3 August 2009

Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment between July 1881, when the regiment was formed, and August 1914.

The regiment was formed by the amalgamation in 1881 of the 33rd Regiment of Foot (which became the 1st Battalion) and the 76th Regiment of Foot (which became the 2nd Battalion). The "Duke of Wellington" title was a legacy belonging to the former 33rd Regiment which had been granted the title by Queen Victoria in June 1853 following the death of the Duke of Wellington in September 1852.

The numbers and joining dates below should be regarded as a snapshot - one date and one number per year - during the period covered. Service records for all of the numbers listed below, survive in WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) in the National Archives. They can also be viewed on-line via the Ancestry.co.uk website which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial.

In fact, there are over 59,000 Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) pension and service 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 West Riding Regiment 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.

10 joined on 15th July 1881
135 joined on 7th January 1882
422 joined on 25th January 1883
757 joined on 27th March 1884
1011 joined on 25th January 1885
1801 joined on 3rd February 1886
2061 joined on 25th January 1887
2514 joined on 24th July 1889
2595 joined on 23rd January 1890
2904 joined on 10th January 1891
3358 joined on 27th April 1892
3629 joined on 25th January 1893
4171 joined on 11th July 1894
4696 joined on 6th March 1895
4837 joined on 9th January 1896
5316 joined on 14th July 1897
5783 joined on 8th March 1898
5860 joined on 22nd March 1899
6222 joined on 1st January 1900
6667 joined on 14th February 1901
6905 joined on 2nd January 1902
7361 joined on 22nd January 1903
7757 joined on 13th January 1904
8455 joined on 19th January 1905
8564 joined on 8th February 1906
8880 joined on 25th January 1907
9257 joined on 15th May 1908
9613 joined on 25th January 1909
9864 joined on 4th April 1910
10122 joined on 13th September 1911
10424 joined on 24th August 1912
10529 joined on 24th February 1913
10705 joined on 21st January 1914

On 8th August 1914, with the war against Germany just four days old, 10811 signed up with the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment under regular terms of enlistment.

The undated photograph above comes from ibew's site of vintage brass bands and shows men of the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, West Riding Regiment.


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

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found your site really interesting, and was hoping to glean information about my grandfathers regiment, but unfortunately it is not listed. Do you have any information about The Duke of Wellington's 8 & 10th West Riding Regiments?

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks for commenting. Yes I do have information about numbering sequences in the regiment, and most British regiments for that matter. The 8th and 10th Bns were both service battalions which used the same number series that had been in use, pre war, by the two regular battalions. Post your query about the numbers you are researching and I'll see what I can do.

Mark Morgan said...

HI,Very interesting site. I have a British War & Victory Medal to a member of this regt with the serial number 203751.They are the only war medals he's entitled to so he must have joined up/conscripted ofter 1st Jan 1916.Is it possible to be any more accurate than that?
Thanks
Mark

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Mark

The number belongs to the 4th (TF) Battalion. He could have attested before 1st Jan 1916 but obviously, because of his medal entitlement, did not serve overseas before that date. Sorry that my data does not currently help to narrow down a precise joining date for this battalion.

Paul

Mark Morgan said...

Many thanks Paul,I didn't know his battalion so thats a great help.
Regards
Mark

Mark Morgan said...

Hi Paul,
Would that mean as he has a 6 digit number that he probably didn't go to war before the TF introduction of 6 digit numbers in 1917? There is only the one number noted on his MIC & of course no date for 'Entry into theatre!'
Thanks
Mark

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Mark

Yes, that's correct. He may well have joined up before 1917 and been issued with a four-digit number (which would have been in the high 7000s) but the fact that he only has the 6-digit number on his MIC shows that he didn't serve overseas until after the introduction of the 6-digit numbers. A quick look at surviving service records in WO 363 and WO 364 indicates that he could have attested in Decemeber 1915 for instance, but not been called up until later in 1916 and then not proceeded overseas until 1917 at the earliest.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Very helpful site thanks. I have just found my grandfathers Short Service Record which says he signed up in 1915. It says West Riding Regt next to Corps at the top and give a regimental number of 02048 next to his name. this was crossed through at some point and changed to 4889. It does say he transferred in August 1916 but I can't make out to where. Is there anyway to find out more.

Paul Nixon said...

02048 looks like an Army Ordnance Corps number. What was his name, please?

Philip Blackwell said...

I have a WW1 pair to a 4737 Pte G.F. Blackwell West Riding Regiment. Can I assume from the above list that he would have enlisted into the regiment between Mar 1895 and Jan 1896??

Paul Nixon said...

Philip, I think it's probably more likely that the number belongs to one of the series in use by the 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th TF battalions and would have been issued from Aug 1915 onwards (depending on which of those battalions he joined up with).

Philip Blackwell said...

Thanks Paul. That certainly makes more sense!

Phil

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to create such an informative site.
I am looking for information about my Great-Uncle's service/enlistment just before the war started. Would his service number indicate that he was a territorial? James Henry Banks Private Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regt.) 2nd Bn. Date of Death: 23/08/1914 Service No: 10500
Thank you again.


Paul Nixon said...

Re 10500 J H Banks. Thanks for your compliments. No, this man was definitely not a territorial, rather a regular soldier who joined up in late 1912 or early 1913. He was killed on the first day of real fighting between the BEF and the German Army.

MH said...

I am looking for information about a soldier who may have enlisted at the same time as my Great-Uncle James Banks Service No: 10500(previous enquiry). The soldier's service number is 10550 and he was also in the 2nd Battalion Duke of Wellington Regiment. Can you help?

Paul Nixon said...

There will be surviving service records for a number of men with numbers close to 10500 but to research them would be a chargeable exercise. Please see the Research tab on this blog.

Anonymous said...

cor all of this is confusing we,ev got an ancestor in 2nd west riding regiment giving his residencce at the time of marriage in 1916 as the New Inn n altfleet was it requesitioned?

Paul Nixon said...

What was his name please? Do you know his number? Have you tried to find him in army records?

Kay V said...

I am researching the soldiers of Darfield killed in WW1. One of them was Leonard Ashurst of the 2nd Battalion of Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment). His service number is 3/10590 and I was trying to establish roughly when he would have enlisted (he was killed 18 April 1915). But the 3 at the start is confusing me. What would this refer to?

Paul Nixon said...

the 3/ prefix indicates he initially joined the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion and the number dates to August 1914.

Kay V said...

Thank you for that. I have found your site really helpful.

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks for taking the time to say, thank you; many don't. Best wishes, Paul.

Unknown said...

Hi there I just stumbled on your site whilst trying to research my family tree. I have found a relative with a document for the army dated jan 25th 1888 with the number 1012..Im just trying to find some more information about this but wouldnt know where to go as in what was the west riding regiment doing that year? Is it possible he travellex over to the USA specifically the Boston area?... any help is gratefully appreciated...thanks

Paul Nixon said...

The 1st Battalion was in Aden and would return to England in 1889, the 2nd Battalion was in Halifax, Nova Scotia. If you'd like me to research this more, please contact me via the research tab.

S Hampson said...

Ok thank you...that might make some sense...basically my great great grandmother was born in st johns canada approx 1874 and had a baby (my great grandmother born Boston USA 1891) but somehow they end up on a 1901 census in the UK back to where the soldier was born. Perhaps the Halifax Nova Scotia is the link I needed. Thank you I may be back in touch via your link at some point..thanks again.

S Hampson said...

I beg your pardon it was 1885 the document not 1888

Pete Wilson said...

Researching my granddad who began world war 1 with west riding regiment service number 16082 - when did he enlist - when he died in 1918 he was with the Northumberland fusiliers