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."

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)
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)

21 October 2008

15th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles)



The 15th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Civil Service Rifles), had its origins in the 12th Middlesex (Civil Service) Volunteer Rifles Corps. Its headquarters was at Somerset House, Westminster. Pictured above are officers from the 2/15th London Regiment. This photograph originally appeared on page 41 of part 44 of the Illustrated War News, 5th June 1915. Click on the images above for readable versions. I've also added more 2/15th Londons photographs on a separate post. Clicking the link in the previous sentence will take you there.
The data below comes from service records in the WO 363 and WO 364 series at the National Archives. These records can also be viewed on-line via Ancestry which is offering a FREE 14 day trial.

The good news for you if you have a relative who served in the 15th Londons is that, relatively speaking, the WO363 series is 'awash' with Civil Service Riflemen. I've looked at thousands and thousands of records and in my opinion, the 15th Londons are well represented and appear to have fared rather better than some other regiments.

Anyway, here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the 15th Londons:

473 joined on 2nd April 1908
1068 joined on 24th March 1909
1185 joined on 23rd February 1910
1286 joined on 22nd February 1911
1387 joined on 19th February 1912
1536 joined on 27th January 1913
1760 joined on 19th January 1914
1983 joined on 4th August 1914
2465 joined on 1st September 1914
3138 joined on 7th October 1914
3179 joined on 7th December 1914
3227 joined on 4th January 1915
3287 joined on 5th February 1915
3349 joined on 4th March 1915
3447 joined on 6th April 1915
3632 joined on 3rd May 1915
3922 joined on 7th June 1915
4247 joined on 13th July 1915
4344 joined on 4th August 1915
4414 joined on 6th September 1915
4481 joined on 6th October 1915
4584 joined on 8th November 1915
5080 joined on 6th December 1915
5515 joined on 24th January 1916
5721 joined on 1st February 1916
6019 joined on 1st March 1916
6445 joined on 5th April 1916
6607 joined on 1st May 1916
6885 joined on 31st July 1916
6904 joined on 4th August 1916
7297 joined on 11th September 1916
7462 joined on 4th October 1916
7681 joined on 17th November 1916
7742 joined on 4th December 1916
7786 joined on 8th January 1917

In January 1917, the 15th London Regiment commenced numbering with the new six figure Territorial Force numbers. It did so within the range 530001 - 550000.
Also see my post on six digit number anomalies in the 15th London Regiment.
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HISTORY OF THE PRINCE OF WALES’S OWN CIVIL SERVICE RIFLES







From the Naval & Military Press:

"This is a great history, one of the best of its kind. Just look at the wealth of information contained in the appendices: the nominal roll of all officers and other ranks who served 1914-1919, identifying those who died (1,227); list of officers of 1/15th who embarked for France in March 1915; casualty details in tabular form showing separately monthly figures for the first line and second line battalions and those attached to other units and distinguishing between killed in action, died of wounds, missing presumed dead, died of illness and died as PoW; list of decorations and awards; staff list showing all COs, adjutants and RSMs from 1860 to 1920 ; list of those who served in the S African War; annual strength states from 1860 to 1914 and even an appendix on the Regimental Plate with photo and identification of the various trophies. This is the heart of a regiment.

"The narrative is as good and informative as the appendices and is arranged in three parts, each by a different member of the Regiment. The first part traces in considerable detail the pre-1914 history from the early days of 1859 to the eve of war by which time the title had become “the 15th (County of London) Battalion the London Regiment. The second part is concerned with the first line battalion, 1/15th, which landed in France on 17th March 1915 with the 4th London Brigade, 2nd London Division (in May these became 140th Brigade 47th Division). It was at Festubert, in May, that the battalion first became acquainted with the realities of war, even though the men were employed throughout in holding the line.

"The story is based not only on the War Diary but also on the Regimental Diary which contained all the “personal gossip” in the unit as well as accounts of tours in the line. The latter was discontinued early in 1918 but the CO decided that to make up for this the War Diary should contain every item of interest to the battalion, not just operational matters. The 2/15th was formed in September 1914 and assigned to 179th Brigade 60th Division and went to France in June 1916; the list of officers, WOs and CQMS’s embarking is given. After four months in the line north of Arras the division was shipped out to the Macedonian theatre, arriving at Salonika in December 1916. Six months later the division moved again, this time to Palestine to join Allenby’s EEF. After a year’s campaigning in Palestine the battalion was one of seven taken from the division and sent back to France where the situation was critical in the wake of the German offensive."

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 Battalions9th (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)
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.

7 October 2008

14th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (London Scottish)

This battalion had its origins in the London Scottish Volunteer Rifles Corps. Its headquarters was at 59 Buckingham Gate, Westminster. The battalion holds the distinction of being the first territorial infantry battalion to see action against the Germans in the First World War. This occurred at Messines on 31st October 1914, the London Scottish territorials fighting alongside regular battalions of the British Army.

Here are some army service numbers and joining dates for The London Scottish.

689 joined on September 14th 1908
807 joined on January 20th 1909
1241 joined on February 7th 1910
1404 joined on January 23rd 1911
1586 joined on January 22nd 1912
1782 joined on February 17th 1913
2002 joined on January 12th 1914
2202 joined on August 4th 1914
2798 joined on 1st September 1914
3379 joined on November 5th 1914
4099 joined on December 9th 1914
4256 joined on January 11th 1915
4377 joined on February 11th 1915
4492 joined on March 12th 1915
4615 joined on April 12th 1915
4746 joined on May 3rd 1915
4911 joined on June 3rd 1915
5050 joined on July 19th 1915
5111 joined on August 7th 1915
5235 joined on September 30th 1915
5327 joined on October 27th 1915
5381 joined on November 3rd 1915
6034 joined on December 7th 1915
6401 joined on January 8th 1916
6642 joined on February 4th 1916
7003 joined on March 1st 1916
7443 joined on April 6th 1916
7679 joined on May 1st 1916
8141 joined on July 17th 1916
8411 joined on August 31st 1916
8509 joined on September 15th 1916
8653 joined on October 9th 1916
8756 joined on November 9th 1916
8805 joined on December 4th 1916
8854 joined on January 9th 1917

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, The 14th Londons re-numbered within the block 510001 to 530000.


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)
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)
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)

13th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Kensington)

This battalion had its origins in the 4th Middlesex Volunteer Rifles Corps. Its headquarters was at Iverna Gardens, Kensington.

201 joined on 4th April 1908
570 joined on 19th February 1909
1044 joined on 8th February 1910
1147 joined on 10th January 1911
1293 joined on 14th May 1912
1367 joined on 21st January 1913
1540 joined on 3rd March 1914
1725 joined on 5th August 1914
2430 joined on 1st September 1914
3311 joined on 10th November 1914
3672 joined on 10th December 1914
3846 joined on 20th January 1915
3944 joined on 9th February 1915
4025 joined on 8th March 1915
4091 joined on 12th April 1915
4249 joined on 12th May 1915
4313 joined on 8th June 1915
4421 joined on 14th July 1915
4461 joined on 9th August 1915
4489 joined on 9th September 1915
4518 joined on 5th October 1915
4550 joined on 8th November 1915
4651 joined on 11th December 1915
4690 joined on 12th February 1916
4753 joined on 31st March 1916
4814 joined on 1st April 1916
5282 joined on 2nd May 1916
5403 joined on 5th June 1916
5717 joined on 4th July 1916
6384 joined on 21st August 1916
6483 joined on 1st September 1916
6629 joined on 17th October 1916
6784 joined on 20th November 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, The 13th Londons re-numbered within the block 490001 to 510000. Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates within the six digit range:

490025 originally joined on 19th February 1909
490057 originally joined on 9th January 1912
490149 originally joined on 16th September 1913
490252 originally joined on 5th August 1914
490510 originally joined on 1st September 1914
490928 originally joined on 12th November 1914
491130 originally joined on 17th December 1914
491216 originally joined on 13th January 1915
491307 originally joined on 5th February 1915
491367 originally joined on 5th March 1915
491585 originally joined on 28th June 1915
491720 originally joined on 8th November 1915
493278 originally joined on 30th August 1916
493924 joined on 16th January 1917
494058 joined on 14th February 1917
494264 joined on 30th March 1917
494291 joined on 23rd April 1917
495322 joined on 9th May 1917
495671 joined on 11th June 1917
495897 joined on 11th October 1917
496075 joined on 9th January 1918
496634 joined on 21st May 1918

BEWARE!

It is wrong to assume that numbers were issued in a strict sequential sequence. They weren'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.

As an example, take a look at these six digit numbers for the Kensingtons beginning 505***.

c505004 to 505027
Numbers in this range were issued to men who transferred in France, from the 23rd Londons to the 13th Londons. This transfer took place on 14th April 1917 and NOT in 1918 as could be implied from the sequential list above.
c505038 to 505045
Issued to men who had transferred from the 8th Londons to the 13th Londons.
c505049 to 505063
Issued to men who had transferred from the 17th Londons to the 13th Londons.
c505073 to 505096
Issued to men who had transferred from the 18th Londons to the 13th Londons

It gets messier from here, men with numbers in the 5051** and 5052** range being transferred from a variety of regiments, the majority of which are other London Regiment battalions but also men from the Sussex Yeomanry, Monmouthshire Regiment and others. I suspect that men in the 505*** range were all transferred in April 1917, but I'll check this.




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Read the history of The Kensingtons (first published in 1936) this from the N&MP blurb on their advertised reprint below:

"A brief account of the history of the Kensingtons before the Great War is given in the opening chapter of this book. When war broke out the battalion was already allocated to the 4th London Brigade, 2nd London Division, but in November 1914 it left the division and went to France, arriving on 4th; it was allocated to 25th Brigade, 8th Division, a newly formed regular division, with which it fought its first major action, at Neuve Chapelle in March 1915. After a spell on the Lines of Communication the battalion joined the re-formed 1st London Division (now numbered 56th) in 168th Brigade, and it fought in that brigade on the Western Front for the rest of the war.

"In September 1914 a second line battalion was formed (2/13th) which was assigned to179th Brigade 60th Division. An unexpected diversion occurred at the end of April 1916 when the brigade was sent to Ireland on internal security duties following the Easter rebellion. A fortnight later it returned to England and on 21 June the 60th Division began its move to France. After about four months in the Vimy sector the division was transferred to Macedonia where the battalion arrived at the end of November 1916. Its spell in that theatre was comparatively short for in May 1917 the division moved again - to Palestine where it served with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force until the end of the war.

"This history is arranged in two parts, the first deals with the first line battalion, 1/4th, and is written by Sgt Bailey; the second part is the history of the 2/4th, written by Sgt Hollier. There is a final chapter covering the post-war period up to 1935, written by one of the commanding officers. The Roll of Honour lists the dead (60 officers 1003 men), alphabetically by ranks, without identifying battalion, nor does the list of Honours and Awards identify the battalion."


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)
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)
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)