Findmypast.co.uk Begins Publishing Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records
Released on: June 17, 2010, 4:55 am
Industry: Consumer Services
Findmypast.co.uk publishes online Chelsea Pensioners' British
Army Service Records 1873-1900, providing colourful insights into the
lives of ordinary ranking soldiers born in the UK and worldwide.
Leading family history website findmypast.co.uk has published online for the first
time nearly half a million military service records of men who were
pensioned out of the British Army between 1873 and 1900 and who received a pension
administered through the Royal Hospital at Chelsea. Findmypast.co.uk has been
working in association with The National Archives for nearly two years to scan,
transcribe and publish these records online.
Known as "WO 97" at The National Archives, the first tranche of these records are
now available to search online at findmypast.co.uk
for the first time ever. Once complete, the entire collection will comprise over 6
million full colour images of the service records of soldiers in the British Army in
receipt of a pension administered by The Royal Hospital Chelsea, and who were
discharged between the dates 1760 and 1913. Many of the soldiers listed will have
served in some of Britain's most significant wars, including the Battle of
Waterloo, the Crimean and both Boer Wars.
The details that can be found in these records are invaluable to family and military
historians, providing a rich and colourful story of people's family history, with a level of detail that is hard to find in any
other historical records. The information could include the soldier's date and
place of birth, name and address of next of kin, height, hair and eye colour,
distinguishing features such as tattoos, rank and regiment, occupation before
joining the army, medical history and when and where the soldier served.
Debra Chatfield of findmypast.co.uk, said: "The Chelsea Pensioners British Army
Service Records are a rich resource for family historians. For each soldier you'll find a minimum
of 4 pages of information, including a physical description and details of other
family members such as dates of their baptism and marriage. These fascinating,
detailed records enable you to find out so much about your soldier ancestors, even
including what they looked like, long before the invention of photography."
Notes to editors
The term 'pensioner' refers to an ex-soldier to whom a pension was paid, and not
just to a resident pensioner at Chelsea Hospital.
Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk (formerly 1837online.com) was the
first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England &
Wales available online in April 2003.
As well as providing access to historical records, findmypast.co.uk is also
developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family
history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.
In April 2007, findmypast.co.uk's then parent company Title Research Group received
the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of its
achievement. Findmypast.co.uk was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the
company who were awarded The National Archives' contract to publish online the 1911
census, which it launched in January 2009.
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