Our Archive Enquiry Service & Family History
For those wanting to find out more about their relatives' wartime service, our Research Enquiry Service aims to provide a summary report on the details of a soldier’s service with the county regiments that we hold archival collections for: The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, and Oxfordshire Yeomanry (Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars), including copies of original documents and photographs relevant to the soldier (where possible).
With a primary focus on pulling together details of Great War servicemen where their original personal service records are not available (many were destroyed or damaged), the team can in some cases also complete enquiries about those that served with the county regiments during other periods - but we recommend contacting us before submitting enquiries like this.
Use the 'Archive Enquiry' tab on this page to submit your enquiry online.
At our purpose built museum in Woodstock we have a 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 small artefacts like badges and buttons.
We also have an extensive archive of paperwork including regimental war diaries, chronicles and journals, as well as 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.
Research Enquiry Fees
Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust is a registered charity (No. 1145408) and while the research service led by our dedicated team of expert volunteers, we charge a fee for this service which is used so support the continued conservation and maintenance of the museum and its archival collections, as well as cover any costs incurred in the process.
Our Standard Research Enquiry fee is £50.00 per soldier.
When an enquiry is received, the Research Team will assess it and evaluate whether or not sufficient information has been provided in order to proceed. They will also evaluate whether we have the relevant resources to answer your particular enquiry.
If the team believe a submitted enquiry cannot be completed to the usual standard, you will normally be advised within two weeks of submitting your enquiry. Your payment will be refunded, less an administration fee of £10.00, if your enquiry cannot be answered. In this case, we will also try to advise you on alternative steps for finding out more about the soldier you are researching.
Before submitting an enquiry, please be aware:
Service Records of soldiers who served post-1921 (including those who served during the Second World War) 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, and not available anywhere else.
If you do not know the soldiers full name, regiment, service number (if they were not a Commissioned Officer) or year of birth, and cannot identify them through our Soldier Search, please contact us 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 whose service predates 1899 and we may not be able to undertake this research through this service. If your enquiry concerns a soldier serving before this date, please get in touch with us before submitting an enquiry online. Pre-1899 enquiries will often 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 incur extra costs.
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post: Research Enquiry Service, SOFO Office, Harrisons Lane, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1SS
For more information on soldiers who served in Buckinghamshire's local military units, please refer to The Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust Website
For more information on soldiers who served in The Royal Green Jackets, please refer to The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum Website.
How long does it take?
Enquiries are researched in the order in which they are received by our small but dedicated team of researchers, and the nature of the work means that completion times can vary as every case is different. At peak times when we have received a large number of enquiries we estimate that enquiries may take up to 3 - 6 months (from the date a new enquiry is submitted) before completed research reports are delivered.
We typically provide finished Research Enquiry reports and supporting documents digitally via email, but if you submit an enquiry and would prefer a printed copy posted to you, please let us know
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)