More records have been added to Find My Past’s military collection.
Find My Past says:
1861 Worldwide Army Index
“The 1861 Worldwide Army Index (or The 1861 Worldwide Soldier Index) entailed the extraction of some 245,000 serving soldiers listed in the National Archives April-June quarter Paylists held in WO 10 (Royal Artillery), WO 11 (Royal Engineers) and WO 12 (Cavalry, Guards, Infantry and other units) series War Office records. It includes records not only of other ranks of soldiers serving in Britain, but also men serving in Queen Victoria’s Army far-flung empire outposts. For this reason, it can be an exceptionally useful source in identifying men missing from the 1861 census returns.
“The index provides the names, ranks, army numbers and regiments of about 98% of other ranks subjects serving in the British Army. A small number, estimated at about 5000 men, are not included because the Paylists listing their names have not survived.
“If a man aged 14-18 years or older cannot be found in the 1861 census, or the findmypast.co.uk collection in British Army Service Records 1760-1915, then consulting the 1861 Worldwide Army Index is essential. Once candidates have been located they can then be further researched in National Archives records. Whilst soldiers listed in the 1861 Worldwide Army Index will only be seen to be serving in one quarter of 1861, they may nevertheless have been serving as early as 1840 or might have continued in service up to as late as 1882.
Paddington Rifles 1860-1912
“Information contained includes (where applicable) first names, surname, number, date of attestation (joining up), age at attestation, date struck off, strength and notes. Men who served with the 18th Volunteer Rifle Corps and in its reincarnation as the 10th London Regiment can be expected to have two entries.
“Official sanction to form a Volunteer Force of part-time soldiers who could be called upon in the case of invasion or rebellion, was given by the British Government on the 12th May 1859. This authority was circulated to county lord lieutenants who were asked to submit any ideas and plans they might have.
“Less than seven months later, on the 7th January 1860, and within the shadow of Paddington Station in London, a committee had been set up to form a corps of local riflemen and sufficient men had stepped forward to form its first full Company. So was born, The Paddington Rifles and amongst its early recruits was 40-year-old Crimean War veteran James Billings who, as a colour sergeant with the 38th Regiment of Foot, had also served in India, the Mediterranean and North America. As well as his Crimea Medal (and three clasps – indicating different battles served), Billings was in possession of a Long Service & Good Conduct Medal and would later be awarded a Meritorious Service Medal. His record survives in WO 97 and can be viewed in our Chelsea Pensioners’ Service Records 1760-1913.
“The Paddington Rifles database contains the names of over 8,600 men who served with the battalion from its inception in 1860 until its demise in 1912. It can therefore be a vital tool in providing colour to your London ancestors. Its official title was the 36th Middlesex (1860-1880), later the 18th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps, and later still (from 1908) The 10th (County of London) Battalion, the London Regiment (Paddington Rifles).
“Although in the early days of its existence the battalion had no problems in finding willing recruits, by the time the Volunteer Force had been superseded by the Territorial Force in 1908, it was numbering well below its establishment of 928 men and from April 1908 until May 1911 succeeded in recruiting only 850 men, the lowest total of all the London Territorial infantry battalions.
“When it was finally disbanded in 1912, serving members who wished to continue to wear khaki joined the 3rd (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) and formed “F” (Paddington) Company. The 10th (County of London) Battalion was re-born shortly afterwards but operated from a different location in Hackney and was officially titled, The 10th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Hackney).
“The database published here has been diligently compiled from muster rolls held at The National Archives in London, specifically:WO 70 / 1 – 36th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps 1860-74
- WO70 / 2 – 36th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps 1874-1888
- WO70 / 3 18th (late 36th) Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps 1888-1903
- WO70/4 18th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps 1908
- WO70/5 10th Battalion, London Regt 1908-09
- WO70/17 10th Battalion, London Regt 1909
- WO70/18 10th Battalion, London Regt 1909-11
- WO70/19 10th Battalion, London Regt 1911-12
Royal Fusiliers Collection 1863-1905
“The Royal Fusiliers Collection 1863-1905 comprises the names of close to 5,000 officers and men who took part in a series of British military campaigns between 1863 and 1904. Information is taken largely from medal rolls and includes the name, number (for other ranks), battalion, campaign and medal clasps awarded. Additional research often includes information not to be found on medal rolls such as subsequent service and even, where known, details of medal sales.
“The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) can trace its lineage back to 1685 when it was formed from two companies of the Tower of London garrison and one company of miners. It became the 7th Regiment of Foot (Royal Fusiliers) in 1751 and, from 1881, The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment).
“The information contained in this database is taken from the following campaign medal rolls:
India General Service Medal
Specifically those men who took part in the Umbeyla (now Ambela) Expedition on the North-West Frontier of India between 1863 and 1864.
Canada General Service Medal
This was awarded to those members of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment of Foot who had taken part in the suppression of the Fenian Raids in 1866 and 1867. The medal was always issued with one of three clasps and the 2/7th Foot received the clasp Fenian Raid 1866. The medal was only instituted in 1899 and was awarded to all qualifying personnel who were still living.
This medal was awarded to those men of the 2/7th Foot who had taken part in the Afghanistan campaigns between November 1878 and September 1880.
Queen’s South Africa Medal and King’s South Africa Medal
Awarded to those men of the Royal Fusiliers who took part in the Second South Africa War of 1899-1902. Note that not all men would have qualified for both medals.
Authorised on 1st February 1905 and awarded to men of the 1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers who took part in the Tibet Mission between 13th December 1903 and 23rd September 1904.
Surrey Recruitment Registers 1908-1933
“This record set comprises details of approximately 85,000 men who attested (signed up) for service with a variety of regiments in Surrey between 1908 and 1933.
“Surviving recruitment registers for the World War I period are extremely rare indeed and the Surrey Recruitment Registers offer a fascinating snapshot of the men of Surrey who served for King and Country. The registers are published here with the kind permission of The Surrey History Trust which retains all copyrights in the database. The Surrey History Centre holds the original registers.
“The 1909 enlistment and recruiting regulations stated that ‘the officer commanding an infantry depot will direct the recruiting service for both the regular army and the special reserve within the limits of his regimental district, under the orders of the officer in charge of recruiting’. Surrey formed No.10 District in the Eastern Division, which was further divided into two regimental districts, numbered by the regiment’s seniority; thus the Royal West Surreys formed No.2 Regimental District, based at Guildford and comprising the parliamentary divisions of Guildford (South West), Chertsey (North West), Reigate (South East), and parts of Epsom (Mid) and Wimbledon (North East). The East Surrey regimental district formed the 31st Regimental District based at Kingston-upon-Thames, comprising the remainder of the county’s parliamentary constituencies. All but one of the registers published here relate to the 31st District.
“With the mass influx of recruits in 1914, more recruiting officers were needed and in the East Surrey regimental area recruiting offices were also established at Richmond, Putney, Wandsworth, Streatham, East Dulwich, Peckham, Upper Norwood, Tooting, Mitcham, Wimbledon, Sutton, East Molesey, Walton on Thames, Epsom and Wallington. These recruitment registers cover these areas and those who were born in the area but attested in other regimental districts.
“The majority of the records here relate to men who volunteered, or were conscripted, during the First World War. However, some registers also cover pre-war enlistments into the regular army and Special Reserve, whilst others enlistments into the regular army after hostilities had ceased. An explanation of the different types of enlistment are given below, followed by details on each individual register.
Regular Army enlistments
“That is, men who wished to join the British Army as career soldiers. The general terms of enlistment for line infantry was seven years with the colours and five years on the reserve. The Guards regiments recruited men for three years with the colours and nine years on the reserve. When Britain went to war with Germany in 1914 the majority of men who volunteered, did so for the duration of the war only although it was still possible to join up as a regular career soldier on regular enlistment terms.
Special and Extra Reserve enlistments
“The Special and Extra Reserve was a home defence force, the successor to the old Militia. Men joining the SR or ER did so for six years, the ranks generally filled by old soldiers who had previously seen service in the regular army, or by young men who were trying out military life. Many of the latter subsequently transferred to regular army battalions and a lot of Special and Extra Reserve men were called upon in 1914 and later to help make up drafts to replace casualties on the Western Front.
“Men who volunteered to fight for King and Country, many of these heeding Lord Kitchener’s call for 100,000 men to form New Army battalions. These men enlisted for the duration of the war.
Derby Scheme men
“Lord Derby’s Scheme was introduced on the 16th October 1915 by which time the rush of volunteers had long since dried up. It was opened to men between the ages of 18 and 40 who were told they could enlist voluntarily or attest with the obligation to join up later when called upon to do so. At the same time, the War Office notified the public that voluntary enlistment would soon end and that the last day to register would be the 15th December 1915. Men who registered under the Derby Scheme were classified according to their age and marital status. Group 1 was for single 18-year-olds, Group 2 for single 19-year-olds and so on up to Group 23 for single 40-year-olds. Group 24 was for married 18-year-olds, Group 25 for married 19-year-olds and so on up to Group 46 for married 40-year-olds. Men who had attested under the Derby Scheme were entitled to wear a grey armband with a red crown upon it.
“The Military Service Act of 27th January 1916 brought an end to volunteering. Men were allocated to classes according to their year of birth and then called up by those classes. Class 1 was for men born in 1897, Class 2 for men born in 1896 and so on up until Class 23 for men born in 1875.
Voluntary and Direct enlistments
“Men joining the British Army after November 1918.”