The Royal Hospital Chelsea was the administrative office for the British army and has been responsible for distributing pension payments to British soldiers since the 1680s. While some pensioners surrendered their pension to the hospital and lived within the premises (“in-pensioners”), many more lived outside the confines and received their pensions elsewhere (“out-pensioners”). By 1815, there were already 36,757 out-pensioners and they remained under military discipline to some extent; they formed a reserve pool to be called on in case of wartime emergency or domestic crisis.
Documents after 1883 usually contain fuller particulars, such as next of kin and details of marriage and children. The attestation and discharge documents constitute the most detailed record of a soldier's service. These records usually give particulars of age, birthplace, service (including any decorations), information about physical description, previous occupation on enlistment and the reason given for discharge to pension. After 1883, most soldiers will appear in these records if they survived their service.Continue reading ›
Fold3, UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Service Records ( : accessed February 6, 2023), database and images,
- Publication Title
- UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Service Records
- Total Records
- 1,037,649Complete: 100%
- Content Source
- The National Archives of the UK
- Published on Fold3
- 19 Oct 2016
- Last Updated
- 07 Aug 2018
- This collection comprises service documents of soldiers (but not officers) who either became in- or out-pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.