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If any of your ancestors were professional soldiers who fought and died in the early days of World War I, you may be able to find them in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour.
The roll features details of 25,000 members of the British armed forces (rather than conscripts or volunteers) who gave their lives for their country.
Depending on the entry, you can discover a varying amount of information. Sometimes, details are limited to regiment, place and date of death.
However, where the family has provided the background, the entries are much more detailed, giving a fascinating biographical account. Over 7,000 of the entries are accompanied by a photograph — so there’s a chance you could meet your ancestor face-to-face.
In the early days of WWI, it was believed that the war would be won swiftly and that casualties would be relatively small. In a time of fervent patriotism, the Marquis de Ruvigny began to compile a Roll of Honour as a tribute to the fallen few.
Sadly, as casualties mounted, it became clear that this would not be the case and the Roll features just a tiny fraction of those soldiers who died.
In a way, De Ruvigny’s is a fascinating insight into the overconfidence of a nation and gives a picture of a more naive time. But it can also give you a unique picture of your military ancestors if they are featured.
As well as searching by personal information like name, date of birth or residence, you can also search by rank, regiment or regimental number. The more information you have, the more accurate your search results. Click here to search De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour.
Once you find a match, save it to your family tree — that way you can easily share your discoveries with your family, and quickly find the historical record again later. You can then search other record collections to discover more about your military ancestors.