The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry can trace its history back to 1755. This post however, concerns army service numbers and the dates on which these were issued between 1881 and 1914.
In 1881 The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment) was formed out of the old 51st and 105th Regiments of Foot. The 51st Regiment of Foot became the 1st Battalion, King's Own Light Infantry, and the 105th Regiment of Foot became the 2nd Battalion. The newly formed regiment started numbering from 1 in July and continued without pause when the regiment changed its name in 1887 to The King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry). The name would be changed for a third time, in 1920, to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
All of the service numbers listed below come from a larger army service numbers database and are listed her for the purpose of providing a snapshot of army service number patterns in the KOYLI. Service records for all of these numbers survive in the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew, London. They can also be viewed on-line via Ancestry.co.uk which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial.
In fact, there are over 37,000 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 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 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 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.
The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment)
45 joined on 24th November 1881
207 joined on 30th May 1882
780 joined on 6th September 1883
1163 joined on 14th June 1884
1591 joined on 13th February 1885
2281 joined on 19th February 1886
The King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)
2781 joined on 2nd July 1887
2828 joined on 31st August 1888
2987 joined on 18th September 1889
3216 joined on 23rd August 1890
3565 joined on 29th October 1891
3882 joined on 15th August 1892
4113 joined on 7th January 1893
4504 joined on 4th January 1894
5112 joined on 24th October 1895
5215 joined on 18th March 1896
5462 joined on 5th April 1897
5694 joined on 10th February 1898
6222 joined on 29th September 1899
6606 joined on 14th May 1900
6755 joined on 19th February 1901
7011 joined on 1st February 1902
7436 joined on 23rd June 1903
8107 joined on 25th January 1904
8661 joined on 15th February 1905
8843 joined on the 14th April 1906
9207 joined on 10th May 1907
9842 joined on 17th September 1908
10049 joined on 15th April 1909
10181 joined on 5th January 1910
10538 joined on 8th December 1911
10584 joined on 10th January 1912
10894 joined on 17th June 1913
11008 joined on 7th January 1914
When Britain went to war with Germany in August 1914, the newly forming service battalions drew their numbers from the same series above.
The image on this post is that of Major Charles Allix Lavington Yate VC. Charles Yate joined the 2nd KOYLI in Bombay on 13th August 1892 and later took part in the Tirah Campaign of 1897-98. He was seriously wounded during the Boer War and won his VC at Le Cateau on 26th August 1914. Having led a charge against German positions there, he was again severely wounded, taken prisoner, and died a month later in a German prisoner of war camp.
I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.
From The Naval & Military Press:
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Great War
This from the N&M Press:
The KOYLI began the war with five battalions: the 1st and 2nd (in Singapore and Dublin respectively); the 3rd Special Reserve at the Depot in Pontefract, and two Territorial battalions, the 4th in Wakefield and the 5th in Doncaster. Subsequently the two TF battalions each raised second and third line battalions, both the former (2/4th and 2/5th) went to France, and ten Service or Reserve battalions were also raised, numbered 6th to 15th. Of these, the 6th to 10th and the 12th were formed in August/September 1914 and went on active service, while the 15th was formed in France in June 1918. All these battalions served on the Western Front, two of them also served on other fronts - the 1st in Salonika and the 8th in Italy. Fifty-nine battle honours were awarded, 9447 all ranks died and eight VCs were won.
The first chapter is concerned with the 2nd Battalion (13th Brigade, 5th Division) and takes the story from Mons to January 1915 when the 1st Battalion arrived with the newly formed 28th Division. The next chapter is their story from the move from Singapore to their first couple of months in the trenches, to early April 1915. There is a chapter describing the raising of the wartime battalions and with all those that went overseas there is the nominal roll of officers who embarked with them.
There is an index but no roll of honour nor list of awards. These are noted in the text as are officer casualties by name and other ranks by totals. Maps and illustrations are very good. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.