The Genealogist Research Guide

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 Master Search or via the Search page below the Master Search under 'Roll of Honour Records', which will then take you to the main search page.

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

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You can also enter details of Rank of Ship/Unit if known. 

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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

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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:

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

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 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).

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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.

You can see a full content list here

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’.

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You can search across all books using the search boxes provided.

Alternatively you can click on a book title. This will open the book in a new page which you can browse. Bookmarks have been added to help you go to a specific section easily.

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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:

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:
    ★ 1650-1918 The Record of the Coldstream Guards
    ★ 15th Foot Regiment (Yorkshire East Riding) Historical Records
    ★ 19th Foot Regiment (Yorkshire North Riding) Historical Records
    ★ 1688-1931 Officers of The Green Howards
    ★ History of the Old County Regiment of Lancashire Militia
    ★ 1740-1919 Essex, The Essex Regiment - 1st Battalion (44th)
    ★ 1756-1884 Roll of Officers of the York and Lancaster Regiment
    ★ Regimental Records of Highland Light Infantry (Old 71st & 74th)
    ★ 86th Foot Regiment (Royal County Down) Historical Records
    ★ 1794-1909 Kent, West Kent (Queen's Own) Yeomanry
    ★ 1797-1927 Historical Records of the Middlesex Yeomanry
    ★ List of Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery 1862-1914

    ★ List of Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery 1862-1914
    ★ 1900 The Black Watch - Record of an Historic Regiment
    ★ 1914-1918, The 42nd (East Lancashire) Division
    ★ 1914-19 The Fifth Leicestershire
    ★ The Fifth Battalion Highland Light Infantry in the War, 1914-1918
    ★ 1914-19, Soldiers Died in the Great War, Part 9 - The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
    ★ The Royal Scots, 1914-1919 Volume 1
    ★ The Royal Scots, 1914-1919 Volume 2
    ★ Manchester City Battalions 1916
    ★ The Story of the 55th (West Lancashire) Division
    ★ 1919-1920 The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Chronicle
    ★ 1936 Sherwood Foresters, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiments


For full Military coverage please see: Military Coverage

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

Part of our Military collection is the War Office Casualty Lists.

 According to War Office statistics, the First World War claimed the lives of over 700,000 British soldiers. 170,000 were captured as prisoners of war and a staggering 1.6 million soldiers were injured.

The Casualty Lists on TheGenealogist offer the family historian a full history of those servicemen who were wounded in the First World War. For details of all wounded British and Commonwealth troops this is a complete, unique resource now available online. From famous war poets to the brave soldiers in the 'Pals' Battalions, the shocking numbers of wounded servicemen are listed in complete, accurate detail. The 1.3 million records published illustrate the number of soldiers, sailors and airmen wounded. Many servicemen received wounds of varying degrees, for some it was the end of their war, for others they were back in action within days. Using the Casualty Lists you can see if and when your ancestors were wounded in the line of duty.

You can search these via the Master Search, please select A Person with Military and enter the Surname.

Often the first names on these records are recorded as initial only so you may want to leave the forename field empty if you are unable to locate the entry using the full forename.

To narrow your results you could try entering the Service Number to Regiment into the Keyword box and click Search:

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You can then use the menu on the left to select which Military records you wish to view and you can select Casualty Lists from here.

Using the icons on the right you can open the Full Record or Image:

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The Casualty List records are available to view for all Diamond Subscribers.




World War I Naval and Military Despatches

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

  • Navy and Military Despatches Vol. I (Sept-Oct. 1914)
  • Naval and Military Despatches Vol .II (Nov 1914 - Jun 1915)
  • Navy and Military Despatches Vol. III (Jul-Oct. 1915)
  • Navy and Military Despatches Vol. VII (Dec 1916 - Jul 1917)

Mentioned in Dispatches, 1914-1920

The Military Medal was the equivalent to the Military Cross (MC) which was awarded to commissioned officers. The MM ranked below the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), which was also awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army.


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.

Also included are:

    ★ Channel Islands Monthly Review
    ★ Harpers Magazine
    ★ Illustrated London News
    ★ Illustrated War News
    ★ Jewish Chronicle
    ★ SS Great Britain Times
    ★ The B.E.F. Wipers Times, and other publications
    ★ The Sphere

For full Newspaper Coverage please see: Newspaper Coverage