TNA military records specialist William Spencer gives a short overview of the Royal Hospital Chelsea: Soldiers' service documents in WO 97, one of The National Archives' most popular record series now digitized on findmypast.co.uk.
This series holds detailed and comprehensive military records of over 1.5 million soldiers who served in the British Army between 1760 and 1913. This talk, recorded on November 9, reveals the enlightening information found in the records, for anyone with ancestors who served in the army during this period.
The average file has four pages. FMP has discovered one of 54 pages which details the bureaucratic and long winded case of Matthias Quinton’s pension claim.
Quinton was born in Limehouse, London and joined the Royal Artillery on 28th October 1889 aged 18 years and seven months. He saw service at home and in Gibraltar and was discharged after three years because of medical unfitness. During his service, Quinton was tried and imprisoned for 42 days for ‘using insubordinate language to a superior officer’. His record states that ‘when brought before Major W H Smart RA, his commanding officer, and when asked what he had to say in his defence, he replied “Sweet FA” in a highly disrespectful manner’.