SOFO Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SN

Tue to Sat: 10am-5pm     Sun: 2pm-5pm

01993 810 210

Research Service

Our experts are always searching for stories about Oxfordshire's soldiers and regiments.


SOFO Research

Our research service is primarily run by our team of dedicated trained volunteers. We research information regarding the county's regiments and the people involved with them. We are always looking for interesting and personal stories relating to the Oxfordshire regiments and are continually adding to our archive and database.


Unfortunately, we hold little information on soldiers who predate 1899 and we may not be able to undertake this research. If your enquiry is before this date, please do not submit it online, instead get in touch with the Collections Assistant at melissa.kozlenko@sofo.org.uk. Pre-1899 enquiries will entail further off-site research and archives which our volunteers are familiar with but will require more time and effort than post-1899 enquiries and therefore will incur extra costs.


Our resources


We have a purpose built museum, library and archive store. Here, we house and manage SOFO's collections. The collections range from objects such as heavy weaponry to tiny buttons.
We also have an extensive archive of paperwork including diaries, letters and photographs. Personal memoirs, diaries and letters exist from most periods, and we hold a wealth of information on regimental history and uniform.
Our library contains over 1000 books, mostly about the county's regiments throughout history and other military related publications. In addition to this we are acquiring an increasing amount of digital media, including our oral history interviews and DVDs.

What we offer

• We have expert volunteers who are willing to give talks and host lectures around the county. Please get in touch if you would like a member of our team to give a talk.

• We welcome students and professional researchers who wish to be guided through the archive and this is by appointment. Initial enquiries would be dealt with case by case.

• We help members of the public find information about family members who have links to the Oxfordshire regiments (see Research on soldiers FAQs section below). Should we have any appropriate artefacts we would invite you to come and view them by appointment.

Please note that enquirers looking for guidance on queries relating to:

• soldiers from Oxfordshire for whom you do not know the full name, regiment, service number (for 'other ranks') or year of birth, and who cannot be identified through our soldier database (http://www.sofo.org.uk/soldiersearch.php) will need to write to the Research Enquiry Service, Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1SN in the first instance. Please include as much information as possible on the soldier and we will let you know whether we are able to help;

Unfortunately, we hold little information on soldiers who predate 1899 and we may not be able to undertake this research. If your enquiry is before this date, please do not submit it online, instead get in touch with the Collections Assistant at melissa.kozlenko@sofo.org.uk. Pre-1899 enquiries will entail further off-site research and archives which our volunteers are familiar with but will require more time and effort than post-1899 enquiries and therefore will incur extra costs.  


• Soldiers who served in Buckinghamshire's local military units may care to refer to The Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust website (http://www.bmmt.co.uk/ask-the-experts);

• Soldiers who served in The Royal Green Jackets and its antecedent regiments may care to refer to The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum website (http://www.rgjmuseum.co.uk/research.asp);
Unfortunately, we are unable to help with enquiries about soldiers from Oxfordshire who did not serve in regiments affiliated to Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

As a registered charity we have a need to charge a small fee for our research services. This is levied on a not-for-profit basis and is used to fund the conservation and maintenance of the museum and its archives.


Fees

The charge for an initial enquiry is £50.00 per soldier, payable in advance. This is based on the research required for the preparation of a helpful and informative response.
If there is potentially more information available and more time is needed, you will be told in advance. This may result in a quotation for additional work.

When an enquiry is received, the researchers will assess it and decide whether or not sufficient information has been provided in order to proceed. They will also decide whether we have the relevant resources to answer your particular enquiry. If they know that no relevant information can be found, you will normally be advised within two weeks and your payment will be returned, less an administration fee of £5.00. This results in a good success rate for the research that has been given approval to proceed.

What can I expect to receive from the Research Service?

Our archive can provide background information about your soldier. The background to a soldier’s military history will include details of actions in which he was involved plus any mentions of him that we might be able to trace. Photocopies of relevant documents such as maps, obituaries, photographs and diary extracts are included.
Results of research cannot be guaranteed. The charge covers the time spent by the researchers looking through relevant documentation and is therefore non-refundable.

Please be aware that we hold limited information on soldiers who served post-1947, and we may only be able to provide information on events pertaining to their regiment (rather than to the individual soldier) from the relevant Chronicles.

How long does it take?

Enquiries are dealt with chronologically in the order in which they are received. Due to an extremely high volume of enquiries received, we are currently estimating that it could take up to 3 months to receive a reply.