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Army - Casualty Lists, Other Ranks before and after WWI (Military)

Nature of Source

Listing of men discharged due to wounds or killed in action. The records found in the series held at The National Archives include the Muster Master List General's Index of Casualties covering 1797 to 1817 which includes discharges due to wounds, death, illness, desertion, taken prisoner of war or simply transferred to another battalion or regiment.

The lists are arranged by regiment. Also look for war memorials with many online at the Debt of Honour Register produced by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

War Office Lists were compiled on a daily basis and printed weekly. The lists carry details of wounded and missing officers and other ranks as well details of those that died or were captured as prisoners of war. The lists are available from the British Library Newspaper Collections. The lists were also published by the Times newspaper which can be searched online at The Times Digital Archive, available at many libraries and by The Scotsman which can be searched at The Scotsman Digital Archive.

Service records for all ranks who served after 1920 remain with the Ministry of Defence with each military service maintaining its own record office. The Veterans UK web site provides contact details of where to apply for service records for each of the services.

Also see
Army - Applications for Pensions for Widows and Children - Officers before 1914 (Military)
Army - Chaplain's Returns, Regimental Registers and Service Departments Returns, Other Ranks & Officers
Army - Pensions (Medical & Service) Admission Books, Other Ranks before 1914 (Military)
Army - Pensions Returns & Regimental Register of Pensioners, Other Ranks before 1914 (Military)
Army - Registers of Deaths and Casualties, Other Ranks & Officers, WWI
Army - Soldiers' Documents (Service Records) from Pension Claims ('Unburnt Collection'), Other Ranks, WWI (Military)
War Memorials, Graves & Rolls of Honour (Military, including WWI) Including Scotland

Where Found

The National Archives (WO 25, casualty and deserter information; WO 108 (Boer War casualties)
National Army Museum/Templer Study Centre (The museum houses a wealth of information on the history and traditions of the Army including officer Army Lists, regimental and campaign histories, soldier's effects records, military memoirs and diaries, regimental and other military periodicals and books and other archives relating to the pre-1914 Army. The museum also holds the enlistment and discharge books for the Buffs, the Middlesex Regiment, and the five Irish regiments disbanded in 1922. See the web site for details of their collections and a series of information sheets for researching army family history)

Period Covered

1797 - 1910

Genealogical Value

  • Soldier's name, rank, birthplace, occupation and next of kin (occasionally with the will).
  • Type of casualty for example killed, missing, captured or injured.

Further References

Beckett, James Deuchar (ed). The Beckett Soldiers Index, A-C: Jade Publishing, 2003
Beckett, James Deuchar (ed). The Beckett Soldiers Index, D-G Jade Publishing, 2009
Beckett, James Deuchar (ed). The Beckett Soldiers Index, H-K: Jade Publishing, 2009
(Listing of soldiers from 1793 to about 1854 extracted from TNA series WO 120 and WO 116 and other sources such as marriage registers and medal awards. Arranged alphabetically by surname, forename and regiment including whether discharged at either Chelsea or Kilmainham Hospital. These published editions cover more ground than the Beckett Soldiers' Index available at The National Archives)

Bevan, Amanda. Tracing Your Ancestors in the National Archives: The National Archives, 2006

Brereton, J.M. A Guide to the Regiments and Corps of the British Army: Bodley Head, 1985

Blank, Dr. Stuart. Researching British Military History on the Internet: Alwyn Enterprises, 2007

Cox. Reginald H. W. Military Badges of the British Empire 1914-18: Ernest Benn, 1982

Farmer, John, The Regimental Records of the British Army: Grant Richards, 1901 (Free download available at the Internet Archive)

Fowler, Simon. A Guide to Military History on the Internet: Pen & Sword, 2007

Fowler, Simon. Tracing your Army Ancestors: Pen & Sword, 2006

Fowler, Simon. Tracing Your Army Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2013

Gaylor, John. Military Badge Collecting: Pen & Sword Books, 2002
Grehan, John & Mace, Martin. British Battles of the Crimean Wars 1854-1856: Pen & Sword Books, 2014

Kitzmiller, John. In Search of the Forlorn Hope: A Comprehensive Guide to Locating British Regiments and Their Records, 1640-WWI: Manuscript Publishing Foundation, 1988

Murphy, Gerry. Where Did That Regiment Go? The Lineage of British Infantry and Cavalry Regiments at a Glance: The History Press, 2009

Paterson, Sarah. Tracing Your Family History, Army: Imperial War Museum, 2006

Pols, Robert. Dating Old Army Photographs: Family History Partnership, 2011

Saks, David. Boerejode: Jews in the Boer Armed Forces 1899-1902: 2010

Spencer, William. Family History in the Wars: The National Archives, 2007

Spencer, William. Army Records: A Guide For Family Historians: The National Archives, 2008

Storey, Neil. Military Photographs and How to Date Them: Countryside Books, 2009

Swinnerton, Iain, An Introduction to the British Army: Its History, Traditions and Records: FFHS, 1996

Swinson, Arthur. A Register of the Regiments and Corps of the British Army: The Archive Press, 1972

The Great War: A Photographic Narrative: Imperial War Museum: Jonathan Cape, 2013

Usher, George. Dictionary of British Military History: A&C Black Publishers, 2006

Watts, Michael and Watts, Christopher. My Ancestor was in the British Army: Society of Genealogists, 2009

Westlake, Ray. The Territorials 1908-1914: A Guide for Military and Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2011
Banks, Arthur. A Military Atlas of The First World War: Pen & Sword Books, 2013
Bridger, Geoff. The Great War Handbook: A Guide For Family Historians & Students Of The Conflict: Pen & Sword Books, 2013
Christopher, John & McCutcheon, Campbell. 1914 the First World War in Old Photographs: Over by Christmas: Amberley Publishing, 2014
Doyle, Peter & Foster Chris. British Army Cap Badges of the First World War: Shire Publications, 2010
Doyle, Peter. Great War British Tommy Manual: The British Soldier 1914-18 [All Models]-Haynes Owners' Workshop Manuals: Haynes, 2013
Doyle, Peter & Foster Chris. Remembering Tommy: The British Soldier in the First World War: The History Press, 2013
Doyle, Peter & Foster Chris. What Tommy Took to War, 1914-1918: Shire Publications, 2014
Doyle, Peter. The First World War in 100 Objects: The History Press, 2014
Forty, Simon. Mapping the First World War: Battlefields of the Great Conflict from Above: Anova Books, 2013
Gregson, Keith. A Tommy in the Family: First World War Family History Tales and Research Tips: The History Press, 2014
Hadaway, Stuart. Tracing Your Great War Ancestors: The Egypt and Palestine Campaigns: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2017
Holding, Norman, More Sources of WWI Army Ancestry: FFHS, 1998
Holding, Norman & Swinnerton, Iain. WWI Army Ancestry: FFHS, 2004
Holmes, Richard. Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front 1914-1918: Harper Perennial, 2005
Holmes, Richard. Shots from the Front: The British Soldier 1914-18: HarperPress, 2010
Holmes, Richard. The First World War in Photographs: Andre Deutsch, July 2014
James, Brig. E. A. British Regiments 1914-18: Naval and Military Press, 2009
Paterson, Sarah. Tracing Your Prisoner of War Ancestors: The First World War: Pen & Sword, 2012
Rawson, Andrew. The British Army 1914-1918: The History Press, 2014
Spencer, William. First World War Army Service Records: The National Archives, 2008
Swinnerton, Iain. Identifying Your World War One Soldier from Badges and Photographs: Federation of Family History Societies, 2001

Websites (War Memorials Trust) (The National Archives Research Guides: Military and Maritime. Learn how to trace the voyages made by a merchant seaman, find a Royal Marine’s medal record or track the wartime history of an Army regiment) (UK Military Family History Online: Links to web sites with online data and information to aid in military family history research) (Guide to Army Lists and published lists available on CD) (Online store selling military records from a variety of suppliers) (Veterans UK) (Imperial War Museum, Your History, Family History: Army: Information sheets include Tracing Army Ancestry, Army Service Records, Tracing Army Units and List of Abbreviations) (British Military Records: The Army by Fawne Stratford-Devai) (Military Archive Research, by Dr Stuart C Blank) (GENUKI Military guide with useful links) (British Military Records by Jay Hall) (The Army Museums Ogilby Trust. Directory of over 140 Army museums across the UK represented by the Trust) (National Archives of Scotland Research Guide: Military Records)

Online Databases

Debt of Honour Register - Commonwealth War Graves Commission (The Debt of Honour Register records and commemorates the names of some 1.7 million men and women from all three services killed in the two world wars and others who died up to 31 December 1947)
(Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt Of Honour. Search the records to discover the final resting place of your military ancestors who died in the First and Second World Wars and covers cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries) (Casualties of the Boer War, 1899-1902: The database lists the names, regiments, dates, locations and nature of casualty of all officers and men of the South African Field Force from the outbreak of war) (Naval & Military Archive: Military Genealogy: Boer War Casualties 1899-1902. This database lists the names, regiments, dates, locations and nature of casualty of all Officers and men of the South African Field Force and the Natal Field Force) (British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers' Medical Records. Search for your military ancestor in medical records from the First World War. Discover when and where your ancestor was wounded, as well as how long your ancestor was held at the medical facility for treatment. The original records are kept in in TNA series MH 106 with only a sample of records retained)
(A Street Near You: The site contains nearly 500,000 location records for 410,000 men and women who died whilst serving in the First World War. The records are Searchable by postcode, address, cemetery or regiment and bring together data sources such as IWM's Lives of the First World War, Commonwealth War Graves records, Imperial War Museums Collections and the War Memorial Register) (Register of the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. The records contain over 258,800 names, including a completely revised casualty list of 59,000 casualty records)
(British Army Casualty Lists, 1939-1945. The lists document the names of officers, nurses, and other ranks who were reported as killed in action, dead as a result of illness or accident, missing, or taken as a prisoner of war. The original records are found at The National Archives in series WO 417)
(National Library of Scotland Digital Gallery: British Military Lists: Transcriptions and images of Weekly Casualty Lists, 1917-1919)
(British Army Service Records 1760-1913: Data extracted from TNA series WO 97 which provides details on soldiers, popularly known as Chelsea Pensioners, in receipt of a pension from the Royal Hospital Chelsea after discharge between 1760 and 1913) (Armed forces deaths 1796-1994) (Register of the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 including Official Casualty Rolls, Medal Rolls and the Anglo-Boer War Memorials Project) (British Army, War of 1812 Casualties: The index contains the details of over 12,000 soldiers in the British Army who died, deserted or were imprisoned during the War of 1812 known as the Anglo-American War) (Royal Artillery Other Ranks: Casualty Cards 1939-1947. Discover ancestors who fought and died in World War 2. Each record includes an image of the original casualty form and a transcript taken from the form) (Military Genealogy Forces War Records: Military records of over two million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments including Rolls of Honour, Crimean and Boer War Databases, Medal Rolls and Casualties Lists. The site also has a facility to access information on specific units or bases including regiments, ships, airfields) (Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919) (UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919) (Military Records including Soldiers who died in the Great War 1914-1918) (WW1 death Records including Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919) (Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum: Soldier Search. Search over 120,000 Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry soldiers' and officers' names, nearly 3000 Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars names and hundreds of names of those that served with the RAF, Home Guard and Royal Garrison Artillery) (The Register of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902: Database that lists men and women who served in the British Imperial Forces during the Anglo-Boer War. The register includes soldiers, sailors, nurses and civilians as well as a casualty roll. The data is compiled for sources such as Official Casualty Rolls, A Gazetteer of the Second Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, Medal Rolls, Anglo-Boer War Memorials Project and Winifred Scott's Anglo-Boer War Index. The Register will state whether the person listed has an entry in series WO 97 held at The National Archives. For a full list of sources see the website) (Find a Soldier's Will: Search for the will of a soldier who died while serving in the British armed forces between 1850 and 1986. Final handwritten wills and last letters home were kept by troops in their pocket service books and tucked into their uniforms. The wills, owned by Her Majesty's Court and Tribunal Service, include 280,000 soldiers who died in the Great War. See website for progress on the project) (Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929. This database contains records detailing the money owed to soldiers of the British Army who died in service from 1901 to 1929 and includes name of the soldier, his next of kin and their relationship. Produced in association with the National Army Museum) (The Military Archive: The site incorporates three extensive sets of resources: 'Murphy's Register' which has an index of records and photographs of individuals who served in British and Allied Forces from 1880's through to 1935, with a particular emphasis on the Great War: 'The Rolls' which can identify and confirm details from official records with regards to medals awarded: ‘The Library’ is a large, searchable online collection of divisional and regimental histories, and rolls of honour) (Deceased Online: Military Burial Records: Digital scans of burial registers from cemeteries and burial grounds taken from TNA series ADM 6, ADM 73, ADM 305 and WO 156 and covering UK sites as well as overseas sites in Cyprus, Egypt, Malta and Singapore)

CD Roms

Naval & Military Press (CDs include Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919 and the Army Roll of Honour. These sets contain a complete listing of British soldiers that died in the two World Wars)
Naval & Military Press (CDs include The Official Boer War Casualty Rolls of The British & Empire Army 1899-1902)