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|Tracing Your Roots > Irish > Irish Records In the UK|
From the late 18th century a very large proportion of the rank and file of the British Army consisted of Irishmen: one estimate for the mid-19th century is 40% of the total. It should be remembered that these men served throughout the Army, and not exclusively in the Irish regiments.
How you go about research depends very much on the period in which your soldier served.
The National Archives record series (PRO) WO97 contains records of discharges from the Army between 1760 and 1913 and can often provide details of place of birth, age and appearance and, after 1882, next of kin. The records up to 1882 only cover soldiers discharged to pension; after that year all discharges are recorded. Before 1873 the records are organised by regiment, but a name index exists for the period 1760 to 1854.
Between 1854 and 1873 you must know the regiment to use the records. From 1873 to 1882 they are organised under the collective headings Artillery, Cavalry, Corps and Infantry, and then within these headings alphabetically. From 1883 they are alphabetical.
NOTE: Only a minority of soldiers were discharged to pension. If your soldier does not appear in the Soldiers' Documents, you may find him in one of the sources below.
Creators: John Grenham
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