The Castle and Regimental Museum, Monmouth, is a small volunteer-run museum which tells the story of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia). The museum displays a wide range of artefacts relating to the Regiment, which can trace its origins back to the militia of the sixteenth century. It also holds the records of the Regiment, which cover the
period 1786-1976, and contain much fascinating information on the Regiment and on the men who served in it.
Among the records in the archive are several Regimental rolls and some very detailed enlistment registers, which record not just names and ages of recruits, but where they came from and their height and physical appearance and occupation. Information from these has been put online as a searchable database, so that family historians and others can look for individuals who they think may have been members of the Regiment or its predecessor, the Monmouthshire Militia.
So far, information from an enlistment register for 1786-1816 and a (much less detailed) Regimental Roll for 1914-1916 is online – over 3000 names in all. A further 3500 should be available shortly. It’s worth noting that members of the Regiment didn’t just come from Monmouthshire. Those listed in the early enlistment register came from various parts of south Wales and the West Country; by the First World War, the Regiment was drawing recruits from all parts of England and Wales.
The website can be found at http://www.monmouthcastlemuseum-archives.org.uk. As well as the database of members of the Regiment, it has information on the archive and a selection of some of the fascinating photographs in the museum’s collection.