News / Almost 342,000 new Chelsea Pensioner records 1901-1913 just published

Almost 342,000 new Chelsea Pensioner records 1901-1913 just published

We’ve just added 341,888 records and 1,928,868 images to our Chelsea Pensioners collection for the period 1901-1913.

This completes the WO97 series of our Chelsea Pensioner collection and brings the total amount of these records and images on findmypast.co.uk to 1,033,845 records and 6,131,443 images.

This collection comprises records of men pensioned out of the British Army 1760-1913. The connection with ‘Chelsea Pensioners’ is that the pensions were administered through The Royal Hospital at Chelsea.

For the first time on-line, in colour, you can now see Territorial Force attestations. The Territorial Force was formed in 1908 and so these men would not have appeared in earlier record releases.

Also for the first time, you can view – in colour – attestations for men who joined the Volunteer Service Companies during the Boer War. These men, who had previously served with Volunteer battalions, re-enlisted with these special volunteer service companies and served alongside regular soldiers in the regular regiments.

Here’s a full breakdown of which records we’ve already published on the site and which are still to come:

Date range Approx no.
of records
Approx no.
of images
When available
WO97 1760-1854 185,087 1,005,640 Now
WO97 1855-1872 96,434 437,825 Now
WO97 1873-1882 97,515 540,423 Now
WO97 1883-1900 312,921 2,218,687 Now
WO97 1901-1913 341,888 1,928,868 Now
WO96 1806-1915 500,000 3.5 million Sept 2011

These records are very special. They’re the closest you can get to looking at a photo of you ancestor as they contain detailed descriptions of a soldier’s physical appearance and any distinguishing features, for example, tattoos or scars. There are usually six or seven records for each soldier and you’ll also be able to see your ancestor’s signature.

We’re working in association with The National Archives and in partnership with FamilySearch on this ongoing project.

Remember that these records are free to search, like all the records on findmypast.co.uk. Even if you’re not sure that any of your ancestors could have been Chelsea Pensioners, try searching the records – your ancestor may have only served in the army for a short time before they were pensioned out.

Find your ancestors in our Chelsea Pensioner records today.

Chelsea Pensioner British Army Service Records 1901-1913 on findmypast.co.uk