31 March 2009

National Reserve Regulations 1913

Courtesy of Graham Stewart, I re-publish here the National Reserve Regulations for 1913. Also see my post on the National Reserve Regulations for 1911.











Also see the article on Reserves and reservists on The Long, Long Trail website.

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

National Reserve Regulations 1911

Courtesy of Graham Stewart, I re-publish here the National Reserve Regulations for 1911.












Also see the article on Reserves and reservists on The Long, Long Trail website.

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

The Lincolnshire Regiment - 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion

Prior to the creation of the Special Reserve in 1908, the Lincolnshire Regiment had two militia battalions, the 3rd and 4th. The 3rd Battalion was converted into the 3rd (Special) Reserve Battalion and the 4th Battalion was disbanded.

Here are some army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the 3rd Special Reserve Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment, (which continued with the numbering system previously used by the 3rd Militia Battalion).

6611 joined on 19th December 1908
6665 joined on 4th January 1909
6932 joined on 13th June 1910
7098 joined on 12th July 1911
7379 joined on 27th November 1912
7445 joined on 22nd March 1913
7534 joined on 16th April 1914
7679 joined on 8th August 1914
8338 joined on 1st September 1914
9353 joined on 1st October 1914

9474 is currently the last number on my database for the 3rd Lincolnshire Regiment, and this man joined on 29th October 1914.

Also see my other posts regarding the Lincolnshire Regiment:

The 1st & 2nd Battalions, The Lincolnshire Regiment
The 4th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment
The 5th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment
The Lincolnshire Regiment - Service Battalions
The Lincolnshire Regiment - 10th Battalion - Grimsby Chums
Donald Banks - A Lincolnshire Terrier

And also:

The Lincolnshire Yeomanry

View Lincolnshire Regiment service records, pension records and medal index cards on-line via the Ancestry.co.uk website.

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



26 March 2009

The Lincolnshire Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions



There are over 42,000 Lincolnshire Regiment 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.

Prior to 1st July 1881, the Lincolnshire Regiment was the 10th Regiment of Foot. It started a new regimental number series from this date, some samples from which I list below. Use this list as a guide to determine when your own ancestor might have joined this regiment - but note that this list is for regular enlistments only. Special Reserve and Territorial Force battalions operated their own distinct regimental number series.

Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the (Regular) 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Lincolnshire Regiment.

124 joined on 13th October 1881
329 joined on 28th August 1882
584 joined on 2nd September 1883
918 joined on 5th November 1884
1364 joined on 18th October 1885
1620 joined on 15th October 1886
1959 joined on 15th June 1887
2168 joined on 9th May 1888
2362 joined on 14th June 1889
2480 joined on 8th January 1890
2700 joined on 12th February 1891
3129 joined on 16th June 1892
3490 joined on 23rd January 1893
3860 joined on 29th January 1894
4133 joined on 23rd March 1895
4506 joined on 30th January 1896
4720 joined on 1st May 1897
4916 joined on 4th January 1898
5305 joined on 24th March 1899
5584 joined on 26th January 1900
5839 joined on 15th February 1901
6078 joined on 27th January 1902
6310 joined on 19th January 1903
7030 joined on 16th May 1904
7561 joined on 31st May 1905
7700 joined on 20th February 1906
7886 joined on 7th January 1907
8411 joined on 27th January 1908
8615 joined on 13th January 1909
8902 joined on 9th April 1910
9198 joined on 9th August 1911
9455 joined on 12th October 1912
9607 joined on 23rd June 1913
9745 joined on July 6th 1914

As far as I can work out, the Lincolnshire Regiment had reached around 9762 by the time Britain declared war on Germany on 4th August 1914. The service battalions which began forming shortly afterwards, then followed the same numbering sequence that the regular battalions had maintained since 1881, and over the next four and a half years there was no distinction in numbering between men who enlisted for wartime service only and those who enlisted as career soldiers for Seven and Five.

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

Also see my other posts regarding the Lincolnshire Regiment:

The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment
The 4th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment
The 5th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment
The Lincolnshire Regiment - Service Battalions
The Lincolnshire Regiment - 10th Battalion - Grimsby Chums
Donald Banks - A Lincolnshire Terrier

And also:

The Lincolnshire Yeomanry

Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!



23 March 2009

The Bedfordshire Regiment - 3rd & 4th Battalions

The 3rd (Special Reserve) and the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment were the natural heirs of the 3rd and 4th Bedfordshire Militia Battalions and men transferring from the Bedfordshire Militia to the newly formed Bedfordshire Special and Extra Reserve Battalions in 1908, retained their old numbers.

Men attested with the Special Reserve on Army Form B.59: ARMY RESERVE (SPECIAL RESERVISTS) and they did so for six years' service. Question 11. of the attestation form asked:

"Have you ever served in the Army, the Marines, the Reserve Forces, the Territorial Force, the Militia, the Militia Reserve, The Imperial Yeomanry, or the Royal Navy. If so, state which and cause of discharge."

An asterisk against the question pointed towards a further note:

"If so, the Recruit is to be asked the particulars of his former service, and to produce, if possible, his Parchment Certificate of Discharge and Certificate of Character which should be returned to him conspicuously endorsed in red ink as follows: Name, Re-enlisted in the (Regiment), on the (Date)."

Men joining the Special Reserve or Extra Reserve straight from the Militia fell into none of the eight categories outlined in question 11. and so it is usual in their cases to see the answer given as, "No, except for the Militia in which I am still serving" or words along those lines.

Here are some Army Service numbers and corresponding joining dates for men attesting with the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment:

The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment

4305 joined on 21st June 1908

As I mentioned earlier, men joining the 3rd & 4th Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment from the old Bedfordshire Militia battalions retained their old Militia numbers. Neither the 3rd nor the 4th Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment started numbering from 1 in 1908. Number 4305 was a 3rd Militia Battalion man who had originally been issued his number when he joined the Militia in September 1901. Certainly by the time the Militia ceased to exist, both the 3rd and the 4th Bedfordshire Militia battalions were numbering in the 5900s and possibly higher (although I don't currently have the data to prove that).

6086 joined on 30th June 1908 (no prior Militia service)
6170 joined on 5th January 1909
6518 joined on 25th April 1910
6835 joined on 8th August 1911
6994 joined on 29th January 1912
7258 joined on 11th February 1913
7486 joined on 6th July 1914
7511 joined on 8th August 1914
7932 joined on 10th September 1914
8608 joined on 2nd October 1914
8756 joined on 2nd November 1914

My data for the 3rd Battalion currently ends at this point.

4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment

6092 joined on 2nd November 1908
6141 joined on 20th January 1909
6267 joined on 17th January 1910
6602 joined on 30th December 1911
6694 joined on 28th August 1912
6772 joined on 4th January 1913
6908 joined on 8th January 1914
7101 joined on 7th August 1914
7326 joined on 5th September 1914

My data for the 4th Battalion currently ends at this point.

Although I've not included prefixes in the numbers above, it was usual to prefix 3rd battalion numbers with a 3/ and 4th Battalion numbers with a 4/; usual but by no means universal.

Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!


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

21 March 2009

Alf Webb - a Bedfordshire regular



Since publishing this post about Alf Webb, I have been sent additional information and photographs of him which I have posted here on my Army Ancestry Research blog. My original post follows below:

Alf Webb sent this postcard to his sister in late September or early October 1914. On the reverse it reads:

Dear E

Will you let all of them know that we are moving from here Sunday 4th but don't know where. With love from Alf xxx

21st Brigade
7th Division
2nd Beds Reg, A Coy

and inside the card - the knapsack on the soldier's back - on the back of a series of humorous images, he had written an earlier note:

Dear E

Hope you are quite well as it leaves me. I suppose you are quite busy now aren't you. Give my love to all at Bedford and tell them I will write later, especially Lily as I haven't written to her for a long time but you see we are so busy now, we don't know when we are moving yet but it may be any time now. Hope you will like these views from

Loving brother Alf xxx

The 2nd Bedfords had been in South Africa when Britain went to war with Germany. The battalion was mobilized on the 10th August and embarked for England aboard HMT Kenilworth Castle at Cape Town on the 22nd August. It put into Table Bay the following day and sailed for England on the 27th.

After a short stop at St Helena, the battalion arrived in at Southampton on the 19th September and then moved to Lyndhurst where it joined the 21st Brigade in the 7th Division. As Alf wrote to his sister, the battalion moved in two trains to Southampton on the 4th October, half of the battalion then sailing to France the same day, the other half sailing the following day.

It's doubtful that Alf Webb ever saw his sister again. He was killed in action on the 20th September 1915. Soldiers Died in the Great War (SDGW) notes 10069 Corporal Alfred Webb of the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. He was born in Clavering, Essex and at the time of his enlistment at Bedford, was living at Newport in Essex.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that Alf was 21 years old, the son of Joseph and Susan Harriet Webb, of Wicken Rd, Newport, Essex. He is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery.

Finally, using the information that I posted the other day on army service numbers in the regular battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment we can see that Alf must have joined up between 6th April 1912 and 28th June 1913. Actually, he must have joined up in 1912 because number 10111 was issued on 6th September 1912.

Thanks to his consideration in sending a postcard to his sister in 1914 I am able to commemorate Alfred Webb on this army service numbers blog.

Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!


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

19 March 2009

The Bedfordshire Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions



There are over 35,000 Bedfordshire Regiment 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.

Pictured above, Private Alf Webb, a Bedfordshire regular who I have written about elsewhere. Alf joined the regiment in 1912 and was killed in action on the 20th September 1915. The photo above probably dates to pre-First World War.

Here is a sample series of regimental numbers and corresponding joining dates for the regular 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment. Use these numbers and dates as a guide to plot your own ancestor's joining date.

19 joined on 7th September 1881
245 joined on 11th February 1882
732 joined on 15th May 1883
1001 joined on 20th May 1884
1391 joined on 6th February 1885
1904 joined on 25th February 1886
2342 joined on 25th May 1887
2580 joined on 12th January 1888
3085 joined on 1st March 1889
3462 joined on 14th January 1890
3753 joined on 20th January 1891
4034 joined on 20th March 1892
4663 joined on 26th September 1893
5015 joined on 1st September 1894
5249 joined on 28th January 1895
5671 joined on 23rd April 1896
6044 joined on 10th August 1897
6312 joined on 20th July 1898
6571 joined on 24th July 1899
6747 joined on 1st March 1900
6928 joined on 26th February 1901
7233 joined on 8th July 1902
7413 joined on 19th January 1903
7947 joined on 5th February 1904
8193 joined on 27th January 1905
8501 joined on 15th May 1906
8901 joined on 14th January 1907
9340 joined on 7th August 1908
9460 joined on 11th June 1909
9526 joined on 31st January 1910
9750 joined on 8th April 1911
9994 joined on 6th April 1912
10259 joined on 28th June 1913
10358 joined on 7th January 1914

The First World War

The 6th (Service) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, was formed in August 1914. Men joining this battalion were given numbers that followed the same sequence being used by the regular battalions. So, in theory, 10400 (to take a hypothetical example) could enlist with the 6th Battalion for the duration of the war whilst 10401 could enlist with the 1st or 2nd battalion for Seven years with the Colours and five years on the Reserve.

I have a gap in my regular army service number data between 10381 (joined 9th February 1914) and 10712 (joined 14th August 1914). Certainly numbers in the 104** and 106** range were issued to 6th Battalion men between the 10th and 13th August 1914 and, from the information I hold, it looks as though this "sharing" (for want of a better term) of numbers between the 6th Battalion and the 1st and 2nd Battalion continued into the 107**s.

At some point in August 1914 though, it looks as though a decision was taken to separate the numbering sequences of the regular battalions from that of the service battalions. Service battalion numbering leaps from the 107**s to the 120**s in August 1914 whilst numbers in the 107** series and above, continued to be issued to regular enlistments throughout the war.

Here then, are some more regular enlistment army service numbers and joining dates for Bedfordshire Regiment enlistments during the war years:

10766 joined on 2nd November 1914
10785 joined on 12th December 1914
10793 joined on 4th January 1915
10849 joined on 18th March 1915
10881 joined on 29th April 1915
10891 joined on 22nd May 1915
10955 joined on 26th September 1915
10972 joined on 25th October 1915
10983 joined on 9th November 1915
11011 joined on 25th February 1916
11057 joined on 20th October 1916
11110 joined on 18th October 1917
11116 joined on 24th January 1918

My data currently ends in January 1918, and if some of the foregoing information is confusing, here's a summary based on my examination of the Bedfordshire Regiment army service numbers on my database:

Number 1 - 10450 (approx)
Regular enlistments whose numbers were issued sequentially between 1st July 1881 and 3rd August 1914
Number 10451 (approx) to 10760 (approx)
Regular enlistments and war-time service enlistments who joined the Bedfordshire Regiment in August 1914
Number 10761 (approx) to 11200 (approx)
Regular enlistments between c October 1914 and November 1918

And finally, a word of caution.

It is wrong to assume that numbering sequences in battalions always followed a sequential pattern. As can be seen above, they didn't. As the war progressed and casualties grew, large numbers of men were often transferred from one battalion to another and allocated numbers within blocks which did not fit the sequential patterning seen to date. This becomes particularly evident in most battalions from 1916 onwards.

For example, Bedfordshire Regiment numbers in the 119** range, which one might reasonably expect to fall in between the August 1914 107** and 120** patterns mentioned above, do no such thing. They appear to have been issued in July 1917 to men serving in the Bedfordshire Regiment graduated battalions.

For chapter and verse on the Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War, visit Steve Fuller's excellent website.

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

18 March 2009

The Gloucestershire Regiment - 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion

Prior to 1908 the Gloucestershire Regiment had two Militia battalions, the 3rd and the 4th. When the Special Reserve was formed in 1908, the 4th Militia Battalion was disbanded and men from it and from the 3rd Militia Battalion were encouraged to transfer to the newly formed 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion.



Unlike many Special and Extra Reserve Battalions which, when they were formed, simply continued with the old militia series of numbers that had been in use, the 3rd Gloucestershire Regiment started numbering from 1.



Recruiting for the militia as a whole, ceased on 15th January 1908 and from the following day, all enlistments were for the Special Reserve. See my earlier posts on the creation of the Special Reserve and the Special Reserve appendices for the full detail.



The first number currently on my database for the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment is number 57 who joined on 20th January 1908 having previously served with the 4th Militia Battalion. The last number on my database is currently 3279 who joined on 3rd November 1914.



In that first year, 1908, over 700 men enlisted with the 3rd Gloucesters (number 711 joined on 30th December 1908) but then recruitment slowed dramatically, averaging roughly 300 recruits a year (for instance, less than 800 men joined up between 1st January 1909 and 10th January 1912).



Here then, are some army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the 3rd Gloucesters between 1908 and 1914.



57 joined on 20th January 1908
721 joined on 1st January 1909
1059 joined on 1st March 1910
1323 joined on 2nd May 1911
1517 joined on 10th Janaury 1912
1815 joined on 11th January 1913
2015 joined on 27th March 1914
2104 joined on 13th August 1914
2616 joined on 3rd September 1914
3219 joined on 15th October 1914
3271 joined on 3rd November 1914



Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!


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

Also see my other posts on the Gloucestershire Regiment:

1st and 2nd (Regular) Battalions, The Gloucestershire Regiment

4th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
6th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment

The Service Battalions, The Gloucestershire Regiment

View Gloucestershire Regiment service records, pension records and medal index cards on-line.

16 March 2009

The Gloucestershire Regiment - 1st and 2nd Battalions


The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Gloucestershire were born on 1st July 1881 and were formed from the 28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot and the 61st (South Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot, respectively. 

There are over 38,000 Gloucestershire 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 Gloucestershire 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.


The regiment started numbering from 1 from 1st July July 1881. Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for regular soldiers enlisting with the Gloucestershire Regiment between July 1881 and August 1914.

39 joined on 17th October 1881
134 joined on 25th March 1882
572 joined on 7th July 1883
704 joined on 6th March 1884
1287 joined on 5th March 1885
1528 joined on 22nd June 1886
2093 joined on 21st March 1887
2391 joined on 28th August 1888
2599 joined on 5th March 1889
3050 joined on 15th November 1890
3098 joined on 23rd January 1891
3598 joined on 15th June 1892
3988 joined on 9th June 1893
4268 joined on 24th January 1894
4641 joined on 13th August 1895
4852 joined on 14th August 1896
5129 joined on 21st October 1897
5256 joined on 9th March 1898
5502 joined on 13th January 1899
5752 joined on 3rd January 1900
6088 joined on 11th January 1901
6415 joined on 23rd April 1902
6737 joined on 9th February 1903
7480 joined on 12th March 1904
8070 joined on 24th November 1905
8266 joined on 21st August 1906
8484 joined on 8th April 1907
8686 joined on 20th January 1908
9231 joined on 13th October 1909
9259 joined on 24th January 1910
9501 joined on 21st April 1911
9697 joined on 17th August 1912
9808 joined on 13th March 1913
9937 joined on 17th February 1914
10044 joined on 9th August 1914

Although I have no documentary evidence to support this, looking at number patterns for the newly formed Gloucestershire Regiment service battalions in August and September 1914, it appears that men joining these battalions were - for the most part - allocated numbers in the 101** range and above. Certainly, men joining up for regular terms of enlistment post August 1914 and into early 1915 were given numbers which continued in the 100** range. Thus 10070 joined on 5th October 1914, 10090 on 25th November 1914 and 10094 on 1st December 1914.

The theory is not foolproof. 10027 Albert Elliott (a Boer War veteran with the 5th Warwickshire Militia Battalion) joined up for three years with the colours on 10th August 1914 and there are undoubtedly others too who confound my attempted logic above.

Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!

Also see my other posts on the Gloucestershire Regiment:

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment

4th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
6th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment

The Service Battalions, The Gloucestershire Regiment

View Gloucestershire Regiment service records, pension records and medal index cards on-line.


The Naval and Military Press has re-published this work and has this to say about it:

"As the subtitle states these are the records of the 1st (28th Foot), 2nd (61st Foot)), 3rd (Special Reserve) and 4th, 5th and 6th (First-Line T.A.) Battalions, in other words this is the history of the battalions of the regiment which existed prior to the outbreak of war. The one appendix lists the twenty-four battalions that existed during the war, indicating the theatre of war in which they served and in which division. Eight of these battalions did not serve overseas, and of the rest only one (7th Service Battalion) did not serve on the Western Front, it went with 13th Division to Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and Persia. Total losses amounted to 8,100, 72 battle honours were awarded and in the appendix is shown which honours were awarded to which battalion.

"In August 1914 the 1st Battalion was stationed in Bordon, part of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, 1st Division, and was among the first British troops to disembark in Le Havre, on 13th August. The first quarter of this book is concerned with the doings of the 1st Battalion which saw action in the early battles of the war - Mons and the retreat, the Marne, the Aisne, First Ypres and Givenchy.

"The 2nd Battalion was in China when war broke out and came home to join the newly formed 81st Brigade, 27th Division which arrived in France in December 1914 and in November 1915 was transferred to Salonika, where it remained for the rest of the war. Three chapters of the book deal with the operations in that theatre of war.

"The three Territorial battalions were in the South Midland Division, later the 48th which crossed to France at the end of March 1915 and fought on theWestern front till November 1917, when it was sent to Italy where it remained till the armistice. The final chapter gives the account of operations in that theatre.

"The author, a well known military historian, was probably the most prolific among the writers of regimental and divisional histories, some thirteen in all, and this account reflects the skill of the writer in producing a very readable narrative, which draws on the Battalion Diary, on individual accounts of actions, some quite lengthy, and makes use of footnotes to give casualty details in addition to those contained in the text, various comments, and items of information from other sources to confirm or add to the main text. The maps are good. There is no Roll of Honour nor list of honours and awards."

Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!




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

12 March 2009

With the 1/5th Essex in the east - Appendices

This is a little off topic I suppose, but having referred to With the 1/5th Essex in the east in Every number tells a story - 1/5th Essex case study, I thought I'd post the appendices here. Plenty of army service numbers here to digest and interrogate. See my post on 5th Essex Regiment numbering. Click on the images for readable versions.

Appendix I - 1. 1/5th Essex Casualties






Appendix I - 2. 1/5th Essex Wounded (see also previous scan)







Appendix II - 1/5th Essex Honours & Awards



Appendix III - 1/5th Essex officers




Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!



The Naval and Military Press has re-published With The 1/5th Essex in the east and has this to say about the book:

"Unusually for a British service [actually it was a Territorial Force battalion] Battalion, the Fifth battalion of the Essex Regiment spent its entire Great War service in action against the Turks. The battalion had a bloody baptism of fire when it was thrown into the inferno of Gallipoli in 1915, fighting in the trenches near Anzac Cove. The rest of its war was spent in Egypt, guarding the Suez Canal, and then in Gaza and Palestine, where the battalion formed part of Allenby’s successful advance to capture Jerusalem and Damascus in 1918. Illustrated by photographs, maps and accompanied by a Roll of Honour, this is an unusually fine history of a unit that, though not on the western front, still saw savage fighting."


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

Every number tells a story - 5th Essex case study


I've copied the extract above from With the 1/5th Essex in the east by Lt Col T Gibbons. Many years ago I interviewed 2075 Private Bertie Murkin who'd served with the battalion, and he gave me his copy of Lt Col Gibbons's book.

The three appendices list officer and other rank casualties, officers and men wounded, decorations awarded and officers who served. As a reference source for anybody interested in the 1/5th Essex, the book is invaluable.

The extract above is taken from the roll of other ranks wounded and I post it here to illustrate the point about the importance of army service numbers in determining when a man joined a particular unit - in this case, the 1/5th Essex.

The six digit numbers are those numbers issued when the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917. These were issued sequentially and in order of seniority (length of service) with the battalion. Refer back to my post showing sample service numbers for the 5th Essex Regiment to get a clearer idea of exactly when these men enlisted.

The first man on the list above, 2500021 CSM H Frost, was almost certainly serving with the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Essex Regiment before he joined the 5th Essex when it was formed on 1st April 1908. 250060 Pte F W Goodey was also an early recruit, his number dating to 1909 or 1910.

Private Gowers, wounded twice, has two numbers; his original number: 2177 (wounded on 14th August 1915), and his new six digit number 250363 (wounded for a second time in March 1917). From my data, number 2184 joined up on 5th August, so it's a good bet that Private Gowers, with a number just seven digits lower, joined up at around the same time.

As for the four five-digit numbers beginning 36*** and 37***, they're all conscripts who were given regular army five digit service numbers on being posted to the 5th Essex.

Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!

Bertie Murkin, who gave me his book, must have joined up in April 1914. There appears to have been a recruiting drive around this time and his number indicates that he joined the Terriers on about the 27th April. He was later re-numbered 250319.



The Naval and Military Press has re-published With The 1/5th Essex in the east and has this to say about the book:

"Unusually for a British service [actually it was a Territorial Force battalion] Battalion, the Fifth battalion of the Essex Regiment spent its entire Great War service in action against the Turks. The battalion had a bloody baptism of fire when it was thrown into the inferno of Gallipoli in 1915, fighting in the trenches near Anzac Cove. The rest of its war was spent in Egypt, guarding the Suez Canal, and then in Gaza and Palestine, where the battalion formed part of Allenby’s successful advance to capture Jerusalem and Damascus in 1918. Illustrated by photographs, maps and accompanied by a Roll of Honour, this is an unusually fine history of a unit that, though not on the western front, still saw savage fighting."


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