Did your ancestor fight for King and Country during the Great War? Discover your ancestor’s medal index card. The collection includes the 4.5 million campaign medal index cards and silver war badge cards of soldiers. It is the most comprehensive list of individuals who fought in World War One. Search for free by your ancestor’s name, service number or rank.

Each record includes a partial transcription of the original Medal Index Card. The detail in each transcript can vary but most will include:

  • Name
  • Soldier number(s) *Rank *Corps
  • URL address to the original image on The National Archives’ site
  • Archival reference number

Click on the image link to visit The National Archives website, where for a small fee, you can purchase and download an image of the original index card that is kept at The National Archives based in Kew, London.

Discover more about the World War One British Army Medal Index Cards

The index cards were created by the Army Medal Office in Droitwich. Each card details a soldier’s medal entitlement. Some of the cards have additional annotations about awarded medals. Other ranks were automatically sent their medals, but officers had to claim their medals.

The records remind us of the vast impact of the Great War and that it was a world war. The call to arms went out across the British Empire. The collection includes some records for the Imperial units, but most of the index cards are for British soldiers.

Available in the collection are cards, which include medal entitlement for the General Service Medal awarded to men who took part in operations on the North West Frontier in 1919.

Multiple regimental numbers

While exploring the World War One Medal Index Cards, you may discover that your ancestor had more than one regimental (or soldier) number. Regimental numbers are extremely complex, but understanding these can help you unlock a soldier’s service history.

A regimental number was far from unique. Most regiments issued regimental numbers from multiple series and if your ancestor was in the Territorial Force, you may find that he has two numbers: his original number and a new number, which would have been issued to him when the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917. For detailed information on regimental numbers visit Paul Nixon’s blog: Army Service Numbers 1881-1918.