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Chelsea Pensioners
Church Square
The first tranche of scanned and transcribed Chelsea Pensioner data went live on the findmypast.co.uk web site today. This dataset includes British Army service records for soldiers and NCOs, and will eventually cover the years 1760–1913. Since the documents were originally used to assign pensions to former servicemen, this doesn’t cover those who died in service.

I’ve spent the last couple of months developing databases, data workflow, and internal applications to manage the transcribed data and scanned images for this dataset. As always, it is satisfying to see the public launch of a project that I’ve had a hand in, and to see positive media coverage. A lot of family historians will find this a valuable resource, not least as many of the records include physical descriptions, medical histories, behavioural information, and other details that don’t appear on census records.


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Any idea what the state is for WW2 service?

I have no direct information about other datasets. But I'd guess that The National Archive has a long-term plan to get all its useful data online.

However, I would imagine that data with personal information (like disciplinary information, medical records, home addresses) is likely to only be released after the individuals concerned are dead, which in practice means that records are likely to be no more recent than about a hundred years ago.

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