Military and Royal Sussex Regiment

At the Record Office we have many sources for tracing your military ancestors and hold archives for the Royal Sussex Regiment.

If you wish to trace your family's military background we can provide:

  • army lists
  • local newspapers
  • census returns
  • absent voters lists
  • Home Guard muster rolls 
  • soldiers who died in the First Second World Wars (CDs).

You can also download service records from the Ancestry and findmypast subscription websites, which are available free from the public access computers in the Record Office and West Sussex libraries.

Royal Sussex Regiment

The archives deposited in West Sussex Record Office since 1979 consist of documents, photographs, audio-visual records and printed works. They are derived from both official and private sources covering the history of the Royal Sussex Regiment from its establishment in 1701 as the 35th Regiment of Foot to its amalgamation in The Queen's Regiment in 1966.

Of particular interest are:

  • Lieutenant John Hildebrand's detailed recollections of the Napoleonic Wars
  • the illustrated diary of Captain Lionel Trafford of the ill-fated expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum in 1884-85 
  • 600 photographs taken in South Africa by 2nd Lieutenant Rowland Paget during the Boer War.

The collection is particularly rich for the First World War and includes:

  • official series of nominal rolls
  • casualty lists
  • unit war diaries
  • battalion orders
  • diaries and service papers of officers and other ranks.

Further information



  • John Baines 'The Day Sussex Died: A History of Lowther's Lambs to the Boar's Head Massacre’ (2012)
  • EAC Fazan ‘A Short History of 'The Cinque Ports' 5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion the Royal Sussex Regiment’ (1913)
  • Murray Gillings ‘The Shiny Ninth: 9th Battalion The Royal Sussex Regiment 1940-1946’ (The Pinwe Club, 1986)
  • Major BT Hodgson ‘Record of the Second Volunteer Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment from 1859 to 1903’ (London: J J Keliher & Co Ltd, 1903)
  • Major BT Hodgson ‘Record of the Fourth Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment from 1859 to 1913’ (1914)
  • G D Martineau 'A History of The Royal Sussex Regiment, 1701-1953' (Royal Sussex Regimental Association, 1955)
  • AE Readman ‘The Royal Sussex Regiment. A Catalogue of Records’ (1985)
  • Owen Rutter ‘History of the Seventh (Service) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, 1914-1919’ (Naval and Military Press, 2003)
  • A Greig, K Leslie and A Readman 'D-Day West Sussex' (1994)

Supporting documents

Available to buy at the Record Office

  • Mini-guide to sources number 2: West Sussex at War 1939-1945 (Reference #LAB0005) - £1.26
  • Records of the Royal Sussex Regiment - A catalogue (Reference #LAB0196) - £11.00

Find out more in the Record Office shop.

Last updated:
15 November 2023
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