OUR RESEARCH AND ENQUIRY SERVICE IS NOW OPEN
I want to know more about a soldier
At York Army Museum, we offer a paid research service to help you discover more about soldiers who served with:
The 14th Regiment of Foot
The 15th Regiment of Foot
The West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own)
The East Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of York’s Own)
The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire
4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards
7th Princess Royal’s Dragoon Guards
5th Princess Charlotte of Wales’s Dragoon Guards
6th Inniskilling Dragoons
4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards
5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards
Royal Dragoon Guards
Please note that we are not a central repository for service records. Although we have some records that relate to individuals, these have mostly been donated to the museum as personal collections and do not cover every single soldier who served with our regiments.
At York Army Museum, we only answer enquiries relating to the 12 regiments listed above. If you’re looking for another regimental museum, search the Army Museums Ogilby Trust website.
What we need to know to start your research?
When making an enquiry about an individual, it’s important that you let us know as much information as possible:
Dates of birth and death
Battalion(s) and regiment(s) served in
Any other information: wounded, prisoner of war, etc.
We might be able to conduct research even if you are unable to find information requested above, but the more information we have, the easier it becomes for us to search. Sadly, it is also easier to trace soldiers who died during active service than those who survived.
What can we tell you?
Through regiments’ archives and online subscription to Ancestry, we can pull together information about a soldier’s service.
Records commonly uncovered for Pre-1920 soldier searches include
medal index cards
pension and service records. However, the majority of these records were destroyed by fire during the London Blitz in 1940.
These can be supplemented with extracts from regimental histories and war diaries showing battalion movements and actions. Although we cannot provide post-1920 service records, if you already have them, we may be able to provide you with additional information about the regiment’s movement during this time. Please let us know if you’ve already accessed their service record when you make the enquiry.
What can’t we tell you?
If you are researching a soldier who served from 1920 onward (or who enlisted before 1920 but continued to serve afterwards), we cannot give you copies of service documents as they are still held and controlled by the Ministry of Defence under their data protection obligations. Next-of-kin and those with permissions from them can access service records. Applying for these records is the first step to research any post-1920 soldier.
Although we have a large photograph collection, it is unlikely that we will be able to give you a copy of a photo of individual soldiers. Our collection doesn’t include a photograph of every soldier to have ever served with our regiments and lots of photographs are unnamed.
Other research avenues
If a soldier was killed in action during the First or Second World War, you can access the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records for free online. This is often a good place to start to ensure you have the correct service number, regiment, and date of death for the individual you are researching. Local newspapers often had obituaries in. If you know a soldier was killed in action or died of wounds, it is worth having a look at these to see if there is any further information.
How much does it cost?
The charge is £30 per soldier to cover time and resources. The result of our research includes:
Soldier’s summary of service based on resources mentioned above
Copies of records, battalions war diaries, regimental histories and any photographs or other documents directly related to the soldier.
Hard copy can be requested but, in an effort to protect the environment, we always prefer to send results of research digitally. Furthermore, some records are hard to read when printed out.
This fee is refundable if no information can be found.
How long does it take to get a response?
We aim to respond to your initial enquiry within two weeks of receiving it, and we aim to complete a piece of research within two months of receiving payment.
Ready to make an enquiry?
Thanks for taking the time to look through the information above. If you want to go ahead and make an enquiry please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a general enquiry about your regiments’ history
At York Army Museum, we also keep general documentation about our regiments’ history, campaigns and battles our regiments where involved in, specific battalions, etc. All these resources are held in our library which is not open to the public. However, you can send us an email to see if we could help you and, if it’s the case, make an appointment to view the relevant documentation: email@example.com
Visits are free but appointments are essential.