As the Museum receives no public funding we are reliant upon donations to support our work, and therefore we ask for a donation of £10 for each research enquiry. Donations are payable by cheque, made out to St John Ambulance, or by debit/credit card, by telephoning 020 7324 4005. As a charity, donations are used to cover all associated administration costs.

Should you wish to make an enquiry or arrange a research trip, first please consult the headings on this page, which may provide you with all required information.   Alternatively, please contact the Museum team at, and a member of staff will respond directly.

Questions about...

Medals, Medallions and Insignia

The Order of St John and St John Ambulance both have a history of awarding medals, medallions and insignia. Such awards recognise membership, qualification standards and service to the organisation although detailed records of recipients are only kept for certain awards.

Please check the Museum highlights section on the website, which includes examples of different medals, medallions and insignia and will help you to identify your own, and to answer most queries.

If you would like more information on your St John medal, medallion or insignia, please contact the Museum at

Family history research

The Museum of the Order of St John holds significant, but not exhaustive, records relating to member of St John Ambulance and of the Order of St John.

If you are conducting family history research and are making an enquiry concerning a relative’s membership of the Order of St John, or of St John Ambulance, please note that the Museum does request a donation of £10 to carry out such research, and such research may not always provide further information.

Order membership will be confirmed through the Honour Rolls, which list all Order members at regular points since the Most Venerable Order’s official foundation in 1888. In order for us to carry out an effective search, please provide as much information as possible on the member for whom you are searching including full name, birth and death dates, place of birth and address if possible. Please note that Order citations remain confidential documents and we are unable therefore, to provide copies or direct transcripts.

If your search concerns St John Ambulance membership, the Museum only holds local records for London and Kent. If other county and regional records exist, they will be held locally.


The archives concern the activities of the Order of St John as well as the St John Ambulance Association and Brigade. The collections consist of regulations, correspondence, photographs, publications, and membership and service records dating from the 1870s. We also hold records relating to the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and a small number relating to the British Humane Association (c. 1920-1940). We hold a large collection relating to the St John Ambulance London (Prince of Wales’s) District but our records relating to other districts are limited.

Currently only our First World War Collection has been catalogued and contains mainly records relating to the St John Ambulance Hospital in Étaples; the work of the Joint War Committee; Voluntary Aid Detachments and Auxiliary Hospitals in England, Wales and Ireland. Please note that we do not hold any personnel records for First World War Voluntary Aid Detachment members as these are held in the archives of the British Red Cross Society. However, we do hold personnel records for Voluntary Aid Detachment members from the Second World War.

The archive of the Order of St John welcomes visitors for research appointments. Please be aware that due to space restrictions, we can only accommodate a small number of researchers at a time. Research visits must be arranged in advance, to book an appointment please contact the Museum by emailing

Object/document donation

The Museum of the Order of St John actively collects objects and documents relating to the Venerable Order and St John Ambulance in the UK, and in some instances abroad.  We also have a small collection relating to the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem. The Museum has a Collections Development Policy, which clarifies in more detail what the Museum is and is not able to accept, and acquisitions outside of these guidelines will only be made in exceptional circumstances.

If you would like to offer an object or document to the Museum, and believe it falls within our collecting remit, please email with photographs of the item, a description of its condition, any contextual information available and details of how you acquired the item.  With this information, we will be able to let you know if we are in a position to acquire the item, and if not we will explain why.

Please do not send any item to the Museum without first speaking with a member of the Curatorial Team.


The Museum of the Order of St John has a number of volunteering opportunities including front of house and behind the scenes roles. If you have an interest in history, and would like to become a part of a friendly and growing team, please contact to find out more.

Supporting us

The Museum of the Order of St John is one of the great hidden treasures of London, tracing the continuous history of a charity that dates back over 900 years. The Order of St John, an international charity, has a remit to provide humanitarian aid and medical support worldwide, and the Museum cannot draw upon its funds. The Museum receives no government funding, and we need continued financial help to maintain the historically important buildings and collections.

Donations can be made in person by cash or card or by cheque (made payable to ‘St John Ambulance’) or by texting ‘MOSJ15 £5’ to 70070


The Museum of the Order of St John would like to thank all those who have supported and continue to support its work. In particular, the Museum would like to thank the following for their generosity: