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''{{England-sidebar}}{{breadcrumb| link1=[[United KingdomWales Genealogy|Wales]] | link2=| link3=| link4=| link5=[[Image:Gotoarrow.pngBritish Military Records|Military Records]]'' '''Military Records''' {{England-sidebar}}
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Military records are potentially of great genealogical value and may provide information not found in any other source. These records identify individuals who served or were eligible to serve in the military. Military service (other than the militia) was usually a lifetime career. Officers came from the upper classes; soldiers usually came from the poor. On occasion, compulsory conscription was enforced and even "press-gangs" were used.
You may find evidence that an ancestor served in the military from family records, biographies, census, probates, civil registration, or church records. 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. Medals can have the soldier's number on the rim of the medal itself.
 
== Online Records and Websites ==
*'''1615-1930''' [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/61103/ UK, Roll of the Indian Medical Service, 1615 -1930] at Ancestry - index and images ($)
*'''1746-1939''' [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/61468/ UK, Registers of Employees of the East India Company and the India Office, 1746-1939] at Ancestry - index and images ($)
*'''1760-1939''' - [https://search.findmypast.com/search-world-Records/british-army-service-records British Army Service Records] at [https://www.findmypast.com/ findmypast] - index and images ($)
*'''1772-1935''' - {{RecordSearch|2366620|Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935}} at [https://familysearch.org/search FamilySearch] — index and images
*'''1918-1919''' - [https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10795/united-kingdom-royal-air-force-officers%E2%80%99-index-1918-1919?utm_source=organic_blog&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=supersearch&tr_funnel=supersearch&tr_country=US&tr_creative=nov19historicalrecords2&utm_content=nov19historicalrecords2 United Kingdom, Royal Air Force Officers' Index, 1918-1919] at [https://www.myheritage.com/ MyHeritage] ($) - index
*'''1939-1945''' [https://search.findmypast.com/search-world-Records/royal-air-force-operations-record-books-1939-1945 Royal Air Force, Operations Record Books 1939-1945] at FindMyPast- index ($)
*{{RecordSearch|1952868|United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records, 1760-1913}}
*[https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/61643/ Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Militia Attestation Papers, 1800-1915], index - at Ancestry.com ($)
*{{RecordSearch|3518735|United Kingdom, Waterloo Roll Call 1815}}, index, images available at FindMyPast ($)
*[https://search.findmypast.com/search-world-Records/waterloo-roll-call-1815 Waterloo Roll Call, 1815], index ($) at FindMyPast
*[http://www.genealogylinks.net/uk/england/all-england/military.htm England Military Links]
*[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15671943 "Thankful Villages"] List of villages who had all their WWI and WWII military return home safely
*[http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/ The Long, Long Trail]&nbsp;: The British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918]
*[http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html Requesting Service Records]
*[http://www.1914-1918-online.net/06_WWI_websites/index.html First World War Websites]
*[http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2009/07/army-service-numbers-1881-1918-index.html Army Service Numbers 1881-1918]
*[http://www.reenactor.ru/ARH/PDF/Wickes.pdf Regiments of Foot] A historical record of all the foot regiments of the British Army
== The National Archives ==
=== War of 1812 ===
[[Image:{{HMS St Lawrence, War of 1812}}]]
The War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States confirmed the separate existence of the United States and the future Canada. <br>
'''1914–1918:''' [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-subject/firstworldwar.htm?WT.lp=rg-3065 World War I]. About 6,000,000 British service personnel served in this war. Almost 1,000,000 died.
'''1914-1918''' - First World War. About 35,000 Welsh servicemen died.  '''Order of Battle'''*Ray Westlake. British Battalions in France and Belgium, 1914. London: Leo Cooper, 1997.*Ray Westlake. British Battalions in France and Belgium, 1915. *Ray Westlake. British Regiments at Gallipoli. (1996)*Ray Westlake. Tracing British Battalions on the Somme. (1916)*Ray Westlake. British Battalions on the Somme. *Ray Westlake. Order of Battle of Divisions, Index. Naval & Military Press, Ltd, 2009 *Ray Westlake. British Battalions on the Western Front. January to June, 1915. *Ray Westlake. British Territorial Units, 1914-1918. ''' Prisoners of War '''*[https://archive.org/details/2864905upenn The Wooden City: A Journal for British Prisoners of War(Newspaper)] ''' Guide Books '''*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/657439 Simon Fowler. ''Army service records of the First World War.'' Kew, England : PRO Publications, 1996. FHL 942 M23fs]*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/3023317 Simon Fowler. ''Tracing Your Great War Ancestors: The Gallipoli Campaign: A guide for Family Historians.'' Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Family History, 2015. FHL 942 D27fsg]*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/3023318 Simon Fowler.'' Tracing Your Great War Ancestors: Ypres: a guide for family historians.'' Barnsley, England: Pen & Sword Family History, 2015. FHL 942 D27fsy]*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/2755579 Simon Fowler. '' Tracing Your Great War Ancestors; the Somme: a guide for family historians.''Barnsley, England : Pen & Sword Family History, 2015. FHL 942 M27fso] *[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/2074310 Sarah Paterson. ''Tracing your prisoner of war ancestors : the First World War : a guide for family historians.''Barnsley, England : Pen & Sword Family History, 2012. FHL 942 D27ps]* Keith Gregson. ''A Tommy in the Family: First World War Family History and Research.'' * Andrew Rawson. '' Ancestor's Footsteps. The Somme 1916.'' Pen & Sword Military, 2016. ''' Chinese Labor Corps'''*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Labour_Corps Chinese Labor Corps - Wikipedia]*[https://www.cwgc.org/find/find-cemeteries-and-memorials/68500/noyelles-sur-mer-chinese-cemetery Noyelles-Sur-Mer-Chinese Cemetery, Nolette, France]*[https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/chinese-labour-corps-western-front-2/ Chinese Labour Corps on the Western Front - Blog The National Arhives]*[https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/report-giving-the-history-of-the-chinese-labour-corps-used-behind-the-lines-in-france-1917-19 Report - History of the Chinese Labour Corps used behind the lines in France, 1917-1919. British Library]
=== World War II ===
'''Pre-1914'''
Service records for "Other ranks" i.e. not officers, who served in the British army are held at The National Archives (TNA), Kew, although various online subscription-based research providers offer access to digitised copies. At the time of writing, these services were not complete although new records up to and including 1913 are constantly being added. The leading provider of this service is $ [http://www.findmypast.co.uk Find My Past], but $ [http://www.TheGenealogist.co.uk TheGenealogist.co.uk] has army lists from 1806-1940. Free examples:*English Army Lists and Commission Registers, Vol. 1, 1661-1685 at [https://books.google.com/books?id=KAULAAAAYAAJ Google Books]*English Army Lists and Commission Registers, Vol. 2, 1685-1689 at [https://books.google.com/books?id=hX9IAAAAYAAJ Google Books]*English Army Lists and Commission Registers, Vol. 3, 1689-1694 at [https://books.google.com/books?id=a2dJAAAAYAAJ Google Books]*English Army Lists and Commission Registers, Vol. 4, 1694-1702 at [https://books.google.com/books?id=kmRJAAAAYAAJ Google Books]*English Army Lists and Commission Registers, Vol. 5, 1702-1707 at [https://books.google.com/books?id=vwMLAAAAYAAJ Google Books]*English Army Lists and Commission Registers, Vol. 6, 1707-1714 at [https://books.google.com/books?id=TgQLAAAAYAAJ Google Books]
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. These pension papers provide a good insight into a soldiers career although they focus more on his medical history rather than his service career.
You can search the [https://www.familysearch.org/ FamilySearch Catalog] to obtain the microfilm number of the TNA Catalogue Number WO 364 records. Alternatively, $ [http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ ancestry.co.uk] also has the records available to search free of charge although viewing is via subscription.
*'''1917-1920''' {{RecordSearch|2126214|United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920}} at [https://www.familysearch.org/search FamilySearch] — index and images
'''British Army war Diaries 1914 - 1922<br>'''
Individual regimental archives may also hold limited records and it is well worth writing to the relevant regimental museums. The Guards depot (Grenadier, Coldstream, Irish, Welsh &amp; Scots) also keep separate archives and can, on request supply information. Bear in mind though that some archives, quite reasonably, request payment for such services.
[httphttps://www.armymuseums.org.uk/index.htm Army Museums Ogilby Trust Website] has links to [http://genealogy.com/lp/military-records?s_kwcid=&gclid=CMLHz-DU3cwCFZKCaQodAsIG4g&rd=http%3a%2f%2fgenealogy.com%2flp%2fmilitary-records&o_xid=66298&o_lid=66298&o_sch=Paid+Search+GDN+ Search Military Records] and [http://genealogy.com/lp/military-records?s_kwcid=&gclid=CJft-fnU3cwCFQ4zaQodbCMKTA&rd=http%3a%2f%2fgenealogy.com%2flp%2fmilitary-records&o_xid=66298&o_lid=66298&o_sch=Paid+Search+GDN+ Free War Record Search] and others.
'''For information on twentieth century army records''', see:
== Casualties ==
*'''1914-1921, 1939-1947''' [https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10909/commonwealth-war-graves-1914-1921-1939-1947 Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921, 1939-1947] at MyHeritage ($), index and images
'''The Commonwealth War Graves Commission'''
=== Online Resources (Medals): ===
WW1 Army medal index cards are available through $ [http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ ancestry.co.uk] - if you have a subscription they are free. Otherwise you will have to pay £2 fee to download it if you get it through The National Archives website: $ [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/browse-refine.asp?CatID=10&searchType=browserefine&pagenumber=1&query=*&queryType=1 Medal Index Cards] . These cards contain details of name, rank, service number(s), unit(s) as well as confirmation of medal entitlement. Some of the cards have additional information on the reverse such as theatre of operations, home addresses, next of kin and so forth. Only Ancestry have copied both sides of these cards. Information on how to decipher the Medal Index Cards available at [httphttps://www.1914-1918longlongtrail.co.netuk/soldiers/interpretmic.html how-to-research-a-soldier/campaign-medal-records/how-to-interpret-a-campaign-medal-index-card/ 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.
Various medal rolls for different campaigns also exist in various forms e.g. printed books; CD's; TNA records etc. Some are also available on the subscription based sites such as Ancestry and Find My Past.
These records begin in 1732 and end in 1878. They cover guards, infantry, cavalry, and household troops. According to the National Archives these records also include special groups, such as colonial troops, various foreign legions, special regiments, and other depots.
These records show an individual's enlistment dates, his movements and dischage discharge dates as show below, notice the sections under "First Muster, Second Muster, and Third Muster", these are the locations of the soldiers at the time of their pay.
[[Image:3rdbk-DSCN0211-1.png]]
If the information you seek is after 1868. there is a "Roll of Married Establishment" which lists husbands and wives as shown below:
[[Image:Marriage-roll-2a.png|640x321px|Marriage-roll-2a.png]]
*Photo courtesy of the National Archives at Kew, London, England
An index to these records is available as part of the [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/search.asp online catalogue] of the National Archives of the UK. 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. See [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=3&CATID=13072&SearchInit=4&CATREF=wo+12&j=1 National Archives] for further information.
At the [https://www.familysearch.org/ssearch/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F732111&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D 732111 Family History Library] the records are on microfilm and arranged by regiment. These records have been digitised and are available online via [[findmypast.co.uk]]. There are also searchable on [[United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records (- FamilySearch Historical Records)|FamilySearch.org]]
It was possible to have a qualified pension commuted to allow a soldier to immigrate to British colonies. A list of those who did, between the years 1830-1839, is found online at [http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/passengerlists/chelseab.htm TheShipsList.com].
The Public Record Office has a computerized index to the soldiers’ documents from 1760 to 1854. The index shows the name, age, birthplace, year of enlistment and discharge, the regiment, and the reference to the original document.
=== Chaplains’ Returns ===
*''Navy List''. London, England: several publishers, 1782–. (Family History Library book {{FHL|942 M25gba|disp=942 M25gba}}; films {{FHL|918928|film|disp=918928}}–940, {{FHL|990323|film|disp=990323}}–326.) The Navy List names all commissioned officers, including masters, pursers, surgeons, chaplains, yard officers, coast guardsmen, and reservists.
[[Image:British Military3.jpg|thumb|right|357x417px|British Military3.jpg]]
=== Militia Lists and Musters ===
Records at the Family History Library
*'''1772 - 1935''' - {{RecordSearch|2366620|Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935}} at [https://www.familysearch.org/search FamilySearch] — index and images
=== The Family History Library’s collection of army records includes: ===
== References ==
 
'''A wiki article describing an online collectio is found at:'''<br>
 
[[United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]<br>
{{reflist}}
 
External Links
 
*[http://www.genealogylinks.net/uk/england/all-england/military.htm England Military Links]
*[http://genealogy.about.com/od/uk_military/tp/records.htm Searching British Military Records] - About.com
*[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15671943 "Thankful Villiages"] List of villiages who had all their WWI and WWII military return home safely
*[http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/ The Long, Long Trail]&nbsp;: The British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918]
*[http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html Requesting Service Records]
*[http://www.1914-1918-online.net/06_first_world_war_websites/ First World War Websites]
*[http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/2009/07/army-service-numbers-1881-1918-index.html Army Service Numbers 1881-1918]
*[http://www.reenactor.ru/ARH/PDF/Wickes.pdf Regiments of Foot] A historical record of all the foot regiments of the British Army
{{featured article}}
[[Category:England Military Records]]
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