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We have service records (also called personnel files) of every New Zealander known to have served in World War One. A person’s service record contains:

  • biographical information, like their occupation, religion and next of kin

  • the dates they served in Aotearoa and overseas

  • summaries of their promotions, transfers or demotions

  • details of wounds and illnesses they suffered

  • other types of information about the person and their service.

These records have been digitised, so you can view them online in Collections search.

Search terms

You can search for service records by:

  • name

  • service number – you'll get a more focused result this way.

Visit Collections search to find service records

Find a service number

You can find a person’s service number in Auckland War Museum’s Online Cenotaph – a database that has records of more than 250,000 men and women who have served for Aotearoa.

Search the Online Cenotaph for a person – Auckland War Museum

If you’re not sure of a name or spelling

Collections search finds results that contain the exact words you enter – if you search for John Smith, you won’t see results for John Smyth.

You can include an asterisk (*) after a group of letters to find all the words that start with those letters. Searching for John Sm* will find:

  • John Smith

  • John Smyth

  • John Small

  • other records that have John and a word starting with Sm in the title.

Filtering search results

You’ll often get a large number of results if you enter a name into Collections search – especially if it’s a common name. For example, searching for “John Smith” returns 4,026 results.

Use the filter to focus your results. The filter is at the top-left of the results page.

The search filter is on the left of the results page.

You can filter your results in different ways, depending which records you want to see.

Service records only

To filter your results so you only see service records:

  • open the search filter menu

  • find the Included in series filter

  • tick the Military Personnel Files box.

Online records only

All military service records have been digitised, so you can view them online or download them. To only see online records:

  • open the search filter menu

  • find the Digital copy available filter

  • tick the Yes box.

Service dates

If you know the year that a person began their military service, left the army or died, you can filter your results by date. To filter by date:

  • open the search filter menu

  • find the Start year or End year filter

  • tick the box with the year you want.

Get help finding a war record

Our archivists can help if you’re struggling to find a record, or if you want to know more about the archives we hold.

Ask an archivist for help with your research

Other war records in our holdings

We hold a wide variety of records from World War One, World War Two, the New Zealand (Māori) wars and more recent wars.

Learn more about the war records we hold