Archives

“The traditions of this Regiment mark you and mould you, and stay with you and never let you go. But as each man must know himself, so each generation must know its own times. The issues men faced in days before our own are not precisely or exactly the same issues which we face now. Their day was their day. Our day is our day. What they have handed on to us is an example and tradition. What we do with it is our responsibility.”

The Reverend David “Hutch” Whiteford, Chaplain to the Scots Guards from 1944 to 1953.

Regimental Historical Committee

The Regimental Historical Committee, manages the Regimental Archives. These records, relating to events in war and peace and to officers and men since 1642, are housed in Regimental Headquarters at Wellington Barracks on behalf of past and present members of the Scots Guards. The Committee, whose members have complementary skills relevant to archive management, are assisted by a part time professional archivist, generously funded by The Clothworkers’ Company. They are currently engaged in a major programme of work both to recatalogue the whole collection and also to improve its storage and conservation to best practice standards. They are looking into the potential for digitisation of all material suitable for the purpose.

There is a steady flow of fresh material in all forms, including digital, being given to the Regimental Archives, as well as historical artefacts of Regimental interest, notably medals. The Regimental Trustees are most grateful for such donations, which are always of importance to the History of the Regiment and to those who have at any time been Scots Guardsmen.

Archive Enquiries

Most archive enquiries are about individual officers and soldiers of the Scots Guards and should be addressed to: Regimental Archivist, Headquarters Scots Guards, Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London SW1E 6HQ, Tel: 0207 414 3419 or Email: archives@rhqscotsguards.co.uk

Such enquiries break down into two categories, those before 1929 and those after 1930, and there follow the two style letters sent as a first response. 

A. Request for information/service details before 1929

“We acknowledge receipt of your letter requesting information about a former Scots Guardsman. Before we begin to process your request please will you note what we write below as, depending on what you require, you may be able to find it without our assistance.

Basic details about a soldier of the Scots Guards during WW1 is obtainable free online at The National Archives (“TNA”) on www.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Then go to “Discovery” and key in, for example, “Private XXXXX Scots Guards”. Basic details are held for every officer or soldier who has a medal card, including a soldier’s regimental number. Scots Guards Battalion War Diaries for WW1 are listed under WO 95. Key in “WO 95 Scots Guards”. TNA charge a fee for web downloads but access to all information is free for those who visit The National Archives at Kew and inspect it there. In the case of every member of the Scots Guards who lost his life since 1914 during the two World Wars or on operations at other times similar basic information, including regimental numbers of soldiers, is available on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website www.cwgc.org. You may also wish to look at the Scottish National War Memorial website www.snwm.org. Both are free. There are several other web based sources, particularly if you know exactly which war memorial a soldier is commemorated on. If you can find the information that you are seeking by using these sources please do so.

If you wish further knowledge of military events you can obtain it from the following histories: F Maurice, The History of the Scots Guards From the Creation of the Regiment to the Eve of the Great War, Volumes I and II, and F Loraine Petre and Others, The Scots Guards in the Great War 1914-1918. Both are displayed by The Hathi Trust and are accessible free on their website www.hathitrust.org.

If you still require information from the Scots Guards Archives about soldiers’ records in the period 1799-1929 this will involve research time by us so will you please first send a payment for £30 by cheque or postal order made out to “Scots Guards Charitable Funds” to the address on the header of this letter with confirmation that you would like us to proceed and then we will process your request. Please note that a £30 payment is due for each request made and so, where information about more than one individual is sought, then £30 is payable for each one.

Basic photocopying, if appropriate, and postage will be covered by the research fee. If your enquiry is more complicated and requires more research time we reserve the right to require a further payment, which you will be advised of and similarly asked to settle before any work is carried out.

If you are seeking a soldier’s service record, provided that we hold it (which is usually but not always the case) you will receive full photocopies of the relevant documents.  Processing of a request can take up to 28 working days so we ask you to be patient as we get many similar enquiries.”

B. Request for information/service details from 1930

“The records you are requesting are currently not classed as ‘Public Records’.  However, they are available to the ‘Official Next of Kin’.

In the case of every member of the Scots Guards who lost his life since 1914 during the two World Wars or on operations at other times similar basic information, including regimental numbers of soldiers, is available on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website www.cwgc.org. You may also wish to look at the Scottish National War Memorial website www.snwm.org. Both are free. There are several other web based sources, particularly if you know exactly which war memorial a soldier is commemorated on.

Unless you are the Spouse or Civil Partner of a deceased soldier, in which case the service is free, if you require information from the Scots Guards Archives this will involve research by us. So will you please first send a payment by cheque or postal order for £30 made out to “Scots Guards Charitable Funds” to the address on the header of this letter with confirmation that you would like us to proceed and then we will process your request. Please note that a £30 payment is due for each request made and so, where information about more than one individual is sought, then £30 is payable for each one.

Basic photocopying, if appropriate, and postage will be covered by the research fee. If your enquiry is more complicated and requires more research time we reserve the right to require a further payment, which you will be advised of and similarly asked to settle before any work is carried out.

If you are seeking a soldier’s service record, provided that we hold it (which is usually but not always the case) you will receive full photocopies of the relevant documents.  Processing of a request can take up to 28 working days so we ask you to be patient as we get many similar enquiries.”