16 February 2009

Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders 1881-1914


The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders was formed in July 1881 from the 91st (Princess Louise's Argyllshire) Regiment and the 93rd (Sutherland Highlanders) Regiment. Click here to view images on the The House of Labhran website.

This post will look at sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the A&S Highlanders from 1881 until the start of the First World War.

There are over 40,000 Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders service and pension records (for this regiment - and its antecedents) in various War Office series held at the National Archives. Clicking on the link will take you to the results on Findmypast but you will need a subscription or Pay-Per-View credits to actually view the records. Some of these records can also be viewed on-line on Ancestry although Findmypast has by far the most comprehensive service record collection.


Use the regimental numbers and dates on which these were issued, below, to determine parameters for when your own Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders ancestor would have joined up. Note though that these numbers are only for regular enlistments. Special Reserve and Territorial Force battalions operated completely separate regimental number sequences.

I'd be interested to hear from an expert, why the regiment commenced a new numbering series in 1908, when it was still well below the 19,999 limit set by the King's Regulations for the Army 1904 (Provisional). The original series had certainly extended beyond 108** when a new series was begun in 1908. (10826 was Killed in Action whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion on 10th November 1914 and 10827 Died of Wounds whilst serving with the 1st Battalion on 23rd April 1915).

72 joined on 3rd December 1881
723 joined on 1st March 1883
1447 joined on 11th August 1884
1644 joined on 9th January 1885
2056 joined on 23rd January 1886
2479 joined on 13th January 1887
2967 joined on 25th August 1888
3077 joined on 7th February 1889
3474 joined on 7th March 1890
3980 joined on 7th April 1891
4543 joined on 22nd October 1892
4669 joined on 30th January 1893
5000 joined on 29th January 1894
5363 joined on 15th February 1895
5764 joined on 27th April 1896
5994 joined on 16th January 1897
6439 joined on 25th January 1898
7128 joined on 6th November 1899
7385 joined on 25th January 1900
7901 joined on 25th January 1901
8239 joined on 13th January 1902
9153 joined on 27th February 1903
9366 joined on 7th January 1904
9760 joined on 19th May 1905
10125 joined on 18th June 1906
10576 joined 27th August 1907

New series commences

2 joined on 16th June 1908
254 joined on 15th February 1909
613 joined on 30th August 1910
826 joined on 28th September 1911
962 joined on 8th May 1912
1116 joined on 3rd January 1913
1311 joined on 8th January 1914
1727 joined on 12th August 1914

By the time 1727 joined, and with Britain at war with Germany, men had been flocking to the colours to enlist for "3 years or duration." These latter service enlistment numbers were prefixed with the letter S/, although men who continued to enlist for regular terms of service throughout the war years had no such prefix. Thus, for example, 8203 James Robertson (regular enlistment) joined up on 3rd March 1915, while S/8229 William Christie (service enlistment) joined up four days later.

Find Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on-line with Ancestry.co.uk - Click here!

Also see my posts regarding army service numbers issued to men in the following Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders battalions:

3rd (Special Reserve) & 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion A&S Highlanders
5th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (TF)
6th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (TF)
7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (TF)
8th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (TF)
9th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (TF)
Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders service battalions 1914-1917


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