KOYLI Research Service

Please Note:
The KOYLI research service will close to new enquiries on Friday the 28th of February as part of the museum relocation project. Enquiries will reopen in summer 2020. We apologise for any inconvenience caused – the service will be back up and running as soon as possible.

The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum offers a paid research service into soldiers who served with the regiment.

Please note we are not a central repository for service records. Although we have some records that relate to individuals, these have mostly been donated to the museum as personal collections and do not cover every single soldier who served with the regiment.

Our research service is subject to charges.  These cover the time required by staff to consult various record sets looking for relevant information.  As a result, charges must be paid even if we can’t find the information you’re looking for.

Payment is made upon the receipt of research, and different payment methods will be detailed in a cover letter enclosed with the research.

Please note: Due to the volume of enquiries we receive and current gallery work, it may take up to 8 weeks to investigate and respond to new enquiries. Your patience is appreciated – we will respond as soon as possible.

KOYLI Museum internal

Our research charges:

First Ten Minutes: FREE
Basic Search (30 minutes): £15.00
Extensive Search (Per Hour): £30.00

Charges are also made for printing:

A4 black and white record per sheet  £0.15
A4 colour record per sheet  £0.30
A3 black and white record per sheet  £0.30
A3 colour record per sheet  £0.70

Records can also be transmitted digitally via a file transfer service upon request.  If you are making an enquiry about an individual soldier, it’s important that you let us know as much information as possible. This includes

  • Full Name
  • Service number
  • Battalion served in
  • Dates served
  • Whether he was killed in action or died while serving with the regiment.

What we do

Through our museum’s records and online subscriptions (which include FindMyPast and Ancestry) we can pull together information about a soldier’s service.

Records commonly uncovered for Pre-1920 soldier searches include medal index cards, medal rolls, and service records (if they have survived).  These can then be supplemented with extracts from regimental histories and war diaries showing battalion movements and actions, as well as journals and other regimental records.

The amount of records available that are relevant to your research depends entirely on the nature of the individual enquiry, unfortunately there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to historic research!

Although we cannot provide post-1920s service records, if you already have a good idea of their service post-1920, we may be able to provide you with additional information about the regiment’s movements during this time to supplement your knowledge. Please let us know if you’ve already accessed their service record when you make the enquiry.

What can’t we do?

It’s difficult for us to give you a copy of a photograph of an individual soldier. Although we do have a large photograph collection, it doesn’t include a photograph of every soldier to have ever served with the regiment.

Lots of the photographs are unnamed, and most of them of individual soldiers have come in as donations with other material relating to them, so please bear this in mind if you come to us with this kind of enquiry.

Post-1920s Service Records are still held by the Ministry of Defence. Next-of-Kin and those with permissions from them can access service records, and those with general research interests can access limited information. More information on this is available on the Government website.

Medals featured in the KOYLIL Museum

We can’t tell you about specific movements of individual soldiers, unless we hold diaries or other information specific to them that have been donated in the past by them or their family.


We can’t give you replacement or replica medals for your family member. You can apply for medals from the Ministry of Defence Medal Office under certain circumstances.

If you are looking for WWI medals that have been lost or sold there are a few avenues that you can try.

You can search by surname on eBay and search within the category ‘Collectables / Militaria’. Once you’ve done a search, you can ‘follow this search’ to receive an e-mail notification when anything matching your search criteria comes up for sale.

It’s worth doing general Google searches detailing the individual’s name and regiment to see whether they’ve ever come up for auction in the past. You should also contact Militaria dealers to see whether they have bought or sold the medals in the past.

Lastly, there are lots of medal tracking websites online where you can register the medals you’re looking for, sometimes for free, sometimes for a small fee.

If you wish to check whether your family member’s medals are in our collection, you can search the medal list online.

KOYLI soldier of the Great War headstone

Other research avenues

If a soldier was killed in action, you can access the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records for free online.  This is often a good place to start to ensure you have the correct service number, regiment, and date of death for the individual you are researching.

It’s always a good idea to ask around within your family to see if documents, photographs, medals and other related memorabilia have been dispersed around different family members. You may find that lots of your questions can be answered by your own family members.

It’s also worth contacting the local Archives and Local Studies Library for the area(s) that the soldier you are researching lived in. They will have local studies collections including books and articles and historic collections like newspapers, local rolls of honour etc.

You may also be able to access some paid subscription services like Ancestry and FindMyPast for free through your library service. Contact them for more information.

Please note we only answer enquiries relating to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and its antecedent regiments. If you’re looking for another regimental museum, search the Army Museums Trust website.