The British Army is the land-based forces of the United Kingdom. The British Army was heavily involved in Imperial affairs in India and most regiments (both infantry and cavalry) served in India at some point. Throughout the nineteenth century, a significant number of British troops were stationed at India at any one time. In 1847, for instance, around 20% of British Army regiments were on the sub-continent. The General staff were supported by the Staff Corps and the Office of the Quarter Master General.
Up until the early 1860s, a British man, or man of British descent could also be a soldier/officer in one of the Presidency Armies. These were seperate from the British Army, instead consisting of regiments formed by the East India Company and under their control.
- 1 Regiments
- 2 Wars and campaigns
- 3 Enlistment in India
- 4 Records
- 4.1 Army Lists
- 4.2 The [London] Gazette
- 4.3 Military records at the National Archives
- 4.4 India Office military records at the British Library
- 4.5 Ecclesiastical returns
- 4.6 Other sources
- 4.6.1 Soldiers’ wills
- 4.6.2 WFA WW1 pension record cards
- 4.6.3 Prisoners of War
- 4.6.4 Medal Rolls
- 4.6.5 1911 England and Wales Census
- 4.6.6 National Army Museum
- 4.6.7 Absent Voters Lists: 1918- c 1923 (UK)
- 4.6.8 Attestation, or Enlistment books (Army Book 358) from 1920
- 4.6.9 Regimental Journals
- 4.6.10 Newspapers
- 4.6.11 Miscellaneous online sources
- 4.7 Army personnel serving after January 1921
- 5 FIBIS resources
- 6 Social conditions and activities
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Any regiment name prefaced by the initials H.M. (Her or His Majesty's) is a British Army regiment, although the term is not strictly applied, especially amongst the ecclesiastical records. These regiments may be referred to as "Royal Regiments".
Regiments are divided across several arms of the army, these being the Cavalry (who fought mounted on horseback), the Infantry (soldiers who fought on foot) and the support arms such as the Artillery (who used weaponry such as canons and large guns) and the Engineers construction, demolition, surveying etc.) Also see Regiment names terminology below.
The article History of British Army Infantry Regiments is a general history of the origin and development of the infantry regiments and explains some of the reforms that took place.
- To browse the Infantry category, see British Army Infantry Regiments. From 1881, see 1881 Regimental Titles.
- To browse the Cavalry category, see British Army Cavalry Regiments
- To browse the Artillery category, see British Army Artillery Regiments
The cap badges of a few regiments can be found in Cap badge images.
When a regiment was to return to England, the men were given the opportunity to 'volunteer for' (join) another British Army regiment in India. The view seems to have been "A trained soldier in India is worth five recruits, and that soldier, when he is brought home, is not worth anything."As an example, when the 96th Regiment of Foot was ordered home in September 1854, a ‘great number of men’ volunteered for the 32nd foot, thirty volunteered for the 43rd, while twenty-two volunteered for the 74th Highlanders. However, when transferring to another unit, the soldiers were treated as new recruits, and lost any rank they had, reverting to the rank of a private, although it appears likely that in practice they were promoted again reasonably quickly.
Locating a regiment
There are many ways to find out locations at which a regiment was stationed. More labourious methods include tracking through the muster rolls, army lists or station lists published in newspapers. Many of our regiment articles include a timeline of major stations. One online source providing incomplete but highly useful information, is:
- Indian portion of In Search of the 'Forlorn Hope': A Comprehensive Guide to Locating British Regiments and their Records (1640-WWI) by John M Kitzmiller - lists the location/year of all British regiments that served in India and related regions. (Regiments, Locations) . From Bob Holland’s Rampais website.
- The Nafziger Collection of Orders of Battle hosts a PDF catalogue including lists of “Stations of British Troops in India” (and a wider list for the whole army) transcribed from the sources such as the Army and Navy Gazette . The website says "Download the collection's Finding Aid (pdf format) to assist in navigating the titles available for viewing".
- It appears best to use the binoculars icon to search the Finding Aid. The search facility seems designed so that the words you enter only are found if they are next to each other, so you will need to use just one word such as India, or use phrases which are title headings such as Stations of British Troops in India, (not Stations India) (available 1836-1904), British Regiments Serving in India, (available 1816-1835), Distribution of the British Army (available 1836-1868, 1872, 1899-1903) Stations of the British Army (available 1869-1904). The latter two titles include British troops in India. For specific lists from 1862, see
- Note that for some computers/browsers, it may not be possible to search the Finding Aid. "British Regiments Serving in India" 1816 is located on page 167. "Distribution of the British Army" 1836 is located on page 168
- The publications New Annual Army List and New Army List, some of which are available on Military periodicals online contain details of the regiments in the British Army for each year of publication. The details of each regiment in each volume will usually include where the regiment is garrisoned at that point of time. This is often located at the very top of the page which gives details of the regiment. As an example, the 2nd Battalion of the 24th Regiment of Foot was stationed at Secunderabad, Madras, page 276 The New Annual Army List for 1869, shown in the top left hand corner.
- For those able to visit the National Archives at Kew, there are catalogue entries WO 379/11 Stations of regiments 1859-1900 and WO 379/15 Stations of regiments 1901-1920 Examples of the type of records available are WO 379/11 details for the 52nd Regiment and WO 379/15 details for the 48th Regiment from respective regiments pages from the website maltaramc.com. These records are part of the WO 379 series "Disposition and Movement of Regiment, Returns and Papers (Regimental Records)"
Regiment names terminology
Regiments, especially prior to the twentieth century, were not named in a uniform manner and the historical terminology used can be unfamiliar to a beginning researcher. Some common terms and the regiment types they apply to can be found below.
Wars and campaigns
The British Army were involved in numerous wars, campaigns and battles in India and the surrounding region. The Fibiwiki has a Chronological list of wars and campaigns.
- To browse wars in the region, see the Wars and Campaigns category.
- To browse battles, see the Battles category.
Enlistment in India
It was possible for a man born in India to enlist in the British Army in India, a fact to be considered when researching. Enlistment was possible for men with European parents, or Eurasian men of fair complexion―those whose looks allowed them to ‘pass’ as white.
Enlistment and birth in other overseas British Empire countries
When researching, keep in mind that similar to the situation in India, it was also possible for men from other countries to enlist when regiments were stationed in their countries. Men whose fathers were in the British Army could be born anywhere in the world the British Army was stationed.
Indians in the British Army
There were a limited number of Indians who were part of the British Army. Prior to 1924, there were Indian soldiers serving in the Royal Artillery as drivers, and native gunners in ammunition columns serving as wagon-men.  During the First World War, there are Medal Index Card references to Lascars in the Royal Artillery, this rank was also known as a Gun Lascar. In 1924, Indian Mountain/Pack Batteries became Batteries in the Royal Artillery, which was the situation until 1939 when the Indian Mountain Batteries were transferred from the Royal Artillery to the Indian Regiment of Artillery.
During the First World War there are also references to Lascars in the Inland Water Transport, Royal Engineers.
From c 1921, there were Indian Mechanical Transport Companies, which were part of the Royal Army Service Corps, until subsequently transferred to the Indian Army.
There are various sources of information for finding out about a man in the British Army.
Army Lists are useful if you are researching an officer. There were Monthly, Quarterly and Annual editions published. At least during the First World War, only the Monthly Lists cover the officers in “battalion order”. The Monthly Lists are available on the open shelves at the National Archives and major libraries.
For volumes available online, see Military periodicals online
The [London] Gazette
- The [London] Gazette Official Public Record for the U.K. Free Search for officers' commissions and promotions, and gallantry awards for both officers and other soldiers.
Military records at the National Archives
For advice about the National Archives, both about visiting and your options if you can't visit, see the Fibiwiki page The National Archives
Unlike those of the presidency armies, muster rolls for British Army regiments stationed in India are not at the British Library but are instead at The National Archives at Kew in London. The majority of the Muster records up to 1878 are in WO 12, including Cavalry and Infantry. The catalogue describes the records as:
"...a comprehensive means of establishing dates of enlistment, movements throughout the world, and of discharge or death. The first entry may show age on enlistment. An entry on the form "Men becoming non-effective", sometimes to be found at the end of each quarter's musters, shows the birthplace, trade, and date of enlistment of any soldier discharged or dead during the quarter. From about 1868, at the end of each muster, may be found a Marriage Roll, which enumerates wives and children for whom married quarters were provided."
An 1877 example of data from a Marriage Roll can be seen in the image on the right.
From 1878 to 1898, all muster rolls are in WO 16. The majority of the records for the years 1878 to 1888 contain detailed pay lists with names. From 1888 onwards (WO 16/2917-3049) the series consists of company muster rolls only, and these do not contain pay lists.
Please note that muster roll records may be missing for some Regiments and periods, in India and generally. For example, there are virtually no muster roll records for the Royal Artillery in India.
- Ancestry (pay site with a free search) has a collection UK, British Army Muster Books and Pay Lists, 1812-1817
- Findmypast has the records 1861 Worldwide Army Index extracted from 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, including men serving overseas. Searching the records is free, but charges apply to view the records, although they can be viewed for free at TNA (and other institutions with a FMP subscription). Also on Findmypast is the database 1871 Worldwide British Army Index - British Army Other Ranks & Locations, with census day 2 April 1871 and generally covering much of the June Quarter 1871.
Service and pension records
Discharge papers (WO 97, (to 1913)), usually containing service/attestation information, and pension records (WO 22) may also be found at TNA. Records in WO 97 are usually only for men discharged with a pension (i.e. for long service or having been invalided ) as these were the papers sent to the Royal Hospital Chelsea and preserved, but from 1883, most causes of discharge, (apart from death (with a few exceptions)) were included. Note however, the survival rate of discharge papers appears to be low for men discharged overseas [ie not in Britain, and therefore low for India]. If a man went on to serve during World War 1 then his records would normally have been removed from WO97 and placed with his WW1 service records. WO 97 records are also unlikely to include men who immediately went on active service with a Milita unit, (whose discharge papers may have been transferred to the Milita unit). The records often contain a wealth of genealogical information, including birth date and location, next of kin, physical description, service locations, medical history and medals. They may include information about marriages, births of children or deaths of family members.
The National Archives has worked with findmypast to scan and place online WO 97 (Royal Hospital Chelsea: Soldiers' Service Documents 1760-1913). All WO 97 records, for the years 1760 to 1913 are currently available on findmypast as part of a group of records called British Army Service Records 1760-1915. This group of records consists of
- Militia service records 1806-1915 (WO96)
- Chelsea Pensioners British Army service records 1760-1913 (WO97)
- Royal Hospital, Chelsea: pensioners' discharge documents 1760-1887 (WO121) (see Other Pension Records below)
- Royal Hospital, Chelsea: pensioners' discharge documents, foreign regiments 1816-1817 (WO122)
- War Office: Imperial Yeomanry, soldiers' documents, South African War 1899-1902 (WO128)
- Royal Hospital, Chelsea: documents of soldiers awarded deferred pensions 1838-1896 (WO131)
Searching the records is free, but charges apply to view the records, although they can be viewed for free at TNA (and other institutions with a FMP subscription).
For some findmypast blogs about these records, see below
The records online at findmypast now include those men discharged through the Kilmainham Hospital in Ireland, as British Army Pensioners - Kilmainham, Ireland 1783-1822. These records are held under TNA reference WO 119, and are similar to the Chelsea Pensioner records WO 97, above. Searching the records is free, but charges apply to view the records, although they can be viewed for free at TNA (and other institutions with a FMP subscription).
There are other records for Kilmainham , not digitised, under WO 118 “Registers of in- and out- pensioners of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham”. In-pensioners were admitted until 1922.
Other Pension Records
Another useful TNA source is the WO 22 subseries "Army and other pensions paid out locally in India, Ceylon and China" detailing names and payments made, including WO 22/228-230 Bengal, WO 22/237-238 Bombay and WO 22/266-270, mainly Madras.
This India List post mentions WO 120 and WO 121 records. Catalogue references are:
- WO 120 "From about 1812 dates of death have been noted and in the last series these dates extend to 1877" The WO 120 records are available on LDS microfilm with this catalogue entry.
- The book British Army Pensioners Abroad, 1772-1899 by Norman K. Crowder includes all British Army pensioners who retired to any place outside of Great Britain for which records are available (1772-1899). There are 8,934 entries, transcribed from WO 120/35 and WO 120/69-70. Each entry has one line, in the form "51st Regiment of Foot; Josh ABBOTT; pension awarded 27 Sept 1842; residence - Hobart Town, Australia; died 22 Apr 1871. Source WO120 Volume 69 page 206". 
- WO 121 records. These records are available online on findmypast as part of British Army Service Records 1760-1915, refer above. The records include "Register of men discharged without pension", 1884 to 1887. Although the catalogue does not mention this, there are many records of men leaving the army in India under the heading "Nominal list of men discharged by the Commander-in-Chief in India." As the register provides name, regimental number, rank, corps, date and cause of discharge, attestation date (and a few other administration details) it is an invaluable resource for those not able to find these details elsewhere. Searching the records is free, but charges apply to view the records, although they can be viewed for free at TNA (and other institutions with a FMP subscription).
These records are included in the National Archives catalogue entry Records of the Royal Chelsea and Kilmainham Hospitals. The latter hospital was in Ireland. This category of records also includes
- WO 116 Disability and all Royal Artillery pensions and
- WO 117 Pensions awarded to soldiers for length of service.
Some of these records, in particular WO 116 (for what appears to be WO 116/1-165 being Cavalry and Infantry Disability October 1715 to 1882 and Royal Artillery 1 November 1833 to 1893) and WO 117 ( October 1823 to 1913) are available to download free of cost from The National Archives Documents Online: Digital Microfilms. These are stated to be large pdfs, which need a broadband internet connection. This Ancestry.com British Army Message Board post details some of the information found.
An interesting series of selected records is PIN 71: Selected War Pensions Award Files for Service Prior to 1914. This series consists of personal case files on disablement pensions arising from service in the Army or Navy before the First World War and case files concerning widows of such servicemen. The files contain medical records and details of place of birth, age, names of parents and siblings, religion, physical attributes, marital and parental status. The series appears to consist of approximately 6,300 individual files which are searchable by name online on the Discovery catalogue. The actual files however are not available online.
Service and pension records from World War 1 from the National Archives are available on the pay site Ancestry .com, and from May 2014 on the pay site findmypast refer below. They do contain some papers for men who did not serve in WW1.
- British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920 are WO 363 records also known as the ‘Burnt Documents.’ These are the records which survived a fire, about one third of the total documents.
- British Army WWI Pension Records 1914-1920 are WO 364 records
Courts martial and desertion
- See Courts-martial
National Archives Guides
- The National Archives have the following research guides:
- Looking for records of a British Army officer up to 1913
- Regarding records mentioned in this link, note that WO 76 records are available to download free as pdf files from National Archives: Documents Online: Digital Microfilm. For Army Lists, see Military periodicals online-New Annual Army List
- British Army officers up to 1913: further research (Military Records Information 4)
- Looking for records of a British Army officer after 1913
- Looking for records of a British Army soldier up to 1913
- British Army soldiers up to 1913: further research (Military Records Information 5)
- British Army: Muster Rolls and Pay Lists, c1730-1898 (Military Records Information 7)
- Looking for records of a British Army soldier after 1913
- Looking for records of a British Army officer up to 1913
- The National Archives has published the book Army Records: A Guide for Family Historians by William Spencer 2008. 160 pages. It is mainly about records in the National Archives and the India Office at the British Library. It contains a chapter "The British Army in India and the Indian Army", in addition to over twenty chapters about British Army records.
British Library Guides
India Office military records at the British Library
For a comprehensive description of sources available in the India Office Records, see Peter Bailey's article in FIBIS Journal 13.
There is a small collection of India Office records at the British Library called British Army Records IOR/L/MIL/15 1806-1930 (catalogue entry which includes links to subgroups including British Army: British troops embarked for India IOR/L/MIL/15/42-46 1871-1889).
There are also reference books from the Military Department Library relating to the British Army IOR/L/MIL/17/1 (catalogue entry), including Army Lists for the British Army, apart from publications specifically relating to the British Army in India.
If the man married, had children or died out on the Sub-continent then records of these occurences can often be found in the India Office Church records. However, some regimental chaplains only filed their BMDs with the General Register Office in London. The British Army Overseas Indexes can be found in genealogical libraries, the National Archives and searched on various websites including findmypast.com and familyrelatives.com. Certificates of these army returns can then be obtained from the GRO by ordering them online. For more details refer Chaplains Returns.
Note that if a record is available both in the Church records and in the General Register Office records, the latter may contain more information, at least for some time periods. By way of example, in 1903 the additional information available for a marriage record was the nationalities of the groom and bride, and the occupations of the fathers of the groom and bride.
Additional sources include:
Online search Find a soldier's will Search for the will of a soldier who died while serving in the British armed forces between 1850 and 1986. UK Government Probate Service. Free to search, (but first you must register) and then pay for a record.
No further details are given, but previously this link advised that 300,000 wills of soldiers killed in action were to become available online. They do not include officers. These wills date from the Crimea period onwards, and appear to be wills completed by soldiers in their paybooks. It appears the majority are from WW1. The article "Wills of English soldiers killed in the Great War" by David Tattersfield 25 September 2013 (“The Western Front Association”) has more details.
The index to some soldiers’ wills are also available in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941 from Ancestry.com
Soldiers’ effects records at the National Army Museum
These records relate to monies paid to the named relatives of deceased soldiers and those discharged insane. They do not give details of the personal possessions of dead personnel, but provide next of kin details. Transcripts of records between 1901 and 1960 are available, at a charge. They are not viewable at the Museum as they are stored off site. Further details are provided in this National Army Museum link
Update January 2015. Some of these records are now available on the pay website Ancestry, record category Military, with the dataset titled UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929.
WFA WW1 pension record cards
- "The Western Front Association preserves a major Great War archive of 6.5 million records" by David G Henderson 08 November 2012
- "Great War Pension Record Cards and Ledgers: deeper understanding" 31 March 2013
- Pension Record Cards: Manual Lookup Request 31 March 2013. A fee applies. It is intended that these records be digitised in time.
Prisoners of War
- Prisoners of the First World War - ICRC Archives. Free online records of the International Committee of the Red Cross. These records may be quite complex to search, and there are many helpful hints about searching on the Great War Forum. Include soldiers of the Indian Army taken as POWs on the Western Front and sent to Germany.
- ICRC Archives in Geneva has records for the Second World War
- findmypast includes a database "Prisoners Of War 1715-1945" (located in Armed forces & conflict/Regimental & service records) which appears to contain some records from FO 383, including some for Indian Army soldiers.
See Medal Rolls. Includes information about those medal rolls available online.
1911 England and Wales Census
British Army personnel in India, together with their families appeared for the first time in an England and Wales Census in 1911. Search the 1911 census data, free to search, but a pay site to view data. Also available on the pay site Ancestry.com and perhaps other pay sites. This National Archives catalogue entry shows the regiments that were included in the 1911 Census. The items (17 in total) are RG 14/34978-34992, 34995, 34997. However, it is probable there were other regiments in India at this time. The census was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911. Note however, there are is at least one known instance of a soldier and his family known to be in the British Army in India at the time of the census, whose names do not appeat in the census, another indication that the data may not be complete.
The National Army Museum's website includes the following Information Sheets which also refer to sources at other institutions
- Information Sheet No 2: Soldiers’ Records 1660-1913
- Information Sheet No 3: Soldiers’ Records 1914-c1920
- Information Sheet No 4: Soldiers’ Records 1920–present
- Information Sheet No 5: Researching Family History at the National Army Museum
Absent Voters Lists: 1918- c 1923 (UK)
Generally arranged by Electoral District. Mainly contain military personnel, but also men and women who were engaged in war-related work who were still living away from home. Sources are major libraries and record offices nearest to the place in question. Some of these records are available online including Ancestry, see below, and FamilySearch images for Swansea West Division (Wales, West Glamorgan). The London Metropolitan Archives holds some AVLs to 1939., however it appears that information such as a serviceman’s rank, unit and number, only appeared initially for a few years.
- Absent Voter Lists. Guide by Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society. May 2015
- Finding soldiers through the 1918 Absent Voters Lists 1914-1918.net
In October 2015, findmypast introduced a database "Britain, Absent Voters Lists 1918-1921" (located in Census, Land & Surveys/Electoral Rolls), based on records from the British Library. The coverage is set out in Britain, Absent Voters Constituency List. Data additional to the initial release is expected to be added.
Attestation, or Enlistment books (Army Book 358) from 1920
Following the restructure of the Army in 1920, new Attestation, or Enlistment books (Army Book 358) were introduced, the originals of which were sent to various Regimental Museums in the early 2000s  Some of these records are now in regional Record Offices and Archives. The National Army Museum holds these records for some regiments, including the five Irish Regiments disbanded in 1922.
The attestation records for the Royal Artillery and the Tank Corps are available online on the pay website findmypast.
Enlistment book records for the Royal Army Service Corps and Royal Army Ordnance Corps are available on the pay website RLC Digital Library, see Royal Army Service Corps
Some regiments published a regular regimental journal which can be a valuable source of information. Examples are St George’s Gazette, journal of the Northumberland Fusiliers,(previously 5th Regiment of Foot) published from 1883 to 1968, and The Highland Light Infantry Chronicle, journal of the Highland Light Infantry (previously 71st Regiment of Foot), published quarterly from 1893 to 1958. Whether a journal existed may be included in the regimental information available on the website Regiments.org (refer below). This link also lists the titles of some regimental journals. The British Library and National Army Museum are possible sources of these journals, together with Regimental Museums and regional libraries, if the regiment had a strong regional connection. A broken range of editions of The Rifle Brigade Chronicle for the years 1890 to 1905 is available online. A few editions of the Highland Light Infantry Chronicle are also available online, however these are accessible in limited countries only.
- The London Gazette online is a useful source of information about officers’ appointments and promotions. For more information about this resource, see Newspapers & magazines reading list
- Two Research guides by British Library Newspapers:
- Family History Research and British Military History, 1801-1945
- Scope of the Collections for British Military History, 1801-1945 Details specialist, non-newspaper publications of particular interest to military history researchers held by British Library Newspapers such as the Army and Navy Gazette, published from 1860.
- Also see
Miscellaneous online sources
Many online sources are mentioned in other sections. Other miscellaneous sources may be found by searching the database information of websites such as findmypast and Ancestry.
- See findmypast. Under the tab "Search records" is a category "A-Z of record sets" which is a listing of all the record databases.
- Includes a database "Prisoners Of War 1715-1945" (located in Armed forces & conflict/Regimental & service records) which appears to contain some records from the National Archives records FO 383, including some for Indian Army soldiers.
- Includes the category Armed forces & conflict/First World War which includes the databases
- "Royal Naval Division Records 1914-1919" and "Royal Naval Division Service Records 1914-1920". The Royal Naval Division transferred from the authority of the Admiralty to the War Office on 29 April 1916.
- "British Jewry Book Of Honour, 1914-1920"
- "British Army, Deserters and Absentees In Police Gazette 1914-1919" . Selected dates only, not a complete range.
- Includes a database "British Army Schoolchildren and Schoolmasters 1803-1932" (located in Education & work/Schools & education)
- Ancestry Card Catalogue of all Record Databases. Select the Military filter on the left hand side of the page. Also includes a database for Birmingham, and some of north Warwickshire, Absent Voters Lists (located in Census & Electoral Rolls/Midlands, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1955).
Army personnel serving after January 1921
The Army Personnel Centre Historical Disclosures Section holds Army Service records for officers whose service ended after April 1922 and soldiers whose service ended after January 1921.
Note however that some records may not have survived, such as some records for those who were awarded a disability pension, or due to 'weeding'.
The service records of Army personnel serving after these dates remain closed to the public. To obtain details from such records you will often have to prove kinship. Charges may apply. Application forms should be sent to
- The Army Personnel Centre
- MS Support Unit, P & D Branch
- Historical Disclosures, MP555
- Kentigern House,
- 65 Brown Street, GLASGOW G2 8EX
- Telephone 0845 600 9663
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
See the web pages: Requests for personal data and Service records (gov.uk) for forms to download. Veterans: UK and their previous fact sheet Army Personnel Records And Family Interest Enquiries UK Government Web Archive.
The Ministry of Defence has released an aid for the files they hold for service personnel with a birth date prior to 1901, which contains name, date of birth and service number. Numbers with a P prefix are believed to designate officers. The aid is in the form of a letter of advice and eight attachments in MS Excel Spreadsheet format, which may be found in FOI responses released by MOD: week commencing 1 December 2014
Hints, mainly from WW2Talk Forum.
- "You want to get next of kin FULL records (make a note on the application for FULL records)"
- "They will accept anything that is proof of death, even a undertakers receipt or a photograph of a post war civilian headstone”.  However, you do not have to supply a death certificate when the date of birth of the individual was more than 116 years ago.
- The next of kin hierarchy is explained on a WW2Talk Forum topic which also advises that “There is currently about a 12 month wait to receive the records once you apply”
Died in military service from 1948
- Online Roll of Honour contains the names of members of the Armed Forces who died in military service, on or after 1 January 1948 (and Palestine 1945-47), who are commemorated on the official single service rolls of honour. Ministry of Defence: Veterans UK
- Margaret Mulvihill, "'Peculiar Circumstances': Catholic Chaplains of the Victorian British Army in India" FIBIS Journal No 24 (Autumn 2010), pages 26-28. For details of how to access this article, see FIBIS Journals.
- Ainslie Sharpe, "Boy Soldier to Lancer: John Arnfield in the Anglo -Sikh Wars" FIBIS Journal No 26 Autumn 2011, pages 31-40. For details of how to access this article, see FIBIS Journals.
- John Arnfield joined his father's regiment, the 3rd Regiment of Foot, the Buffs in India in 1833, as a Boy soldier, aged 14 years and became a Private on his 18th birthday.
- He went on to serve with the 16th Lancers in the Gwalior Campaign and the 1st Sikh War, and with the 9th Lancers in the 2nd Sikh War.
- He resigned in 1853 having spent 20 years in the British Army, all in India. However, his years as a Boy were not counted as years of service, so he was not entitled to any pension.
Social conditions and activities
Wives and families travelling to India
For soldiers deployed from Britain to overseas garrisons only a proportion of men were allowed to be accompanied by their wives. For most countries the proportion was six wives per one hundred soldiers. However for India, and Australia, the ratio was twelve wives per one hundred men, including NCOs. The number of children was unlimited.
Harrington Prayer Rooms
Harrington Prayer Rooms were set up in all the major cantonments for use as a 'Soldiers' Scripture Reading and Prayer Room'. 
- Category:Military Terms
- Category:Military ranks
- Category:Church records
- Category:Organisations has links to a number of military historical societies which publish journals containing articles about India.
- Duke of York's Military School
- Hill station cantonments and camps
- Mailing lists
- Military periodicals online
- Temperance organisations
- Trooping season including information about Troopships and conditions of troops sailing to India.
- 12th Regiment of Foot and 34th Regiment of Foot for examples of death as a result of a duel with a fellow officer.
- History of the British Army Wikipedia
- Recruitment in the British Army Wikipedia
- British Army Regiments 1881 (The Childers Reforms) Wikipedia
- The Cadet and Staff Registers of the Sandhurst Collection. The registers show the details for almost every officer cadet that attended the Royal Military Academy Woolwich and Royal Military College Sandhurst, England
- Stephen Lewis' Soldiers Memorials lists NCO and other ranks graves in India by surname, amongst other memorials. Officers Died is the equivalent commissioned ranks site.
- Regiments.org (Archived Site), see archived versions of a Numeric list of British Army Regiments and 1881 Regiments.
- Army Regiments from British Armed Forces & National Service. Includes details of deployments
- Famous Units National Army Museum. "The list is continually being updated and eventually we hope to cover every unit that has contributed to the British Army's history".
- Army Museums Ogilby Trust provides information about regimental museums. There is also a “book search” which lists books about the various regiments. Also includes
- The Asplin Military History Resources, about British Army history in the Victorian era, includes pages relevant to the British Army in India.
- 46th Foot.com includes a detailed account of the 1834 attestation of a private, Frederick Crosland.
- Army Service Numbers
- "What’s In A Number? The Personal Numbering System of the Australian Army" by 2151240 Graham Wilson. Scroll to the section titled "Background – The British Experience".
- Army Service Numbers 1881-1918: Index armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com
- Renumbering of the army in 1920 1914-1918.net. Introduced by Army Order 338 of August 1920. A seven-digit number was issued in 1920 to all men then serving in regular or Territorial units. Once issued, the man retained the same number irrespective of his transfers and postings within the army. Generally the new numbers did not have prefixes but the Royal Army Service Corps was an exception. RASC numbers were prefixed S (Supplies), T (Transport), M (Mechanical Transport) or R (Remounts).
- International Ceylon Database: Military from Kyle Joustra’s website. Includes lists of names by regiment.
- Soldiers of the Queen: The Jewel in the Crown. Photographs of soldiers in India, Ceylon,The North-West Frontier Afghanistan. Includes Two Privates with a servant and pets, Sergeant E. J. Evans in the tropical version of his regimental "Mess Dress" uniform, with wife, Artillery Sergeant and family c 1900
- British Army Spine Pads [Part of the uniform] by Stuart Bates , April 27, 2012 militarysunhelmets.com
- The Army Children Archive (TACA) contains information about children and wives, with themes such as Accommodation and On the Move. History Matters (scroll down) gives details of the enlistment of an orphan boy age five,the son of a soldier, as a drummer in 1786. There are references to India in a number of the themes. Accommodation Album: India
- On the Strength: Wives and Children of the British Army, a Canadian website. Some of the information, particularly in respect of physical work performed, may not be applicable to India.
- "A Soldier's Family in the British Army during the War of 1812" by Robert Henderson warof1812.ca
- Tommy Atkins. A series of five articles including "The Domestic Life of Tommy Atkins", "Tommy Atkins Married", about aspects of life in the Army in the late Victorian period. These articles in turn include quotes from a series of articles which appeared in Navy and Army Illustrated commencing in June 1898 which gave insight into the life of an ordinary soldier.
- History of the British Army Vol II by J W Fortescue First British troops to land in India p 171
- The National Archives podcasts have a military history category including
- Sahib, the British soldier in India, 1750 – 1914 by Professor Richard Holmes
- Recruiting regions of Irish infantry regiments in the British Army from 1881 until 1922. A list of regiments, depots, counties together with a map. Select page 5 of this docs.google version or pdf
- "Information Document on the Irish Regiments of the British Army up to 31st July 1922". Irish Military Archives Dublin docs.google version, original pdf
- "Irish Soldiers in the British Army 1792-1922: Suborned or Subordinate?" by Peter Karsten Journal of Social History Volume 17 No. 1 (Autumn 1983) pages 31-64 docs.google version original pdf
- James Henry Miller, born 1910. He was in India October 1932-1935 with the 2nd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. His memories of daily life in a regiment performing garrison duties. His Story, His Words Part Four (scroll down), Part Five, Part Six Includes photographs. Family website. (archived links)
- "Health Hazards …Stationed in India" by former Sergeant Donald C. Thyer, Royal Engineers Survey 1945-1947 britains-smallwars.com, now archived.
- From Semaphore to Satellite: The memoirs of Major General David Horsfield, Royal Signals He served in Burma in 1942 during World War 2 and was then in India 1942-1946.
- "British Army Horse Transport" (html version) by Clive Elliott 2008 hmvf.co.uk original pdf
- Military reasons for the expansion of the railways are explained in "“Fire-Carriages” of the Raj: The Indian Railway and its Rapid Development in British India" by Amit K. Sharma 2010
- "The Problem of Purchase Abolition in the British Army 1856-1862" by Carl G. Slater The South African Military History Society: Military History Journal Vol 4 No 6 December 1979
- The system of purchase and sale of commissions in the British Army and the campaign for its abolition 1660 - 1871 by Anthony Peter Charles Bruce. PhD Thesis Manchester University, 1949. This link leads to a large pdf which may be opened or downloaded. The thesis may also may be accessed from this British Library Ethos link. Most of the British Library Ethos downloads are free
- Schola Forum’s Online Fencing and Martial Treatises includes some links on shooting manuals etc, particularly 19thC Treatises, which includes this post which links to The Soldier's Pocket Guide to Shooting by W G Underhill 1878 Archive.org
Historical books online
- Also see Military periodicals online
- Lists of the officers of His Majesty's, and the Hon. Company's troops, serving under the presidency of Bombay. Adjutant General's Office. January 1st. 1798 Google Books
- Google Books has editions of A List of the Officers of the Army and of the Corps of Royal Marines 1778-1855 (incomplete series) and New Annual Army List and New Army List 1840-1869 (incomplete series). Some additional volumes may be found if they are searched for individually. Also see Military periodicals online for editions mainly from 1863.
- Annual Army Lists from 1754 to 1879 are available to download (free of cost) as pdf files from the The National Archives Documents Online: Digital Microfilm,under WO 65 records.
- The Royal Military Calendar, Or Army Service and Commission Book: Containing the Services and Progress of Promotion of the Generals, Lieutenant-generals, Major-generals, Colonels, Lieutenant-colonels, and Majors of the Army, According to Seniority: with Details of the Principal Military Events of the Last Century Third Edition by John Philippart 1820 Google Books Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5
- A History of the British Army by Sir John William Fortescue. Archive.org. This link describes the contents of the volumes.
- Volume 2, 1713 to 1763 (1899), Volume 3, 1763-1793 (1911), Volume 4, 1789-1801 (1906), Volume 4, Part II 1789-1801 (1906), Volume 5, 1803-1807 (1910) with Maps, Volume 6, 1807-1809 (1910), with Maps, Volume 7, 1809-1810 (1912), Volume 8, 1811-1812 (1917), Volume 9, 1813-1814 (1920), Volume 10, 1814-1815 (1920), Volume 11, 1815-1838 ( 1923) With Maps. Volume 12, 1839-1852 ( 1927) (Maps were in a separate volume) Maps and Plans for Volume 13) (Two maps of India appear to be missing)
- Relating to India: Volume 2, page 167, Volume 3 page 49, Volume 4 page 402, Volume 4, Part II, page 711, Volume 5, 1803 to 1807, includes detailed treatment of the situation and operations in the East Indies and Ceylon, Volume 6 page 40, Volume 7 page 563, Volume 11, 1815-1838, includes the War with Nepal, the Pindari War, the War in Ceylon and the War with Burma. Volume 12, 1839-52. This volume is mainly concerned with India, and covers operations in Afghanistan and on the Khyber Pass, together with internal security operations in India itself.
- Volume 13, 1852-1870, includes the Indian Mutiny, is available to read online on the Digital Library of India website.
- British Battles on Land and Sea by James Grant. First published c 1873 Volume I: to 1743 Volume II: 1745-1826. Recent British Battles on Land and Sea [1875-1884] by James Grant 1884. Later called Volume IV. Archive.org
- History of the Scottish regiments in the British Army by Arch. K. Murray 1862 Archive.org
- The History of Scotland, its Highlands, Regiments and Clans, Volume VIII by James Browne 1909 Archive.org. This volume includes the regiments.
- "East Indies" page 1 The Regimental Companion: Containing the Pay, Allowances and Relative Duties of Every Officer in the British Service, Volume 3 by Charles James 7th edition, considerably enlarged 1811 Google Books
- Calculation Tables of Pay and Indian Allowances ... of European Commissioned Officers of all arms, of Her Majesty’s and the Hon’ble Company’s Service in the Presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay etc by R Alexander Kerr, Head Assistant Presidency and Queen’s Troops’ Pay Office. Calcutta 1847 Google Books
- Strength, Composition and Organization of the Army of Great Britain by Capt Martin Petrie (1864) Google Books
- The Army Book for the British Empire: A Record of the Development and Present Composition of the Military Forces and their Duties in Peace and War by William Howley Goodenough and James Cecil Dalton. HMSO 1893 Archive.org. Includes "The Army in India" page 442
- Camp and Barrack-room, Or, The British Army as It Is by John Mercier McMullen, a late Staff Sergeant of the 13th Light Infantry (1846) Google Books
- The British Army in India: its preservation by an appropriate clothing, housing etc by Julius Jeffreys, formerly Staff-Surgeon of Cawnpore 1858 Google Books
- Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire Into the Sanitary State of the Army in India: With Précis of Evidence Presented to both Houses of Parliament 1863 Google Books. Contains information on many topics including
- For additional volumes, see Public health - Historical books online
- "Adulterated Liquor sold to Sailors and Soldiers in the Bazars of Calcutta" and "The dangers to which Sailors and Soldiers are exposed in the Bazars of Calcutta" from On the preservation of the health of seamen, especially of those frequenting Calcutta and the other Indian ports by Norman Chevers MD, Surgeon, Bengal Army 1864 Google Books
- "Cantonment Life [c 1876]" , page 151 from A King's Hussar: Being the Military Memoirs for Twenty-five Years of a Troop-sergeant-major of the 14th (King’s) Hussars by Edwin Mole 1897 Archive.org .
- "Sunday in the British Army in India" by Rev. Arthur Male, (written sometime after the defence of the Residency of Kabul, on the 3rd September 1879) from The world's story; a history of the world in story, song and art, Volume II India, Persia, Mesopotamia and Palestine] ed. by Eva March Tappan (1914) Archive.org
- "A Penny A Day" page 9; "Soldiers’ Wives" Page 30 from Soldiering and Scribbling: A Series of Sketches by Archibald Forbes 1872 Archive.org.
- Social Life in the British Army by "A British Officer" Illustrated by R. Caton Woodville. 1899 Archive.org
- The Queen's Daughters in India by Elizabeth W. Andrew and Katharine C. Bushnell 1899 Archive.org. Investigation and Report by two American missionaries into the government sanctioned brothels in British Army cantonments
- Army Equipment by various Topographical Staff, War Office Google Books
- Part I: Equipment of Cavalry by Lieutenant HM Hozier 2nd Life Guards 1864
- Part II: Equipment of Artillery by Major Miller RA c 1864
- Part III-Section 1 Engineers : Equipment of a Company of Engineers by Lieut-Colonel A. C. Cooke RE 1866
- Part IV: Equipment of Military Train by Lieutenant HM Hozier 2nd Life Guards c 1865
- Part V: Equipment of Infantry by Captain Martin Petrie 1864
- Part VI: Equipment of Commissariat Staff Corps by Lieutenant HM Hozier 2nd Life Guards c 1864
- Part VII :Hospital Equipment for a Battalion of Infantry, Regiment of Cavalry, Battery of Artillery, and a Company of Engineers by Captain Martin Petrie, c 1866
- Regulations for the Dress of General, Staff and Regimental Officers of the Army 1864 Google Books
- The British Soldier: An Anecdotal History of the British Army from Its Earliest Formation to the Present Time by J.H Stocqueler 1857 Google Books
- Appendix: "The Soldier’s condition from “Enlistment” to “Pension”" pages 283-315 with the Contents of the Appendix
- Royal warrant and regulations regarding army services: and Explanatory directions for the information and guidance of paymasters and others 1st July 1848 Google Books
- "Pensions for Discharged Soldiers", page 211
- The Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army 1 July 1844 3rd edition Google Books; 1 December 1859 Archive.org; 1 January 1868 including "Discharge of Soldiers", page 287 Google Books; Part I 1889 Hathi Trust; 1 July 1899 Archive.org
- Revised Army Regulations Volume 1: Royal Warrant for the Pay and Promotion, Non-effective Pay, and Allowances of Her Majesty's British Forces serving elsewhere than in India dated 27 December 1870 HMSO Google Books
- Part 13 The Cutter’s Practical Guide to Cutting & Making all kinds of British Military Uniforms. Pages from an undated publication, but known to be close to 1902. Pages 2-4 are about rank badges, including those for NCOs, with illustrations. historyoffashiondesign.com
- Trumpet and bugle sounds for the army: with instructions for the training of trumpeters and buglers HMSO 1914 Archive.org
- A catalogue of books relating to the military history of India drawn up by Maurice J.D. Cockle 1901 Archive.org
- In Search of the "Forlorn Hope" : a comprehensive guide to locating British regiments and their records (1640-WWI) by John M. Kitzmiller, II, Volumes 1 and 2, may be read online at a FamilySearch Centre on a Family History Library computer
- List of Military Prisons in India 1900-1904 page 273 Enteric fever in India …etc by Ernest Roberts, Major Indian Medical Service 1906 Archive.org
- "List of Stations at which Military Family Hospitals are Authorized" An Appendix from Regulations for the Medical Services of the Army of India 1930 National Library of Scotland 'Medical History of British India' digital books.
- Smithy Abroad: Barrack-Room Sketches by Edgar Wallace 1909 Project Gutenberg Australia. Some of the tales are set in India. Between 1904 and 1918 Edgar Wallace, who subsequently became known as the ‘King of Thrillers’ wrote a large number of mostly humorous sketches about life in the British Army.
- Page 4 The Regimental Companion: Containing the Pay, Allowances and Relative Duties of Every Officer in the British Service, Volume 3 by Charles James 7th edition, considerably enlarged 1811 Google Books
- From England to the Antipodes & India - 1846 to 1902, with startling revelations, or 56 years of my life in the Indian Mutiny, Police & Jails, page 36 by Isaac Tyrell (1904) Archive.org
- From England to the Antipodes & India - 1846 to 1902, with startling revelations or 56 years of my life in the Indian Mutiny, Police & Jails, page 38 by Isaac Tyrell (1904) Archive.org
- Loyalty, Parity, and Social Control-The Competing Visions on the Creation of an ‘Eurasian’ Military Regiment in late British India by Satoshi Mizutani The International Journal of Anglo-Indian Studies Volume 10, No. 1, 2010
- Pages 122-123, Pick up your Parrots and Monkeys: The Life of a Boy Soldier in India by William Pennington 2003
- Rootsweb Australia Message Board 3004 post Chelsea Pensioners - soldiers with an Australian connection It includes details of two men who were born in Australia and served in the Madras Artillery
- Page 182 The Armies of India described by Major G F MacMunn (Painted by Major Lovett) 1911 Archive.org
- rflory Army List - copies at Kew? Great War Forum 27 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014
- Victorian Wars Forum thread Pension? quoting from The Victorian Army at Home by AR Skelley
- There are WO 97 records for a few men who died in the Anglo- Boer War (and papers in the Ancestry "WWI" series for men who died during the Anglo-Boer War) according to this Victorian Wars Forum post dated 1 October 2011 by Meurig. This further Victorian Wars Forum post dated 30 May 2012 by Mark A Reid also mentions a few other deaths. George Francis died in the Tochi Valley in 1897, yet his papers appear in the WO 363 WW1 records on findmypast.
- My Ancestor was in the British Army, page 63 by Michael Watts and Christopher Watts 2009
- My Ancestor was in the British Army, page 64 by Michael Watts and Christopher Watts 2009 and Chelsea Pensioners dated 20 March 2010 from Rootsweb Devon List.
- India List post dated 20 June 2011
- FindMyPast blogs "Behind the scenes": The Chelsea Pensioners records with Paul Nixon, content licensing manager 15 Sep 2010 and Our expert, Stephen Rigden, on spelling variations 29 Oct 2010
- Chelsea Pensioners - Out Pensions by Grahame Thom
- Victorian Wars Forum post dated 17 July 2012 by Meurig
- Probate Calendars to be Online Soon from Geoff Swinfield’s researchlondon.info and News from FFHS.
- National Army Museum Information Sheet 5: Researching Family History at the NAM page 2
- UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929 Ancestry.com
- Evers, Maureen Online WW1 Red Cross records (two free datasets) Rootsweb India Mailing List 19 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015
- Electoral registers at London Metropolitan Archives: Information Leaflet Number 10
- Scroll to Discover more about these records findmypast
- Great War Forum thread Attestation books - where they were sent by the MOD/Nat Archives started by Justin 11 July 2014
- Military Identities: the Regimental System, the British Army, and the British People, c.1870-2000, page 365 by David French 2005 Google Books
- Stewart, Graham. New on Findmypast - Deserters and Absentees, Police Gazette, 1914-1919 Great War Forum 15 August 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015
- JeffH01 Henry James Fairbrother (Harry) Rootsweb British Army Message Board 21 March 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015
- Underwood, David Index to be released of pre 1901 DoB service records still held by MoD Great War Forum 05 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014
- Wayne Grandfather WW2 RASC Burma - Help and suggestions! WW2Talk Forum 18 April 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2014
- Drew5233 Clarification of provision of death certificate (Service records) WW2Talk Forum 07 September 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2014
- "Veterans:UK" fact sheet Army Personnel Records And Family Interest Enquiries UK Government Web Archive.
- Wayne WW2 Soldier Research - Tips and Links for New Researchers, WW2Talk Forum 28 August 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2014
- Fuller, Tony Women on ships – again Rootsweb India Mailing List 11 August 2000. (The author was researching at the Tower Hamlets Library). Retrieved 17 February 2015
- JaneyH “Mystery army photo - 1890s? India?” Who Do You Think You Are? Forum 11 January 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014
- Originally published in The Redan, journal of The Palmerston Forts Society, three articles by Duncan Williams , (originally published in 1999-2001 (issues 46, 50, 53)) and two articles by David Moore (issues 72,74). From the website Victorian Forts and Artillery.
- "A Lost Heritage: The Connaught Rangers and Multivocal Irishness" (docs.google version) by John Morrissey, 2005 , Chapter 3 of Ireland’s Heritages: Critical Perspectives on Memory and Identity edited by M Mc Carthy 2005. Website: Geography Dept, National University of Ireland, Galway. original pdf
- “Fire-Carriages” of the Raj: The Indian Railway and its Rapid Development in British India” by Amit K. Sharma 2010 Essays In History. Annual Journal of the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia
- Naval and Military Press
- Frogsmile Where can I buy a sewing pattern for officer's tunic? Great War Forum 20 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015