29 April 2009

Donald Banks - A Lincolnshire Terrier



I've moved this post to My World War 1 Veterans blog which wasn't in existence when I first wrote about Donald Banks here. Click here: Donald Banks - First World War veteran.

Also see my other Lincolnshire Regiment posts:
The 1st & 2nd Battalions, 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
And also:
The Lincolnshire Yeomanry


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

28 April 2009

Corps of Dragoons - Recruitment 1881-1906

If, between the years 1881 and 1913 (and except for a blip during the Boer War years), recruitment into some infantry of the line regiments appears to have been conducted at a snail's pace, it was slower still in the cavalry regiments.

Here are some rough recruitment rates for the Corps of Dragoons between 1881 and 1906

1st King's Dragoon Guards
Approximately 155 men recruited per annum
2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen's Bays)
Approximately 154 men recruited per annum
3rd (Princess of Wales) Dragoon Guards
Approximately 150 men recruited per annum
4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards
Approximately 117 men recruited per annum
5th (Prince Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards
Approximately 128 men recruited per annum
6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers)
Approximately 138 men recruited per annum
7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards
Approximately 180 men recruited per annum
1st (Royal) Dragoons
Approximately 146 men recruited per annum
2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys)
Approximately 156 men recruited per annum
6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons
Approximately 143 men recruited per annum

I've calculated the above simply by subtracting the first numbers on my Dragoons army service numbers database from the last numbers and then dividing by the number of years. So for instance, for the 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2087 joined on 5th March 1881 and 5879 joined on 5th September 1906. 5879 minus 2087 = 3792. Divide that by the 26 years it took to climb from 2087 to 5879 and you arrive at 145.846...

Recruitment into the regular army was an extremely slow affair for most of the time.

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

24 April 2009

The Gloucestershire Regiment - 6th Battalion

Like the 4th Gloucesters, the 6th Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment was a Bristol-based battalion. It had its origins in the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment.

In early 1914, HQ and A to H Companies were all located at St Michael's Hill, Bristol (Ray Westlake: The Territorial Force 1914) and the battalion recruited men from the Bristol area.

Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the 6th Gloucesters.

118 (an old 2nd VB man) joined on 2nd April 1908
897 joined on 9th February 1909
1351 joined on 23rd March 1910
1538 joined on 16th January 1911
1742 joined on 22nd January 1912
1994 joined on 27th January 1913
2123 joined on 8th March 1914
2218 joined on 4th August 1914
2993 joined on 5th September 1914
3380 joined on 29th October 1914
3404 joined on 9th November 1914
3518 joined on 7th December 1914
3603 joined on 6th January 1914
3708 joined on 2nd March 1915
3755 joined on 13th April 1915
3952 joined on 1st May 1915
4400 joined on 14th June 1915
4476 joined on 1st July 1915
4620 joined on 6th August 1915
4679 joined on 30th September 1915
4716 joined on 7th October 1915
4818 joined on 2nd November 1915
4972 joined on 18th December 1915
5013 joined on 1st February 1916
5063 joined on 9th March 1916
5569 joined on 5th May 1916

I'm going to stop at May 1916, partly because my data thins out from here on in and partly because from this point in time, numbering in the battalion becomes far less reliable from a sequential point of view. Number 5824 joined the battalion on 1st August 1916 but the previous month, number 6139 was issued to a man who transferred from the 6th Devons (and he was later re-numbered 267355).

March 1916 saw a huge influx of men into the battalion, at least 400 by my reckoning; the vast majority of these men going into the third line (or 3/6th) battalion which had been formed in 1915. The 2/6th Battalion had been formed in September 1914.

When the Territorial Force re-numbered in 1917, the 6th Gloucesters was allocated numbers in the range 265001 to 290000. Here are some sample army service numbers and joining dates for this series of numbers.

265006 originally joined on 1st April 1908
265032 originally joined on 14th June 1909
265060 originally joined on 17th January 1911
265212 originally joined on 24th June 1913
265252 originally joined on 30th April 1914
265238 originally joined on 4th August 1914
265614 originally joined on 1st September 1914
265945 originally joined on 26th October 1914
265952 originally joined on 3rd November 1914
266106 originally joined on 24th April 1915
266466 originally joined on 14th June 1915
266609 originally joined on 19th October 1915
266653 originally joined on 2nd November 1915
266800 originally joined on 9th March 1915

Also see my other posts on the Gloucestershire Regiment:
1st and 2nd (Regular) Battalions, The Gloucestershire Regiment
3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
4th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
5th (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 Gloucestershire Regiment in the War 1914-1918


Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!


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...

"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.




23 April 2009

The Gloucestershire Regiment - 5th Battalion

The 5th Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, was a Territorial Force Battalion formed in April 1908. It had its origins in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment.

By February 1914, the distribution of 5th Battalion companies was as follows: HQ and A and B Companies were at Gloucester, C Company: Stroud, D Company: Tewkesbury, E and F Companies: Cheltenham, G Company: Dursley, H Company: Campden.

Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the 5th Gloucesters.

717 24th September 1908
1106 joined on 30th September 1909
1245 joined on 2nd March 1910
1339 joined on 29th January 1911
1598 joined on 15th March 1912
1758 joined on 29th January 1913
2104 joined on 30th March 1914
2473 joined on 28th August 1914
2849 joined on 7th September 1914
3336 joined on 13th October 1914
3406 joined on 3rd November 1914
3734 joined on 4th December 1914
3822 joined on 23rd January 1915
3878 joined on 2nd February 1915
3949 joined on 16th March 1915
4106 joined on 17th April 1915
4198 joined on 8th May 1915
4359 joined on 1st June 1915
4474 joined on 9th July 1915
4498 joined on 4th August 1915
4533 joined on 4th September 1915
4570 joined on 12th October 1915
4615 joined on 3rd November 1915
4719 joined on 6th December 1915
4767 joined on 15th January 1916
4790 joined on 8th February 1916
5013 joined on 14th March 1916
5265 joined on 27th April 1916
5300 joined on 2nd May 1916
5443 joined on 1st July 1916
5492 joined on 4th August 1916

I'm going to stop at this point as from here on in, with men transferring into the 5th Battalion from other Gloucestershire Regiment battalions, and from other regiments, the data becomes far less sequential (for instance, 5965 also joined on the 1st July 1916, transferring from the 6th King's Liverpool Regiment).

There were also supernumerary companies attached to the 5th Gloucestershire Regiment, these filled with local National Reservists. These men were at first numbered in the same series noted above, although from July 1915 they were allocated a separate series beginning at 20000. Thus 20003 joined on 13th July 1915 and 20095 on 26th October 1915. Supernumerary Company men who had previously been given four digit numbers from the main series were not re-numbered when the five digit series was introduced.

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, the 5th Gloucestershire Regiment was allocated numbers within the range 240001 to 265000. Here are some numbers and dates from this six digit series.

240009 originally joined on 5th April 1908
240198 originally joined on 29th January 1913
240371 originally joined on 1st April 1914
240642 originally joined on 26th August 1914
240913 originally joined on 11th September 1914
241133 originally joined on 27th October 1914
241191 originally joined on 26th November 1914
241225 originally joined on 21st December 1914
241269 originally joined on 2nd February 1915
241304 originally joined on 29th March 1915
241316 originally joined on 17th April 1915
241403 originally joined on 27th May 1915
241482 originally joined on 9th July 1915
241496 originally joined on 10th August 1915
241522 originally joined on 12th October 1915
241624 originally joined on 6th December 1915
241650 originally joined on 15th January 1916
241800 originally joined on 14th March 1916
241985 originally joined on 17th July 1916

Again, I'll stop the data at this point. Well worth a visit for anybody with a Gloucestershire Regiment interest, is the Soldiers of Gloucestershire website which includes searchable databases of 19th Century and WW1 Gloucestershire Regiment men. Key in the numbers above to reveal brief details about the men, or read their service and pension records or medal index cards via the Ancestry.co.uk website.

WW1 poet Ivor Gurney was a 5th Gloucestershire man. His original number was 3895 which means that he must have joined the battalion between 2nd and 24th February 1915 (3908 joined on 24th February 1915). He was later re-numbered 241281.

Also see my other posts on the Gloucestershire Regiment:

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

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment

4th (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 Gloucestershire Regiment in the War 1914-1918

Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!


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.



22 April 2009

Royal Irish Rifles - case study

I'm paraphrasing a question posted on the Great War Forum; one of many similar questions posted there concerning army service numbers and enlistment dates:

"6019 John Alexander Whitley served with the Royal Irish Rifles. Why did he have such a low number?"

When Great Britain went to war with Germany on 4th August 1914, the Royal Irish Rifles had five battalions.
  • The 1st and 2nd Battalions shared the same numbering series which had begun at 1 in July 1881. They were numbering in excess of 10400 by August 1914.
  • The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion had its own numbering series and had reached 6457 by July 1914.
  • The 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion also had its own numbering series and had passed 6700 by the time war was declared.
  • The 5th (Extra Reserve) Battalion again had its own numbering series. I have gaps in my data for the first half of 1914, but by 14th August it had reached 5297.
When the 6th (Service) Battalion was formed in August 1914, it continued with the numbering series that was being used by the 1st and 2nd Battalions, as did the 7th through to 16th Battalions when these were formed in September 1914. At least to start with.
At some point, somebody in authority must have decided that it would be a good idea if the newly formed service battalions each had their own numbering series. The old series, which was in the 19000s by early October 1914, appears to have been abandoned and new series of numbers were started for each of the battalions from the 6th through to the 16th inclusive. Later in the war, the 17th through to the 20th inclusive would also use separate number series.

These new number series certainly start appearing in late September 1914 for some battalions and were in full swing by the following month. Numbers were generally prefixed with the number of the battalion and so the 110th man to join, say, the 14th (Young Citizens) Battalion might expect to see his number expressed as 14/110. However, there are enough examples of numbers being expressed without the prefix to make this an unreliable rule of thumb.

All of which lengthy preamble brings me back to 6019 John Whitley. His medal index card shows entitlement to the British War and Victory medals which means he certainly didn't proceed overseas until 1st January 1916 at the very earliest.

We can probably rule him out as a regular soldier as this number would have been issued to a career serviceman in 1900; similarly with the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion which was numbering in the 7000s by 1908 (these numbers, and the numbers of the 4th and 5th Battalions being a continuation of the series adopted by their respective militia battalion predecessors). 6019 would have been issued to a 4th Battalion man in 1908 and to a 5th Battalion man in October 1915. Without knowing John Whitley's age, both these battalions would appear to be possibilities, although I would have thought that had he joined the 4th Battalion as early as 1908, he could well have been posted to a regular battalion when war was declared and therefore be entitled to the 1914 Star, or at least the 1914-15 Star. So of these five battalions, the 5th would appear to be the most likely option.

As far as the service battalions are concerned, the 6th to 15th Battalions inclusive all look to have passed the 6019 mark by May 1915 and despite the absence of a prefix on his medal card, we shouldn't rule out John Whitley's service with a service battalion. Unfortunately, his service record does not appear to have survived, but some of the conjecture above could be narrowed down further if we knew when the man was born.

The Naval and Military Press has re-published a number of Royal Irish Rifles titles:

http://www.naval-military-press.com/product.php?productid=18192&partner=PaulNixon

HISTORY OF THE FIRST SEVEN BATTALIONS: The Royal Irish Rifles (now The Royal Ulster Rifles) in the Great War.

THE ROYAL IRISH RIFLES

WITH THE ULSTER DIVISION IN FRANCE: A Story of the 11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrim Volunteers), from Bordon to Thiepval

THERE'S a DEVIL in THE DRUM - John Lucy's classic account.

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

21 April 2009

The Gloucestershire Regiment - 4th Battalion

The 4th Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, was a Territorial Force battalion which was born on 1st April 1908. Its predecessor was the 1st Volunteer Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment. The battalion, also known as the 4th (City of Bristol) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment was entirely composed of men from the Bristol area. In early 1914 its headquarters and A to E Companies were based at Queen's Road, Clifton, Bristol. F Company was at St George, Bristol and G and H Companies were also Bristol-based. (Company information courtesy of Ray Westlake's The Territorial Force 1914).

The 4th Gloucesters started numbering from 1 in 1908. Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates between 1908 and 1916.

311 (an old 1st VB volunteer) joined on 23rd April 1908
819 joined on 7th April 1909
1056 joined on 9th February 1910
1191 joined on 16th January 1911
1514 joined on 18th January 1912
1798 joined on 21st January 1913
1953 joined on 2nd March 1914
2068 joined on 5th August 1914
2332 joined on 1st September 1914
2807 joined on 5th October 1914
3176 joined on 5th November 1914
3664 joined on 1st December 1914
3778 joined on 6th January 1915
3911 joined on 1st February 1915
4069 joined on 13th March 1915
4247 joined on 1st April 1915
4609 joined on 12th May 1915
4778 joined on 3rd June 1915
4863 joined on 3rd July 1915
4953 joined on 9th August 1915
4984 joined on 21st September 1915
4996 joined on 1st October 1915
5122 joined on 5th November 1915
5261 joined on 11th December 1915
5286 joined on 12th January 1916
5330 joined on 29th February 1916
5362 joined on 2nd March 1916
5768 joined on 27th April 1916
5889 joined on 6th May 1916
6048 joined on 14th June 1916
6165 joined on 13th July 1916
6205 joined on 6th September 1916
6558 joined on 5th October 1916
6868 joined on 9th November 1916

When the Territorial Force re-numbered in 1917, the 4th Gloucesters were allocated numbers within the range 200001 to 240000. Here are some sample numbers and original joining dates for men who received six digit numbers.

200032 originally joined on 15th February 1909
200110 originally joined on 21st November 1911
200175 originally joined on 21st June 1912
200214 originally joined on 23rd January 1913
200365 originally joined on 5th August 1914
200511 originally joined on 1st September 1914
200767 originally joined on 10th October 1914
200920 originally joined on 5th November 1914
201101 originally joined on 17th December 1914
201193 originally joined on 25th January 1915
201212 originally joined on 1st February 1915
201289 originally joined on 5th April 1915
201416 originally joined on 3rd May 1915
201495 originally joined on 3rd June 1915
201557 originally joined on 30th July 1915
201564 originally joined on 5th August 1915
201619 originally joined on 7th October 1915
201686 originally joined on 5th November 1915
201781 originally joined on 17th January 1916
201808 originally joined on 29th February 1916
201942 originally joined on 18th March 1916
202158 originally joined on 9th May 1916
202467 originally joined on 11th October 1916

Also see my other posts on the Gloucestershire Regiment:

1st and 2nd (Regular) Battalions, The Gloucestershire Regiment
3rd (Special Reserve) 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 Gloucestershire Regiment in the War 1914-1918




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.



20 April 2009

The Lincolnshire Yeomanry

In 1914 The Lincolnshire Yeomanry was comprised of four squadrons each with several drill stations located throughout the county of Lincolnshire. Headquarters was at the Old Barracks in Lincoln and C Squadron was also located at Lincoln, with drill stations at Sleaford, Gainsborough, Market Rasen and Wragby. A Squadron was at Grantham, with drill stations at Stamford, Bourne and Holbeach; B Squadron at Louth, with drill stations at Spilsby, Horncastle, Alford, Skegness and Boston; and D Squadron at Lutterworth, with drill stations at Barton, Brigg, Scunthorpe and Ulceby. (Squadron and drill station information courtesy of Ray Westlake's, The Territorial Force 1914).

Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the Lincolnshire Yeomanry between 1908 and 1915.

134 joined on April 11th 1908
1197 joined on 6th February 1909
1311 joined on 20th January 1910
1413 joined on 3rd February 1911
1546 joined on 6th November 1912
1626 joined on 15th July 1913
1717 joined on 2nd March 1914
1746 joined on 5th August 1914
1798 joined on 15th September 1914
1839 joined on 6th October 1914
1961 joined on 3rd November 1914
2267 joined on 22nd December 1914
2330 joined on 11th January 1915
2459 joined on 17th May 1915
2597 joined on 4th June 1915
2710 joined on 5th July 1915
2767 joined on 10th August 1915
2806 joined on 23rd September 1915
2868 joined on 27th September 1915
2905 joined on 1st November 1915

When the Territorial Force re-numbered in 1917, the Lincolnshire Yeomanry was allocated five digit numbers within the block 55001 to 60000.

Also see my other posts regarding the Lincolnshire Regiment:

The 1st & 2nd Battalions, 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


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

HISTORY OF THE LINCOLNSHIRE REGIMENT 1914-1918

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



16 April 2009

The Lincolnshire Regiment - Service Battalions

This post will look at numbering in the Lincolnshire Regiment service battalions in 1914 and 1915. The battalions in question then, are the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th (Service) Battalions and the information below comes from a study of Lincolnshire Regiment service records and pension records in the WO 363 and WO 364 series respectively, held at the National Archives in London.

As I mentioned in an earlier post on numbering in the regular battalions of the Lincolnshire Regiment it looks to me as though the regiment had reached around 9762 when Great Britain declared war on Germany. The 6th (Service) Battalion was the first New Army Lincolnshire Regiment battalion to be formed (in August 1914) and it was followed by the 7th and 8th (Service) Battalions in September 1914, and the 9th (Service) Battalion in November 1914.

Men joining the service battalions were given numbers from the same series that had been in use by the regular battalions.

c9763 to 107**
Issue of these numbers dates to August 1914 and therefore, by definition, mostly to men joining the 6th Battalion.
108** to 119**
A mixture of August and September 1914 joining dates, with 7th Battalion numbering commencing in the 109**s and 8th Battalion numbering commencing in the 118**s. Note however, that there do not appear to have been distinct blocks allocated for a particular battalion. Hypothetically therefore, 11801 could have been issued to an 8th Battalion man, 11802 to a 7th Battalion man, and 11803 to a 6th Battalion man.
120** to 133**
September and October 1914 joining dates with the vast majority of these issued in September. From my research, there appear to have been very few October 1914 enlistments, presumably because the 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions had reached establishment by then and the 9th Battalion had yet to be formed.
134** to 138**
November 1914.
139** to 142**
Back to September 1914. From my research, men with numbers in this range had previously served with the Leicestershire Regiment, attesting in late August or early September 1914. They were then transferred to the Lincolnshire Regiment in September 1914; most of the men on my database transferring on the 8th and 9th September. Interestingly, some of these transferees were initially transferred to the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion (which at that time was still using its own series of numbers) and so it is common to see men with three numbers on their attestation papers: their original Leicestershire Regiment number, their Lincolnshire Regiment special reserve number and their Lincolnshire Regiment service battalion number. Numbering in the Lincolnshire Special Reserve certainly leapt from 8435 on 4th September 1914 to 9124 on 7th September 1914 and these Leicestershire Regiment transferees must have accounted for a lot of these numbers.
143**
November and December 1914
144** to 146**
December 1914
147** to 151**
January 1915
152** to 155**
February 1915
156** to 161**
March 1915
162** to 164**
April 1915
165** to 168**
May 1915
I have a 169** appearing in April 1915 and then nothing currently for numbers in the range 170** to 179**.
180**
May and June 1915
181** to 182**
June 1915
183** to 185**
July 1915
186**
July and August 1915
187**
August 1915
188*
August and September 1915
189** to 190**
October 1915
191**
November 1915
192**
Nothing currently on my database for numbers in this range
193**
December 1915

I'll extend this series into 1916 and beyond when I have significant additional information to include.

Also see my other posts regarding the Lincolnshire Regiment:

The 1st & 2nd Battalions, 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 - 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



The Naval & Military Press has re-published the HISTORY OF THE LINCOLNSHIRE REGIMENT 1914-1918 and has this to say about the book:

"When war broke out in August 1914 the Lincolnshire Regiment consisted of two Regular, one Special Reserve and two Territorial battalions; during the course of the war a further 14 battalions were raised including a Labour Battalion (12th). Ten went on active service, all on the Western Front, one of them (6th) was also at Gallipoli. This volume gives an account of the doings of those ten battalions, concluding with the Roll of Honour of the officers, arranged in alphabetical order but without identifying battalion, and then the WOs, NCOs and Men, listed in alphabetical order but by battalions. A third appendix contains the list of Honours and Awards, also listed alphabetically but without dates or reference to battalion. This section of the book takes up 106 pages. There is a very short index which does at least feature each battalion, making up for the lack of such references in the contents, so you can find the battalion you are looking for. The total dead amounted to 8,800; three VCs were won and 58 Battle Honours awarded.

"This history has been compiled, principally, from War Diaries of battalions in the field, supplemented by the notes of officers who read the original draft, as well as by reference to despatches and to official and other records. The contents are arranged in chronological order in a series of nine parts, each covering a specific period in the war and describing the actions of the various battalions engaged. It reads easily, and when describing battles or engagements it mentions personalities and gives casualty figures incurred. Books like this are published primarily for those who served in the regiment, and so there should be plenty of names which not only served at the time to keep the memory fresh but also provide a bonus for those engaged in historical or genealogical research."

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



14 April 2009

Lincolnshire Regiment - 10th Battalion (Grimsby Chums)

My data for this pals' battalion is incomplete and currently extends only until June 1916 (and then, with gaps). Nevertheless, as with other battalion numbering series posted on this army service numbers blog, I'll add to the data in due course.

The 10th (Service) Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment was formed on 9th September 1914 and recruited men from in and around Grimsby. In October 1915 the 11th (Service) Battalion was formed and acted as a local reserve for the 10th Battalion. Numbering in the 10th started from 1 and when the 11th Battalion was formed, it too followed the same numbering series. Men joining the 10th and 11th Battalions had their numbers prefixed 10/ and 11/.

10/94 joined on 17th September 1914
10/619 joined on 5th October 1914
10/1096 joined on 4th November 1914
10/1147 joined on 2nd December 1914
10/1262 joined on 12th January 1914
10/1359 joined on 2nd February 1915
10/1378 joined on 4th March 1915
10/1432 joined on 6th April 1915
10/1441 joined on 28th June 1915
10/1469 joined on 20th October 1915
11/1501 joined in 2nd November 1915
11/1703 joined on 2nd December 1915
11/1883 joined on 24th February 1916
11/2032 joined on 29th May 1916
11/2072 joined on 19th June 1916

As can be seen from the numbers above, recruitment slowed dramatically from February 1915, picking up again from November 1915 and then apparently slowing again in June 1916. Later drafts to the 10th Lincolns would include men with five digit numbers from other Lincolnshire Regiment service battalions, but those men with numbers up to 1469 at least could class themselves as original 10th Battalion, Grimsby Chums.

For further reading see The History of the 10th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (Grimsby Chums) and also, from the Aftermath website, one of many articles concerning the discovery of 20 Grimsby Chums in a grave in France.

Also see my other posts regarding the Lincolnshire Regiment:

The 1st & 2nd Battalions, 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

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.



9 April 2009

The Lincolnshire Regiment - 5th Battalion

The 5th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment was a Territorial Force Battalion formed on 1st April 1908 out of the embers of the old 3rd Volunteer Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment.

In early 1914, the distribution of battalion headquarters and the eight companies was as follows: HQ and A and B Companies at Grimsby, C Company at Spilsby, D Company at Louth, E Company at Barton, F Company at Alford, G Company at Frodingham, and H Company at Gainsborough. (Courtesy Ray Westlake's The Territorial Force 1914).

Here are some army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the 5th Lincolns:

480 joined on 28th April 1908
716 joined on 5th March 1909
1075 joined on 10th May 1910
1175 joined on 12th January 1911
1359 joined on 19th March 1912
1520 joined on 24th February 1913
1723 joined on 19th March 1914
1785 joined on 3rd August 1914
2851 joined on 9th September 1914
3031 joined on 1st October 1914
3331 joined on 11th November 1914
3624 joined on 19th January 1915
3681 joined on 9th February 1915
3736 joined on 15th March 1915
3847 joined on 14th April 1915
4130 joined on 18th May 1915
4204 joined on 15th June 1915
4292 joined on 22nd July 1915
4330 joined on 10th August 1915
4415 joined on 6th September 1915
4435 joined on 11th October 1915
4484 joined on 6th November 1915
4553 joined on 28th December 1915
4580 joined on 26th January 1916
4786 joined on 8th February 1916
4908 joined on 7th March 1916
5479 joined on 10th May 1916

My data becomes thinner from here on in and numbering patterns are less reliable. By the end of 1916 however, the battalion was numbering in the 6200s (6265 joined on 31st December 1916). When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, men from the 5th Lincolns were re-numbered within the series 240001 to 265000. Here are some sample numbers and dates from this series:

240001 originally joined on 1st April 1908
240044 originally joined on 12th January 1911
240113 originally joined on 1st July 1912
240194 originally joined on 26th November 1913
240229 originally joined on 8th April 1908
240262 originally joined on 7th August 1914
240418 originally joined on 2nd September 1914
240689 originally joined on 2nd October 1914
240865 originally joined on 23rd November 1914
240933 originally joined on 9th February 1915
240977 originally joined on 25th March 1915
241077 originally joined on 7th May 1915
241164 originally joined on 8th June 1915
241233 originally joined on 22nd July 1915
241273 originally joined on 30th August 1915
241310 originally joined on 5th November 1915
241365 originally joined on 26th January 1916
241530 originally joined on 8th February 1916
241785 originally joined on 10th May 1916
242057 originally joined on 3rd October 1916
242219 originally joined on 31st December 1916

Number 1, Number 2 and Number 3 Supernumerary Companies were also attached to the 5th Lincolns (and there may have been other supernumerary companies as well) but the numbers issued to men joining these companies were from the same series as those issued to the regular 5th Battalion men - at least initially. Thus 46 year old Alfred Dows who attested with Number 1 and Number 2 Supernumerary Companies (attached to the 2/5th Lincolns) on 10th May 1915 was given the number 3954 which, if you consult the first list above, falls correctly between these numbers/dates:

3847 who joined on 14th April 1915 and 4130 who joined on 18th May 1915

However, Alfred transferred (and the word "transferred" appears on his service record rather than "posted") to Number 3 Supernumerary Company on 4th September 1915 and was given a new five digit number: 20270. This is an entirely new numbering series which was probably introduced around June/July 1915 for men joining the supernumerary companies attached to the 5th Lincolns.

Incidentally Alfred, who had joined the National Reserve, was an old soldier who had originally enlisted with the Border Regiment in March 1889, transferring to the Lincolnshire Regiment that same November. He saw service in East India and Singapore before being discharged medically unfit in June 1894. He would later be discharged from his supernumerary company duties in November 1915 for the same reason.

Also see my other posts regarding the Lincolnshire Regiment:

The 1st & 2nd Battalions, The Lincolnshire Regiment
The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment
The 4th 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.







3 April 2009

4th Lincolnshire Regiment


The superb, undated photograph above is re-published here courtesy of Mike Briggs and shows men of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment probably around 1907 or 1908. Follow the discussion about this photograph via the Great War Forum and click on it for a larger version.

In early 1914, the distribution of battalion headquarters and the eight companies that comprised the 4th Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment was as follows: HQ and A, E and H Companies at Lincoln, B Company at Grantham, C Company at Boston, D Company at Stamford, F Company at Spalding, and G Company at Horncastle. (Courtesy Ray Westlake's The Territorial Force 1914).

If only numbering in the 4th Lincolnshire Regiment was as straightforward.

The battalion was born in April 1908 out of the old 1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions of the Lincolnshire Regiment. Prior to 1908 there had been three Lincolnshire Regiment Volunteer battalions and the County Association now decided that the new 4th (Territorial Force) Battalion would be comprised of men from the City of Lincoln and Horncastle districts of the old 1st Volunteer Battalion, and an area in the south of the county from which the old 2nd Volunteer Battalion had formerly recruited.

There appear to have been at least two numbering sequences running and I'm guessing that one sequence was used for the Lincoln/Horncastle men and one for men from the south of the county. These two number series certainly appear to have been in use up until 1909/1910; how else to explain this pattern from 1909 (and noting at the same time, that number 731 had been issued in December 1908):

1094 joined on 22nd January
1260 joined on 3rd March
321 joined on 3rd June
756 joined on 22nd September
1274 joined on 1st October

From 1910 the numbering appears to follow a more logical, sequential path and so I’ll start the army service numbers and corresponding joining dates from here. Please contact me though, if you can shed any light on numbering in the 4th Lincolns in 1908 and 1909.

150 joined on 11th April 1910
396 joined on 17th January 1911
1293 joined on 8th March 1912
1792 joined on 5th February 1913
2003 joined on 19th February 1914
2186 joined on 4th August 1914 (the day Britain went to war with Germany)
2814 joined on 24th September 1914
2944 joined on 13th October 1914
3251 joined on 9th November 1914
3480 joined on 2nd December 1914
3501 joined on 12th January 1915
3572 joined on 22nd February 1915
3589 joined on 4th March 1915
3652 joined on 9th April 1915
3788 joined on 10th May 1915
4426 joined on 12th June 1915
4560 joined on 2nd July 1915
4621 joined on 16th August 1915
4646 joined on 20th September 1915
4659 joined on 1st October 1915
4942 joined on 24th November 1915
4996 joined on 3rd December 1915
5076 joined on 13th January 1916
5386 joined on 21st February 1916
5447 joined on 1st March 1916
5598 joined on 27th April 1916
5693 joined on 12th May 1916
5823 joined on 3rd June 1916
6023 joined on 20th July 1916
6311 joined on 1st August 1916
6323 joined on 1st September 1916
6881 joined on 27th October 1916
6898 joined on 2nd November 1916

When the Territorial Force re-numbered in 1917, the 4th Lincolns were allocated numbers in the range 200001 – 240000. Here are some sample numbers and joining dates for this range of numbers.

200007 originally joined on 8th April 1908
200009 originally joined on 3rd June 1909
200015 originally joined on 29th December 1910
200017 originally joined 17th January 1911
200116 originally joined on 16th April 1912
200179 originally joined on 18th February 1913
200263 originally joined 19th February 1914
200362 originally joined on 5th August 1914
200659 originally joined on 2nd October 1914
200850 originally joined on 10th November 1914
201033 originally joined on 28th January 1915
201058 originally joined on 22nd February 1915
201072 originally joined on 4th March 1915
201106 originally joined on 9th April 1915
201212 originally joined on 14th May 1915
201606 originally joined on 28th June 1915
201646 originally joined on 16th August 1915
201665 originally joined on 20th September 1915
201716 originally joined on 25th October 1915
201808 originally joined on 24th November 1915
201830 originally joined on 6th December 1915
201879 originally joined on 20th January 1916
202093 originally joined on 21st February 1916
202148 originally joined on 3rd March 1916
202179 originally joined on 27th April 1916
202218 originally joined on 12th May 1916
202308 originally joined on 3rd June 1916
202387 originally joined on 20th July 1916
202547 originally joined 1st August 1916
202555 originally joined 1st September 1916
202847 originally joined on 27th October 1916
202865 originally joined 2nd November 1916

Note that the same idiosyncracies that appear in the original TF series for this battalion, appear to repeat in the six digit series - for early enlistments at least. Thus 200040 was not issued after January 1911 (as one might suppose on looking at the series above) but in December 1908 to a man whose original number was in the 700s.

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.