7 February 2009

The 8th Manchester Regiment

The 8th Manchesters, headquartered at Ardwick, was a Territorial Force battalion which, prior to 1908, had been the 5th (Ardwick) Volunteer Battalion, the Manchester Regiment. I list below, sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the Ardwick Battalion. Please note the caveat at the end of this post.

801 joined on 11th March 1909
1398 joined on 25th November 1910
1407 joined on 9th January 1911
1504 joined on 8th January 1912
1760 joined on 2nd June 1913
1901 joined on 16th January 1914
2318 joined on 5th August 1914
2459 joined on 1st September 1914
3053 joined on 1st October 1914
3418 joined on 14th December 1914
3456 joined on 5th January 1915
3578 joined on 2nd February 1915
3658 joined on 22nd March 1915
3725 joined on 7th April 1915
3914 joined on 3rd May 1915
4207 joined on 14th June 1915
4406 joined on 8th July 1915
4522 joined on 20th August 1915
4534 joined on 12th September 1915
4713 joined on 2nd October 1915
5087 joined on 22nd November 1915
5128 joined on 3rd December 1915
5178 joined on 20th January 1916
5288 joined on 1st February 1916
5664 joined on 24th March 1916
5899 joined on 18th May 1916
5936 joined on 26th June 1916
6853 joined on 5th December 1916
7225 joined on 10th January 1917

When the Territorial Force re-numbered in 1917, the 8th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, was allocated numbers within the block 300001 to 350000. Here are some six digit numbers for the 8th Manchesters.

300019 originally joined in 1908, probably April. Actually this man originally joined the 5th (Ardwick) Volunteer Battalion on 20th March 1903 and, one assumes, must have been one of the longest serving members of the 8th Battalion by the time he was re-numbered in 1917.

300216 originally joined on 26th January 1914
300379 originally joined on 6th August 1914
300493 originally joined on 4th September 1914
300728 originally joined on 1st October 1914
300944 originally joined on 5th January 1915
301042 originally joined on 22nd March 1915
301077 originally joined on 9th April 1915
301885 originally joined on 3rd May 1915
301401 originally joined on 22nd June 1915
301502 originally joined on 26th July 1915
301548 originally joined on 18th September 1915
301644 originally joined on 8th October 1915
301757 originally joined on 5th November 1915
301883 originally joined on 14th February 1915
303347 joined on 31st January 1917 (having previously served with a different Manchester regiment Battalion)
303589 joined on 19th April 1917
303816 joined on 21st May 1917
303842 joined on 11th June 1917

Local men who had previously joined the National Reserve, now attested with the 8th Manchesters to work with supernumerary companies attached to the 8th Battalion. Surviving attestation papers for these men generally also give their National Reserve numbers. However, on joining the supernumerary companies – and there were certainly No. 1 Supernumerary Company and No. 3 Supernumerary Company – they were given new numbers. The lowest number on my limited database for these men is in the 600s (issued in December 1914), but I presume that recruitment started in September 1914, as it had done for men joining supernumerary companies attached to the 6th Battalion. By July 1915, numbering of these men had reached at least 1572 (8th July 1915).

Read my other posts on the Manchester Regiment:

The Manchester Regiment, The Regular Battalions 1881-1914
The Manchester Regiment, Special & Extra Reserve Battalions 1908-1914

5th Bn, The Manchester Regiment (TF)
6th Bn, Manchester Regiment (TF)
7th Bn, Manchester Regiment (TF)
9th Bn, Manchester Regiment (TF)
10th Bn, Manchester Regiment (TF)

Manchester Regiment Service Battalion numbers 1914-1916
16th, 17th & 18th Manchesters (1st, 2nd and 3rd City Battalions)
19th, 20th & 21st Manchesters (4th, 5th and 6th City Battalions)
22nd, 23rd & 24th Manchesters (7th & 8th City Battalions and the Oldham Pioneers)

A Manchester Pal's War - 9814 Pte Harry Bardsley, 18th Manchesters

CaveatIt 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.

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