Wednesday 18 December 2013

Brand new military collection holds rich details has just published over 88,000 British military records of soldiers who served in the Tank Corps and Royal Tank Corps between 1919-1934. It's the first time this collection has been made available online and it holds more than 2,700 records relating to Irish-born soldiers.

This record set is available at FindMyPast on licence from the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset. Each record includes an image of the original enlistment ledgers held at The Tank Museum Archive & Reference Library. The amount of information listed varies, but the Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records usually include a combination of the following information:

Service history
  • Date of enlistment
  •    Details of previous service, including any First World War service
  •    Service number
  •    Campaigns fought in
  •    Medals awarded
  •    Date of discharge and reason for it
Biographical information
  •    Name
  •    Age
  •    Date and place of birth
  •    Place of residence
  •    Occupation
  •    Name and address of next of kin
  •    Marriage details
  •    Names and dates of birth of any children

Here are a few examples I quickly rustled up:

Thomas Elliott, born 1882 in St Anne's, Dublin. A labourer, he enlisted aged 18 in 1900, Soldier number 389454. He also served in the Dragoons, service number 1760. His next of kin was his aunt, Catherine O'Connor of 26 Charles Street, Dublin. Discharged as a Sergeant in 1921, his home address is recorded as Letchworth, Hertfordshire, England. His conduct/character was described as exemplary.

Jeremiah Joseph O'Sullivan, born 1904 in Clonakilty, Co Cork, enlisted aged 20 in 1924, Soldier 398796. Recorded as a horse trainer. His mother is recorded as living in Timoleague. Discharged May 1940. He also served in the 8th Hussars.

Daniel Moriarty, born 1888 in Killorglin, Co Kerry, enlisted in Manchester aged 22 on 29 December 1910. His next of kin was his sister, Mrs Lane of Catford, London. Previous service in the 3rd Hussars. He served in South Africa and was discharged at a rank of Private in December 1922. An address in Farranfoe, Co Kerry is recorded.

This collection is an outstanding source of family history information. Definitely one to check out pronto!