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.
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