We’ve added over 870,000 Royal Artillery attestations and nearly 30,000 casualty cards to our military records, already the largest collection of pre-World War 1 service records online.
Enrolling for service: The Royal Artillery attestations
The information in the Royal Artillery attestations is taken from enlistment books which were maintained by British Army regiments between 1883 and 1942.
Army Book 358 was intended to provide a lasting record of a man’s enlistment and was, in due course, to be “deposited in the office of the Master of the Rolls” for reference purposes.
The official instruction was that the book “Will be kept up to date and complied with care and accuracy.” Four lines were allotted for each man’s entry.
A crucial resource for World War 1 and 2
The earlier entries in Army Book 358 [up until 1929 at least], can give an extraordinary amount of detail. You can see whether a soldier’s enlistment was for the regular army (R), militia (M), special reserve (SR) or Territorial Force (T).
The final “Remarks” column is significant, as it frequently provides of prior service, such as a regimental number and date of enlistment. These can enable further research to be undertaken in other record series published elsewhere on findmypast.
Whilst the attestations in these large enrolment books date from the 1900s, the earliest attestation noted where former service is indicated, dates back to 1883. Searching these records could therefore help you uncover not just First World War soldiers, but men who served in the Boer War (1899-1902) and other late nineteenth century campaigns.
Furthermore, some of these enrolments contain the names of men who would later be killed during World War 2. World War 2 records aren’t generally available, making these a valuable resource for tracing World War 2 ancestors.
The Royal Artillery Other Ranks casualty cards
These were used to record deaths between 1939 and 1946. There are 29,047 records available on findmypast.
The information included on each form includes the soldier’s army number, rank, full name, age, birthplace, place and date of death, and cause of death.
A second part details the soldier’s decorations, details of their parent corps or regiment, their final rank, and the theatre or country where they sustained their fatal wounds or died.
This information, published online for the first time, is a unique reference source for Royal Artillery fatalities which occurred during the Second World War.
The original enlistment books that from this collection are owned by The Royal Artillery Historical Trust and housed at The Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich.