1 March 2009

The Special Reserve - Army Order of 23rd December 1907

Thanks are due to Graham Stewart who has sent me much useful information in the form of Queen's and King's Regulations, Army Orders, and Army Council Instructions relating to army service numbers. I've re-published some of this information already, and my post concerning the creation of the Special Reserve in 1908 is now wonderfully augmented with a copy of the Army Order of 23rd December 1907 which dealt with the "Scheme for the provision, organization, and training of the Special Reserve required to supplement the Regular Army, and the application of the Scheme to the existing Militia".

Digging through some of my files, I also came across the image above which illustrates the choices which Militiamen were offered when the Special Reserve was created.

As can be seen, Militiamen were strongly encouraged to join the Special Reserve and a £2 bonus in 1908 would have probably been ample persuasion for many.

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martin tate said...

I am just starting to research my family history. I am trying to track down some army papers in the National Archive but I am getting confused with my grandfathers military history but here's what I have found

14/3/1894 enlisted in Lancs Fusiliers 2nd Battalion #4763
18/10/1902 transfers to the reserves
13/3/1906 Discharged (I am looking for these papers)
5/6/12 Re-enlists in the Special Reserves

I have found an entry for the same name - Martin O'Shaugnessy for the 2/Lancashire Fusliers for WW1 but with a different number 4294. How can I track his movements and tell if its the same man and where do you think his papers will be?

many thanks Martin Tate

Paul Nixon said...


The number 4294 fits perfectly for a 3rd (Special Reserve) Bn enlistment for 1912. Remember too, that if he had been discharged in 1906, that original number - 4763 - was gone.

As for his papers, they'll be in either WO 363 or WO 364 but many were destroyed during WW1 and so there may not be anything surviving.

My suggestion would be that your grandfather joined the 3rd Bn in 1912 and then transferred to the 2nd Bn shortly aftre war was declared, retaining his 3rd Bn number.