The Genealogist Research Guide

Military Records

How to: searching the Roll of Honour records online

TheGenealogist has a Roll of Honour section included within all Premium and Personal Plus subscriptions, which give access to various memorial datasets. The number of records available to search and view is now over one million.

You can access this from the Search page under 'Roll of Honour Records', which will then take you to the main search page.

 

Military1_new.png

 

You can either do a standard search across all the datasets available or select a specific database from the drop-down box. You can also narrow down the search to only bring up results which include biographies.

 

Performing an advanced search also gives you the option to include the rank of the person you are searching and enter details of the ship or unit they were serving in.

 

The icons on the right of each result allow you to open up the full transcript, which you can print off for your own records. Some of these are very detailed and also include a portrait photograph

 

Look at our Remembrance article available on the featured articles section, to read about how the grandson of Charles Darwin and your own World War I ancestors can be found on TheGenealogist:

http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/nov09_ultimatesacrifice.php

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour 1914-1918

This online database includes biographies of over 25,000 men of the armed forces who lost their lives in the Great War. About 7,000 of the entries have linked photographs. The level of detail given varies due to the variety of sources used but all include the persons regiment, place and date of death. The families often lodged the biography with the publisher and these entries go into great detail about their lives.

The National Roll of the Great War

A tribute to the men and women who survived and died in the First World War, with 14 volumes in total, and contains over 110,000 records. This includes a collection of biographies of those who served during the Great War (1914-1918) and also includes brief accounts of how they joined up and demobilisation date. Many of the entries refer to combatants who survived the War and the National Roll of the Great War is the only detailed information available.

Bond of Sacrifice

Contains an alphabetical biographical record of all British Officers who fell in the Great War, from August 1914 to June 1915, with details of rank, regiment and date of death. Also includes portraits.

British Roll of Honour 1914-1918

Records can include detailed biographies with portraits and information on birth date, birth place, father's name, education, career, and circumstances of death.

Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth Memorial Register 1914-1921

Includes over 25,000 biographical records of officers and men of the Royal Navy who were lost at sea and were not recorded in any cemetery or on any battlefield.

The memorials were erected at the three home ports which are the manning ports of the Royal Navy. As well as listing the names of the dead, they also serve as a "Sea-mark" or "Leading-mark" for ships entering the ports.

These printed registers contain more detailed descriptions than are shown on the panels on the memorials. Each biography contains information on name, rank, ship, age, date of death, immediate family including address and photos.

Great War Memorial Registers

Memorials were erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission to record the names of the officers and men who fell in the Great War and whose graves are not known. 

This database is available to Diamond subscribers and contains the names of men recorded on memorials at Le Touret, Vis-en-Artois, Loos, The Arras, Pozieres.  Entries include regiment and number, date of death and can contain personal details such as the town they were from and parents names.

Includes a map of the area with descriptions of the battles that took place.

The Victoria Cross and Distinguished Service Order records 1857-1923

This database includes nearly 25,000 biographical records of officers, non-commissioned officers and men of his Majesty's naval, military and air forces who have been awarded these decorations from the time of their institution, with descriptions of the deeds and services which won the distinctions and with many biographical, and other details.

World War Death Indexes

Also included within the Roll of Honour section, is the World War I Death Index, where each entry links to matching results on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website. The World War I Death Index provides an official GRO index reference as per the standard BMD Index, and you can obtain an Overseas Death certificate at www.gro.gov.uk. We also provide a World War II Death index, which can be accessed from your Research View page under "Birth Marriage and Death Indexes". Both World War indexes are in the same format as the Overseas BMD indexes (see section on using Military Overseas Indexes).

Military Rolls and Lists

*Diamond content 


Army, Navy & Air Force Lists

We currently have Army Lists available ranging from 1661 to 1940 and Navy Lists ranging from 1689 to 1944. Army Lists can contain rank and regiment of officers, details of those stationed abroad and recipients of the Victoria Cross. 

We have also recently added Air Force Lists for 1918, 1939 and 1933 for all Diamond subscribers.  These list all officers and various sections of the RAF.  The book is searchable and bookmarked by major headings.  The 1939 List includes Viscount Trenchard, the ‘founding father’ of the RAF and Guy Gibson, who led the “Dam Busters” across Germany in 1943.


Defence Staff Lists*

War Office List 1414-1921

 

Militia Records*

History of the Old County Regiment of Lancashire Militia

1813 Militia List

1876 Historical Records of the First Regiment of Militia (Third West York Light Infantry)

 

India Lists*

1865 Indian Army & Civil Service List

1938 Indian Army List

 

Images can be browsed with the aid of bookmarks or searched using our OCR software, which turns the pages into searchable text, allowing you to enter a name and bring back all the pages with matching results:

After selecting ‘Military Rolls and Lists’ from your Research View page, you'll then be asked to select a record set.  Diamond subscribers will have the option to choose Militia Lists and Indian Army as well as Army or Navy Lists. You'll then be taken to the page where you can select a year range of books or ‘Click here to search’.

 

Military3_new.png

Selecting a specific year range will take you to a new screen displaying all the available books for that period.  Click on the chosen book to open up the images which you can browse through page by page or jump to specific sections using the bookmarks on the left.

Military5_new.png

To search the books using a name, if you select the 'click here to search' link from the first page you'll then given a screen as shown below. Enter your search terms and proceed with your search.  You'll be shown how many results are in each book and can click on each link to display the results for each one.  Some books may have results on multiple pages, so if you click on each page number given, the image shown will change to display the relevant result.

Military6_new.png

Army Lists - What's Included?

1661-1714 English Army Lists and Commission Registers- Contains Army records starting from the birth of the permanent English Army in 1661. Details on the names, regiments and ranks of officers, and includes dates of appointments.

1789 Army List - Lists of officers of the Army and Marines on full and half-pay. Details include name, rank, regiment and date of appointment.

1806 Army List – List of all officers of the Army and Royal Marines on full pay and half pay and a succession of Colonels.

1814 Army List - Names, regiments and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, Royal Marines, Militia, etc.

1842 Army List – List of all officers of the Army and Royal Marines on full pay and half pay with an index and a succession of Colonels.

1850 Army List - Dates of commissions, and a statement of the war services and wounds of nearly every officer in the army, ordnance, and marines. Details include names, regiments and ranks.

1854 Army List - Names, regiments and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, Royal Marines, Militia, etc.

1857 & 1859-1865 Army Lists - Contain rank, standing, and various services of every regimental officer in the Army serving on full pay. Amongst the information you can find names, ranks and dates of commissions. Includes: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers, and Militia, etc.

1863 Army List - Officers of the Army, Royal Marines, Militia, Yeomanry and volunteer lists.

1871 Army List - Contains the names, regiments and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, Royal Marines, Militia and Indian Civil Service, etc.

1877 & 1892 Army Lists - Names, regiments and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, including Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Territorial Army, etc.

1881 Army List - Contains Army Lists, Militia Lists, Yeomanry Lists, Cavalry and Indian Civil Service.

1900 Army List- Names, regiments and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, the Militia, the Territorial Army, the Supplementary Reserve, officers retired from the Active List etc. Covers the period of the second Boer.

1901, 1905 & 1906 Army Lists - names, regiments and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, including Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Territorial Army, etc..

1904 Army List - A comprehensive and fully indexed list of all Army officers (including those retired on pay or pension, or stationed abroad), sorted and graded by rank and regiment.

1910 Army List - Contains the rank, standing, and various services of nearly every regimental officer in the Army serving on full pay in the Special Reserve and Territorial Forces. Amongst the information you can find names, ranks and dates of commissions. Includes the Army, Supply & c. departments, Marines, Indian army, and Indian local forces.

1912 Army List - Names, regiments and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, the Militia, the Territorial Army, the Supplementary Reserve, officers retired from the Active List, etc.

1914–1918 Army Lists - These lists can be particularly useful when trying to find family members who fought in the conflict. Contains an immense number of entries for officers on the Active List of the Regular Army. Details include names, regiments and ranks, and cover the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Territorial Army, plus lots more.

1915 Army List - A comprehensive and fully indexed list of all Army officers (including those retired on pay or pension, or stationed abroad); sorted and graded by rank and regiment.

1920 Army List - A comprehensive and fully indexed list of all Army officers. Information includes names and dates.

1923 Army List - Contains the names, regiments and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, including Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Territorial Army, etc..

1929 & 1932 Army Lists - Names, regiments and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, including Infantry, Artillery, Territorial Army, Indian Army, Recipients of the Victoria Cross, Deaths, etc.

1938 & 1940 Army Lists - Names, regiments, and ranks of officers on the Active List of the Regular Army, including Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Territorial Army, etc.

Navy Lists - What's Included?

1822 Navy List - Names and dates of seniority of flag officers and other commissioned officers of the Navy, including Admirals, Captains, Commanders and Lieutenants.

1837 Navy List - Names and dates of seniority of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers, etc.

1845 Navy List - Names and dates of commission of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines, including officers, medical officers, coast guard, civil service, etc.

1850 Navy List - List of Officers with dates of their seniority, together with historical information going back to 1796. It includes promotions, medals awarded, civilian employees, ships, Royal Marines and rates of pay.

1853 Navy List - Names and dates of seniority of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers, etc. Also includes lists of ships and boats that were awarded Naval Medals.

1866 Navy List - Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marine and Vessel listings for the year 1866.

1868 Navy List - Names and dates from the quarterly listings, when ranks were acquired of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines, including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers, etc.

1874 Navy List - Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marine and Vessel listings for the year 1874.

1884 Navy List - Names and dates of seniority of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers.

1888 Navy List - Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marine and Vessel listings for the year 1888.

1890 Navy List - Names and dates of seniority of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers.

1904 & 1905 Navy Lists - Names, dates when ranks were acquired, and dates of birth (where available) of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines, including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers.

1912 Navy Lists - Names, dates of seniority, and dates of birth (where available) of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines, including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers, etc.

1914 Navy List - Names and dates of seniority of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers.

1915 Navy List - Names, dates of seniority, and dates of birth (where available) of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines, including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers, etc.

1917 & 1918 Navy Lists - Being part of the Great War years, these lists can be particularly useful when trying to find family members who fought in the conflict.  Contains the names, dates of seniority, and dates of birth (where available) of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines, including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers, etc. 1918 also includes a list of ships and their officers

1921 & 1935 Navy Lists – Names and dates of seniority of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines, including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers, etc

1924 Navy List - Names, dates of seniority, and dates of birth (where available) of active and retired officers of the Navy and Marines, including officers, instructors, medical officers, chaplains, engineers, etc.

1944 Navy List - Names and dates of retired officers together with the emergency list. Includes Victoria Cross and George Cross holders.

Overseas and Military BMD Indexes:

The Overseas BMD Indexes are available under "Birth Marriage and Death Indexes", and cover the births, marriages and deaths of British Service Personnel throughout the world. The data set currently includes:

  • Marine Births: 1837-1965
  • Army Births & Registers, Marriages and Deaths: 1747-1980
  • Air Births, Deaths & Missing Persons: 1947-1965
  • Consular Birth, Marriages, Deaths: 1849-1915
  • High Commission Births, Marriages, Deaths: 1899-1964
  • Informal Certificates of Birth at Sea: 1839-1867
  • Ionian Island Births, Marriages, Deaths: 1818-1864
  • Marriages & Deaths Abroad: 1966-1994
  • Regimental Births: 1407-1997
  • Article 6/18 Marriage: 1961-1965

Also available are Overseas Marine Deaths, which have a separate search page and cover deaths at sea onboard British ships from 1837, containing over 210, 00 records.

The World War I and World War II Death Indexes provides an official GRO index reference as per the standard BMD Index, and you can obtain an Overseas Death certificate at www.gro.gov.uk. Accessed from your Research View page under "Birth Marriage and Death Indexes", both World War indexes are in the same format as the Overseas BMD indexes.

 

The Standard Search allows you to search across all the record-sets or to select a specific set, e.g. Consular Births. Changing to the Advanced Search option, enables you to narrow down your search by entering the ship/unit and the year of the event

The results displayed provide all the information given on the original image, including the official GRO reference, which you will need if you wish to order an overseas certificate at www.gro.gov.uk. There is also a link on the right which will allow you to view the original page if you wish to confirm the details on the transcript or print the image for your records.

Marriages, Deaths and Executions of British Soldiers during First and Second World Wars

Part of the Non-Conformist and Non-parochial Records collection. You can access these either from the 'Birth, Marriage and Death' section under 'BMD Registers' or through the 'Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Records' link also on the Research View page.

Registers Abroad and on British & Foreign Ships, 1831-1969 (RG32). These records include notifications during the Second World War period of deaths of members of the British armed services, prisoners of war, civilians, internees and deaths through aircraft lost in flight.  Also included are deaths and executions of persons in Japanese and German prison internment camps.

Miscellaneous Foreign Marriage Returns, 1826-1921 (RG34). Includes marriages between British soldiers in France, Flanders and Holland during and after the First World War, including many who had been prisoners of war.

Knights of England 1127-1904

‘Knight’s of England’ provides details of titles and honours awarded during the years 1127 to 1904.

Described in the frontispiece as "A Complete Record from the Earliest Time [1127] to the Present Day [1904] of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of Knights Batchelors." You can search for names or other words, and can then view the page on which they were found. You can also move five pages forwards or backwards through the book from the page you are shown.

This dataset is available to all Personal Plus, Gold and Diamond subscribers, and can be found under 'Peerage & Heritage Records' from your Research View page.

The Duke of Wellington can be found in the records either by searching for Duke Wellington' or 'Arthur Wellesley'.  One of his entries provides details of the title being initiated whilst still in Portugal, formally receiving the honour in 1814 and includes details of his death.  To read more about the Duke of Wellington, read our article from the link below:

http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/aug10_wellington.php

Regimental Records

Regimental Records

These are available to all Diamond subscribers, and provide details of battles and campaigns the regiment were involved in and also lists the regiment’s officers, including various personal details relating to their birth, parentage, marriage and military career.

Currently available:

Prisoner of War Records

List of British Officers Taken Prisoner, 1914 to 1918

Over 7,000 British and Commonwealth Officers were captured during the First World War, and with few records available for Prisoners of War during this period, these records are invaluable for researching your military ancestors. 

List includes name and rank, date they went missing, where/when they were interned and the date of repatriation.  For Officers that died or were killed, it also shows the date and place of death.

Contains Officers of the British Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Naval Division, with regiments of the Indian Army, Canadian, Australian, Newfoundland and South African Forces.

Can be browsed by page using bookmarks or searched by name, and includes a Name Index.  Records are divided into West and East theatres of war, with individuals in the West Theatres arranged by regiment.

Casualty Lists

War Office Casualty Lists

Provides a weekly list of casualties during the First World War from 7th August 1917 to 2nd April 1918.  The records include name, rank and number with details of where they enlisted or home town.

Available to Gold and Diamond Premium subscribers

 

Despatches

World War I Naval and Military Despatches

 Provide detailed descriptions of operations in World War I with list of honours and rewards.

Newspapers & Magazines

*Diamond Content

War Illustrated - Weekly - 22nd Aug 1914 to 8th Feb 1919*

British War Magazine with reports and pictures of events and battles during the First World War from 1914 to 1919.

These books give a great insight into our ancestors war efforts, full of facinating articles, covering weekly accounts on the progress of the war as it happened.

The Great War - History of the World-Wide Conflict*

Contains 272 issues, full of illustrations and information gathered by a team of war correspondents at the time.

Filled with pictures, maps and background detail, each issue has been scanned in full colour.  It provides a valuable insight to how the First World War was fought.