Muster Rolls and Pay Lists
Muster Rolls and Pay Lists form one of the most comprehensive series of army records available. They can be used to trace the service of soldiers who served in the British Army between around 1730 and 1898. Of particular interest are those in the National Archives, Kew, relating to the years, series and piece numbers as follows:
1708-1878 WO10 Pieces 1-2887 Artillery.
1816-1878 WO11 Pieces 1-432 Engineers.
1731-1878 WO12 Pieces 1-13307 General including Household, Cavalry and Infantry.
1780-1878 WO13 Pieces 1-4675 Militia and Volunteers.
In 1878-1898 a new series emerged as WO16 Pieces 1-3049 and continued on from WO10 to WO13. Thus Artillery, Engineers, Cavalry, Infantry and Militia can be found in this single series.
Monthly Returns to the Adjutant General
Series WO17 comprises returns to the Adjutant General showing the distribution of each regiment at home and abroad, and its effective strength in all ranks, with the names of all commissioned officers present and absent. The Returns give general particulars as to the health of the regiment, the dates of death of officers dying within the month and the numbers of men discharged for any cause. Access to this series on the AJCP microfilm or online portal does not commence until 1837 which is unfortunate for the purpose of researching the earlier detachments of Redcoats in Western Australia.
The Australian Joint Copying Project
The AJCP was probably the longest-running project of its kind in the world. It located, described and filmed thousands of classes and collections of Australian, New Zealand and Pacific records held in hundreds of institutions, organisations and homes in almost every part of Britain and Ireland. It produced and despatched to Australia over 10,000 reels of microfilmed records dating from 1560 to 1984. The complete collection is in the National Library in Canberra but State Libraries across Australia hold complete or part copies of the collection. Western Australia has copies of the collection relevant to that State, including WO12 (Infantry) Muster Rolls and Pay Lists and WO17 Monthly Returns. The relevant films numbers and pieces for the Redcoats in Western Australia are listed here.
Eleven AJCP Handbooks were published to provide an index to the material filmed in the Project. Part 1 is a general introduction and shelf list of copying. Parts 2-7 and 9-11 are series and piece lists for Public Record Office (now the National Archives) records filmed by the Project. Part 8 provides a brief description of each Miscellaneous Series collection.
The National Library of Australia Digitisation Program
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created by the National Library of Australia with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The War Office records are part of this online portal, the progress of which can be viewed on this Finding Aid.