1 September 2009

Royal Warwickshire Regiment - regular battalions


Having just commemorated a Royal Warwickshire Regiment man on my WW1 Remembrance blog, I thought I'd use this post to look at army service numbers issued to men joining the regular battalions of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment between 1881 and 1914.

In 1881 the 6th Regiment of Foot became the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and in the years up until 1914 fought at Atbara and Omdurman in the Sudan and later during the Boer War campaign.

Service records for all of the following numbers survive in the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew, London. Also view these on-line as part of a FREE 14 day trial with Ancestry.co.uk.

71 joined on 3rd September 1881
354 joined on 20th April 1882
710 joined on 27th June 1883
934 joined on 25th January 1884
1401 joined on 22nd June 1885
1930 joined on 6th October 1886
2110 joined on 9th February 1887
2260 joined on 3rd March 1888
2448 joined on 25th January 1889
2693 joined on 17th April 1890
3200 joined on 12th March 1891
3582 joined on 19th February 1892
3781 joined on 17th January 1893
4216 joined on 17th April 1894
4553 joined on 5th June 1895
4680 joined on 8th May 1896
5028 joined on 4th August 1897
5440 joined on 15th March 1898

On 6th April 1898 - and with tensions in South Africa increasing - the Royal Warwickshire Regiment raised a 3rd regular battalion in Ireland. The 3rd Battalion drew numbers from the same series as the 1st and 2nd Battalions. It would eventually be disbanded in England on 23rd April 1907.

6661 joined on 13th February 1899
7326 joined on 5th June 1900
7683 joined on 13th February 1901

On 3rd February 1902 the Royal Warwickshire Regiment raised a 4th regular battalion at Colchester in Essex and it too drew numbers from the same series being used by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions. The 4th Battalion would be disbanded on 9th February 1907.

8480 joined on 1st March 1902
9376 joined on 30th March 1903
9842 joined on 9th January 1904

In 1904 - or late 1903 - and with its numbering approaching 9999, the regiment applied to the Adjutant-General to commence a new series of numbers. Permission was duly granted and the regiment started numbering from 1 again in 1904. 1904 was also one of those years in which regulations regarding numbering changed; not in time though for the Royal Warwickshire regiment which had seen its recruitment figures leap as a result of the addition of two regular battalions. Read more about Queen's and King's Regulations regarding numbering, HERE.

552 joined on 17th October 1905
779 joined on 2nd March 1906
968 joined on 13th November 1907
1152 joined on 11th August 1908
1493 joined on 13th December 1909
1650 joined on 8th June 1910
1770 joined on 4th February 1911
1987 joined on 27th January 1912
2253 joined on 7th January 1913
2539 joined on 9th June 1914

When Britain went to war with Germany a couple of months later, the newly forming service battalions (with the exception of the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Battalions) drew numbers from the same series that had been used by the regulars.

1st Battalion stations 1881-1914

1881     London
1885     Plymouth
1885     Tipperary
1889     Fermoy
1890     Aldershot
1895     Malta
1896     Egypt
1898     Sudan
1898     Madras
1901     Belgaum
1904     Quetta
1908     Peshawar
1910     Bombay
1911     Aden
1912     Shornecliffe
1913     Portsmouth
1914     France & Flanders (from August)

2nd Battalion stations 1881-1914

1881     Jubbulpore
1885     Calcutta
1889     Subathu (India)
1891     Ceylon
1896     Chatham
1898     Ireland
1899     South Africa
1901     Devonport
1904     Portland
1906     Borden
1909     Lichfield
1912     Malta
1914     France & Flanders (from October)

3rd Battalion stations 1898-1907

1898     Raised in Ireland on the 6th April
1898     Malta
1902     Bermuda
1904     Gibraltar
1905     South Africa
1907     England.  Disbanded on the 23rd April.

4th Battalion stations 1900-1909

1900     Raised in Colchester on the 3rd February.
1901     Dublin
1906     England
1907     Disbanded on the 9th February.

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

British Military History Bookshop

Click the link above to view Royal Warwickshire Regiment and Warwickshire-related military books.

From The Naval & Military Press



A Brigade of the Old Army - 1914

The author was a Brigadier-General in 1914, commanding the 10th Infantry Brigade (1st Royal Warwickshire, 2nd Seaforth Highlanders, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers and 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers) of the 4th Division and ending up as a corps commander. The 4th Division formed the second wave of the BEF, arriving in France on 22nd August 1914 in time to join in the retreat from Mons.

This account, though not published until after the war, was written at the front in the Spring of 1915 and the author has allowed it to stand practically as it was written at the time, thus providing a valuable and immediate contribution to the fighting in those early days. He covers Le Cateau, the retreat, the subsequent advance to the Aisne and the move to Flanders. In mid-November 1914 Haldane handed over command of 10th Brigade at ‘Plugstreet’ on promotion to command of the 3rd Division at Ypres, where its commander, Maj Gen E.Hamilton, had been killed. During the retreat from Mons the COs of 1st R Warwicks and 2nd RDF attempted to negotiate the surrender of their battalions at St Quentin, a move that was frustrated by the actions of Major Tom Bridges. Both COs were later courtmartialled and cashiered.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul

Thanks for the blog. It's a very useful resource.

For what it's worth, to add to the above:
395 joined on 19th May 1882 in Calcutta
8963 joined on 3rd September 1902 in Malta

Regards
Tom

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks for your compliments and for taking the trouble to post that information, Tom.

Anonymous said...

Paul
Do you have anyway of identifying if someone was in Royal Warwicks and whether they were in Ireland 1917-1919 ish.
Trying to find how my grandad fron Aston ended up in Ireland to marry gran.
Marriage cert says soldier.
His name was Thomas Arthur Robinson born 1898

Martin

Paul Nixon said...

I couldn't find a medal index card for a man of that name in that regiment. Not conclusive proof that he wasn't in Ireland with the regiment however. He might have been, and may never have travelled overseas. I could not see a service record for this man either. Have you tried contacting the regimental archive? Is there a Royal Warwicks forum online? These would be my next steps?

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, thanks for posting the information on RWR regimental numbering. According to the medals list my father recieved Regt. 1st Batt. #534. Born February 1889, he must have joined in 1904-5. His service records apparently were amongst those burn during WW2. He was listed in the Regt. diaries as have been wounded twice from Aug.1914 onward but I haven't been able to get any details of his service in India prior the outbreak or after the Armistice in 1919. Any ideas of a path I could follow before I get to the point of no return and can't leave my children grandchildren details of his Army life?

Paul Nixon said...

Re 534 Royal Warwicks

Sorry for the late response on this. He would not have gone overseas until he was 20 years old at least and so you'd be looking at the period 1909-1914.

I have updated the original post showing locations of the battalions up to 1914.

Paul