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*Tracing Your Roots > South Asian > Service Records
* Soldiers 
For First World War service records of Asian soldiers who were born in this country and served in the British Army, see the National Archives record series (PRO) WO363 and (PRO) WO364. To explore further, please check the information leaflets on the National Archives web site at: *

Native South Asians were not given commissions in the British army. The candidates needed to be of pure European descent and it was refused to those who were not.

They had to be British subjects and the sons of parents, both of whom were (or if deceased, were at the time of their death) British subjects or naturalised British subjects who were eligible to offer themselves for examination of admission to the Royal Military College.

A good example of an Asian officer who served in the British army is Captain HRH Prince Victor Albert Jay Duleep Singh, Royal Dragoon, whose service records are available in the National Archives under reference (PRO) WO138/9.

The records include a copy of his birth certificate (which is in personal records of notable military personnel) 1890-98 and those of his Brother Frederick V. Duleep Singh. Both of them were sons of Maharaja of Punjab Duleep Singh who lived in Norfolk, England until 1886.

Service Record of Major Frederick V. Duleep Singh
Part of the service record of Major Frederick V. Duleep Singh, Norfolk Yeomanry 1893-1919. Son of the Maharaja of Punjab, Duleep Singh lived in Norfolk, England until 1886.

Creators: Abi Husainy