5 February 2009

Manchester Regiment - Service Battalion numbers to 1916

Having posted about the initial allocation of blocks of army service numbers to the 16th, 17th and 18th Manchesters; the 19th, 20th and 21st Manchesters, and the 22nd, 23rd and 24th Manchesters, I'll turn my attention for this post, to numbering in other Manchester Regiment service battalions and also subsequent numbering in the Pals Battalions.

The information contained in this post is based on assumptions having studied hundreds of service records for Manchester Regiment enlistments. The medal rolls of the various Manchester Regiment battalions would inevitably give a more accurate picture and as always, I will be happy to be corrected on any assumptions made here which are patently incorrect.

As I mentioned in my post on numbering in the regular battalions of the Manchester Regiment, by June 1914, numbering had reached the 2800s. (I have number 2837 on my database who joined the Manchester Regiment on 25th June 1914). When Britain went to war with Germany in August 1914 and men heeded the call to enlist, the new "Service" battalions which were created generally issued numbers to men which were from the series already in use for the regular battalions. Typically, with army service numbers, not all regiments followed this practice. The East Surrey Regiment, for instance, started a new series for service enlistments, prefixed with the letter G/ and continued with the old series of numbers for those men who joined up during wartime for the regular term of enlistment. See my post on the 1st & 2nd Battalions, East Surrey Regiment. Pals Battalions also generally (but not always) had separate allocations of numbers within a main block, or a completely new series altogether. The Sussex Regiment Southdowns battalions are a good example of the latter, all of their numbers prefixed with SD/. See my posts on the 11th (1st South Down) Battalion, 12th (2nd South Down) Battalion and 13th (3rd South Down) Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment.

But as far as the Manchester Regiment in 1914 is concerned, men joining the newly formed 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Battalions were given numbers from the series which, up until then, had been used by the Regular 1st and 2nd Battalions.

I should add that not all men made it into a battalion. Some men, on being allocated a number, were posted to the Manchester Regiment Depot and then discharged either the same day or very shortly afterwards. In most cases the reason for discharge is because the man was "not likely to become an efficient soldier" but there were also other reasons, such as a man "having made a mis-statement of age" which could cause him to be discharged.

In the table which follows below, I'm going to refer to these men as Depot (D) enlistments. They weren't 3rd Battalion enlistments because the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, certainly up until November 1914 at least, was still using a separate numbering series. What follows then is a table listing the numbers (in blocks of 100), the battalions these numbers were issued to, and the dates they were issued. Again, I refer readers to the second paragraph of this post. What follows becomes more complex as the months and years progress. There are gaps in my data where further data is required, and I have indicated these gaps.

2800s-6100s
Issued in August & September 1914 to men joining D, 11th, 12th and 13th Bns.
6200s-7800s
Issued between August 1914 and June 1915 to men joining the 16th Manchester (1st City Battalion.
7900
Further data required.
8000-9400s
Issued between August 1914 and February 1915 to men joining the 17th Manchester (2nd City) Battalion.
9500s-9700s
Issued in September & October 1914 to men joining D, 11th, 12th and 13th Bns.
9800s-11300s
Issued between August 1914 and July 1915 to men joining the 18th Manchester (3rd City) Battalion.
11400s- 12900s
Issued between September 1914 and May 1915 to men joining the 19th Manchester (4th City) Battalion.
13000s-13900s
Issued in October and November 1914 to men joining D, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Bns.
14000s-15400s
Issued between November 1914 and June 1915 to men joining the 24th Manchester (Oldham Pioneers) Battalion.
15500s-16900s
Issued between November 1914 and January 1915 to men joining D, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Battalions.
17000s-18400s
Issued between November 1914 and May 1915 to men joining the 20th Manchester (5th City) Battalion.
18500s-19900s
Issued between November 1914 and May 1915 to men joining the 21st Manchester (6th City) Battalion.
20000s-21400s
Issued between November 1914 and May 1915 to men joining the 22nd Manchester (7th City) Battalion.
21500s-22900s
Issued between November 1914 and March 1915 to men joining the 23rd Manchester (8th City) Battalion.

The 25th, 26th and 27th Reserve Battalions

At this point, because the numbering now leaps briefly into 1916, I'll mention the 25th (Reserve), 26th (Reserve) and 27th (Reserve) Battalions. These three battalions, all formed in September 1915, were local reserve battalions for the 16th-18th, 19th-21st and 22nd-24th Battalions respectively. Numbering within these reserve battalions reflects the numbering patterns within the Pals battalions that the reserve battalions were feeding into. So it's common, when looking at numbering in each reserve battalion, to see three different patterns of numbers.

For the 27th (Reserve) Battalion, for instance, numbers within the series being used for the 22nd, 23rd and 24th Battalions appear. The men were 27th Battalion enlistments but to all intents and purposes their numbers "belonged" to the series being used by the 22nd, 23rd or 24th Battalions and their service numbers are generally prefixed with 22/, 23/ and 24/ rather than 27/.

Now, back to the numbering sequences.

23000s-23200s
Issued in June 1916 to men who had attested under the Derby Scheme (the great majority of these between 9th & 12th December 1915). Men with numbers in this range certainly appear as enlistments in Depot, 14th (Reserve), 25th (Reserve) and 26th (Reserve) Battalions.
23300s-24900s
Issued between January and July 1915 to men joining D, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Battalions.
25000s
Issued in January 1916. The examples I have seen of numbers in this range are to men who were posted to the Manchester Regiment Depot.
25100s-25400s
Issued in June 1916 to men who had attested under the Derby Scheme (the great majority of these between 9th & 12th December 1915). Men with numbers in this range certainly appear as enlistments in Depot, 14th (Reserve), 25th (Reserve), 26th (Reserve) and 27th (Reserve) Battalions.
25500s-25700s
Issued between May and October 1915 to men joining the 22nd Manchester (7th City) Battalion. 25800s-25900s
Issued in November 1915 to men joining the 23rd and 27th (Reserve) Battalions
26000s-26100s
Issued between May and August 1915 to men joining the 20th Manchester (5th City) Battalion
26200s-26300s
Issued between May and July 1915 to men joining the 17th Manchester (2nd City) Battalion
26400s
Issued in November 1915 to men joining the 25th (Reserve) Battalion, these men in turn, feeding into the 17th Manchester (2nd City) Battalion.
26500s-26600s
Issued between June and September 1915 to men joining the 19th Manchester (4th City) Battalion.
26700s-26900s
Issued between June and August 1915 to men joining the 21st Manchester (6th City) Battalions.
27000s
Further data required
27100s
Issued in June 1915 to men joining the 16th Manchester (1st City) Battalion
27200s-27400s
Issued in January and February 1916. I have examples of men posted to the Manchester Regiment Depot and in the 25th and 27th (Reserve) battalions who have numbers within this range.
27500s-27900s
Issued in July and August 1915 to men who were posted to the Manchester Regiment Depot (and therefore presumably the 11th-14th Battalions).
28000-28200s
Issued between July and November 1915 to men joining the 24th Manchester (Oldham Pioneers) Battalion (and the 27th Reserve Battalion).
28300s-28400s
Issued in December 1915 and January 1916 to men who joined the 23rd Manchester (8th City) Battalion (and the 27th Reserve Battalion)
28500s
Further data required
28600s-28700s
Issued between August and October 1915 to men who joined the 23rd Manchester (8th City) Battalion (and the 27th Reserve Battalion).
28800s
Issued in August 1915 to men joining the 20th Manchester (5th City) Battalion.
28900s
Issued in February 1916 to men joining the 27th (Reserve) Manchester Battalion; detsined for the 23rd (8th City) Battalion.
29000s-29300s
Issued in June 1916 to Derby Scheme men joining the 26th (Reserve) Battalion.
29400s-29800s
Issued in June 1916 to Derby Scheme men joining the 25th (Reserve) Battalion.
29900s-30400s
Issued between August and November 1915 to men who were posted to the Manchester Regiment Depot (and therefore presumably the 11th-14th Battalions).
30500s-30900s
Issued between August and October 1915 to men joining the 1st Garrison Battalion. From the data that I hold, it appears that the majority of these men transferred from other battalions, notably the City battalions of the King's Liverpool Regiment and also the 11th South Lancashire (St Helen's Pioneers) Battalion.
31000s-31900s
Further data required
32000s-32400s
Issued between November 1915 and January 1916 to men who were posted to the Manchester Regiment Depot (and therefore presumably the 11th-14th Battalions).
32500s
Further data required.
32600s-32700s
Issued in July 1916. Men who joined the Manchester Regiment Depot and the 26th Reserve Battalion have numbers in this range.

From the research I have conducted, it would appear that from around 32800 onwards, the system of allocating blocks of numbers to specific Manchester Regiment battalions (which was already looking shaky by 1916) was abandoned, but I stand to be corrected.

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)
8th Bn, Manchester Regiment (TF)
9th Bn, Manchester Regiment (TF)
10th Bn, Manchester Regiment (TF)

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


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

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.


Find service records, pension records and medal index cards for the Manchesters with a FREE 14 day trial to Ancestry.co.uk - Click here!


The Manchesters





Re-published by The Naval & Military Press which states, "This is an unusual Great War Regimental history in that it was compiled halfway through the conflict, and also contains a huge amount of detail - including biographical notes - on the battalion’s officers and other ranks. It cover all units of the Manchester Regiment - Regulars, Militia; Special Reserve; Territorial and New Army volunteers; and contains Rolls of Honour of Officers, NCOs and men killed from the outbreak of war until early 1916. It is a little book - but a truly vast storehouse of information : names, dates, details - which is a must for anyone interested in the regiment and the war."


NATIONAL ROLL OF THE GREAT WAR Section XI - Manchester





The National Roll of the Great War has been re-printed by the Naval & Military Press This volume covers Manchester. Information for these volumes was supplied by the participants or relatives. It is not a complete reference work and neither are the entries always 100 per cent accurate. However, it can nevertheless still be a useful additional information source, giving little details such as the individual's home address. Some of these volumes are also now available on-line via the Ancestry website.






8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi do you have any info on a private Godfrey Carlton jones 377805 believed to be 16th manchester regiment but could also be 10th manchester regiment.
Any help would be great.
Cheers
Simon

Paul Nixon said...

Simon, his medal index card certainly states 16th Battalion although he was not an original member. The number does not appear to fit into the series used by the 10th Battalion which was Territorial battalion.

Have you tried running some name searches on findmypast or Ancestry?

Paul

Andrew McKay said...

Can anyone help me trace any info about 2 soldiers (Maybe the same person) with numbers 17580 and 20415 His/Their name is J Carrington

Thanks

Andy McKay

Paul Nixon said...

Andy

20145 John Carrington, 22nd Bn, later 258136 Labour Corps, discharged 21/3/1919.

17580 John Carrington, 20th Bn, later 634155 Labour Corps.

Note that these are two different men.

Stephen J Bullock said...

Greetings Paul!

Came across this post whilst researching my Grandfather who served with the Manchesters in the Great War.

"31000s-31900s
Further data required"

Edward Quayle joined the 26th Reserve Battalion (F Company)Manchester regiment at Heaton Park, M/C, in October 1915 and was allocated the service number 31047.

Regards

SJB

lee brumby said...

Hi all,
I`m having trouble finding :-
Enlistment date for my Great Grandad George Grimshaw regimental number 33236
second batt manchester regiment.
In order to establish where he fought in WW1.
Depending on his enlisment date he could either have been at ARRAS or ALBERT or later at YPES/Passendale Belgium.
My dad has tried the ansestry site with no luck and he thinks that some paperwork may of been lost to fire in WW2.
Thanks

Lee Brumby


lee.brumby@ntlworld.com

Paul Nixon said...

One year later, thank you SJB. Sorry I didn't acknowledge this earlier.

Paul

Paul Nixon said...

Lee Brumby, please contact me via the Research tab: http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.co.uk/p/research.html if you would like me to researchj this for you.