3 April 2009

4th Lincolnshire Regiment


The superb, undated photograph above is re-published here courtesy of Mike Briggs and shows men of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment probably around 1907 or 1908. Follow the discussion about this photograph via the Great War Forum and click on it for a larger version.

In early 1914, the distribution of battalion headquarters and the eight companies that comprised the 4th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment was as follows: HQ and A, E and H Companies at Lincoln, B Company at Grantham, C Company at Boston, D Company at Stamford, F Company at Spalding, and G Company at Horncastle. (Courtesy Ray Westlake's The Territorial Force 1914).

If only numbering in the 4th Lincolnshire Regiment was as straightforward.

The battalion was born in April 1908 out of the old 1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions of the Lincolnshire Regiment. Prior to 1908 there had been three Lincolnshire Regiment Volunteer battalions and the County Association now decided that the new 4th (Territorial Force) Battalion would be comprised of men from the City of Lincoln and Horncastle districts of the old 1st Volunteer Battalion, and an area in the south of the county from which the old 2nd Volunteer Battalion had formerly recruited.

There appear to have been at least two numbering sequences running and I'm guessing that one sequence was used for the Lincoln/Horncastle men and one for men from the south of the county. These two number series certainly appear to have been in use up until 1909/1910; how else to explain this pattern from 1909 (and noting at the same time, that number 731 had been issued in December 1908):

1094 joined on 22nd January
1260 joined on 3rd March
321 joined on 3rd June
756 joined on 22nd September
1274 joined on 1st October

From 1910 the numbering appears to follow a more logical, sequential path and so I’ll start the army service numbers and corresponding joining dates from here. Please contact me though, if you can shed any light on numbering in the 4th Lincolns in 1908 and 1909.

150 joined on 11th April 1910
396 joined on 17th January 1911
1293 joined on 8th March 1912
1792 joined on 5th February 1913
2003 joined on 19th February 1914
2186 joined on 4th August 1914 (the day Britain went to war with Germany)
2814 joined on 24th September 1914
2944 joined on 13th October 1914
3251 joined on 9th November 1914
3480 joined on 2nd December 1914
3501 joined on 12th January 1915
3572 joined on 22nd February 1915
3589 joined on 4th March 1915
3652 joined on 9th April 1915
3788 joined on 10th May 1915
4426 joined on 12th June 1915
4560 joined on 2nd July 1915
4621 joined on 16th August 1915
4646 joined on 20th September 1915
4659 joined on 1st October 1915
4942 joined on 24th November 1915
4996 joined on 3rd December 1915
5076 joined on 13th January 1916
5386 joined on 21st February 1916
5447 joined on 1st March 1916
5598 joined on 27th April 1916
5693 joined on 12th May 1916
5823 joined on 3rd June 1916
6023 joined on 20th July 1916
6311 joined on 1st August 1916
6323 joined on 1st September 1916
6881 joined on 27th October 1916
6898 joined on 2nd November 1916

When the Territorial Force re-numbered in 1917, the 4th Lincolns were allocated numbers in the range 200001 – 240000. Here are some sample numbers and joining dates for this range of numbers.

200007 originally joined on 8th April 1908
200009 originally joined on 3rd June 1909
200015 originally joined on 29th December 1910
200017 originally joined 17th January 1911
200116 originally joined on 16th April 1912
200179 originally joined on 18th February 1913
200263 originally joined 19th February 1914
200362 originally joined on 5th August 1914
200659 originally joined on 2nd October 1914
200850 originally joined on 10th November 1914
201033 originally joined on 28th January 1915
201058 originally joined on 22nd February 1915
201072 originally joined on 4th March 1915
201106 originally joined on 9th April 1915
201212 originally joined on 14th May 1915
201606 originally joined on 28th June 1915
201646 originally joined on 16th August 1915
201665 originally joined on 20th September 1915
201716 originally joined on 25th October 1915
201808 originally joined on 24th November 1915
201830 originally joined on 6th December 1915
201879 originally joined on 20th January 1916
202093 originally joined on 21st February 1916
202148 originally joined on 3rd March 1916
202179 originally joined on 27th April 1916
202218 originally joined on 12th May 1916
202308 originally joined on 3rd June 1916
202387 originally joined on 20th July 1916
202547 originally joined 1st August 1916
202555 originally joined 1st September 1916
202847 originally joined on 27th October 1916
202865 originally joined 2nd November 1916

Note that the same idiosyncracies that appear in the original TF series for this battalion, appear to repeat in the six digit series - for early enlistments at least. Thus 200040 was not issued after January 1911 (as one might suppose on looking at the series above) but in December 1908 to a man whose original number was in the 700s.

View Lincolnshire Regiment service records, pension records and medal index cards on-line via the Ancestry.co.uk website.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paul,
The possible reason for the ad-hoc numbering in 1908 might be because the TF on it's formation had 'no guidlines' as regards numbering. This is reflected in their first copy of TF Regulations 1908, which makes no mention of numbering for the TF what-so-ever and so you may come across a hotch-potch of old and new numbers which require sorting out.

As we both know TF Regs for 1912 are quite clear on the numbering situation, but it remains to be seen how the initial mess was cleared up in 1908. An AO or *WOI muct have been issued to help solve the problem.

Graham.

*WOI "War Office Instruction" pre-dates ACI's.