Q. I would like some information on my relative, who served with the KOSB.
A. We do not hold records of individuals who served with the Regiment. Service records prior to 1920 are held at The National Archives. Records after this date are kept at the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow (see our Useful Addresses page, below). We have attestation registers from 1921 to 1939; the earlier entries are quite detailed, however after 1930 only the most basic information is given. In some cases where records are missing or have been destroyed, we can ascertain the battalion in which the soldier served and where he is likely to have seen action.
Q. My ancestor enlisted into the Army at Berwick-upon-Tweed in 1805; do you have any records that might shed some light on his military career?
A. We would not have any such records. The KOSB were not allocated the Berwick Depot until 1881. Up to 1850 Berwick was a garrison town, and many regiments and corps were posted here or passed through en route to Scotland.
Q. I am looking for a photograph of my relative, who served with the Regiment.
A. Although we have an extensive photographic archive, all too often portraits and group photographs are unnamed, and it is very unlikely that we would be able to identify a particular individual.
Q. My relative was killed while serving with the KOSB: can you tell me where he is buried or commemorated?
If he was killed during World War I or World War II, we would have this information. However, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission can usually supply more detailed particulars (http://www.cwgc.org/). For casualties after 1947, and certain casualties between the two World Wars, contact:
Ministry of Defence
PS4(A) Non War Graves,
Tel. 01980 615559
Q. Can you tell me if my relative was entitled to any medals?
Medal rolls prior to 1920 are held at The National Archives. The index to the campaign medal rolls for World War I can be accessed online at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/. Gallantry awards are listed in The London Gazette - in some cases citations are published (http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/).
For enquiries about more recent medals, contact www.army.mod.uk/contacts/divisions/medals.htm.
Researching KOSB Ancestors – Some Tips
· Most records prior to 1920 are held at the National Archives.
· Officers’ Records 1914-1921 are held at the National Archives.
· Further information about Officers can be found in the Army Lists. The National Archives, National Army Museum and National War Museum of Scotland have virtually complete sets of these.
· Most Service Records of Other Ranks 1914-1920 were destroyed in 1940. The surviving records are held at the National Archives.
· Records of Officers and ORs post-1920 are held at the Army Personnel Centre.
· The Commonwealth War Graves Commissions has an on-line Debt of Honour Register.
· A few Nominal Rolls are held in the KOSB Regimental Archives.
· Digests of Services and some War Diaries are held in the KOSB Regimental Archives.
· (World War I only). If you have your ancestor’s regimental number, it may be possible to ascertain in which Battalion(s) or other units he served through the Medal Roll for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. A copy is held in the KOSB Regimental Archives. There is also a Medal Index, copies of which are held in The National Archives and the National War Museum of Scotland, which is an alphabetical list of soldiers from all units who qualified for medals, and is more than 90% complete. TNA have now made this available on-line.
· The National Archives (formerly the Public Office/Historical Manuscripts Commission) Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/). There is an on-line catalogue, but if you wish to examine documents, it is usually necessary either to visit Kew in person, or to engage the services of a professional researcher.
· Army Personnel Centre Historical Disclosures, Mailpoint 400, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX. Postal enquiries only (General Help Desk 0141 224 3303). For a fee (currently £30) the APC will undertake a search of their records (post 1920), and, if found, will provide a typed summary of the Record Sheet. More details can be found on www.veteransagency.mod.uk/servicerecs/army.htm.
· Commonwealth War Graves Commission 2 Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7DX (http://www.cwgc.org/).
· The Army Museums Ogilby Trust’s web site at http://www.armymuseums.org.uk/ provides a list of useful sources, addresses and bibliographies.
· The London Gazette Archive is now accessible on-line at http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/. This provides the official record of awards and honours, promotions etc.
· National Army Museum Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HT (http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk/).
· National War Museum of Scotland Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh EH1 2NG. Tel. 0131 225 7534. The Museum’s Reference Library is available by appointment (tel. 0131 247 4409).
· Ann Swabey. Ann is a military and family history researcher and lives close to the National archives in Kew. Contact: 14 Cambridge Road, Ashford, Middlesex. TW15 1UF. E mail: email@example.com (http://www.militaryandfamilyresearch.co.uk/)
· Bob O’Hara. Bob is a military and family researcher and lives next door to The National Archives. Contact: 15 Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond TW9 4DR. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· ‘Records of the King’s Own Borderers…’ Ed. R.T. Higgins, London 1873. Covers the period 1689-1870.
· ‘The History of the 3rd Battalion KOSB 1798-1908’ R.W.Weir, Dumfries 1918
· ‘The KOSB in the Great War’ S. Gillon, London 1930. Regimental War History, 1914-1918.
· ‘Borderers in Battle’ H. Gunning, Berwick 1948. Regimental War History, 1939-45.
· ‘The Borderers in Korea’ J.F. MacDonald, Berwick nd.
· ‘All the Blue Bonnets’ R. Woollcombe, London 1980. General Regimental history, 1689-1980. Contains a full bibliography to 1980.
· ‘The King’s Own Scottish Borderers: A Concise History. T. Royle, Edinburgh and London, 2008.
· There are also Battalion war histories, 1914-18 and 1939-45.
· ‘The Borderers’ Chronicle’ (1926 -), as well as providing an invaluable digest of Regimental activities, contains lists of new recruits, promotions, appointments, postings etc., and obituaries.
Thank you for your enquiry. Due to an increased demand on our limited resources, we have been obliged to impose a modest search fee (£20) in respect of enquiries of this nature. Please complete the Information Request Form as far as you are able, and return it to us at the address at the top of the form, together with your remittance (cheques or postal orders only).
Please note that we do not hold service records here; records prior to 1920 are kept at The National Archives, and records after this date can be obtained from the Army Personnel Centre (see Useful Addresses ). We hold Registers of Enlistments/Attestations from 1921 to 1939 (though after 1930, these contain only the most basic information), some Description and Roll Books from the late 18th – early 19th centuries, and a few Nominal Rolls. We also hold Battalion Digests of Services and War Diaries from the 18th – 20th centuries. A complete online catalogue of our Archives can be found at http://www.a2a.org.uk/.
Proceed to Enquiry Form
Regimental Museum and Archives
Berwick Barracks, The Parade, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1DG
Curator: Mr W Foster
Tel. No.: (01289) 307426
Information Request Form
Subject of Enquiry
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Place of Residence
Date of Enlistment
Dates of Service
Date of Discharge
Reason for Discharge
A. Termination of Engagement [ ] B. Killed in Action [ ] C. Died of Wounds [ ] D. Other [ ]
What is the nature of your enquiry?
A minimum £20 search fee will normally be charged for enquiries. Cheques should be made payable to ‘KOSB Museum’ and sent to the above address. On receipt of your remittance, we shall deal with your enquiry as expeditiously as possible.