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Our Archive Enquiry Service & Family History

Our research services are primarily run by a small team of experienced volunteers. We research information regarding the county's regiments and the people involved with them. If you are interested in finding out more about a relative who served with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry or Oxfordshire Yeomanry, we may be able to help.

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 wherever possible.

Research Enquiry Fees

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.

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 sufficient material cannot be found, you will normally be advised within two weeks of submitting your enquiry and your payment will be refunded, less an administration fee of £10.00.

Before submitting an enquiry, please be aware:

Service Records of soldiers who served during WW2 (or any time between 1921 to the present day) are still held by the Army Personnel Centre, Kentigern House. However, you can apply for a copy of a relative's Service Record using this link. We recommend obtaining these records first if you are considering submitting a research enquiry with us regarding a soldier serving post-1921, as they often contain information vital in allowing us to conduct further research.

If you do not know the full name, regiment, service number (if they were not a Commissioned Officer) or year of birth, and cannot identify them through our Soldier Search Database, please contact us on frontofhouse@sofo.org.uk or write to the Research Enquiry Service, Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1SN before submitting an enquiry online. 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 personal information on soldiers who predate 1899 and we may not be able to undertake this research. If your enquiry concerns a soldier serving before this date, please get in touch with us via frontofhouse@sofo.org.uk before submitting an enquiry online. Pre-1899 enquiries will require further off-site research and use of external archives, which our team are often able to carry out, but this will require more time and will therefore incur extra costs.

For information on soldiers who served in Buckinghamshire's local military units, please refer to The Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust Website

For information on soldiers who served in The Royal Green Jackets, please refer to The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum Website.

Our Resources

We have a purpose built museum, regimental library and archival store. Here, we house and manage Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust's collections. The collections include everything from large 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 focusing on the county's regiments throughout history, along with a number of other military related publications. In addition to this we are expanding a collection of digital media, including an oral history collection of recorded interviews.

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 surrounding the centenary of the Great War, we are currently estimating that it could take 3-6 months (from the date a new enquiry is submitted) before completed research reports are delivered.

Research Service Reviews

What a time is was for the young men then. Thank you for your wonderful work and knowledge – all done with your great enthusiasm (August 2018)

Greatly Appreciate all the work that has gone in to this (September 2018)

Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum
Park Street
Oxfordshire OX20 1SN

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