King's Own Royal Regiment Museum


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 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

Enquiries - Frequently Asked Questions

The museum receives many hundreds of enquiries each year.  We do our very best to help, but we do not have information on every soldier of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment who served in the Great War.

bulletI am looking for a First World War history of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
The best history of the King's Own in the First World War is the Third volume of the Regimental History, "The King's Own The Story of a Royal Regiment" by Colonel Julia M Cowper, and published in 1957 by the Regiment.  This volume is long out of print but is available second hand, from certain libraries but also from the King's Own Museum on cd-rom to be viewed on a computer.  Volume Three is available for 12.75 including UK postage.
bulletI am looking for a First World War history of a particular battalion.
Not every battalion of the King's Own had it's own history written and published.  For most purposes the Third Volume of the Regimental History, see above, will cover all you need to know.  There are however separate publications covering the 1st/4th King's Own; the 1st/5th King's Own; and the 11th King's Own.  Other publications are useful for information on the 2nd/5th King's Own (the Diaries of Private William Hodgson); the 9th King's Own (Captain Cumberland's Diary) etc.  More information can be found on the various battalion pages on our website.  The battalion's War Diary may also be of use.
Our reading list may also be of assistance.
bulletI am looking for the most detailed account of a battalion in the First World War.
The Commanding Officers Operational War Diary is the most detailed source of information.  We've digitised all the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment War Diaries and have made these available on cd-rom.
bulletI am looking for information on a soldier who died in the First World War.
Whilst we do hold information on King's Own soldiers who died in the First World War, their place of burial or commemoration etc, this information is also available on line and free of charge from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
bulletI am looking for a service record of a King's Own Soldier from the First World War.
The Museum does not hold any service records.  More than 60% of First World War soldier service records were destroyed by enemy action in the Second World War.  Those which survive are held by The National Archives at Kew ( and can be accessed via their commercial partner,  Records of soldiers who continued to serve beyond 1922 are retained by the Ministry of Defence and can be accessed through the Army Personnel Centre at Glasgow.
bulletI have found a Medal Index Card, it does not tell me as much as I thought.
The Medal Index Cards for the First World War medal rolls are available from a few sources.  They contain only limited information as they provide an index to the medal rolls which usually include a small amount of additional information, usually the battalion with which a soldier served.  We do not usually refer to the Medal Index Cards as the museum holds transcripts of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment medal rolls.
bullet"SWB List" appears on a Medal Index Card, what does this mean?
"SWB List" will mean the soldier received a Silver War Badge as he was discharged prior to the end of the war due to wounds or sickness.  Usually the Silver War Badge roll shows a soldiers date of enlistment as well as discharge.  We have a transcript of the Silver War Badge roll for the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
bulletI have seen in the media recently that some War Diaries are now available, does this include the King's Own?
The King's Own Museum has held copies of First World War Diaries for many years, these were transferred from the King's Own Regimental Headquarters.  The copies held by the museum are typed copies, believed to have been produced in the 1920s from the original war time hand-written copies.  For a number of years the King's Own war diaries have been available in digital format on cd-rom. 
bulletI would like to apply for my relative's First World War medals.
Sadly the issue of First World War medals ceased many years ago.
bulletDoes the museum  make a charge for its enquiry service.
No.  The museum offers a free enquiry service, however donations are vital in order that our work may continue.  You can donate here.
bulletI would like to visit the museum and look at your records.
Whilst we warmly welcome visitors to look at our displays and exhibitions, we simply do not have the capacity, time or space, to accommodate all those who would wish to make an enquiry.  Enquiries can be answered by email quicker and more efficiently than other means.  Should we have material that is relevant to your enquiry we would welcome you.  We have spent a lot of time and resources making things available on our website, or in digital format, such as all of our First World War photographs.
Many of our records are held in computer databases which are not available for public access.
bulletMy relative served in the First World War and I cannot find any trace of them.
This sometimes happens.  A soldier of the King's Own who did not serve overseas will not appear on any of the medal rolls which is our main source of information.  A soldier may well have served for a period only at home, not appear on the medal rolls and then was discharged and for what ever reason did not receive a Silver War Badge, and therefore does not appear on that roll.  Some soldiers served at home throughout the entire war and never received any medals and therefore have not appear in surviving records.
bulletDoes the museum has a photograph of my relative?
The chances are we do not.  We have many hundreds of photographs, the majority of which are not identified.  There are many group photographs an no names to go with the faces.  If a photograph appears on our website in general the caption is all the information we have.  There was no official process of taking a photograph of every soldier in the First World War.
bulletWhat does 1st/4th, 1st/5th or 2nd/5th mean in relation to a First World War battalion?
From 1908 the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment had two Territorial Force Battalions, the 4th, with headquarters at Ulverston and the 5th, with headquarters in Lancaster. On the outbreak of the First World War both of these battalions were mobilised, and both started recruiting for more men. The original 4th and 5th Battalion was then supplemented by a 4th (Reserve) Battalion or a 5th (Reserve) Battalion, as more men were recruited. By the start of 1915 the battalions had been re-designated into the 1st/4th and 1st/5th as being the first line battalions, and the reserve battalions were re-designated into the 2nd/4th and the 2nd/5th as the second line battalions. Later third line battalions were established, a short lived 3rd/4th Battalion and a longer existing 3rd/5th Battalion are existed. Of these battalions the 1st/4th, 1st/5th and 2nd/5th served overseas on active service. The 2nd/4th did not itself serve overseas, but did provide drafts of men in support of the 1st/4th Battalion and/or other units, as the war continued.
bulletWhat medals would a soldier have received for service in the First World War?
Soldiers who served overseas on active service generally received two medals, the British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal.  In some circumstances a soldier who served in a place like India only, only received the British War Medal.  In addition soldiers who served in the very first months of the war would received the 1914 Star, and those who served from the end of November 1914 to the end of 1915 would received the 1914-15 Star.  Some soldiers were awarded medals for gallantry, and these included in the Military Medal, Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Cross, Distinguished Service Order and the highest gallantry award, the Victoria Cross.  In some cases soldiers were awarded foreign awards from allied nations, such as France, Belgium, Serbia, Russia etc.  Soldiers, or their next of kin, automatically received any campaign medals to which they were entitled at the end of the war, although officers had to apply for their medals.  The next of kin of soldiers who died also received memorial plaques and commemorative scrolls to commemorate their service.






Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

2014 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum