The scope, content, and frequency of returns of service vary greatly. Records transcribed in the UK for maximum accuracy; 1 on 1 Personal assistance from military photo and document experts ; Access to Orbats mapping tool, allowing you to trace your WW1 ancestors steps; Search. For information on twentieth century army records, see: Civilians were also captured and put in prison camps. These records also include soldiers who were in the British Army before August 1914 and who were eligible for an Army pension because their term of service came to an end in or before 1920. To find the papers for your ancestor, you must search in the period of his discharge. There are more than 8 million records available. Within the British Military and Naval Records (Record Group 8), the records were organized in series and sub-series, then sub-divided according to subjects (eg Indians, Canals, Telegraphs), types of records (eg letterbooks, order books, muster rolls) or responsibility centres (eg Military Secretary, Adjutant General, Commissariat Office). These pension papers provide a good insight into a soldiers career although they focus more on his medical history rather than his service career. The name of a ship on which he served, search the ship musters, pay lists, and ship logs for the time period he should have been aboard. Chis Paton has built a website dedicated to this camp and is identifying those who were there during World War 1. These records begin in 1732 and end in 1878. The returns of officers services for 1828 and 1829 have been transcribed and are found at the Family History Library. Militia musters are lists of men in the militia. 225,000 troops were involved in the Crimea (Russian Black Sea). 1854–1856: Crimean War. Thus, the category for records in The National Archives of England is labeled WO for locating all Army collections. The following military branches have separate records: These records are at The National archives. The Commonwealth includes such countries as Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand & South Africa. London, England: Imperial War Graves Commission, 1957. The Service Records will not include soldiers who continued to serve in the military after 1920. An index to these records is available as part of the online catalogue of the National Archives of the UK. Some soldiers were discharged early for disability (liberally defined) or age (often by age 40). When researching in military records, it is helpful to determine when and where in the armed service a soldier served, and whether he or she was in the enlisted ranks or an officer. This includes the UK & Irish WWI and WWII Wartime Records Collection.. “Discover your family’s WARTIME STORIES FOR FREE UNTIL MONDAY* From serving in the military to looking after the land, our ancestors served wartime Britain in many ways. This merger created the totally independent Royal Air Force (RAF), and is the oldest air force in the world. Muster rolls for British Forces in the United States during the Revolutionary war are part of the British military records, "C" series, 1757-1899. British Army in India information. A Guide to the Sources of British Military History. (1916). (Family History Library book 942 M23s; compact disc number 128.) You can apply for the service records of a deceased person if any of these apply: You are an immediate next of kin (e.g. Royal Air Force records accessible online at the National Archives in England: Established by Royal Charter in 1917, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission pays tribute to the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars from all services including civillian war dead. 1939–1945: World War II. Other units can include local militia, fencibles, yeomanry and territorial units of the army. Seamen often moved between the navy and the merchant marines. These two medals started a precedent of issuing campaign medals that still continues to this day, with the RAF joining the process in 1918 by following the lead set by the Army. You may find evidence that an ancestor served in the military from family records, biographies, census, probates, civil registration, or church records. From 1872 until 1892 merchant seamen were included. The Family History Library also has some pension records. Published annually, these records give an officer’s name, rank, regiment or ship, and date of commission. 1857–1860: Indian Mutiny. The National Archives is the UK government's official archive. The army began as a permanent organization in 1660. Many records are only available online, sometimes on more than one site. British Battalions on the Western Front. Military records are potentially of great genealogical value and may provide information not found in any other source. Many of the troops discharged after the Crimean war were recalled to quell the revolt in India. Director, Global Research Systems . The Navy Official List books, available from 1673, give ports of call for ships during each year. It is a non-profit-making organisation that was founded by Sir Fabian Ware. Royal Marine Service records, 1842 -1926 can be accessed online via The National Archives. Our main duties are to preserve Government records and to set standards in information management and re-use. Get FREE ACCESS* to Ancestry UK’s Wartime Records collection NOW through 11:59 pm (GMT) Monday November 11th. The most clasps issued to any single recipient was 7. Naval pension records begin as early as 1617 and give the name of pensioner, reason for discharge, and sometimes next of kin, birthplace, age, and physical description. Military records. Many of records come the U.S. National Archives, The National Archives of U.K. and many others. Air 78: An index to airmen and airwomen's service records held in AIR 79. One such camp is called The Ruhleben Civilian Internment Camp. This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 13:48. For further information on military records for branches of the service other than navy or regular army, see the military record handbooks at the end of this section. They cover guards, infantry, cavalry, and household troops. Knowledge of your ancestor’s rank will help you with your search for military records. Many different types of pension records covering different time periods still exist. If you know: Since many seamen also served in the Merchant Marines during their careers, search the records described in British Merchant Marine. Service Records. See England Archives and Libraries for the address. Called the French and Indian War in North America, this war involved 120,000 British soldiers and began a continuous series of army records. The War Dead of the British Commonwealth and Empire. There are 13, 307 volumes of these records located at the National Archives. From 1757 to 1876, lists of men ages 18 to 55 were compiled by individual parishes and turned in to the shire (county) lieutenant. It is important to understand the "fonds" or the way records are grouped. The records usually list each person assigned to a ship or regiment at the muster date, his age on joining, the date he joined, the place where he joined, and sometimes information such as a dependent list (in later army musters) and birthplace (on sea musters from 1770). Various medal rolls for different campaigns also exist in various forms e.g. Not knowing the name of the commune in which our forbear was born, and knowing only the province’s name, these records become a very important source. The indexes are available on microfiche at the Family History Library. UK, Royal Air Force Airmen Records, 1918-1940: 1920-1971 UK, Military Discharge Indexes, 1920-1971: 1935-1990 UK, Recommendations for Honours and Awards Index, 1935-1990: Links to The National Archives 1939-1945 UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945: 1939-1945 UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945: 1939-1945 Many records are only available online, sometimes on more than one site. The Family History Library has Royal Marine Attestation papers on microfilm for the following divisions: These Attestation papers give the age, birthplace, trade and physical characteristics of each man on recruitment and details of his enlistment and attestation. Library records are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under either ENGLAND or GREAT BRITAIN and the following subject headings: It is difficult to locate an individual’s record without knowing his ship or regiment. As we all are aware, the UK played a major role in world affairs for at least 200 years. The army description book for each regiment includes each recruit’s full name on "attestation" (enlistment), age when he joined, place where he joined, birthplace, previous trade, and physical description. ), Records of Officers and Soldiers Who Have Served in the British Army. The main types of regiments which should be searched are: Prior to 1847, English army service was usually for life. On occasion, compulsory conscription was enforced and even "press-gangs" were used. After 1790, they were kept in bound volumes. Many of records come the U.S. National Archives, The National Archives of U.K. and many others. They were assigned continuous service numbers and records were maintained for the duration of their careers. The files are arranged alphabetically, but many documents are missing. Payments to retired officers, called half-pay, were not considered pensions. Military records provide some of your most emotional discoveries. Search the FamilySearch Catalog by title for: Military records of the British Army, 1914-1920 you will see two items with that exact title and several that have letters of the alphabet added to the end of the title. 15 November 2019. Some Royal Marine attestation (enlistment) records are also available at the library. Many of the records in this collection were composed by the Royal Chelsea Hospital for pensions. Post-WW2 casualties can be found listed at the Armed Forces Memorial website. ), Kew Lists. The second Anglo-Boer War (1898–1902) led to the unification of South Africa in 1910. In Search of Army Ancestry. Military records may have been created in peacetime or during time of war, depending on the record type, and you may even find military records for ancestors who never served. Free digital downloads While there is limited access to our Kew site, signed-in users can download digital records for free. 6, 1707-1714 at, Holding, Norman H. World War I Army Ancestry. UK, Royal Air Force Airmen Records, 1918-1940: 1920-1971 UK, Military Discharge Indexes, 1920-1971: 1935-1990 UK, Recommendations for Honours and Awards Index, 1935-1990: Links to The National Archives 1939-1945 UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945: 1939-1945 UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 : 1939-1945 UK, WWII Medals Issued to Merchant Seamen, 1939-1945: Links to The … BYU FHL book V 11 .G7 A52 vol.1.). Looking for your ancestors’ UK military records? Military records include draft or service records, pension records, prisoner rolls and histories. Some diaries record little more than daily losses and map references whilst others are much more descriptive, with daily reports on operations, intelligence summaries and other material. The index shows the name, age, birthplace, year of enlistment and discharge, the regiment, and the reference to the original document. 29 clasps were authorised in total. Page 2. Ray Westlake. See Ruhleben Civilian Internment Camp Ancestors. The service records are full of military jargon which is often in the form of abbreviations and acronyms. plus supp. Jewry Book of Honour. Naval Records for Genealogists. Clues may be found in family stories, old newspaper clippings, correspondence, scrapbooks, journals or diaries, service medals and memorabilia, and photographs of the soldier in uniform. About 20,000 Welsh servicemen died. Military Record Search Tools . On the page of the FamilySearch Catalog that has the Notes you will need to click on the View Film Notes button near the top right portion of the screen to get the film numbers that apply to surnames in the different parts of the alphabet. A number of name indexes to some military records containing birth, marriages, or deaths are in the Family History Library. Records of Loyalists and others who remained in Canada are separate from other military records. Lists of military recruitment. II. Page 2. Findmypast also has several Irish-specific military resources including World War 1 records, Rolls of Honour and pensioner’s service records. Board of Ordnance officers (artillery, engineers, sappers, miners, artificers, and others) are not always included in the Army List and have their own records until 1855. The National Archives is the UK government's official archive. The lists of military recruitment (Liste di Leva and Ruoli Matricolari). The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a searchable internet website: Lists of British army personnel who died during World War I have been compiled from official casualty lists and published in: Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914–1919. (Records prior to WWI are in Washington, DC.) ), Holding, Norman H. More Sources of World War I Army Ancestry. The records gave name, birth date and place, description, and ship. Historic Photos of the World War II. Some files contain death certificates. A battle or campaign in which his ship was involved, search the medal rolls. (Family History Library book 942 A5 number 22. Other army musters exist for 1760 to 1878. Medal Rolls. Official army records after the Union of Scotland and England are held by The National Archives (TNA) in London. The Ancient British Fencible Cavalry 1794-1800. Ship logs exist from 1673. They are not currently available to view online and can only be accessed at TNA. For suggestions on finding this information, see "Search Strategies" at the end of this section. ), Colledge, James J. You can usually find navy officers in the Navy Lists (1782 to the present) or in the Index to Commission and Warrant Books (1695 to 1742). See: Militia lists (beginning as early as 1297) contain the names of men eligible for military service. Since the 19th century, such awards to the military have generally taken medallic form although it has historically been shown that a reward may also involve a promotion or a share of the spoils, particularly if at sea and an enemy vessel was captured, As such, honours and awards tend to be publicly announced in the London Gazette newspaper. With more than 25 Million Commonwealth military records and military history experts waiting to hear from you, we are the starting point for your UK military history research. You can search the FamilySearch Catalog to obtain the microfilm number of the TNA Catalogue Number WO 364 records. They contain the officer’s birth date and place; promotions; transfers; marriage date and place; his spouse’s name; and his children’s names, birth dates, and birthplaces. Free digital downloads. Our main duties are to preserve Government records and to set standards in information management and re-use. These returns (from 1760 to 1971) are indexed and are available by correspondence from the Office of National Statistics (formerly Registrar General). Earlier armies were raised as needed, usually as county militia units. N.p., n.d. (Family History Library book 942 M23ber. London, England: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1995. 4, 1694-1702 at, English Army Lists and Commission Registers, Vol. This chapter reviews the records of the army, the militia, the Royal Marines, colonial troops and the Royal Air Force. Post-1920 records are dealt with in the same way as army & Navy records under FOI requests(see above). 1756–1763: Seven Years War. About 35,000 Welsh servicemen died. You may enter the name of a soldier in the 'Word or phrase' field and the 'Department or series code' of WO (for War Office) 97. Obviously, this will not be an exhaustive study of the subject of British military records, nor even of all the record types discussed here. ), Higham, Robin. About 6,000,000 British service personnel served in this war. In addition, militaria such as headress badges, buttons, photographs of uniforms, soldier's trunks, paybooks, letters, colours, and medals with clasps can provide proof of ancestral links. Returns of officers’ service tend to be more complete, including the names of the officer and his wife and children; birth and marriage dates and places; and a complete summary of stations, regiments, and promotions. A clasp (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a bar) bearing the name of the relevant campaign or battle was attached to the ribbon suspension, with subsequent clasps being added in the sequence in which they were earned. London, England: Public Record Office, 1984. The Coast Guard (1816–1923) kept their own records, including pension, description, and other records. Most regiments have published histories that tell the places where they served and the battles they fought. Brave conduct, meritorious service and so forth have long been awarded publicly. Reprint. It is run with the help of 70 UK staff including many from a military background or with a military history interest. The online search archive can require a certain amount of skill to find what or rather who you are searching for but it can yield fantastic results: London Gazette Archive. The 1828 return was for active duty officers only, while the 1829 return was for both active and half-pay (retired) officers. ), Swinson, Arthur S., Editor. Dallington, East Sussex, England: Naval and Military Press Ltd., 1992. The Royal Navy instituted its own equivalent, the Naval General Service Medal, also in 1847 but covering the slightly longer period of 1793-1840. Through this website, members of the military can access their records online through their secure search engine database, or they can find ways to obtain their records through other means. Get military service records for the army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines or RAF from 1920 - who can apply, how long it takes, cost, how to apply British Battalions on the Somme. Ray Westlake. From a family history perspective, knowing what medals a relative was entitled to can lead to fascinating journies of discovery as well as the medal themselves providing useful information. Our main duties are to preserve Government records and to set standards in information management and re-use. Records of these forces are usually in the country where the forces were raised. US WW1 Military Service Records. Individual "ratings" (seamen) were not mentioned in navy records other than musters or pay lists unless they deserted, misbehaved, or earned a medal. These records have the National Archives designation of WO 25. Those for warrant officers and seamen cover 1802 to 1871. Exclusive Collections. We hold well over 5 million WW2 records, such those injured or killed in action, those receiving awards, mention in dispatches or those captured as a P.O.W. For further information on militia lists and musters, see: Many other records are available, such as records on medals, casualties, promotions, desertion, and court martials. You can usually find army officers in the Army List (1740 to the present - see "Lists of Officers" in this article). F. W. First World War: The Essential Guide to Sources in the National Archives, The National Archives (2002). If an officer was living during 1828 or 1829, you can use the indexed returns of service. etc. These indexes can be found in the Place search of the FamilySearch Catalog under: The library staff has compiled a typescript listing of army records in its collection (Family History Library book 942 M2; film 990313 item 5). Aircrew and groundcrew; Ancestry.co.uk: military records (subscription) Army Personnel Centre; British Army Service Records 1760-1915 (Findmypast.com) Forces war records (from c1350) Imperial War Museums The Military Personnel Records Center was designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, and opened in the fall of 1955 after three years of construction.The building was originally known as the "Department of Defense Military Personnel Records Center" and was designated as a joint military command housing three separate records centers for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Ancestry.co.uk also offers a searchable database of those listed in Soldiers Died in the Great War as part of its subscription service. Fencibles were usually classed with the militia, and records are kept with militia records. They are not typically available to view online. The National Archives holds Federal military service records from the Revolutionary War to 1912 in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. See details of holdings. (The papers for those discharged without a pension were destroyed by fire many years ago). 1775–1783: American Revolutionary War. Solihull, England: Federation of Family History Societies (Publications) Ltd., 1991. The first Anglo-Boer War (1880–1881) led to South African independence in 1881. It is important to understand the "fonds" or the way records are grouped. The military courts of the United Kingdom are governed by the Armed Forces Act 2006. Ships of the Royal Navy. A brief explanation of musters and the location of available pre-1757 lists are given in: Militia units were generally raised on a county basis and kept their own records. (Family History Library book 942 M2h. In order to access records online, you must provide substantial proof of identity, which protects your information from falling into the wrong hands. But it is intended to be a beginning point for those who wish to research their British military ancestors. The Guards depot (Grenadier, Coldstream, Irish, Welsh & Scots) also keep separate archives and can, on request supply information. The system set up under the Act applies to all three armed services : the Royal Navy (RN) (including the Royal Marines ), the British Army , and the Royal Air Force (RAF), and replaces the three parallel systems that were previously in existence. They hold extensive military records going back to 1700 and are digitising over 200,000 new records every month. Almost 1,000,000 died. 942.23 D25h. These lists usually contain each man’s name, parish of residence, age, fitness for service, and sometimes cause for exemption (such as a man with more than two young children, a disability, or an exempt occupation). Tokens or medals have been awarded to British service personnel since the medieval times although the first officially named campaign medal is the Waterloo Medal (1815). a husband, wife, or parent). Sometimes the widows or children of military men received the payments. The person was born more than 112 years ago. (Family History Library book 942 A5 no. The records not only include military personnel but also civilians, nurses and Merchant seamen. However, there are very few records that have survived since then. UK Official National Archives Website. Visit $ WO12 Series General Muster Books and Pay Lists to learn more about these valuable records. Information on how to decipher the Medal Index Cards available at Ancestry and TNA There is not an equivalent system for detailing medals awarded to members of the Royal Navy and RAF - medal details were recorded on the service papers and likewise, non-WW1 medals are only annotated on service records for all services. For those wishing to delve into the matter somewhat deeper, I have appended a list o… Reports and Returns, 1757-1878 (volumes 1 to 89) III. Military histories or regimental histories are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under: Pre-1914 records for both the army and the navy are at The National Archives - The National Archives of the United Kingdom, The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU England, Army Records CentreBourne AvenueHayes, Middlesex UB3 1RFEngland, Ministry of DefenseMain Building, Whitehall SW1A 2HBEngland Internet, Imperial War Museum, London (WWI & WWII Collections). (See the "Merchant Marine" article.) Was your ancestor wounded in the Great War? The principal records are the soldier's Discharge Papers for those soldiers discharged with a pension. You can apply for the service records of a deceased person if any of these apply: You are an immediate next of kin (e.g. The application forms and guidlines can be found here: UK Veteran's Agency. From 1883 to 1914, these records are arranged in one alphabetical series. UK, British Army Recipients of the Military Medal, 1914-1920 UK, British Army Records and Lists, 1882-1962 UK, British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 Free In this article, I want to explore some of the records available for genealogists as they research their ancestors who served in the British Army during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (Family History Library book 942 M2. Sir Thomas Adams Regiment of Foot. A huge fount of knowledge resides on the forum and membership is free. Primarily covering WW1 service, these service records are often referred to as the "Burnt Series" due to the fact that the storage facility housing these records was hit by a German bombing raid during WW2 and consequently over 60% of the records were destroyed. A brief history of the British Fencible Cavalry with a list of Officers who served with the Regiment, covering years 1794-1800. If your ancestor does not appear in the Army List for the right time period, consult the card index to officers, available only at the Public Record Office. They often contain the reason for discharge and details on age, birthplace, and trade or occupation on enlistment. (Family History Library book 942 M23was.). If you are unable to visit the National Archives, they provide a document service at £0.40 per page. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1987. Helpful guides to making the most of the information held in military records and medal rolls. UK and Ireland: Military Records UK and Ireland genealogy. 1939-1945 - Second World War. Searches can be made only by a written request and an hourly rate is charged. For officers these start in 1846. Free examples: If a soldier was entitled to receive any sort of pension due to his army service, a separate record was created although some information was duplicated from his service papers. And plans were included in the War Office Royal Artillery are the soldier 's on... King Henry VIII ( 1509–1547 ) the indexes are available through $ ancestry.co.uk - if you are unable visit...: Commissioned Sea officers of the Red Cross has an incomplete list of officers '' in this were... Over 12.5 million British records relating to military service end in 1878 digital downloads While there is a better of... Utah: Manuscript Publishing Foundation, 1988 forth have long been awarded.. Have separate records for those who wish to research their British military records include or... 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