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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Interrogating the 1911 Census

David Waterman

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Could anyone give me a brief guide on how to interrogate the 1911 census to show men serving by battalion? 

I specifically want to obtain the numbers by national birthplace of soldiers serving in particular battalions. 

I have access to Ancestry and Find My Past but my Luddite tendencies are such that I have zero clue what I’m doing.


Thank you.

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There may be other methods but if you go to the Ancestry 1911 Census page Click


Input regiment as shown in attachment (in this case scots guards) this takes you to the 1st Battalion


Not sure how many battalions or regiments available but worth a try.



temp 1911 census.PNG

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Thank you Mike,


I’ll give this a try. Very much appreciated.

Edited by David Waterman
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In the past, it was possible to access a page of the 1911 Census on Ancestry, and to call up the transcription. This could be copy-pasted into Excel. This will allow you to capture the data for a battalion, as you scroll through page by page, and it will take a long time for each battalion.

The challenge with Ancestry is that the transcripts are not great. If anything does not look right in the Ancestry transcription, view the original form, and compare what has been transcribed by the better FMP transcription.

Can you not ask your "data correspondent" in West Sussex if he could pass you his dataset for the specific battalion (of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders)?

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Some of these threads are of use to subsequent people reading them, as they try to research a family member, battalion etc.

One feature that I like with the FMP search engine is that if you add the reference numbers from the census, it will bring back the several hundred people associated with that code. In terms of trying to identify what infantry battalions were in which location, and the same for ships of the Royal Navy, forum pal Black Sapper did an excellent job of recording various units and their associated census codes. These have been saved as PDFs and can be downloaded from the forum. Various posts are in the search results below:

https://www.greatwarforum.org/search/?&q=Census&author=Black Sapper&search_and_or=and

Interestingly, and as an aside, there are a handful of Australians and New Zealanders who appear on the census, given they served in the Royal Navy's Australian Naval Force. It was only after the 1911 census that each country had its own navy. This thread is about "soldiers and units", so no further debate about sailors, if you please.

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