World War 1

Discover our sources for tracing family members who were invoved in the First World War.

What do I need to know before I start?

Try to find out the:

  • name
  • service details


What records can I find in The Mitchell: Registrars, Special Collections and Glasgow City Archives?

The Registrars hold war returns of deaths of Scots for various conflicts, including those for World War 1. The war returns have been digitally imaged and indexed. Copies of the digital images and indexes can be accessed as part of the ScotlandsPeople network at the Registrars in The Mitchell on payment of a daily fee. Also available here are soldiers' wills and the records of Military Service Appeal Tribunals.

The Evening Times newspaper published a Roll of Honour for soldiers and officers killed, wounded or missing in action in World War 1. Special Collections is indexing the Evening Times for the war years to improve access to this newspaper Roll of Honour for family historians. The roll consists of short biographical information and often a photograph. Special Collections also hold other rolls of honour produced by various organisations.

The City Archives holds World War 1 Rolls of Honour produced by the Glasgow Corporation, and for Rutherglen Burgh and Cambuslang, as well as several by local schools and other organisations. These usually give the name, rank, regiment and address of those killed.

In addition there is an absent voters’ roll for Glasgow that is dated 1920, but which includes men who had fought in World War 1, available at the City Archives. Standard electoral rolls for other areas in Strathclyde may also refer to men absent due to them serving in the war.

The Archives also hold records relating to the raising of some regiments for World War 1, including nominal rolls and applications by men wishing to enlist as officers.


What records can I see online?

The war returns, soldiers' wills and Military Service Appeal Tribunal records can be accessed online at the ScotlandsPeople website on payment of a fee. Discounted vouchers for the website can be purchased at Special Collections.

Evening Times Roll of Honour is available online.

A database of men who served in the 1st and 2nd Glasgow battalions of the Highland Light Infantry​ is available online. This contains details such as regimental number, rank, religion and often additional information like height and boot size. The original records are held at the City Archives.

Ancestry Library edition website includes many records associated with the armed forces and military service, and the site can be accessed free in Glasgow Libraries to library members. It is easy to join the library. Ancestry holds a number of databases of World War 1 records that are very useful to the family historian. These include:

British Army WWI Service Records 1914-1920
British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards 1914-1920
Silver War Badge Records 1914-1920
Citations of the Distinguished Conduct Medal 1914-1920
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll 1914-1919
The National Roll of the Great War 1914-1918
Commonwealth War Graves 1914–1947
De Ruvigny‘s Roll of Honour 1914-1924
Royal Naval Division Casualties of The Great War 1914-1924
British Officer Prisoners of War 1914-1918
Ireland, Casualties of World War I 1914-1918
Memorial Books, WWI and WWII 1914-1945
Gateshead, Durham, Roll of Honour 1914-1920


What records can I see elsewhere?​

The original World War 1 service records are held at the National Archives (but can be accessed online via Ancestry). They also hold British Army unit diaries and Cabinet records.

Soldiers' and Airmen's' wills, including those for Scots who died during World War 1, are held at National Records of Scotland. provides another source of information including stories and events relating to Glasgow's involvement in WW1.


In this guide