22 October 2008

16th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Queen's Westminster Rifles)

The 16th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Queen's Westminster Rifles), had its origins in the 12th Middlesex (Queen's) Volunteer Rifles Corps. Its headquarters was at 58 Buckingham Gate, Westminster.

Here are some army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the 16th Londons:

401 joined on 24th April 1908
531 joined on 4th February 1909
1280 joined on 21st November 1910
1381 joined on 20th November 1911
1610 joined on 22nd November 1913
1699 joined on 5th August 1914
2673 joined on 1st September 1914
3304 joined on 7th November 1914
3638 joined on 28th December 1914
3724 joined on 18th January 1915
3784 joined on 3rd February 1915
3869 joined on 6th March 1915
3989 joined on 17th April 1915
4103 joined on 13th May 1915
4233 joined on 2nd June 1915
4401 joined on 15th July 1915
4460 joined on 11th August 1915
4512 joined on 25th September 1915
4570 joined on 18th October 1915
4651 joined on 1st November 1915
5066 joined on 4th December 1915
5356 joined on 3rd January 1916
5558 joined on 9th February 1916
5825 joined on 2nd March 1916
6220 joined on 6th April 1916
6444 joined on 3rd May 1916
6952 joined on 11th June 1916
7092 joined on 31st August 1916
7235 joined on 15th September 1916
7319 joined on 6th October 1916
7509 joined on 10th November 1916
7742 joined on 4th December 1916

By January 1917, the 16th London Regiment was numbering with the new six figure Territorial Force numbers. It did so within the range 550001 - 570000.

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WAR HISTORY OF THE FIRST BATTALION QUEEN’S WESTMINSTER RIFLES 1914-1918

This from the Naval & Military Press website regarding their reprint of the above book:

"With the formation of the Territorials in 1908 the Westminsters became the 16th (County of London) Battalion, London Regt (Queen’s Westminster Rifles). It was in the 2nd London Division at the outbreak of war, but left the division and landed in France on 3 Nov 1914; shortly after it was posted to 18th Brigade, 6th Division (regular) till Feb 1916 when it joined 169th Brigade of the 56th (1st London) Division which was then re-forming in France, and with which it remained to the end of the war.

"For the first six months the battalion was in the Armentieres sector before moving up to the Salient at the end of May 1915. The next eight months were spent in the Ypres Salient during which time they occupied practically every portion of the northern half from the Ypres-Roulers railway to about a mile NW of Wieltje, as clearly shown on an excellent, accompanying map. Then it was down to the Somme front where, with the 48th Division, their division took part in the disastrous attack on Gommecourt on 1 July which, according to the battalion history, cost them 600 casualties out of the 750 who went into action. Subsequently they were in action in other Somme battles, in the Arras offensive of 1917, in Third Ypres, at Cambrai, Canal du Nord and the advance to Victory.

"The battalion was awarded 24 battle honours and the roll of honour lists 1,219 dead of all ranks. As a single-battalion history this contains plenty of detail and the supporting maps are excellent in their clarity and the amount of tactical detail. Most useful is the appendix containing an itinerary showing battalion locations and periods spent in the line. There is a list of honours and awards and a list of all the officers who served with the battalion overseas. The author was the battalion 2nd in command who embarked with it in November 1914 as a company commander."



Read my other posts on numbering in the London Regiment battalions:

City of London Battalions

1st (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
2nd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
3rd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
4th (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
5th (City of London) Battalion (Rifle Brigade)
6th (City of London) Battalion (Rifles)
7th (City of London) Battalion
8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office Rifles)

County of London Battalions

9th (County of London) Battalion (Queen Victoria's Rifles)
10th County of London) Battalion (Hackney) [Originally Paddington Rifles]
11th (County of London) Battalion (Finsbury Rifles)
12th (County of London) Battalion (The Rangers)
13th (County of London) Battalion (Kensington)
14th (County of London) Battalion (London Scottish)
15th (County of London) Battalion (Prince of Wales's Own Civil Service Rifles)
17th (County of London) Battalion (Poplar & Stepney Rifles)
18th (County of London) Battalion (London Irish Rifles)
19th (County of London) Battalion (St Pancras)
20th (County of London) Battalion (Blackheath & Woolwich)
21st (County of London) Battalion (First Surrey Rifles)
22nd (County of London) Battalion (The Queen's)
23rd (County of London) Battalion
24th (County of London) Battalion (The Queen's)
25th (County of London) Cyclist Battalion
28th (County of London) Battalion (Artists Rifles)

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