Fees for research are levied on a not-for-profit basis and are used to fund the conservation and maintenance of the museum and its archives. The charge for an initial enquiry is £35.00, payable in advance. This is based on one hour of research for relevant information and the preparation of a helpful and if possible informative response. If there is more information potentially available and therefore more time is needed, you will be told in advance. This may result in a quotation for additional work.
Our Archivists are keeping very busy during 2020 and they have mostly been working from home since March. As a result of this we do have a backlog. It could be up to 6 months before you receive a reply, which is a bit longer than we would wish. However, we do answer enquiries in the order we receive them so it is worthwhile sending in your enquiry sooner rather than later, to get a place in the queue.
The museum has several thousand documents relating to the forming Regiments and to individuals who served in them. Some documents contain many thousands of references to individuals. Most documents were not created with the intention of making life easy for researchers. Generally, keeping records was "yet another job to be done", whether in the trenches of the Western Front, the jungle of Burma or the boredom of a garrison posting in 19th Century India.
Few documents are in alphabetic order. Most, understandably, are in chronological order. To search such documents for references to an individual would be both time consuming and, through frequent handling, damaging to the documents themselves over time. We have gradually been publishing documents to minimise the need for access to original material. Examples include:
Regimental Timelines - Available on this web site, the timelines are extracts from the regimental Digests of Service for our Regiments up to 1914. They help enquirers establish where our Regiments were stationed at a particular time.
Battalion War Diaries - We have published transcripts of all available Battalion war diaries for both world wars for the Royal Berkshire Regiment and the Wiltshire Regiment. They are available for purchase through our on-line shop. WW1 diary transcripts are also available for viewing on this web site.
WW1 Medal Rolls - We have published the medal rolls for WW1, five volumes for each Regiment, available for purchase through our on-line shop.
Illustrated accounts of our Regiments, written by Martin McIntyre and published by Tempus Publishing. The accounts span five volumes, all available through our on-line shop.
If the information you seek cannot be provided by one of our publications or from information within this website, you are welcome to send us your enquiry. Our volunteer who deals with enquiries relating to the forming Regiments is usually able to pinpoint the source of information that will answer an enquiry, or will know that the information requested is not in the archives.
Depending on the complexity of the enquiry and the availability of volunteers, it may take some time to construct a response. The volunteer archivist normally works a maximum of two days per week.
1. Only enquire about the forming Regiments, which are:
The Royal Berkshire Regiment (including the 49th and 66th Regiments, the Militia and Volunteers)
The Wiltshire Regiment (including the 62nd and 99th Regiments, the Militia and Volunteers)
The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment.
The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment.
The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry.
2. Tell us what you already know. It will be a waste of time for us and a disappointment for you if we supply information you knew but failed to tell us. Please err on the side of telling us too much rather than too little.
3. Be specific in your enquiry. Think about what might be required to answer it. When filling in the form, please, unless you do not know it, fill in the box saying which regiment the person you are enquiring about was in. If this is omitted it is difficult to find details of the person for whom you are looking.
Preserving the Past
Many items in the archives are unique. In order to reduce the risk of damage to them, the museum will not normally provide copies of original documents or photographs. Requests for copies will be dealt with on an individual basis and the full costs of any work in producing copies would have to be met by the enquirer.
Museum staff will seek, in dealing with the enquiry, to provide complete and accurate information. However, the information can only reflect what is held in the archives, which may be incomplete or non-existent. For instance, the archives do not necessarily contain an individual's records but may have personal information through more general documentation. Please remember that not all research successfully produces information. Also, in many cases a negative result takes longer to establish than readily available information.