2 September 2008

12th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (The Rangers)

This battalion had its origins in the 22nd Middlesex Volunteer Rifles Corps. Its headquarters was at Chenies Street, Bedford Square, Bloomsbury.

Here is a sample sequence of army service numbers and enlistment / joining dates for the 12th London Regiment between the years 1909 and 1916. There is an inconsistency in sequential numbering in this battalion. When it reached number 7999 in July 1916, the battalion went back to 6000, continued numbering up until 6999 in November 1916 and then reverted to 8000. I'd be interested to hear an explanation from anybody as to why this is, although looking at my database for this battalion, there appears to be a corresponding jump from the 5000s to the 7000s in May/June 1916. It's almost as if somebody 'forgot' or 'missed out' the numbers between 6000 and 6999 when men were enlisting in May/June 1916.

Another inconsistency in this battalion is the numbering in 1908 which is a good deal more chaotic than in most of the other London Regiment battalions for this period. Thus number 7 joined on 1st April (straight from the 22nd Middlesex VRC), 239 joined on 23rd June, 379 on 29th June, 417 on 26th October, 439 on 12th August, 510 on 1st April...

For this reason, I'll start my sample overview of the 12th Londons from 1909, by which time the numbering appears to have settled down.

545 joined on 1st January 1909
1192 joined on 10th January 1910
1295 joined on 9th January 1911
1440 joined on 2nd April 1912
1558 joined on 29th January 1913
1848 joined on 13th January 1914
2007 joined on 5th August 1914
2954 joined on 7th September 1914
3453 joined on 1st March 1915
3646 joined on 6th April 1915
4125 joined on 7th August 1915
4202 joined on 11th September 1915
4274 joined on 16th October 1915
4307 joined on 30th November 1915
4542 joined on 14th December 1915
4696 joined on 12th January 1916
4988 joined on 1st February 1916
5445 joined on 25th March 1916
5718 joined on 6th May 1916
7514 joined on 20th June 1916
7633 joined on 10th July 1916
6094 joined on 7th August 1916
6454 joined on 22nd September 1916
6459 joined on 11th October 1916
6605 joined on 1st November 1916
8031 joined on 23rd November 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, The 12th Londons re-numbered within the block 470001 to 490000.

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RANGERS’ HISTORICAL RECORDS From 1859 to the Conclusion of the Great War



This from the Naval & Military Press:

"This book is laid out in five parts. The first takes the history of the Regiment from 1859 to the outbreak of the Great War and the remaining four consist of one each to the First Battalion, the Scond Battalion, the Amalgamated Battalion and finally the Depot and Reserve battalion during the war. There is a list of honours and awards but no roll of honour nor index.

"The foundation of the Rangers as a unit of the Volunteer Force was laid in 1859 and the first part of the book contains a brief record of their history from 1859 until the outbreak of war, including descriptions of dress and equipment and names of officers and the Rangers's part in the South African War. On formation of the Territorial Force in 1908 the battalion became “The Rangers,” the 12th (County of London Battalion), The London Regiment, in the 3rd Brigade of the 1st London Division.

"In December 1914 the battalion left the division and landed in Le Havre on Xmas Day and joined GHQ troops (Line of Command) till February 1915 when it was transferred to 84th Brigade, 28th Division. It sustained heavy casualties during Second Ypres. Then it moved down to Gommecourt and in that ill-fated attack suffered 560 casualties. There is an error on page 48 where the other division in that attack is referred to as the ‘48th’; it should, of course, be ‘46th’.

"A second-line battalion (2/12th) was formed in September 1914 (the original battalion became 1/12th) and went to France in February 1917 with 175th Brigade, 58th Division and the third part of the book describes its formation, training and actions at the front. A year later, in February 1918, the two battalions amalgamated to become 12th London (Rangers) in the 58th Division and fought with that division for the rest of the war. The chapters in each part of the book were written by various contributors who were present during the events they describe, which include activities out of the line. The list of contents names the authors of each chapter.

"The maps are good and there is some good detail in the narrative, including identification of officers and other ranks in the action. Soldiers Died lists 1140 dead in addition to fifty officers. Twenty eight battle honours were awarded.



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)
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.

1 September 2008

11th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Finsbury Rifles)

This battalion had its origins in the 21st Middlesex Volunteer Rifles Corps. Its headquarters was at 17 Penton Street, Pentonville.

Here are some army service numbers and enlistment / joining dates for the 11th London Regiment:

305 joined on 2nd May 1908
649 joined on 10th February 1909
1207 joined on 31st May 1910
1542 joined on 2nd January 1913
2127 joined on 9th August 1914
2904 joined on 17th September 1914
3207 joined on 16th October 1914
3390 joined on 12th January 1915
3396 joined on 2nd March 1915
3449 joined on 12th April 1915
3553 joined on 4th May 1915
3905 joined on 1st June 1915
4162 joined on 14th July 1915
4191 joined on 17th August 1915
4320 joined on 14th September 1915
4369 joined on 12th October 1915
4534 joined on 22nd January 1916
4698 joined on 17th February 1916
5003 joined on 22nd March 1916
5346 joined on 13th June 1916
5880 joined on 10th July 1916
6185 joined on 4th August 1916
6261 joined on 10th October 1916
6822 joined on 11th November 1916
7021 joined on 9th December 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, The 11th Londons re-numbered within the block 450001 to 470000.

Find your army ancestors today with a FREE 14 day trial to Ancestry.co.uk - Click here!

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]
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.

10th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Hackney)


This battalion of the London Regiment has an interesting numbering sequence and history.

The battalion had its origins in the 18th Middlesex Volunteer Rifles Corps and in 1908 became the 10th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Paddington Rifles). On 22nd May 1912, Hansard reported that a Mr Nield stated:

"I refer to a letter just received by the Paddington Bines from the officer commanding, based on a communication from the Army Council, regretting that he had received an intimation of the disbandment of the Paddington Rifles. I submit that there is nothing in the world to justify this drastic order. The Paddington Rifles have been steadily improving their position. They have been taken in hand by the mayor and the chief tradesmen in the borough of Paddington. Money has been collected. A committee has been formed which has sat every other week for two years doing its best to provide for the popularity of the corps, and the result has been an extraordinary increase of membership, which has brought up the strength since 1909 to almost 100 per cent. Indeed, so keen is the interest now taken in this battalion that fifteen or twenty recruits had to be refused on Monday night last in view of the intimation which had been received. Surely that is a very undesirable result..."

Mr Nield continued:

"... the headquarters of the battalion have been allowed to get into a neglected state. Years ago, the Urban District Council proposed to spend no less a sum than £10,000 in putting these headquarters into proper condition. For some reason or another, unknown to either the officers or others, no money has been spent at all. No doubt that has somewhat to do with the difficulties of the battalion in the past. The armoury is small, dark and damp. The weapons are not properly housed there. Generally speaking outside the drill hall the premises are wholly unsuitable."

Despite Mr Nield's assertions of an "extraordinary increase in membership", by May 1911, the battalion had recruited just over 850 men, the lowest number of all the London City and County battalions.

A new 10th Battalion was then raised in Hackney. Initially at least, a lot of the men joining the new battalion, joined from the 7th Essex Regiment which, in broad terms, was drawing men from roughly the same area (Walthamstow) and which, by January 1912, had already recruited over 1600 men - just about double the numbers recruited by The Paddington Rifles. Neither officers nor men who had previously served with the Paddington Rifles joined the new Hackney battalion, but in 1913 those Paddington men who chose to do so, joined the 3rd (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) and formed 'F' (Paddington) Company. The headquarters of the 3rd London Regiment was later moved from North West London to Paddington.

But as far the 10th (Hackney) Londons was concerned, it started numbering from 1 again in 1912 which explains the odd blip for 1912 in the following sequence:

335 joined on 29th September 1908
667 joined on 24th January 1910
858 joined on 15th May 1911
352 joined on 27th November 1912
513 joined on 15th January 1913
1267 joined on 4th May 1914
1570 joined on 18th September 1914
1979 joined on 23rd October 1914
2067 joined on 3rd November 1914
2818 joined on 25th March 1915
3365 joined on 1st June 1915
3585 joined on 6th July 1915
3679 joined on 9th August 1915
3789 joined on 11th September 1915
4514 joined on 14th February 1916
5158 joined on 24th July 1916
5656 joined on 10th October 1916
6031 joined on 1st November 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, the 10th London Regiment re-numbered within the block 420001 to 450000.



The photo on this post shows men of the 10th Londons at their annual camp in Aldershot in August 1911 and is taken from a private collection belonging to the Edwards/Kirby family archive. My thanks to Vicki Edwards for permission to reproduce it here. My thanks too, to Mr Jim Kelleher for his assistance regarding the disbanding of the Paddington battalion and the establishment of its Hackney successor.


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

Find your army ancestors today with a FREE 14 day trial to Ancestry.co.uk - Click here!

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)
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)

9th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles)


This battalion had its origins in the Victoria and St George's (1st Middlesex) Volunteer Rifle Corps and the St Giles and St George’s (Bloomsbury) 19th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps. It's headquarters was at 56 Davis Street, Berkeley Square.

The photo above dates to around 1905 and shows two Bloomsburys (seated) and, behind them, left to right, a private in the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment, and a Grenadier Guard. My thanks to Andy Spiller for sending me this photograph of his four great uncles.

Also read the transcript of my interview with Leslie Andrew Hase, a 9th Londons veteran whom I met in 1988: World War 1 Veterans: 2120 Pte Leslie Andrew Hase, Queen Victoria's Rifles.

Here are some army service numbers and enlistment / joining dates for Queen Victoria's Rifles:

511 joined on 15th June 1908
569 joined on 11th January 1909
1131 joined on 27th January 1910
1265 joined on 26th January 1911
1410 joined on 5th February 1912
1554 joined on 11th February 1913
1724 joined on 23rd April 1914
1888 joined on 6th August 1914
2604 joined on 1st September 1914
3580 joined on 12th November 1914
3865 joined on 7th December 1914
4085 joined on 12th February 1915
4165 joined on 8th March 1915
4345 joined on 5th April 1915
4647 joined on 4th May 1915
5000 joined on 5th June 1915
5302 joined on 28th July 1915
5611 joined on 15th November 1915
5951 joined on 27th March 1916
6109 joined on 20th May 1916
6233 joined on 10th June 1916
6320 joined on 22nd July 1916
6458 joined on 3rd August 1916
6877 joined on 4th September 1916
6942 joined on 17th October 1916
8215 joined on 8th November 1916
8523 joined on 24th December 1916
8353 joined on 6th January 1917

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, Queen Victoria's Rifles re-numbered within the block 390001 to 420000. Here are some army service numbers and joining dates from the six figure number series:

390054 originally joined on 18th June 1912
390079 originally joined on 27th February 1913
390155 originally joined on 28th May 1914
390181 originally joined on 5th August 1914
390508 originally joined on 1st September 1914
390853 originally joined on 6th November 1914
391250 originally joined on 19th January 1915
391304 originally joined on 10th February 1915
391508 originally joined on 5th April 1915
391705 originally joined on 15th May 1915
391824 originally joined on 1st June 1915
392141 originally joined on 23rd October 1915
392730 originally joined on 2nd August 1916
393122 originally joined on 4th September 1916
393428 originally joined on 27th October 1916
394099 originally joined on 24th November 1916
394516 joined on 8th March 1917
394676 joined on 18th April 1917
394802 joined on 17th August 1917
395021 joined on 20th December 1917
395150 joined on 14th January 1918

Service records and medal index cards for all of the numbers listed above survive at the National Archives in Kew, London and are also available on line via the Ancestry website. Click here for a FREE 14 day trial.



HISTORY & RECORDS OF QUEEN VICTORIA’S RIFLES 1792-1922

"Unusually," (so says the Naval & Military Press blurb), "this history of the QVRs (as they became known), covers the period from the earliest days up to the Great War in an appendix (185 pages) at the end of the book. According to tradition they were the descendants of The Duke of Cumberland’s Corps of Sharpshooters which was inaugurated in September 1803. In 1859 it became the 1st Middlesex Rifle Volunteers and in 1892 and after a couple of mergers with other Middlesex Rifle Corps it became in 1908, when the TF was created, the 9th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Queen Victoria’s Rifles), allocated to the 3rd London Brigade, 1st London Division.

"Shortly after the outbreak of war in August 1914 a second line battalion was formed and in April 1915 a third line, thus we had 1/9th, 2/9th and 3/9th Battalions. The 1st London Division was broken up to provide reinforcements for the BEF and on 5th November 1914 the 1/4th landed at Havre and joined 13th Brigade, 5th Division. The battalion fought with the 5th Division throughout 1915, at Hill 60, Second Ypres and St Julien. It was at Hill 60 that it gained the distinction of the first VC awarded to a Territorial - 2nd Lieutenant G.H Woolley. Today, there is a memorial to the battalion on Hill 60.

"In February 1916 the 1st London Division was reformed in France as the 56th Division and the QVRs rejoined it in 169th Brigade. It fought with this division on the Somme, Arras, Third Ypres and Cambrai till transferring to the 58th Division in February 1918 where it joined with the 2/9th to become the 9th Battalion. The 2/9th came to France with 58th Division in Feb 1917 and fought at Bullecourt and Third Ypres before amalgamating with the 1/4th. The 9th Battalion remained with the 58th Division and took part in the 1918 battles till the armistice. The 3/9th Battalion did not leave the UK but provided drafts for the other two battalions.

"This is a good history with plenty of detail and with many names, which is a very good thing for such histories. It covers each battalion in turn - 1/9th, 2/9th, the amalgamated 9th and finally 3/9th. There is the Roll of Honour and a list of Honours and Awards, including Mentions in Despatches."


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

Also 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

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)