Army records

This guide was last updated in 2014

Many men went to India with the British Army, signing up at home and travelling there with a regiment. Billy Connolly’s 2 x great grandfather joined the Royal Horse Artillery in Dublin during the 1850s and ended up in Madras, where he later married.

The National Archives in Kew holds a vast amount of material for men in the British Army who fought all over the world. Ordinary soldiers’ pension records are on Findmypast here. The same website also has further records for men who joined the British East India Company army and navy and the British Indian Army and Royal Indian Navy.

If your ancestor served as an officer with the British Army you can find a service history using the search engine at this link.

Once you have established which regiment your ancestor joined, muster records at The National Archives will provide further details about his movements. The National Archives has guidance to finding these original records here.

Medal rolls are also useful for discovering which campaigns your military ancestor saw, particularly if they helped to suppress the Indian Rebellion. These can be searched on

A roll of honour listing details of over 3,600 Britons who died during the Rebellion is online for free at

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