29 August 2008

The London Regiment - City of London battalions

Before I move on to the County of London battalions I just thought I 'd pause for a minute to look at the recruiting patterns in the City battalions. They all follow a similar pattern but I think it's worth noting.

In the early days of the battalions' existence, that's to say 1908, you see large numbers of men who'd served with the Volunteers, re-enlisting in the newly formed battalions. Even so, many Volunteers chose not to re-enlist. I'll publish a more detailed article about Volunteers and the Territorial battalions at a later date.

By 1910 though, recruitment into the City of London battalions had slowed dramatically. Looking across the eight battalions, the Post Office Rifles (8th London Regiment) seems to have been most popular with 765 Riflemen having enlisted since 1st April 1908, whereas the 5th City of London Regiment seems to have struggled more than the others.

From 1910 until August 1914, most of the battalions were recruiting at the rate of only one or two hundred a year - if that. Taking the 3rd (City of London) Bn as an example of low recruitment, number 900 was signed up on 2nd June 1910. Number 942 joined on 11th October that year, and number 959 by January 1911. By 26th September 1911 the battalion recruited its 1043rd rifleman. So that's just 143 enlistments for that battalion in 16 months, less than nine recruits a month.

Now look at the picture for August to December 1914. Looking at my army service numbers database, I'm going to take the first date that I have for an enlistment in August 1914 and then the last date I have in December. Here's the picture:

1st Londons
1231 enlistments between 12th August and 8th December 1914
2nd Londons
1457 enlistments between 10th August and 29th December 1914
3rd Londons
1392 enlistments between 3rd May 1914 (I have no data for August currently) and 26th December 1914
4th Londons
1349 enlistments between 10th August and 14th December 1914
5th Londons
1534 enlistments between 4th August and 10th December 1914
6th Londons
I have no figures for this battalion for the months October 1914 to February 1915 inclusive. However, by September 8th the battalion was numbering at 3091 and by 9th March 1915 it had reached 3289. From 7th August 1914 until 8th September 1914, the battalion appears - unless there was a large block of numbers which was not used, to have recruited 1215 men.
7th Londons
1536 enlistments between 4th August and 7th December 1914
8th Londons
I have no figures for this battalion for the months October 1914 to January 1915 inclusive. By September 28th the battalion was numbering at 2994 and by 15th February 1915 it had reached 3132. From 15th August 1914 until 28th September 1914, the battalion appears - unless there was a large block of numbers which was not used, to have recruited 1015 men.

Adding up the totals above, we arrive at 10729 men or the equivalent of close to eleven battalions of men enlisting with Territorial Force City of London Regiments in the space of five months (with the exceptions to the 3rd, 6th and 8th battalions mentioned above). These patterns would be repeated in virtually every other battalion and army unit throughout Britain in 1914, but the numbers would dip dramatically in 1915, leading to the creation of the Derby Scheme (and another peak in attestations in November and December 1915) and ultimately the introduction of conscription in 1916.

Finally, I should not leave the City of London Regiments without mentioning my great uncle, S/18321 Rifleman John Frederick Nixon, known to his family as Jack. Jack attested with the London Rifle Brigade under the Derby Scheme in 1915 but it was whilst he was attached to the 8th London Regiment (Post Office Rifles), that he was killed in action on 3rd October 1918. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Vis En Artois memorial in France.

28 August 2008

8th (City of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Post Office Rifles)

The Post Office Rifles had its origins in the 24th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps and, like the 5th (City of London) Bn, The London Regiment, had its headquarters in Bunhill Row in the City of London.

Here are some army service numbers and enlistment / joining dates for the 8th London Regiment (Post Office Rifles):

357 joined on 8th April 1908
765 joined on 25 January 1909
1270 joined on 15th July 1910
1295 joined on 14th January 1911
1412 joined on 27th February 1912
1606 joined on 25th March 1913
1767 joined on 20th January 1914
1979 joined on 15th August 1914
2162 joined on 8th September 1914
3132 joined on 15th February 1915
3263 joined on 6th March 1915
3591 joined on 17th April 1915
3758 joined on 2nd May 1915
4007 joined on 13th June 1915
4183 joined on 10th July 1915
4386 joined on 20th August 1915
4440 joined on 6th September 1915
4567 joined on 31st October 1915
4811 joined on 3rd December 1915
4974 joined on 9th January 1916
5193 joined on 1st February 1916
5765 joined on 5th April 1916
6018 joined on 6th May 1916
6213 joined on 6th June 1916
6571 joined on 25th August 1916
6761 joined on 6th September 1916
8184 joined on 2nd November 1916
8657 joined on 5th December 1916
8695 joined on 3rd January 1917

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, the Post Office Rifles re-numbered within the block 370001 to 390000. What follows is a snapshot of army service numbers and joining dates for the six digit number series. Service records and MIC cards for all of the men whose numbers feature in this post, are accessible at the National Archives in Kew. They are also available on line via the Ancestry website. Click HERE for a FREE 14 day trial.

370001 originally joined on 1st April (and was a 24th Middlesex Volunteer before that)
370195 originally joined on 12th December 1912
370229 originally joined on 29th March 1913
370316 originally joined on 9th February 1914
370402 originally joined on 15th August 1914
370756 originally joined on 5th September 1914
370993 originally joined on 21st October 1914
371113 originally joined on 21st February 1915
371196 originally joined on 11th March 1915
371425 originally joined on 18th April 1915
371532 originally joined on 2nd May 1915
371699 originally joined on 10th June 1915
371822 originally joined on 1st July 1915
371999 originally joined on 29th August 1915
372026 originally joined on 6th September 1915
372243 originally joined on 24th November 1915
372261 originally joined on 3rd December 1915
372376 originally joined on 9th January 1916
372545 originally joined on 1st February 1916
372857 originally joined on 5th April 1916
373049 originally joined on 8th May 1916
373774 originally joined on 18th September 1916
374688 joined on 23rd January 1917
374932 joined on 28th February 1917
375085 joined on 7th March 1917
375332 joined on 1st April 1917
375676 joined on 23rd May 1917
375886 joined on 23rd August 1917
375991 joined on 26th September 1917
376072 joined on 12th November 1917
376189 joined on 21st January 1918
376201 joined on 11th March 1918
376344 joined on 25th May 1918
376503 joined on 19th June 1918

This concludes the brief examination of army service numbers and their corresponding dates of issue for the eight City battalions of the London Regiment. An analysis of numbering within the County battalions will follow.

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HISTORY OF THE POST OFFICE RIFLES, 8th Battalion City of London Regiment 1914 to 1918



This is a slender volume, another re-print from the Naval & Military Press (N&MP). I've not seen this book so I can't comment on it. However, the N&MP has this to say:

This is a brief, unvarnished account of two battalions of the London Regiment: 1/8th which went to France with 47th (2nd London) Division in March 1915; and its second line counterpart, 2/8th, which arrived out with 58th (2/2nd London) Division in January 1917. In February 1918, the reduction of the number of battalions in a brigade from 12 to 9 resulted in both battalions amalgamating to form the 8th Battalion - in the 58th Division. There is a list of Honours and Awards, headed by the VC won by Sgt Knight of 2/8th Battalion in the Salient in September 1917. A summary of casualties shows a total of 201 Officers and 5051 Other Ranks of whom 53 and 1027 respectively were dead.


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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

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)
16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster 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)

7th (City of London) Bn, The London Regiment

This battalion had its origins in the 3rd City of London Volunteer Rifle Corps and had its headquarters in Sun Street, Finsbury Square in the City of London.

Here are some army services numbers and enlistment / joining dates for "The Shiny Seventh":

343 joined on 30th June 1908
507 joined on 26th February 1909
968 joined on 18th April 1910
1105 joined on 7th March 1911
1217 joined on 15th March 1912
1331 joined on 8th February 1913
1598 joined on 24th February 1914
1740 joined on 4th August 1914
2143 joined on 2nd September 1914
3108 joined on 14th October 1914
3160 joined on 16th November 1914
3276 joined on 7th December 1914
3314 joined on 6th January 1915
3392 joined on 20th March 1915
3469 joined on 6th April 1915
4079 joined on 3rd May 1915
5153 joined on 5th June 1915
5485 joined on 22nd July 1915
5558 joined on 19th August 1915
[I currently have no army service number / enlistment data for the period September 1915 to May 1916]
6263 joined on 1st June 1916
6638 joined on 6th July 1916
6924 joined on 4th August 1916
7385 joined on 18th October 1916
7674 joined on 2nd November 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, the 7th Londons re-numbered within the block 350001 to 370000.

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HISTORY OF THE “SHINY SEVENTH”



This from The Naval & Military Press:

"This history tells the story from the battalion's early beginnings to the end of WWII including the period between wars when, in 1936, the regiment’s role changed from infantry to searchlight and the title to 32nd (7th City of London) AA Battalion, RE.,TA. Most of the book, some 200 pages, is concerned with the Great War and the record of the two active battalions, 1/7th and 2/7th.

"The 1/7th landed in France in March 1915 with 4th London Brigade, 2nd London Division (in May these became 140th Brigade, 47th Division) and remained with it till January 1918. Its first major action was at Festubert and subsequently it fought at Loos, Vimy, High Wood (the divisional memorial stands today) Butte de Warlencourt , Messines and Cambrai. 2/7th was raised in September 1914 and landed in France in January 1917 with 174th Brigade 58th Division fighting its first major battle at Bullecourt in May and then took part in the Third Ypres offensive. In January 1918, following the reorganisation of the BEF from four to three battalion brigades the two battalions amalgamated becoming 7th London, in 174th Brigade 58th Division in which it served to the end of the war.

"The narrative includes extracts from letters, diaries and articles written by officers and men, casualty details are given as they occur and gallantry awards and other incidents. The inter-war years and WWII are only briefly covered and the Roll of Honour for The Great War (none for WWII) has the one list, officers and men of both battalions, in alphabetical order but without identifying the battalion; Honours and Awards are shown under 1/7th and the combined 2/7th and 7th. Other appendices give the succession of Honorary Colonels and provide details of Regimental Colours and Battle Honours. There is plenty of local interest which would certainly have jogged the memories of the Old Comrades.

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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)
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)
16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster 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)

6th (City of London) Bn, The London Regiment (City of London Rifles)


This battalion had its origins in the 2nd London Volunteer Rifle Corps and had its headquarters in Farringdon Road in the City of London. The image above shows men from the 6th Londons at Watford in 1915

Here are some army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for men of the Cast Iron Sixth.

441 joined on 4th November 1908
1053 joined on 17th May 1909
1104 joined on 1st March 1910
1175 joined on 8th March 1911
1276 joined on 5th February 1912
1361 joined on 7th January 1913
1851 joined on 7th August 1914
2375 joined on 3rd September 1914
3164 joined on 6th October 1914
3195 joined on 4th January 1915
3247 joined on 25th February 1915
3289 joined on 9th March 1915
3330 joined on 21st April 1915
3419 joined on 3rd May 1915
4469 joined on 10th June 1915
4622 joined on 12th July 1915
4856 joined on 11th August 1915
4927 joined on 9th September 1915
4960 joined on 27th October 1915
4975 joined on 6th November 1915
5018 joined on 11th December 1915
5302 joined on 10th February 1916
5389 joined on 26th April 1916
5424 joined on 20th May 1916
5738 joined on 1st June 1916
6331 joined on 15th August 1916
6597 joined on 14th September 1916
6720 joined on 23rd October 1916
6941 joined on 3rd November 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, the 6th Londons re-numbered within the block 320001 to 350000. These six digit numbers start appearing in January 1917.

 
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I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.

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)
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)
16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster 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)

27 August 2008

5th (City of London) Bn, The London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade)

This battalion had its origins in the 1st Volunteer Rifle Corps and, as the title suggests, it was affiliated to The London Rifle Brigade. It was headquarted in Bunhill Row in the City of London.

Unlike all of the other London Regiment battalions (and including the Inns of Court and HAC), this battalion did not start numbering from 1 in April 1908 but appears to have continued with the numbering series which had been in use for the 1st VRC. I am assuming that the old 1st VRC men re-enlisted with the 5th (City of London) Bn and retained their old VRC numbers but this is just an assumption in the absence of further evidence via attestation papers or documentation from the time. In any event, the 5th London Regiment numbering sequence is certainly unique within the London Regiment.

By the time the First World War was declared, the battalion had reached the high 9000s and it wasn't long before it got to 9999 and started re-numbering from 1 again. Number 35 was issued on 6th August 1914.

This also illustrates another point that a low number doesn't always signify an early enlistment date. Medal sellers on eBay will often point out that a medal has a low number which, they imply, must therefore mean that it was one of the first to be issued. Well, yes and no. A low number should normally indicate that it was one of the first to be issued in a particular series, but as we have seen with the 5th London Regiment, their series wasn't begun until August 1914. Anyway, here are some numbers and joining dates / enlistment dates for the 5th London Regiment.

8304 joined on 5th May 1908
8525 joined on 16th February 1909
9166 joined on 16th June 1910
9266 joined on 9th March 1911
9415 joined on 30th May 1912
9668 joined on 4th December 1913
35 joined on 6th August 1914
281 joined on 1st September 1914
1130 joined on 14th October 1914
1192 joined on 2nd November 1914
1326 joined on 10th December 1914
1438 joined on 5th January 1914
1588 joined on 6th February 1915
1701 joined on 3rd March 1915
2087 joined on 27th April 1915
2171 joined on 25th May 1915
2413 joined on 28th Jun 1915
2430 joined on 1st Jul 1915
2916 joined on 29th October 1915
2936 joined on 1st November 1915
3755 joined on 6th December 1915
4310 joined on 16th March 1916
4676 joined on 26th April 1916
4783 joined on 5th May 1916
5446 joined on 26th August 1916
5828 joined on 20th September 1916
5863 joined on 18th October 1916

Five digit service numbers in the 5th Londons

On 1st July 1916, the 5th Londons suffered heavy casualties on the diversionary attack on Gommecourt. In order to bring the battalion up to strength, men were drafted in from the 2/7th Middlesex Regiment and from other London battalions. This from the History of the London Rifle Brigade 1859-1919:

"On 16th July a move was made to rest billets at Bienvillers. The battalion by then had filled up more or less, and included 2/7th Middlesex, 494 other ranks; 6th Londons, 8; 7th Londons, 26; 8th Londons, 86; 20th Londons 1; 2/2nd Londons, 1; all wearing their own regimental badges."

These men - 616 Other ranks in total - were all given five digit numbers within the range 10501 to at least 11077 . I can break this down further:

10501(later re-numbered 303982) - 10525 (later re-numbered 304002)
These numbers, twenty five in all, were allocated to men who had previously served with the 7th London Regiment. The Rifle Brigade history mentions 26 men but I have been unable to identify the 26th. All of these men were first grouped sequentially by their 7th Londons army service numbers and then re-numbered in the 105** range. At least six of these men were killed in action or died of wounds before the year was out.

10526 (later re-numbered 304003) - 10533 (not re-numbered, trans to MGC)
These eight numbers were issued to men who had previously served with the 6th London Regiment. They appear to have been allocated their numbers randomly. At least one of these men from the 6th Londons was killed before the year was out (10530) and 10528 died in August 1917.

10534 (not re-numbered, KiA Sept 1916) - 10620 (later re-numbered 304073)
That's a range of 87 numbers against the Rifle Brigade history's 86. I have a few gaps and it's possible therefore that one of my gaps represents a number that was not used. These men had all previously served with the 8th London Regiment and, as with the transferees from the 7th London Regiment, they were first grouped sequentially by their 8th Londons numbers and then re-numbered - in two groups. The first group extends from 10534 (formerly 757, 8th Londons) to 10588 (formerly 5409, 8th Londons). The second group extends from 10589 (formerly 2932, 8th Londons) to 10620 (formerly 5515 8th Londons). At least 21 of these 86 transferees were killed in action or died of wounds before the year was out.

10621 (later re-numbered 304074) - 11077 (later re-numbered 304425)
These 459 men were transferred from the 2/7th Middlesex Regiment. They were grouped broadly alphabetically by surname and then given numbers within the 106** to 110** range. The Rifle Brigade history notes 494 transfers from the Middlesex. It seems likely that 11078 was also a former 7th Middlesex man (although I don't have confirmation of that) and also 11080 through to 11083. I am still researching these numbers and will add to this portion of this post when I have more information to report. At least 102 of these 459 transferees were killed in action or died of wounds before the year was out.

11079
This number was allocated to the former 20th London Regiment man. He wasn't re-numbered in the 5th Londons six-digit sequence but his medal index card shows a six digit number which belongs to the series issued to the 20th Londons. I am assuming that he transferred to the 5th Londons and then transferred back to the 20th Londons where he was re-numbered.

2/2nd Londons
I'm still looking for this man's five digit 5th London number.

As far as actual dates for these five digit transfers are concerned, I can offer the following information:

10520 and 10524 (formerly 7th Londons) transfered on the 9th July 1916 (and so it seems reasonable to assume that the other 7th London transferees joined on this date as well). 10668. 10669 and 10680 (all former 7th Middlesex men) transfered on the 3rd July 1916 (and so too, probably did the bulk of the other 7th Middlesex men). All of these men's service records survive in the WO 364 (pension) series held at The National Archives.

When the Territorial Force re-numbered in 1917, men in the 5th London Regiment were allocated numbers within the range 300001 to 320000.

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Read Rifleman Hubert Brown's WW1 diary, brought to life 100 years later by Allan Mornement.


SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONDON RIFLE BRIGADE



I picked up an original copy of this book some years ago for a couple of pounds. That was a bargain, and so too is this Naval and Military Press (N&MP) reprint. I can't vouch for the quality of the photographic reproductions but the original has quite a few scattered through its pages. This is what the N&MP has to say about the book:

This book gives a summary of the history of the London Rifle Brigade (LRB) prior to the outbreak of war and then goes on to record the experiences of the first line battalion, 1/5th LRB, from mobilization to February 1916. The battalion arrived in France on 5 November 1914 and was allocated to 11th Brigade (Hunter-Weston or “Hunter-Bunter”), 4th Division and served with it till May 1915 when it was transferred to GHQ troops. In October the battalion moved back to the line to join 8th Brigade, 3rd Division in the Ypres salient and this record ends in February 1916 when the battalion was again transferred, this time to its final home in 169th Brigade of the 56th (London) Division which was then being reformed in France. This short account is written with censorship very much in mind, so it does get into too much detail; it is meant to give some idea of the battalions doings to those who were not out in France at the time, and to be an aid to the memory of those who were there. There is a list of Honours and Awards, headed by the VC to Sgt Belcher in May 1915; there is an alphabetical list, by ranks, of LRB officers with service in France up to 16 August 1916 (excluding those currently serving in the battalion, banned by the censor) showing casualties; and there is a list of attached officers who have served with the battalion, again excluding any currently serving.

I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.

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)
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)
16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster 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)

26 August 2008

4th (City of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)

The 4th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), had its origins in the 4th Volunteer Battalion Royal Fusiliers.

Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the 4th London Regiment:

220 joined on 2nd April 1908
502 joined on 11th February 1909
1086 joined on 7th February 1911
1203 joined on 9th January 1912
1783 joined on 24th April 1913
1933 joined on 10th March 1914
2156 joined on 10th August 1914
2318 joined on 1st September 1914
3035 joined on 15th October 1914
3275 joined on 2nd November 1914
3505 joined on 14th December 1914
3796 joined on 27th January 1915
3919 joined on 16th February 1915
4013 joined on 25th March 1915
4067 joined on 12th April 1915
4110 joined on 5th May 1915
4486 joined on 15th June 1915
4787 joined on 16th August 1915
5003 joined on 1st November 1915
5163 joined on 21st January 1916
5486 joined on 12th February 1916
5546 joined on 20th March 1916
6190 joined on 1st April 1916
6429 joined on 2nd May 1916
6641 joined on 12th August 1916
6771 joined on 13th October 1916
8056 joined on 21st November 1916

When the battalion re-numbered in 1917, it did so using numbers within the block 280001 to 300000. Here are some sample six digt numbers and joining dates for the 4th Londons (original numbers, where known, in brackets):

280050 originally joined on 13th September 1910 (1059)
280075 originally joined on 6th February 1912
280244 originally joined on 3rd June 1913
280364 originally joined on 11th June 1914
280536 originally joined on 2nd September 1914
281089 originally joined on 27th October 1914 (3277)
281103 originally joined on 2nd November 1914 (3275)
281278 originally joined on 7th January 1915
281473 originally joined on 15th February 1915
281623 originally joined on 10th May 1915 (4133)
281727 originally joined 3rd June 1915
282163 originally joined on 1st November 1915 (5003)
283202 originally joined on 12th August 1916 (6641)

This concludes the numbering sequences for the first four Territorial Force London Battalions, all of these four battalions associated with The Royal Fusiliers.

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WAR HISTORY OF THE 4TH BATTALION THE LONDON REGIMENT (ROYAL FUSILIERS) 1914-1919



The Naval & Military Press has reprinted this battalion's war history. This from their blurb on the book (below):

"At the beginning of the war the 4th Londons were part of the 1st London Brigade, 1st London Division. The brigade’s task on mobilization was guarding the railway between Waterloo and Southampton. However, within a month of the declaration of war the brigade was despatched to Malta to replace the regular battalions called back to the UK.

"In January 1915 the battalion left Malta for France where it joined the Ferozepore Brigade of the 3rd Indian (Lahore) Division with which it fought its first major action, at Neuve Chapelle in March. The Indian Corps left France in December 1915 and in February the following year the battalion joined the 168th Brigade in the reformed 1st London Division (now numbered 56th) with which it remained, on the Western Front, for the rest of the war.

"In September 1914 the second line battalion, 2/4th, was formed (the original 4th Battalion now became 1/4th) and in December it went to Malta to relieve the 1/4th which was going to France. After eight months the battalion sailed to Alexandria and from there it went to Gallipoli (October 1915) where it was attached to the Royal Naval Division. The battalion left Gallipoli in January 1916 and went back to Egypt for four months before moving to France (Rouen) where it was disbanded in June 1916.

"The third line battalion, 3/4th, had been formed in January 1915 and when the 2/4th was disbanded, the 3/4th was redesignated the 2/4th and under that title landed in France in January 1917 with 173rd Brigade, 58th Division. The battalion fought with that division till September 1918 when it was broken up and personnel transferred to the 2/2nd Battalion.

"Finally there was a fourth line battalion, 4/4th, which remained in the UK as a drafting unit for the overseas battalions.

"This is a good, solid history which describes very well the doings of the active service battalions with plenty of detaiI. It follows the progress of the war from mobilization to armistice with each chapter covering a specific period and a specific battalion, clearly indicated in the contents list. Thus Chapter IV is the 1/4th in the Second Battle of Ypres, Chapter VII is The 2/4th in Malta, Gallipoli and Egypt. and so on. There is no Roll of Honour though there is a list of Honours and Awards, including foreign decorations, as well as a list of officers and men of other regiments who won their awards serving with the 4th Londons."



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)
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)
16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster 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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3rd (City of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)

This battalion had its origins in the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Royal Fusiliers.

Army Service Numbers and enlistment dates for the 3rd London Regiment as follows:

162 joined on 26th May 1908
639 joined on 18th May 1909
900 joined on 2nd June 1910
959 joined on 12th January 1911
1079 joined on 9th January 1912
1446 joined on 4th February 1913
1947 joined on 3rd May 1914
2114 joined on 4th September 1914
3058 joined on 28th October 1914
3097 joined on 30th November 1914
3148 joined on 18th December 1914
3408 joined on 18th January 1915
3669 joined on 10th February 1915
3883 joined on 9th March 1915
4104 joined on 29th April 1915
4229 joined on 27th May 1915
4350 joined on 2nd June 1915
4781 joined on 7th July 1915
4917 joined on 2nd August 1915
5008 joined on 30th September 1915
5047 joined on 20th October 1915
5107 joined on 10th November 1915
5174 joined on 15th December 1915
5339 joined on 25th January 1916
5628 joined on 25th February 1916
5697 joined on 22nd March 1916
6235 joined on 1st April 1916
6656 joined on 10th May 1916
6725 joined on 16th August 1916
8030 joined 2nd November 1916
8185 joined 10th January 1917

When the battalion re-numbered in 1917, it did so using numbers within the block 250001 to 280000. Here are some sample numbers and joining dates for the six digit series (original numbers, where known, in brackets):

250011 originally joined on 1st April 1908 (and was almost certainly a 3rd VB RF man)
250036 originally joined on 8th June 1909
250044 originally joined on 8th February 1910
250124 originally joined on 14th March 1912 (1208)
250227 originally joined on 11th March 1913 (1508)
250356 originally joined on 6th January 1914 (1831)
250457 originally joined on 22nd August 1914
250646 originally joined on 4th September 1914 (2377)
250967 originally joined on 16th October 1914
250998 originally joined on 30th November 1914 (3097)
251849 originally joined on 14th June 1915 (4577)
251969 originally joined on 9th July 1915 (4785)
252056 originally joined on 15th August 1915 (4935)
252169 originally joined on 10th November 1915 (5107)
252355 originally joined on 25th January 1916 (5339)
253636 originally joined on 8th January 1917 (8177)



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Caveat
It is wrong to assume that numbering sequences in battalions always followed a sequential pattern. They didn't. As the war progressed and casualties grew, large numbers of men were often transferred from one battalion to another and allocated numbers within blocks which did not fit the sequential patterning seen to date. This becomes particularly evident in most battalions from 1916 onwards. For an example of this, see my post on the 23rd London Regiment.

My thanks to Tony Ring in New Zealand for supplying the photograph on this post.

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)
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)
16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster 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)


I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.