Researching the soldiers of the 53rd, 85th and KSLI prior to 1914.
In common with most regimental museums, we hold no official service records relating to individual officers and soldiers.
Such records as now survive are held in The National Archives in Kew.
The following War Office (WO) series are most useful :
Archive WO.97 : contains the surviving attestation, service and discharge records of "other ranks".
Only about 20- 25% now survive and they vary greatly in content and condition.
Apart from basic personal details (though not usually date or birth or home address) some have pages on medical conditions and treatment and punishment sheets. Some give details of marriage, children and next of kin and most give details of changes in rank, overseas' service (with dates) and medal awards.
The papers are more detailed after about 1870-1880, but earlier ones can be very bland. Although indexes run from c. 1754, comparatively few survive from much before 1800.
There is an alphabetical surname index to the series.
Note : this series is available online at findmypast.co.uk for a fee.
Archives WO. 12 and WO 18 : muster and pay lists of the various regiments.
These do not contain much that is biographical, though they generally state place of birth and trade when the man first appears in the musters and give trade and intended place of residence when he leaves.
They will, however, allow a man's career and movements to be followed as the regiment moved from place to place and can refer to such things as periods in hosptial or other reasons for absence from muster e.g. with recruiting parties, on guard duty or on escort duty etc.
They do not survive much beyond the 1870s.
Medal Rolls in WO. 100 : rolls of medal entitlement for the campaigns waged by the British Army around the world from Waterloo to the First World War.
These are available online at ancestry.co.uk for a fee.
Officer service may be traced via the offical Army List or Hart's Army List (runs in major libraries) or (along with honours and awards) in The London Gazette; the last is searchable online www.london-gazette.co.uk
The main surviving archives of the 53rd, 85th and KSLI (e.g. photos, letters etc) are now held in the Shropshire Record Office on Castle Gates, Shrewsbury and a catalogue of our records held there may be accessed via the Access2Archives website.
The Regimental Museum does have a range of standard printed histories of the various regiments and battalions, available to visitors to Shrewsbury Castle or (in some cases) for purchase via our SHOP on this website.