Why can’t I find my British Army Ancestor?

Posted on: 3, September, 2017

Why can’t I find my British Army Ancestor

3586 Staff-Sergeant William Howard was a lance-corporal serving with the Army Ordnance Corps when he was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal (with clasp for Cape Colony) and King’s South Africa Medal (with the usual two year clasps).  However, he does not currently appear on this British Army Ancestors website because a) there is no surviving service record for him in WO 97 (soldiers’ pensions to 1913) and b) I have not yet licensed a database of British Army QSA or KSA recipients. Because William Howard wears these two medals in this photograph he must have corresponding medal roll entries and in due course I would hope to be able to add these to this website.

Get involved – medal roll indexes needed!

Due, in no small part, to the heavy-handedness of Whitehall beaurocrats (who had British Army records weeded or destroyed), and due also to a German bomb-aimer’s unerring accuracy/chance lucky strike in September 1940, millions of British Army records have been lost over the years.  There are over 11 million searchable records on this website  – a combination of service records, pension records, medal card indexes and other indexes – but there are still gaps, many of which will be filled once I have licensed – or created my own – transcriptions of medal rolls in WO 100. To see the record collections that are currently covered on this British Army Ancestors website, have a look at the ABOUT page.

If you own a medal roll transcription and would be prepared to let me publish it on this site, please do get in touch. I would be very happy to provide back links to your own commerical or non-commercial site. These would operate in exactly the same way the links to Findmypast and The National Archives currently work on this site. Please drop me a line in the first instance: paul@britisharmyancestors.co.uk.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to British Army Ancestors. This is a FREE site. It will always be a FREE site. The vision is one of our vast army of British Army Ancestors brought to life. Search for a soldier. Upload a photograph. Search for another soldier. Upload another photograph. In time, it is intended that this site will become THE place to come to when looking for images of British Army Ancestors.

Recent Posts

SEARCH for a soldier. UPLOAD a photograph. REMEMBER the person. So many people asked me how they could find a photograph of their British Army Ancestor that I decided to create this site. Now it's up to you.Help make British Army Ancestors THE PLACE to come to when looking for photos of British Army soldiers. There are millions of searchable names on this site. Help me put faces to them. SEARCH, UPLOAD, REMEMBER.

Previous Posts

Popular Posts


There are over 11 million searchable names on the British Army Ancestors website. Searching is easy and fast. Use the wildcard asterisk * to narrow your results. REGISTER in order to upload photographs and download existing images. That's all there is to it. This website will be regularly updated and new features announced via the blog. Thanks for supporting this initiative to put faces to the names of our British Army Ancestors.



Do you own medal roll transcriptions from WO 100 or similar? I am seeking to plug known gaps in this database of British Army Ancestors by adding medal roll transcriptions and other databases to this site, thus adding to the 11m+ searchable names you will find here. Please drop me a line if you would like to contribute: paul@britisharmyancestors.co.uk.

There are currently 103308 photos of British Army soldiers published on this website