How to look for records of... British Army officers up to 1913
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
This is a brief guide to researching British Army records for an officer who served up to 1913. These records are varied and plentiful and the vast majority are available at The National Archives. Officer ranks include Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Colonel, Brigadier and General. The Ministry of Defence website gives more detail. This guide will help you to find out if the information you are looking for exists, and if it does where to find it or more information about it.
You might find it helpful to read the blog Isaac Chetham: From ‘Scum of the Earth’ to Commissioned Officer in Wellington’s Army.
1. What do I need to know before I start?
2. What records can I see online?
3. What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
4. What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
5. What other resources will help me find information?
6. Did you know?
Although Britain has had a regular standing army since around 1660, there are few personnel records before the early 18th century.
The British Army did not keep records of individual officers which spanned their entire careers. You will have to look at a number of sources to piece together an officer’s experiences.