Home of the Infantry Regiments of Berkshire and Wiltshire

Militia Search


The television series "Who Do You Think You Are" has made more people aware of the gems of family history information contained with soldiers records. 

Whilst the Museum may not be able to give a detailed account of what happened to that individual we may be able to fill in some gaps. Our records are not restricted to the 20th Century, we do have records going back to the mid 19th century. Take a look and see if your ancestor is one we may have information on.

Discharge Records

Data is held on those soldiers who completed their term of service, and is in the form of discharge documents.   Currently records, which though significant in number are not complete for the Regiments that the Museum looks after, go from 1855 to 1913.   

The Militia

On 1st July 1881 the numbered infantry regiments of foot of the British army were paired off to form county regiments, with a regimental depot formed within the county as a permanent base for the new regiment. No longer would the depot roam around the British Isles, which included the whole of Ireland, until partition.

The previous county militia of Berkshire and Wiltshire formed a 3rd (Militia) Battalion in each regiment. These 3rd Battalions were a good source of recruiting material for the Army and the Navy. The 3rd Battalion was based at the regimental depot. Its soldiers were required to carry out annual training. Some were embodied, or called up for full time employment, as happened for many at the time of the Boer War (1899-1902). When the requirement for full time employment passed, the soldier was disembodied. In 1908, under the Haldene reforms, the 3rd (Militia) Battalions became part of the Special Reserve.

The Collection 

If the Militia Search has not produced any results try seeing if THE COLLECTION will produce any images or archival information.