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An incomplete list of abbreviations that are found used in sources and records, both published and unpublished.

See seperate listing for Railway system abbreviations

Contents: 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

0-9, symbols

Abbreviation Definition
+ Has attained colloquial knowledge of the Hindoostanee Language


Abbreviation Definition
A.A. and Q.M.G. Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General
A.A.G. Assistant Adjutant General.
A.B. or B.A. Bachelor of Arts.
A.B.A.S. Associate of the British Archaeological Society.
abp/Abp. Archbishop.
A.C. Assistant Commissary.
A.C.T.- I.A.V.C. Animal Clipping Teams-Indian Army Veterinary Corps
A.D.C. Aide-de-Camp.
Adml./Adm. Admiral.
Adj. Adjutant
Adv-Gen. Advocate-General.
A.D.V.R.S. Assistant Director Veterinary & Remount Services
A.D.V.S. Assistant Director Veterinary Service; Advanced Depot Veterinary Stores
AFI Auxiliary Force India
A.G./Adjt-Gen. Adjutant General
A.INST.C.E. Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers
AIRO Army of India Reserve of Officers
Aldmn. Alderman.
A.M. or M.A. Master of Arts.
A. MULE DEPOT. Army or Indian Army Mule Depot
APAC Asia, Pacific and Africa Collection (at the British Library)
A.Q.M.G. Assistant Quartermaster General.
A.R.A. Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Artill. Artillery
AS Assistant Surgeon
A.S.CORPS. Army Service Corps
Asst-commiss-Gen. Assistant Commissary General
attd. Military abbreviation, meaning 'attached'
A Vet Hpl Army Veterinary Hospital
A.V.M.D. Army Veterinary Medical Department
A.V.S. Army Veterinary Service


Abbreviation Definition
b. born
BAH. I.S.C. CPS. Bahawalpur Imperial Service Camel Corps
Barr. Barrister.
Bart/Bart. Baronet
Batty. Battery
BBCIR Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway
B.C.C. Bikanir Camel Corps, raised in India, provided troops, mounted on camels, for the British in WWI
Bchy Butchery, a building where animals are butchered; the killing of animals for food
B.C.L. or LL.B. Bachelor of Civil Law.
BCR Bengal Central Railway
B.C.S. Bengal Civil Service
Bde. Brigade
B.D. Bachelor of Divinity.
B.D.V.S. Base Depot Veterinary Stores, collecting depot for veterinary supplies and equipment
Bgde Brigade
B.I.A. British Indian Army, the army in India in the time of the British Raj (1858–1947)
B.M. or M.B. Bachelor of Medicine
BMOS Bengal Military Orphan Society
Bn. Battalion
B.N.C. Bengal Native Cavalry
B.N.I. Bengal Native Infantry
BNR Bengal Nagpur Railway
Bo.C.S. Bombay Civil Service
Bom'd'r Bombardier
Bo.N.C. Bombay Native Cavalry
Bo.N.I. Bombay Native Infantry
B.O.R.I.A.V.C. British Other Ranks (in the) Indian Army Veterinary Corps
Bo.S.C. Bombay Staff Corps.
Bp/Bp. Bishop
BR Burma Railway
B.R.D. Base Remount Depot
Brig. Brigade
Brig. Brigadier
B.S.C. Bengal Staff Corps
B. Smith Indian Army abbreviation for blacksmith
B.V.H. Base Veterinary Hospital; Branch V.H


Abbreviation Definition
(c.) Conservative.
Capt. Captain
Cas. Casualty
Cash'd Cashiered
Cath. Catholic
Cav./Cavy. Cavalry
C.B. Companion of the Order of the Bath
C.C. Commander-in-Chief
CC Chief Commissioner
C.C. County Councillor.
C.C.S. Ceylon Civil Service.
C.Eng. Civil Engineer, or Chartered Engineer
C.E.V.B. Carnatic European Veteran Battalion
CHDAVC Convalescent Horse Depot Army Veterinary Corps
C.H.D. Convalescent Horse Depot, a Depot where horses and mules are sent to recover from wounds and illness
C.I Holder of Order of the Crown of India
C.I. Order of the Crown of India.
C.I.E. Companion of the Order the Indian Empire.
Civ Ann Civil Annuities
C.J. Chief Justice.
C.M.G. Companion of St. Michael and St. George.
CML.CPS. Camel Corps, A.I.F.
C.M.P Corps of Military Police
Co. Company
Coll'r Collector
Col. Colonel
Col. Sjt. Colour serjeant
Comm. Commander
Commdg. Commanding
Commdr. Commander
Commdt. Commandant
Comm-Gen. Commissary General
Commr. Commissioner
Commt. Commissariat
Comm'y Commissiary
Cond. Conductor
Cov. Covenant
Cov. C.S. Covenanted Civil Servant
C.P. Central Provinces
C.Q.M.S. Company Quartermaster Sergeant
C.S.I. Companion of the Order of the Star of India
C.S.M. Company Sergeant Major
C.V.D. Civil Veterinary Department, in British colonies, established as a research service to investigate indigenous diseases and to search for cures
CWGC Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Abbreviation Definition
D./ d. Deceased/died.
D.A.C. Deputy Assistant Commissary.
D.A.C.G. Deputy Assistant Commissary General.
D. A.G. Deputy Adjutant-General
D.A.A.G. Deputy Assistant Adjutant General
D.A.Q.M.G. Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General
DAS Died At Sea
Dau./dau. Daughter
D.C. Deputy Commissary.
D.C.L. or LL.D. Doctor of Civil Law.
Dd. Died
D.D. Doctor of Divinity.
D.D.V.S. Deputy Director of Veterinary Services
Dep. Deputy.
Dep-Adv-Gen. Deputy Advocate General
D.-G., A.V.D. Director-General, Army Veterinary Department
Disch'd Discharged
Dist. District.
D.L. Deputy Lieutenant for the County of
DO District Officer
DOD Died Of Disease
DOI Died Of Illness
DOW Died Of Wounds during the conduct of war
Dow. Dowager
D.Q.M.G. Deputy - Quarter - Master- General
DR Descriptive Roll
D.S.O. Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.
Dy. Comm'r Deputy Commissioner


Abbreviation Definition
E.A.D.C. Extra Aide-de-Camp
EBR East Bengal Railway
EIC East India Company (abbreviation of HEIC)
E.I.C.S. East India Civil Service.
EIR East Indian Railway
Eld. Eldest
Eng. English
Engr. Engineer
E.R.I. Edwardus Rex Imperator - Edward, King and Emperor
ES Effective Supernumerary
Estab. Establishment
E.V.B. European Veterans Battalion
E.V.O. Executive Veterinary Officer
Ext. Extinct


Abbreviation Definition
FAR. CPL. British Army abbreviation for Farrier Corporal
FAR. CPL. MJR. British Army abbreviation for Farrier Corporal Major
FAR SERGT Farrier Sergeant
FAR. S. MJR. British Army abbreviation for Farrier Serjeant Major
F.C.S. Fellow of the Chemical Society.
F.E.HIST.S. Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
F.G.S. Fellow of the Geological Society.
FHC Family History Centres
FHL Family History Library
Fld Butch Field Butchery, an Army Service Corps unit that slaughtered and dressed animals as food while in the field
F.L.S. Fellow of the Linnean Society.
F.M. Field Marshal.
F.P.S. Fellow of Philosophical Society of Great Britain
F.Q.M.S. Farrier Quartermaster Sergeant
F.R.A.S. Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
FRC Family Records Centre (Islington, London)
F.R.C.I. Fellow of the Royal Colonial Institute.
F.R.C.P. Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
F.R.C.S. Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons
F.R.C.V.S. Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
F.R.D. Field Remount Depot
F.R.G.S. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
F.R.HORT.S. Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society.
F.R.INST.B.A. Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
F.R.S. Fellow of the Royal Society.
F.R.S.L. Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
F.-S. Farrier-Sergeant
F.S.A. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
F.S.S. Fellow of the Statistical Society.
F.S.Sc.A. Fellow of the Society of Science and Art of London
F.W.A.V.S. Farriery Wing Army Veterinary School (Indian)


Abbreviation Definition
Gaz. Gazette
G.C.B. Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
G.C.B. Knight Grand Cross of the Bath
G.C.H. Knight Grand Cross of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order.
G.C.I.E. Knight Grand Cross of the Indian Empire
G.C.M.G. Knight Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George.
G.C.S.I. Knight Grand Cross of the Star of India
GCM Good Conduct Medal
G.G. Governor-General
GIPR Great Indian Peninsula Railway
(G.L.) Gladstone Liberal.
G.O.C.C. General Orders by Commander-in-Chief
G.O.G General Orders by Government
G.O.G.G. General Order of Governor-General.
Gov. Governor.
Govt Government
Gov-Gen. Governor-General
G.R. Georgius Rex (King George)
GRI Georgius Rex Imperator - George, King-Emperor
Gr. Gunner
Grdau. Granddaughter.
GRO General Register Office (Southport)
Grs. Grandson.
G.S. Governor of Scinde
G.S.W. Gun Shot Wound
Gt. B. Great Britain.


Abbreviation Definition
H.A.C. Honourable Artillery Company.
H.A.D.C. Honorary Aide-de-Camp
HEIC Honourable East India Company
HEICS Honourable East India Company's (Civil) Service or Honourable East India Company Ship
heir pres. Heir presumptive.
H. KPR. Horse keeper (Indian Army abbreviation )
H.M. His (Her) Majesty
H.M.l.N. Her Majesty's Indian Navy
H.M.S. His (Her) Majesty’s Ship
H.M.S. His (Her) Majesty’s Service
(hon.) (Hon) Honourable by right of office.
hon /Hon. Honourable,
h. p.... half pay.
(H.R.) Home Ruler.
H.R.H. His or Her Royal Highness.
Huss. Hussar


Abbreviation Definition
I.A. Indian Army
I.A.F.V.H. Indian Advanced Field Veterinary Hospital
I.A.R.O. Indian Army Reserve of Officers
I.A.V.C. Indian Army Veterinary Corps
I.A.V.C.C.& R. Indian Army Veterinary Corps Centre & Records
I.A.V.S. Indian Army Veterinary Service
I.B.D.V.S. Indian Base Depot Veterinary Stores
I.B.V.S. Indian Brigade Veterinary Section
ICC Imperial Camel Corps
ICO Indian Commissioned Officers
I.C.S.S. Indian Cattle Stock Section
ICS Indian Civil Service
IDF Indian Defence Force
I.F.B. Indian Field Butchery
I.F.D.V.S. Indian Field Depot Veterinary Stores
I.F.V.H. Indian Field Veterinary Hospital
I.F.V.L. Indian Field Veterinary Laboratory
I.M.A.- S.U. Indian Mobile Anti-Surra Unit
I.M.L. India(n) Miscellaneous List
IMS Indian Medical Service
I.M.V.H. Indian Military Veterinary Hospital
I.M.V.S. Indian Mobile Veterinary Section
inc. Incumbent
Indian NCO Indian Non-Commissioned Officer
Inf. Infantry
Insp. Inspector.
Insp-Gen. Inspector General of…
Int. Intestate
IOM Indian Order of Merit
IOR India Office Records
I.O.R.I.A.V.C. Indian Other Ranks Indian Army Veterinary Corps
IPS Indian Political Service
Ir. Irish
I.R.B.D.V.S. Indian Reserve Base Depot Veterinary Stores
Irel. Ireland
I. REMT. D. Indian Army Remount Department, pre-1947
I.R.V.C. Indian Remount & Veterinary Corps
I.S.C. Indian Staff Corps
ISF Indian States Forces
I.S.L.U. Indian State Labour Unit
I.S.M.D. Indian Subordinate Medical Department
ISMS Indian Subordinate Medical Service
IST Imperial Service Troops
ITA Indian Tea Association
ITF Indian Territorial Force
I.V.C.S. Indian Veterinary Conducting Section
I.V.C.H. Indian Veterinary Convalescent Hospital
I.V.D. Indian Veterinary Detachment
IVF Indian Volunteer Force
I.V.R.H. Indian Veterinary Reception Hospital
I.W.G.C. Imperial War Graves Commission (now the CWGC)
I.W.M. Imperial War Museum


Abbreviation Definition
J.P. Magistrate for the county of.
Jnr. Junior.


Abbreviation Definition
KC King’s Crown, style of crown depicted on a badge
K.C.B. Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
K.C.B. Knight Commander of the Bath.
K.C.H. Knight Commander of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order
K.C.H. Knight Commander of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order.
K.C.l.E. Knight Commander of the Indian Empire.
K.C.M.G. Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George.
K.C.S.l. Knight Commander of the Star of India.
K.C.T.S. Knight Commander of the Tower and Sword.
K.G. Knight of the Order of the Garter.
K.H. Knight of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order.
Knt/Knt. leg, hon. Knight of the Legion of Honor.
K.P. Knight of the Order of St. Patrick,
K.T Knight of the Order of the Thistle. .
K.T.S Knight of the Tower and Sword.


Abbreviation Definition
(L.) Liberal.
L.C.J. Lord Chief Justice.
LDS Latter Day Saints
L.G. Lieutenant-General
L.G.N.W.P. Lieutenant-Governor, North-Western Provinces
Lieut. or Lt Lieutenant.
L.H. Light Horse
L.I. Light Infantry
LL.M. Master of Laws.
L.O.C. Line of Communication, LOC troops belonged to units performing non-battle functions such as ordnance, supply, medical and veterinary duties
L.R.C.P. Lon. Licentiate of Royal College of Physicians, London.
L.R.C.V.S. Licentiate of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Lt-Col/Lt.Col. Lieutenant-Colonel.
Lt-Gen/Lt.Gen. Lieutenant- General
(L.U.) Liberal Unionist.


Abbreviation Definition
M./ m. married.
M.A. Master of Arts.
MACEDONIAN.MULE.C. Macedonian Mule Corps, Indian Army
Maj. Major.
Maj-Gen. Major General.
Marq. Marquess.
M.B. Bachelor of Medicine.
M.C. Military Cross
M.C.S. Madras Civil Service.
M.D. Doctor of Medicine.
Med.Est. Medical Establishment
M.F.D. Military Farms Department
M.G. Major-General
M.I. Monumental Inscription(s)
M.I.D. Mentioned In Despatches
Mil. militia
Mil. Att. Military Attaché
Mil. Sec. Military Secretary
Mily. Military.
M.INST.C.E Member of Institute of Civil Engineers
M.M. Military Medal
M.N.C. Madras Native Cavalry
M.N.I. Madras Native Infantry
Mob Vet Sec Mobile Veterinary Section
M.P. Member of Parliament
MR Muster rolls
M.R. Mounted Rifles
M.R. Master of the Bolls.
M.R.A.S. Member of Royal Asiatic Society.
M.R.C.P. Lon. Member of the Royal College of Physicians, London
M.R.C.V.S. Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
M.R.I. Member of Royal Institute.
M.R.S.P.W.C. Member of Royal Society of Painters in WaterColours.
M.S. Military Secretary
M.S.C. Madras Staff Corps.
M.U. medically unfit
MULE CPS. Indian Army Mule Corps
Muleteer Indian Army term for a member of the Mule Corps
MULTR. Abbreviation for a member of the Mule Corps
MUS. D. Doctor of Music.
M.V.D. Mobile Veterinary Detachment
M.V.H. Military Veterinary Hospital


Abbreviation Definition
N. New Furlough Rules
(N.) Nationalist.
NAM National Army Museum
Natl. National.
N.B. Scotland.
N.C. Native Cavalry
NCO(s) Non-commissioned officer(s)
N.I. Native Infantry
NMM National Maritime Museum
NOK next of kin
NR Nominal roll
N.W.F.P. North West Frontier Province
N.W.P.& O. North West Provinces & Oudh
N.Y.D. Not Yet Diagnosed (in medical terminology)


Abbreviation Definition
O. Old Furlough Rules
O.C.T.U. Officer Cadet Training Unit
OIOC Oriental & India Office Collection (British Library)
OM Order of Merit
Orbat Order of Battle
ORs Other Ranks, all military personnel below commissioned officer’s rank, includes Warrant Officers, NCOs, and Privates
OSD Officer's Service Dress – bronzed badges worn


Abbreviation Definition
P. Passed District Examination in the Persian & Hindoostanee Languages
P.A. Private Affairs
P. BTY. Indian Army Pack Battery Royal Garrison Artillery
P. BTY. F. F. Indian Army Pack Battery Frontier Force
P.C. Passed College Examination in the Persian & Hindoostanee Languages
P.C. Privy Councillor.
P.C.H. Passed College Examination in the Hindoostanee Language
P. CPS. Indian Army Pony Corps
Pans. Pension
Pens'd Pensioned
Pens'r Pensioner
P.H. Passed District Examination in the Hindoostanee Language
preb. Prebendary.
pres/Pres. president.
PRO Public Records Office (now called TNA, The National Archives)
P.R.V.F.C. Pakistan Remount, Veterinary & Farm Corps
P.S. Private Secretary
Pte Private
P.V.O. Principal Veterinary Officer
PWD Public Works Department
PWI Permanent Way Inspector (Railways)
P.W.I. Prince of Wales Island - i.ePenang


Abbreviation Definition
Q.C. Queen's Counsel.
Q.M. Quartermaster
Qmr. Quartermaster
Q.M.G Quartermaster-General
Q.M.S. Quartermaster Sergeant, a Staff Sergeant attached to each regiment, providing soldier's quarters, rations, ammunition, other supplies, laying out camp
QVC style of Royal Crown on badges depicting that worn by Queen Victoria from 1837-1901


Abbreviation Definition
(R.) Radical
r. f. p/ Ret.f.p. Retired on full pay.
R.A. Royal Artillery
R.A. Royal Academician
r.a.p. Rupee, Anna, Pice (see Money)
R.A.V.C. Royal Army Veterinary Corps
R.C. Roman Catholic
R.D. Rural Dean.
R.E. Royal Engineers
Rect. Rector
Reg't Regiment
Rev. Reverend
R.F.A. Royal Field Artillery
R.G.A. Royal Garrison Artillery
R.H.A. Royal Horse Artillery
R.H.M.S. Royal Hibernian Military School
R.I.A.S.C. Royal Indian Army Service Corps
Rif/Rifl. Rifle (Regiment/Brigade)
R.I.M. Royal Indian Marine
R.L.A. Relay Dressing Station, for dressing wounds on the way to the rear
R.M. Royal Marines
R.M.A. Royal Marines Artillery
R.M.A. Royal Military Academy (Woolwich)
RMT. Dept. Remount Department
R.N. Royal Navy
R.N.R Royal Naval Reserve
R.P.C. Remount Purchasing Commission
R.Q.M.S. Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant
R.R. Rough Rider
R.S. Remount Squadron
R.S.M. Regimental Sergeant Major, the senior most ranking NCO (Warrant Officer) in a regiment, the most powerful man in the battalion after the C.O.
R.V.F.C.C. Remount, Veterinary & Farms Corps Centre, Indian Army
R.V.H. Reserve Veterinary Hospital
R.V.O. Regimental Veterinary Officer


Abbreviation Definition
S. or s. Son
(S) (s.) Socialist
S.A.A. Small Arms Ammunition
S. & C. Smith British Army abbreviation for Shoeing and Carriage Smith
SC Staff Corps
S.C. Sick Certificate
Sco. Scotch
Serg., Serj, Serjt, Sergt, Sergeant, NCO above the rank of Corporal, may hold specialty positions, as Farrier Sergeant
SERN serial or service number
Sh/Sm Shoeing Smith, another name for the farrier
(sic.) As written
Sub-Condr Sub-Conductor
SIR South Indian Railway
S.I.W. Self Inflicted Wound
S.M. Sergeant-Major
S & M Sappers & Miners
SO Standing Order/s (Dress or Clothing)
S.O. Staff Officer
S.O.S. Struck Off Strength
Squ'n Squadron
Supt/ Supt. Superintendent.
Surg./ Surg-Gen. Surgeon/Surgeon General.
Surv. Surveyor
Survg. Surviving
S.V.O. Senior Veterinary Officer
S.V.R.O. Senior Veterinary & Remount Officer


Abbreviation Definition
T.C. Passed the prescribed Test of qualification in Surveying and Civil Engineering at the Thompson College in Roorkie
T.L.I Trichinopoly Light Infantry
TML Town Major's List
TNA The National Archives (formerly PRO, Public Records Office) at Kew
Tp. Troop
Tpr. Trooper
Tr. Trooper


Abbreviation Definition
U.K. United Kingdom
U.L. Unattached List A, Unattached List B or Unlimited (service)
U.S.L. Unemployed Supernumerary (list)


Abbreviation Definition
VAD Voluntary Aid Detachment
V.C. Victoria Cross
VCO(s) Viceroy's Commissioned Officer(s)
V.C.P. Veterinary Collecting Posts
V.D.I.A.V.C. Veterinary Detachment, Indian Army Veterinary Corps
V.E.S. Veterinary Evacuation Station
Vet. Veterinarian; Veterinary, Veterinaries
Vety. British abbreviation for Veterinarian; Veterinary, Veterinaries
V.H. Veterinary Hospital
Visc. Viscount
V.M.D. Veterinary Medical Doctor
V.O. Veterinary Officer or Victorian Order
Vol. Volunteers
V.P Vice-President.
V.R. Victoria Regina (Queen Victoria)
V.R.C.S. Veterinary & Remount Conducting Section
V.R.O. Veterinary Research Officer
V.S. Veterinary Surgeon


Abbreviation Definition
WAC(I) Womens Auxillary Corp (India)
W.D. War Department
W.I.A. Wounded In Action
W.O. War Office (WO Series refers to War OFfice records at TNA or Warrant Officer
Wr. Writer
W.S.B. War Service Badge