War Office: Secretary-at-War, Correspondence, Very Old Series (VOS) and Old Series (OS)

WO 43
War Office: Secretary-at-War, Correspondence, Very Old Series (VOS) and Old Series (OS)

This series comprises the bulk of the surviving in-letters of the Secretary-at-War's Office between about 1809 and 1857, with some earlier and later papers. Both VOS and OS papers were very heavily weeded from 1904 to 1906, and a large quantity of papers destroyed.

In addition to the large proportion of papers relating to particular officers and soldiers (often in connection with half pay, pensions, annuities and allowances) this series reflects the very wide variety of business both at home and abroad which was conducted by the Secretary-at-War and his Office.


The series was originally arranged in 107 bundles. They have been relisted individually and, to avoid confusion with the earlier references, have been numbered 108 to 1059. The old foliation has been retained, with the result that few pieces in the new arrangement appear to contain a complete sequence of folio numbers.

Separated Material:
The accompanying correspondence, where it has survived, remains in this series. Original certificates of the births, baptisms, marriages and deaths of officers and their families from 1755, which accompanied the correspondence in this series, were extracted and are in WO 42
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Former references:
in its original department:   VOS and OS file series
Legal status:
Public Record
Secretary-at-War, 1660-1855
Physical description:
1059 bundle(s)
Unpublished finding aids:
There are a number of finding aids at The National Archives: a key from former piece number (pieces 1-107) to new (pieces 108-1059); a card index of subjects persons and places; a printed Catalogue of War Office Old Series and Very Old Series Papers at t

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