Life Guards, 1900 (catalogue reference: COPY 1/168 f144)

12 June 2014

Today we are making the surviving records of service for over 12,000 servicemen from the Household Cavalry available online to view and download. These records span over 120 years, from 1799 to 1920.

What the records include

The records contain details of servicemen who were part of the Household Cavalry (file series WO 400) during the Battle of Waterloo, the Boer War and the First World War.

They include:

  • their original handwritten enrolment form
  • a statement of names and addresses for next of kin
  • in some cases, a conduct sheet and casualty sheet, providing details of servicemen who fought in some of the British Empire's biggest battles and wars

Find out more about how to search these online records.

'Fascinating insights into the men that served'

William Spencer, author and principal military records specialist at The National Archives, said: 'People across the globe can now find personal details about troopers in the Household Cavalry such as their age when they joined, length of service, height, profession, pension and even any distinguishing marks they may have had. These details provide fascinating insights into the men that served in the Household Cavalry over the course of 200 years and are a fantastic resource for military and family historians to find out more soldiers on horseback.'

Some of the cavalrymen include:

  • William Crawford (WO 400/289/2867): A 24-year-old man from Inverkip, Scotland. Joined the Household Battalion in October 1917 to fight in the First World War. He went into the field on 7 November 1917 for only a couple of months before he was wounded on 29 January 2018. He died of his wounds a few days later. William's personal effects were sent to the War Office and included correspondence from a woman named Hetty who had sent William a number of letters (listen to the letters on podcast: Voices of the Armistice: with love from Hetty)
  • Charles Rimmer (WO 400/42/3155): Trooper in 1st Life Guards. Received: 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals. Killed in action on the Western Front on 26 January 1916
  • Sergeant Major Thomas Playford (WO 400/77/7): Joined 2nd Lifeguards in 1810 age of 18. He served in Spain (Battle of Vitoria), France and in the Battle of Waterloo for a total of 25 years. Received a pension on discharge from service in 1834
  • Noah Phipps (WO 400/77/31): Joined 1st Life Guards in 1814. Served in Spain and at Battle of Waterloo. Discharged in 1841 'being completely worn out'. It is noted that he was an excellent soldier and received a pension on discharge from service
  • George Mawson (WO 400/74/960): A cloth draper from Wakefield. Applied to join the 2nd Life Guards on 28 January 1847 age 19. Rejected by the surgeon for 'loss of teeth and diseased gums'.

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