Monday, 11 July 2011

Military records on Digital Microfilms

I was reading on John Reid's Anglo Celtic Connections blog that Audrey Collins of the National Archives had posted a piece on her The Family Recorder blog (stay with me!) about the release of a complete run of The Army List from 1754 to 1879. Audrey's post is at

This has prompted me to take a look again at Digital Microfilms, as to be honest, I have not really looked at since it first launched in September 2008. As can be seen from my first post on it (, the files were seriously huge to download. However, the site has been busy, and if you have military ancestors, there are quite a few more records digitised and freely available - so don't just consider FindmyPast's Chelsea Pension records or Ancestry's WW1 service records for your research! Here are some of the collections now available:

WO 102 War Office: Long Service and Good Conduct Awards, Registers
Registers of candidates noted for, and recipients of, the Long Service and Good Conduct awards between 1831 and 1953.

WO 116 Royal Hospital, Chelsea: Disability and Royal Artillery Out-Pensions, Admission Books
Registers of the award of out-pensions of the Royal Hospital Chelsea to soldiers discharged from the Regular Army or the Militia on account of disability.

WO 117 Royal Hospital Chelsea: Length of Service Pensions, Admission Books
Service pensions books relating to pensions awarded to soldiers for length of service.

WO 229 War Office: Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force and 21 Army Group, 1943–1945
Documents originating with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force and 21 Army Group relating to a variety of headquarters responsibilities

WO 338 War Office: Officers' Services, Index to Long Number Papers, 1870-1922
This series contains the indexes used to identify the Long Number by which the First World War army officer's service records are organised in WO 339.

WO 373 Recommendations for Honours and Awards 1935-1990
Whole pieces from WO 373, which contains recommendations for honours and awards, 1935-1990. These pieces are arranged by theatre of war and date, although some of the pieces are indexed by name in the Catalogue. We have made the recommendations available to view as whole pieces, free of charge. This is because the original documents are quite complex, and it was not possible to index all of the series by name.You can also view individual entries from the series WO 373, for a fee of £3.50. This fee covers the cost of transcribing each of the 80,000 recommendations by name.

HO 9 Registers of the convicts in the hulks and a letter book relating to the establishment of the hulks, 1847 to 1849.
As stated

HO 10 Home Office: Settlers and Convicts, New South Wales and Tasmania: Records.
Lists of the male and female convicts and former convicts in the colonies.

HO 11 Home Office: Convict Transportation Registers
Lists of convicts transported in various ships, giving the dates of their convictions.

There is also a tonne of Royal Naval and Admiralty papers, including medal rolls and service records, cabinet papers and more. So well worth a visit at - but be prepared for a lot of browsing!



Tunji said...

Thanks for the info on this Chris!
I have military ancestors whose service records haven't been digitalized on FMP, and I was able to find them on the Digital Microfilm records! It doesn't provide the full details like the service records, but it's still a super source!

Chris Paton said...

Glad to help Tunji! Who did you find, and where?! (And how long did it take to browse?!)


Tunji said...

I found my direct ancestor Robert Cameron from Blackford on the WO 116 Royal Hospital, Chelsea: Disability and Royal Artillery Out-Pensions, Admission Books series.
I got some information from the index to his service record on the NA catalogue and knew he had been discharged in 1802.
Most of the soldiers were listed by regiment, and most of the regiments by number, so it only took about a minute to find him on the bottom of page 21 or digital microfilm wo116/12

Chris Paton said...

Thanks Tunji - a useful example for others who may wish to use the sets also.