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TNA Military Burial Records

This week we have been adding tens of thousands of military burial records held at the The National Archives to Deceased Online 

The death records of ancestors who died whilst serving in the armed forces can be difficult to find. Where service records and musters don't survive, family historians are often unsure of where in the world their military relatives were buried. The families of those who travelled with their military husband or father can also be hard to trace. Families did not always travel with the regiment, but even if they did they are often not named in muster or pay rolls.

Thousands of men who served in the Army, Royal Navy and merchant service before 1914 did not die on active service. Some of these men were buried in family plots and may be found elsewhere in the Deceased Online database. Many more died in or near their barracks or in a military hospital. Thousands of these servicemen's burial records are now available to search on Deceased Online.

The original registers for these burials are held in parts of series WO 156ADM 6, ADM 73, and ADM 305 at The National Archives (TNA). The burial records that have been uploaded to Deceased Online took place at garrisons across Britain and all have been sourced from TNA's series as indicted. This is part of a digitization project that Deceased Online has undertaken with TNA at Kew. More records will be added gradually over a period. These include RG8 London burial records for Greenwich Hospital and Schools (1848-1864), St John's Horseleydown and Victoria Park Cemetery, Hackney; and the RG 4 records for Greenwich Royal Hospital (1844-1966) and Spa Fields in Islington.

The military collection includes wives and children of servicemen. The above image shows a page from the burial register of Sandhurst Royal Military College for 1903-1905. There are burial entries here for 2 month old Reginald Brown Smith, 64 year old Elizabeth Malone, and 20 day old Eileen Hannah Sullivan. All three were resident in the College. A note on Eileen's burial entry records that her burial was officiated by a Roman Catholic priest, providing useful clues to her family's religion.

Series WO 156 (War Office: UK and overseas garrisons: Registers of Baptisms, Confirmations, Deaths/Burials, and Marriage) dates from 1808. The collection features the following burial sites:

Aldershot Military Burial Ground, Hampshire (1856-1911)
Canterbury Garrison, Kent Chatham Cemetery Chapel, Kent (1808-1884)
Netley (Royal Victoria Hospital), Hampshire (1864-1975)
Woolwich (Royal Garrison Church of St George), Greenwich, London  (1893-1937; 1937-1964)
Sandhurst College Chapel/ Royal Military College, Berkshire (1829-1978)

ADM 73 (Admiralty: Royal Greenwich Hospital: Pensioners and School Admission Papers, Out Pension Pay Books and Miscellaneous Registers) includes burial registers for Greenwich Royal Hospital, Greenwich, London (1705-1857; 1860-1966).

Series ADM 6 (Admiralty Service Records, Registers, Returns and Certificates) includes the parochial records of some dockyard and barrack churches, such as Sheerness Dockyard Church in Kent (1756-1826).

Burial registers from the renowned Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Hampshire (1826-1911) come from The National Archives' series ADM 305 (Admiralty: Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar). As is clear from the register page of 1830 below, these entries include the ranks of the Royal Naval (R. N.) personnel. This can help confirm the identity of the individual named.

We hope that the launch of these records online will enable family historians and others to solve some of the military mysteries in their trees. As far as we are aware, this is the only online source for these records. If you find any of your ancestors in these records, please let us know in the comments box below, or on our Twitter or Facebook pages.


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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, John. We are really pleased you have found this data useful.


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