' box and then enter the war years (1939 - 1948) in the 'Date' box.
  2. Click the 'Search' box. There may be quite a few matches - for example, Smith will bring up hundreds of items.
  3. Now we can refine the search by entering the Service Number.
  4. Click on the Refine search button and then down at the bottom of the page click on Advanced search for items. The only information you need to enter is the service number in the box titled Item control symbol
  5. Click the Search button at the foot of the screen.

The correct Smith will now appear on screen.

Note that not all World War II records have been digitised, so full details of a service record are not available online. If they are not listed as digitised then it is necessary to purchase the records.

Using the Name Search Option

  1. Click on the Name Search tab to bring up the search page.
  2. Enter Surname and select World War II from the drop-down list in Category of Records
  3. The search finds all veterans (surname and any names) and next-of-kin with the same name (e.g. Smith brings up over 11 000 entries).
  4. Click on 'Refine the search result' and input first names and/or service number, although the service number alone should create a match.
  5. Click on the Display button to view the detail. A symbol on the side will indicate if a digital record exists.
  6. Otherwise click on Request copy button to purchase the record.

Purchasing Service Records

On the right side of screen above the service details is a link to request copy. This will bring up a new screen headed E-Commerce.

  1. Read about the options and decide whether you want an Online copy ($16.50) or a Colour print copy ($25). We recommend you obtain a print copy as National Archives say there is no guarantee that online copies will remain available.
  2. Click Continue and on the next screen nominate whether the veteran is deceased, living or unknown
  3. The next screen is the start of the ordering process. The left hand column is a summary of details, and the second column has a drop-down list that allows a choice of Online copy or Colour print copy.
  4. Click the 'Update Basket' button at the bottom of the screen.[You must also click this button if you change your selection
  5. Click 'Continue'
  6. Click 'Create new account' which then takes you through to ordering and payment (credit card or cheque).