This post will look at army service numbers and the dates on which they were issued to men joining the regular battalions - the 1st and 2nd Battalions - of the Royal Scots Fusiliers between 1882 and June 1914.
There are over 33,000 Royal Scots Fusiliers 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 Royal Scots Fusiliers 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.
Prior to July 1881 The Royal Scots Fusiliers had been (since a name change in 1877) the 21st (Royal Scots Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot. My data currently begins in 1882 and so that's where I'll start from.
86 joined on 12th July 1882
222 joined on 16th January 1883
710 joined on 2nd May 1884
1068 joined on 14th March 1885
1428 joined on 22nd February 1886
2018 joined on 29th April 1887
2255 joined on 23rd February 1888
2509 joined on 8th January 1889
2794 joined on 13th February 1890
3329 joined on 18th April 1891
3629 joined on 18th April 1892
4100 joined on 21st April 1893
4517 joined on 20th February 1894
4556 Pte Arthur Prestwood joined the 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers on 24th April 1894 and would spend the majority of his early military career in India, seeing service during the Punjab Frontier, Samana and Tirah campaigns in the late 1890s. Working his way through the ranks and finishing as Colour Sergeant, Arthur Prestwood was commissioned in August 1914, landed in France on 15th September 1914 and was severely wounded at Hooge the following June. After recuperating he spent the remainder of the war with the 3rd RSF in England. He retired from the army in 1921 and died, aged 94 in 1970. I hold Captain Prestwood's medals and you can read more about him on my British Army Medals blog.
4822 joined on 2nd January 1895
5089 joined on 4th February 1896
5437 joined on 8th July 1897
5728 joined on 8th February 1898
6012 joined on 24th January 1899
6492 joined on 5th January 1900
6728 joined on 20th March 1901
7046 joined on 4th January 1902
7386 joined on 6th January 1903
8067 joined on 29th January 1904
8518 joined on 10th January 1905
8762 joined on 27th January 1906
9439 joined on 4th July 1907
9639 joined on 29th June 1908
9824 joined on 23rd February 1909
10173 joined on 29th July 1910
10352 joined on 4th April 1911
10563 joined on 26th February 1912
10851 joined on 7th May 1913
11089 joined on 20th June 1914
Six weeks later, when Britain went to war with Germany, the newly forming service battalions issued numbers from the same series that had, up until that point, been used solely by the two regular battalions of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
Photo: unknown WW1 era soldier from the author's collection.
Also see: Royal Scots Fusiliers - 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion 1908-1914
Historical Record and Regimental Memoir of the Royal Scots Fusiliers
The History of the Royal Scots Fusiliers 1678-1918
I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.