1914 PoWs


The story of HRH The Princess Mary's desire to send all serving soldiers and sailors a gift for Christmas 1914 is probably well known but is still worth repeating here. The appeal, launched on 4th November 1914 read:

"Princess Mary is appealing for help to send a Christmas present, from the Nation to every sailor afloat and every Soldier at the front. Remittances should be sent to HRH The Princess Mary, Buckingham Palace..."

Thus was born the appeal for that staple of British militaria fairs, the Princess Mary tin; an appeal which subsequently raised over £194,000 and saw over 2.6m tins (and gifts) issued to soldiers and sailors.

There were some men though who did not receive Princess Mary's gift that Christmas 1914 and these were men who had been captured and were prisoners of war. After the cessation of hostilities, the Princess Mary, through Sir Ernest Goodhart, wrote to all regiments requesting they submit the names of those men who had been captured on or before 25th December 1914 so that these men could also be sent - somewhat belatedly - the Princess's gift.


Correspondence from Sir Ernest Goodhart's office and the lists of men that were sent to him, survive today in an Imperial War Museum collection and have been transcribed by me. The information supplied by regiments varies in detail and in some cases repeats information supplied to them by prisoners of war care committees or similar. I am only publishing basic details here - regimental number, rank (where given) and name - but in many case my data also includes additional information such as date of capture, home address, next of kin address, other information and notes.

Do note that these regimental lists should not be regarded as complete rolls (for instance, repatriated Prisoners of War do not, for the most part appear here) and note also that not all regiments are represented here either because the records have been lost or because the originals are too badly faded to be legible.

The records - some 21,380 in total (including some men for whom there is more than one entry) are, for the most part, of Other Ranks captured on or before Christmas Day 1914.

BUY THESE LISTS
You can purchase the full transcriptions of these PoW lists. Typical information to be found includes:

  • archive reference
  • regimental number
  • rank
  • forename
  • last name
  • regiment
  • date captured
  • home address and/or next of kin name, relationship and address
  • other information
  • transcriber's notes

Remember, these lists have never been published in such depth before and are extremely valuable research resources of benefit to family historians, military historians and medal collectors alike. Lists cost between £10 and £20 each. CONTACT ME to purchase these records. Terms and conditions of usage apply.



The following regiments are represented and I will publish all names on this blog in due course.

Royal Artillery

Royal Garrison Artillery
Royal Field Artillery

Household Cavalry

1st Life Guards
2nd Life Guards
Royal Horse Guards (The Blues)

Cavalry of the Line

1st (King's) Dragoon Guards (6 named individuals)
2nd Dragoon Guards
3rd Dragoon Guards
4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards (78 named individuals)
5th Dragoon Guards (20 named individuals)
6th Dragoon Guards (45 named individuals)
7th Dragoon Guards


1st (Royal) Dragoons (5 named indivduals)
2nd Dragoons (30 named individuals)

6th Dragoons (10 named individuals)

3rd (King's Own) Hussars (10 named indivduals)
4th (Queen's Own) Hussars (25 named individuals)
7th Hussars
8th Hussars
10th (PWO) Hussars (9 named indivduals)
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars (50 named individuals)
13th Hussars
14th (King's) Hussars
15th Hussars
18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own)
19th Hussars (12 named individuals)
20th Hussars (19 named individuals)

5th Lancers
9th (The Queen's Royal) Lancers (62 named individuals)
12th (Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers (54 named individuals)
16th (The Queen's) Lancers (10 named individuals)
17th Lancers (13 named indivduals)



Foot Guards

Grenadier Guards
Coldstream Guards
Scots Guards
Irish Guards

Infantry (Line and Territorial Force)

Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (150 named individuals)
Bedfordshire Regiment (173 named individuals)
Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (53 named individuals)
Border Regiment (107 named indivduals)
Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
Cameron Highlanders (166 named individuals)
Cheshire Regiment
Connaught Rangers (305 named individuals)
Dorsetshire Regiment (390 named individuals) and HERE
Durham Light Infantry (184 named individuals)
East Lancashire Regiment (137 named individuals)
East Surrey Regiment
Essex Regiment (44 named individuals)
Gloucestershire Regiment
Gordon Highlanders (806 named individuals)
Hampshire Regiment
Highland Light Infantry
King's (Liverpool Regiment)
King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) (221 named individuals)
King's Own Scottish Borderers (190 named individuals)
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
King's Royal Rifle Corps
Lancashire Fusiliers (162 named individuals)
Leicestershire Regiment )89 named individuals)
Leinster Regiment
Lincolnshire Regiment
London Regiment (Territorial Force)
Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (509 named individuals)
Manchester Regiment (108 named individuals)
Middlesex Regiment (397 named individuals)
Norfolk Regiment (215 named individuals)
North Staffordshire Regiment
Northamptonshire Regiment (61 named individuals)
Northumberland Fusiliers (152 named individuals)
Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) (425 named individuals)
Rifle Brigade (304 named individuals)
Royal Berkshire Regiment (29 named indivduals)
Royal Dublin Fusiliers
Royal Fusiliers (247 named individuals)
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Royal Irish Rifles
Royal Munster Fusiliers
Royal Scots
Royal Scots Fusiliers (462 named individuals)
Royal Sussex Regiment (26 named individuals)
Royal West Kent Regiment (158 named individuals)
Scottish Rifles
Seaforth Highlanders
Sherwood Foresters
Somersetshire Light Infantry (186 named individuals)
South Lancashire Regiment (342 named individuals)
South Staffordshire Regiment
South Wales Borderers
Suffolk Regiment (621 named individuals)
Wiltshire Regiment (686 named individuals)



Other Corps

Army Service Corps
Military Mounted Police
Royal Army Medical Corps
Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Royal Engineers

Royal Navy

Does not strictly belong on this blog about Army Service Numbers but I include this extensive list here which covers the Royal Fleet Reserve, Royal Marines, Royal Marine Light Infantry, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and Royal Navy.

The undated photo of Private Sidney F Godley VC of the 4th Royal Fusiliers in his PoW uniform appears on a number of websites and I would be happy to credit the original source. The image of the ubiquitous Princess Mary tins is my own, photographed at the Imperial War Museum.

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