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MOD launches online orders for RAF service records
RAF service records from 1920 onwards can now be ordered online from the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
Post-1920 military service records for the UK are held by the MOD, although they are being transferred to The National Archives in Kew in batches in a process that is likely to take six years. Records for anyone who remained in service after 1964 will stay with the MOD.
Currently the records of deceased servicemen and women can be requested by the person’s next of kin via postal application in what has long been regarded as an archaic system.
The MOD piloted a scheme for enabling online orders of the records at RootsTech London in 2019, and virtually during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020.
The ordering system is now available online at gov.uk/get-copy-military-servicerecords/apply-for-someone-elses-records, but only for RAF records. Orders cost £30, although the records are free to the deceased person’s spouse or civil partner, or a parent if they had neither of those.
Although the new system will simplify the process of ordering and fulfilling orders, it does not provide instant access and the RAF records are still subject to the delays that have been caused by a huge backlog of orders at the MOD.