Research Enquiries

Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life offers a service to help you find out more about a soldier who served in one of our Regiments. It is an important part of what we do and we answer a great deal of research enquiries every year.

Curious about a soldier’s past? Wondering what medals they were awarded? Want to discover their activities and accomplishments during their time in the army?

Our research service is designed to unearth the details and provide insights into their military service. Through our archives and online subscriptions including platforms such as Ancestry and Find My Past, we have access to a wealth of information including documents held by The National Archives at Kew and several other sources.

What information can we tell you?

Typically, we can provide copies of medal index cards, service records (where they survive, and not for soldiers who served after 1920), and Regimental histories covering background information, as well as sections of some War Diaries of Border Regiment Battalions.

One of our research assistants will then write to you and help make sense of the documents that we send.

For more detailed examples of what information we can give you, please use the following links:
Pre-1914
First World War
Second World War * Please contact the Museum before purchasing a Second World War Enquiry

What information can’t we tell you?

While we strive to uncover as much as possible, there are limitations.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide copies of service documents for soldiers who served from 1920 onward (or those who enlisted before 1920 but continued to serve afterwards) as these are currently being transferred from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to the National Archives. This is expected to be completed by the end of 2027.

More information on how to get copies of these documents can be found via the following links:

Ministry of Defence

The National Archives

Obtaining photos of individual soldiers can be challenging, so we are unlikely to be able to provide you with a copy. This is because a large proportion of photographs in our collection are unnamed, despite many being digitised, and so we do not always know who is in them.

We always welcome contributions to expand our photo collection, so please contact us if you have a picture of a Border Regiment Soldier, especially if they are named and/or in uniform.

How much does it cost and how do I pay?

Our research service is charged at £30.00 per soldier. This is to cover the time and effort a researcher devotes to looking into your enquiry and preparing a response for you.

Payment is required prior to the research and due to the time invested into each enquiry, this fee is non-refundable even if no information can be found. We accept payment via cash, cheque, credit/debit card, or PayPal.

If you’re located outside the UK, additional postage charges may apply.

How long does it take to get a response?

We understand the anticipation of uncovering a soldier’s history.

Our goal is to respond to your research enquiry within 60 days of receiving payment. We receive a large quantity of research enquiries every year and our small team of staff and volunteers will get through them as quickly as possible.

In the event of potential delays, we will inform you at the time of enquiry.

How do I make a research enquiry?

The three main pieces of information that we need to start an enquiry are:
1. a soldiers’ name
2. the regiment that they served in
3. their service number

It is extremely difficult to find any information without a service number.

Click here to make an online enquiry

Alternatively you can click here to download a hard copy of our form and post it, along with payment, to:
Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life
Alma Block
The Castle
Carlisle
CA3 8UR

You can also speak to someone by phoning 01228 532774 during our opening hours.

Are there any other places where I can get information?

There are a few places that you can get further information and these are listed below.
For general background reading there are several books that give a good overview of the Regiment’s involvements in various conflicts:

First World War

The Border Regiment in the Great War (general)
‘Glory is No Compensation (1st and 6th Battalions in the Gallipoli campaign)

Second World War

When Dragons Flew (1st [Airborne] Battalion)

Other

Lions & Dragons (King’s Own Royal Border Regiment 1959-2006)
Lions of England (King’s Own Royal Regiment [Lancaster])

If the soldier in question was killed during the First or Second World War, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website has all of the details of where they are buried or commemorated: http://www.cwgc.org/

Contemporary local newspapers often have obituaries in. If you know a soldier was killed or died of wounds, it is worth having a look at these to see if there is any further information.

If the soldier in question enlisted, or was transferred to a Regiment other than the Border Regiment, the corresponding Museums can be found via the Army Museums Ogilby Trust website: http://www.armymuseums.org.uk

Ready to make an enquiry?

If you want to go ahead and make an enquiry, please click the button below and follow the instructions carefully. Your soldier’s story awaits exploration, and we are eager to assist you in this meaningful journey into the past.

Click here to make a Research Enquiry

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