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This collection of over 870,000 records is taken from books which were maintained by British Army regiments, intended as permanent records of a man’s enlistment

Earlier entries – up until 1929 at least – offer an extraordinary amount of detail. Information can include a soldier’s regimental number, enlistment type, full name, date and place of attestation, transfer details, pre-military background, next of kin details, campaigns, wounds, medals or rewards of any kind, discharge details, and remarks. The remarks column is of particular note as it often gives details of prior service.

The earliest attestation noted where former service is indicated dates back to 1883. These records could therefore reveal not just First World War soldiers, but men who served in the Boer War (1899-1902), and other late nineteenth century campaigns.