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Military Service

These pages provide guidance to family historians on how to use sources from the India Office Records such as occupational descriptions or types of documents (wills, pensions or ecclesiastical records for example).

The military records (L/MIL series) reflect and document the whole spectrum of military affairs both of the East India Company's armies and of the armies of the Government of India.

These range from military policy, defence schemes and the organisation of army, navy and air force in India to the careers - appointments, pay, leave, promotions and pensions - of individual officers and soldiers in the Indian Army, the Indian Medical Service and the Royal Indian Navy. Medal rolls, prize and batta rolls, and soldiers' letters are included among the Military Department records, as are the records of soldiers' and cadets' entry into the military service in England before embarkation.


  • European Officers
  • European NCOs and Private soldiers
  • Indian Officers and other ranks of the EIC and Indian Army
  • Medical and Veterinary Officers
  • Departmental and Warrant Officers
  • British Army in India
  • Royal Indian Air Force
  • Royal Indian Marine / Navy

Please note that the India Office Records cover mainly the archives of the Indian Army. There is a small amount of material on the British Army in India, i.e. chiefly: officers of regiments in India 1806-1865; officers formerly on the Indian Establishment transferred to the British Army, 1863-68, or vice-versa 1859-1861, and some embarkation and disembarkation lists of 1871-89, and 1909-1914. Main sources for the British Army in India are held in the Public Record Office.

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Campaign & Gallantry Medals