Archives - Ministry of Defence
The Ministry of Defence hold the Second World War military service records for those who joined between 1939 and 1945. Army Service Records are held with the Regiment in which a person served - the records for the A.T.S. are therefore held at Worthy Down, but can only be accessed through the M.O.D.
The MOD is also the agency to contact with regard to claiming War Medals. The following information is taken directly from their website, but if you would like to look at the details yourself contact www.veteransagency.mod.uk/medals/pastservice.htm.
"The vast majority of Service personnel received campaign medals awarded to them while they were still in the Armed Forces, as they were required to be worn for ceremonial duty and other functions for which their uniform was required. If, however an individual left the Armed Forces before the medal could be issued, it was his or her responsibility to claim them from the appropriate medal office. As a result, there are still many veterans who have not received the medals to which they are entitled. By far the largest group of veterans were those who were in the Armed Forces during the Second World War.
As a general rule, most Second World War Service personnel were not issued with medals before they were de-mobilised at the end of the war and consequently they had to claim them after they had left the Services. This differed from the arrangements at the end of the First World War when the majority of medals were sent out automatically. This was not considered to be practical after the Second World War, as most people had returned to 'civvy street' before the medals were instituted and manufacturing commenced in the late 1940s. The task of locating them individually would have been an enormous and hugely expensive. It was decided at the time that only those people who remained in the Armed Forces would receive their medals automatically. Everyone else had to claim them.
Although the availability of medals for wartime service was widely advertised at the time, many people, for a variety of reasons did not do so. Even now, nearly 60 years later, several hundred veterans, or their next of kin, still make an initial claim for Second World War medals, every month. They were, and still are, issued in the first instance free of charge. Medals can be issued to the legal next of kin of deceased ex-Servicemen/women, however proof of kinship will be required.
To claim medals which never before have been issued, replace stolen/destroyed medals, or find out if an individual is entitled to a medal, please write to the medal office given below. The following information (or as much as possible) will be required:
Service Number, Regiment/Corps (Army/RM), Branch/Trade (RAF and RN), Full Name, Date of Birth, Rank and date of discharge, plus, of course, your current name and address. At the moment, the medal offices are unable to accept claims or queries by e-mail.
As a large
number of people have not claimed for their medals until now, there is usually
a backlog of requests, all of which are dealt with strictly in the order the
claims are received. All claims are dealt with as quickly as possible and there
are teams of skilled officials who work on this task all the time. Every effort
will be made to acknowledge and process claims in a timely manner, but please
appreciate that if you are claiming a medal for service performed many years
ago it will be necessary to recover files from the archives, which will take
a little time, so please be patient."
The Veterans Agency is situated at:
Helpline Tel: 0800 169 2277
or can be contacted at www.veteransagency.mod.uk
Army Medal Office:
MOD Medal Office, Building 250,
RAF Innsworth ,
Gloucester GL3 1HW