29 July 2009

Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers and the dates on which these were issued to men joining the regular (1st and 2nd) Battalions of the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. The period covered in this post is July 1881 to July 1914.

The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment was formed on 1st July 1881 out of the old 2nd (The Queen's Royal) Regiment of Foot. What follows should be considered a snapshot of army service numbers and joining dates for Queen's regulars - one date and one number per year from 1881 until 1914. Service records for all of the numbers listed below, survive in WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) in the National Archives and can also be viewed on-line via the Ancestry.co.uk website.

Findmypast has over 33,000 Queen's (Royal West Surrey) army service records. Click on the link to see the results. 

Here are the Queen's (Royal West Surrey) regimental numbers:

157 joined on 1st December 1881
283 joined on 27th February 1882
413 joined on 17th February 1883
940 joined on 5th July 1884
1266 joined on 22nd June 1885
1724 joined on 19th August 1886
1934 joined on 28th July 1887
2214 joined on 24th January 1888
2639 joined on 20th February 1889
2926 joined on 25th February 1890
3451 joined on 19th February 1891
3795 joined on 1st February 1892
4258 joined on 10th August 1893
4447 joined on 25th June 1894
4722 joined on 10th January 1895
4994 joined on 15th June 1896
5307 joined on 10th May 1897
5669 joined on 8th June 1898
6120 joined on 12th October 1899
6440 joined on 26th April 1900
6833 joined on 18th July 1901
7132 joined on 5th June 1902
7707 joined on 6th January 1903
8001 joined on 21st January 1904
8566 joined on 4th September 1905
8823 joined on 7th March 1906
9019 joined on 5th March 1907
9439 joined on 8th September 1908
9505 joined on 27th January 1909
9778 joined on 11th October 1910
9822 joined on 12th January 1911
10102 joined on 5th February 1912
10330 joined on 23rd January 1913
10641 joined on 27th July 1914

When Britain went to war with Germany a week later, the number series above was continued for men enlisting with the Queen's under regular enlistment terms of service. Recruits to the service battalions, joining up for war-time service only, were given numbers from a new series which began with the number 1 and was prefixed with the letter G/.

The L/ prefix - which appears to have been inconsistently used for regular enlistments up until August 1914, continued to be used (inconsistently) for men enlisting for regular service from August 1914.


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

From The Naval & Military Press:



History of The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment in the Great War

Despite the fact that the book gets off to the worst possible start by placing the brackets on the cover in the wrong place - it's Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment , not Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment - this is good account of the regiment during the First World War. Click on the image above to read the Naval & Military Press blurb.

27 July 2009

Lancashire Fusiliers - Regular Battalions



This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the regular battalions - principally the 1st and 2nd Battalions - of the Lancashire Fusiliers between July 1881 (when the regiment was formed) and February 1914. The regiment was formed out of the old 20th Regiment of Foot (Lancashire Fusiliers) and up until April 1898 comprised two regular battalions, the 1st and 2nd. However, two more regular battalions, the 3rd and 4th, were formed in 1898 and 1900 respectively and I'll deal with these as we come to them.

There are over 48,000 Lancashire Fusiliers 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 Lancashire Fusiliers 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.

112 joined on 26th July 1881
425 joined on 29th April 1882
571 joined on 22nd June 1883
766 joined on 28th May 1884
1122 joined on 6th July 1885
1739 joined on 8th June 1886
2126 joined on 11th February 1887
2538 joined on 23rd February 1888
2877 joined on 12th January 1889
3321 joined on 2nd July 1890
3362 joined on 14th April 1891
4048 joined on 23rd April 1892
4510 joined on 8th August 1893
4718 joined on 18th January 1894
5117 joined on 15th January 1895
5464 joined on 4th June 1896
5818 joined on 7th September 1897
5953 joined on 18th March 1898

A 3rd regular battalion was raised on 6th April 1898 in Ireland and would be disbanded in 1906. The same number series as that used for men joining the 1st and 2nd Battalions, was used for the newly formed 3rd Battalion.

6722 joined on 27th January 1899

A 4th regular battalion was raised on 3rd February 1900 in England and would be disbanded in 1906. The same number series as that used for men joining the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, was used for the newly formed 4th Battalion.

7839 joined on 9th May 1900
8462 joined on 7th May 1901
9068 joined on 19th August 1902
9381 joined on 21st January 1903

The addition of two regular battalions had had a dramatic effect on recruitment into the Lancashire Fusiliers. Whereas in the three years prior to the formation of the 3rd Battalion it had taken the regiment over three years to recruit a thousand men, in the four years between January 1899 and January 1903 (and with Britain at war with the Boers) the regiment recruited 2,600 men. In 1903, with the number series fast approaching the limit of 9,999, the regiment applied to the Adjutant-General to commence a new number series. Approval was duly given and before the year was out, the Lancashire Fusiliers had started numbering from 1 again.

378 joined on 3rd August 1904
559 joined on 20th April 1905
1035 joined on 23rd January 1906
1305 joined on 19th August 1907
1486 joined on 11th May 1908
1793 joined on 2nd January 1909
2015 joined on 8th February 1910
2292 joined on 12th January 1911
2652 joined on 16th September 1912
2847 joined on 8th October 1913
2911 joined on 16th February 1914

The famous photograph reproduced on this post shows men of the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers in a communication trench near Beaumont Hamel, possibly on 1st July 1916.


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

Further Reading

History of the XX Regiment 1688-1888

History of the XX Regiment 1688-1888

23 July 2009

Northamptonshire Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers and the dates on which these were issued to men joining the regular (1st and 2nd) Battalions of the Northamptonshire Regiment between 1882 and July 1914.

The Northamptonshire Regiment was formed in July 1881 out of the old 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot (which became the 1st Battalion), and the 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot (which became the 2nd Battalion).


There are over 35,000 Northamptonshire 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 Northamptonshire 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.

150 joined on 4th April 1882
580 joined on 14th August 1883
932 joined on 1st June 1884
1314 joined on 24th May 1885
1660 joined on 1st May 1886
1952 joined on 5th June 1887
2132 joined on 19th January 1888
2415 joined on 9th March 1889
2631 joined on 23rd January 1890
3059 joined on 5th April 1891
3676 joined on 11th January 1892
3976 joined on 19th July 1893
4309 joined on 5th April 1894
4524 joined on 10th January 1895
4842 joined on 23rd March 1896
5228 joined on 7th August 1897
5370 joined on 6th January 1898
5902 joined on 10th August 1899
6053 joined on 2nd January 1900
6313 joined on 28th January 1901
6556 joined on 24th March 1902
6828 joined on 7th January 1903
7504 joined on 8th August 1904
7759 joined on 7th September 1905
7971 joined on 21st April 1906
833o joined on 1st January 1907
8672 joined on 6th February 1908
8927 joined on 21st January 1909
9084 joined on 5th January 1910
9279 joined on 11th January 1911
9478 joined on 1st April 1912
9615 joined on 1st January 1913
9906 joined on 3rd July 1914

One month and one day later, Britain went to war with Germany, and when new Northamptonshire Regiment service battalions started forming shortly afterwards, they continued with the same number series above.

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

Northamptonshire Regiment titles fromThe Naval & Military Press



The Northamptonshire Regiment 1914-1918

This history is almost entirely taken up with the two regular battalions on the Western front, though there is a chapter on the 4th (TF) Battalion which fought at Gallipoli and in Palestine, and there are a few pages on the 5th, 6th and 7th (Service) Battalions, all three of which were also in France and Flanders. Of the six VCs awarded, four were won by the 6th Battalion, including an officer from the Bedfords and one from the ASC attached to the battalion, though in the latter case that is not made clear.

Fifty-eight battle honours were awarded and the book is dedicated to the six thousand and forty soldiers of all ranks who gave their lives. The 1st Battalion was among the first to go overseas, arriving in France on 13th August 1914 with 2nd Brigade, 1st Division. The first three chapters are devoted to the battalion and its actions at Mons, the retreat, the Marne, the Aisne and First Ypres. The 2nd Battalion was in Egypt when war broke out, came home and joined the newly formed 24th Brigade of the 8th Division, arriving in France in November 1914. Both battalions remained in the same brigades throughout the war, though for a period of nine months (October 1915-July 1916) the brigade was exchanged with the 70th Brigade of the 23rd Division.

The narrative contains plenty of descriptive detail about the fighting with officers casualties named and individuals acts of gallantry recorded. Appendices list the battle honours gained by the regiment and also the Honours and Awards, less the foreign ones. There is a good index. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

Northamptonshire & The Great War 1914-1918


A thorough and well-illustrated account of the efforts of Northamptonshire Regiment servicemen during the Great War. The regiment was amongst the first in France with the BEF in 1914, taking part in the retreat from Mons and the first battle of Ypres. 1915 was a year of disasters with the Northamptons taking heavy casualties in the catastrophic attacks at Aubers Ridge and Loos and enduring what the book calls ‘a dreadful winter in the trenches’. Meanwhile the regiment’s reserve battalions were serving in the Middle East where they helped to drive the Turks from the Holy Land.

The Northamptons served on the Somme at Trones Wood and Thiepval, where they lost their Colonel; but took part in the final breaking of the HIndenburg Line in 1918. The book has additional chapters on the county’s Victoria Cross winners. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

21 July 2009

Suffolk Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers and the dates on which these were issued to men joining the regular battalions (1st and 2nd Battalions) of the Suffolk Regiment.


There are close to 37,000 Suffolk Regiment serviceand 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.

The Suffolk Regiment was born on 1st July 1881; formed out of the old 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot. This post will look at army service numbers issued between 1881 and August 1914. 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.

5 joined on 12th July 1881
241 joined on 4th February 1882
444 joined on 27th January 1883
1055 joined on 18th November 1884
1196 joined on 27th January 1885
1815 joined on 8th September 1886
1968 joined on 27th January 1887
2111 joined on 16th January 1888
2648 joined on 27th May 1889
2877 joined on 15th September 1890
2999 joined on 15th January 1891
3361 joined on 24th October 1892
3457 joined on 9th February 1893
3808 joined on 31st March 1894
4162 joined on 4th February 1895
4389 joined on 5th February 1896
4710 joined on 21st September 1897
4966 joined on 19th January 1898
5315 joined on 2nd June 1899
5490 joined on 24th January 1900
5809 joined on 8th July 1901
6018 joined on 18th February 1902
6319 joined on 6th January 1903
6716 joined on 4th January 1904
7155 joined on 8th December 1905
7463 joined on 4th December 1906
7524 joined on 2nd February 1907
7882 joined on 15th December 1909
7936 joined on 27th January 1910
8182 joined on 12th January 1911
8634 joined on 3rd January 1913
8918 joined on 10th March 1914
9014 joined on 7th August 1914 (regular terms of enlistment)

Pictured on this page, Lt Charles Frederick Lennock c1883, courtesy of the excellent Soldiers of the Queen website.

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

Suffolk Regiment titles from The Naval & Military Press:


History of the 12th (The Suffolk Regiment) 1685-1913

A very detailed history by an experienced author who observes that he was much assisted by the wealth of personal diaries, journals and varied reminiscences of the old 12th. There are informative appendices such as the succession of Colonels with biographies, succession of COs and Adjutants, and a chapter on uniform, equipment and the Colours.

During the almost 230 years covered by this history, the Suffolks served in India (Seringapatam is a principal battle honour), in Africa during the Kaffir and Boer Wars, in New Zealand in the Maori War, on the NW Frontier in the 2nd Afghan War, in the West Indies and Mauritius. Colour plates depict uniforms, battle scenes and the Colours in 1686 and 1849. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.


History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927

This volume begins on 1st January 1914 when the Suffolk Regiment consisted of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, and the 4th, 5th and 6th (Cyclist) Battalions of the Territorial Force. After the outbreak of war sixteen more battalions were raised and added, and in 1917 the Suffolk Yeomanry converted into the 15th Battalion, making a grand total of twenty-three. Battalions of the Regiment served in France and Flanders, Gallipoli, Macedonia, Egypt and Palestine, and at home.

This book, based on war diaries, private diaries, letters and interviews, tells the stroies of the men who served. 6,650 officers and men died for King and Country and two VCs were won and 73 Battle Honours awarded.

Given the scope of this volume and space considerations there is no Roll of Honour and the list of Honours and Awards is a very limited one showing only some of the more important honours gained. Inevitably some battalions get fuller treatment than others but the main events are clearly described.

The narrative appears in chronological order, beginning in 1914 with the 1st Battalion moving from Egypt to Khartoum and the 2nd Battalion in the Curragh with 14th Brigade, 5th Division, one of the original BEF divisions. As the story unfolds so the various battalions on active service are brought into the picture and the part they played in the battles is described. One chapter is given to the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion at home and another to all the other battalions that did not go on active service. There is a comprehensive, 26-page index. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.


Diary of Colonel Bayly, 12th Regiment, 1796-1803 (Seringapatnam 1799)

Entertaining, if bloody, account of the 12th Regiment of Foot in India and their struggles against Tippoo Sultan. CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER DETAILS.


Centurions of a Century

Nostalgic look back at Britain’s military campaigns, battles and leaders as well as (Suffolk) regimental actions and regimental life, all spread over more than a hundred years. Published in 1914, the book deals with Britain's colonial wars up until the death of Queen Victoria. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

18 July 2009

Welsh Guards - 1st Battalion officers, June 1915


I've recently scanned a number of pages from the Illustrated War News and have added the one above to the post for the Welsh Guards.

Unlike many publications of the day, the Illustrated War News often published the names of those appearing in regimental group photos; a simple editorial decision which can reap benefits for future generations of military history researchers.


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

15 July 2009

Norfolk Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the regular 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Norfolk Regiment between 1881 and August 1914. The regiment was created on 1st July 1881 from the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot.

There are over 33,000 Norfolk 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.

Here's how the regimental numbers were issued. Use this list to determine when your own Ancestor joined the regiment (but note that this is the number series for regular battalions only).

49 joined on 14th October 1881
117 joined on 14th January 1882
328 joined on 13th January 1883
753 joined on 29th January 1884
1139 joined on 31st January 1885
1624 joined on 11th January 1886
1917 joined on 7th January 1887
2175 joined on 7th June 1888
2373 joined on 5th January 1889
2593 joined on 6th June 1890
2818 joined on 7th March 1891
3168 joined on 13th March 1892
3580 joined on 9th February 1893
3932 joined on 2nd May 1894
4342 joined on 23rd July 1895
4501 joined on 27th January 1896
4730 joined on 31st March 1897
4863 joined on 5th January 1898
5122 joined on 19th January 1899
5554 joined on 2nd March 1900
5820 joined on 24th June 1901
6013 joined on 7th January 1902
6503 joined on 19th February 1903
6838 joined on 4th February 1904
7058 joined on 30th September 1905
7257 joined on 20th June 1906
7470 joined on 11th June 1907
7603 joined on 11th May 1908
7874 joined on 11th February 1909
8100 joined on 18th January 1910
8364 joined on 9th February 1911
8606 joined on 9th January 1912
8861 joined on 10th March 1913
9107 joined on 1st August 1914

Three days later, Britain went to war with Germany.

I've borrowed the undated photograph of men from the Norfolk Regiment's 2nd Battalion from The Diehards website.


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

Further Reading

http://www.naval-military-press.com/home.php?bid=4&partner=PaulNixon

The Holy Boys
A history of the Royal Norfolk Regiment and the Royal Anglian Regiment 1685-2010.

The History of the Norfolk Regiment 1685-1914
Covers the period up until the outbreak of war.

The History of the Norfolk Regiment
History covering the period 4th August 1914 to 31st December 1918

13 July 2009

Cambridgeshire Regiment 1908-1915


The Cambridgeshire Regiment, which was a Territorial Force regiment, had its origins in the 3rd (Cambridgeshire) Volunteer Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment. When the Territorial Force came into being in 1908, the 3rd Volunteer Battalion became The Cambridgeshire Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment. The following year, it was constituted as a separate regiment with the title, 1st Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment.

This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the Cambridgeshire regiment between 1908 and 1915. During the First World War, the regiment raised 2nd, 3rd and 4th line battalions - expressed as 2/1st, 3/1st and 4/1st - but all men joining these battalions were given numbers from the same number series.

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.

179 (an old 3rd VB man) joined on 8th April 1908
493 joined on 14th January 1909
1171 joined on 17th December 1910
1165 joined on 9th February 1911
1334 joined on 15th March 1912
1597 joined on 4th October 1913
1770 joined on 19th January 1914
2089 joined on 3rd August 1914
2187 joined on 2nd September 1914
2926 joined on 9th October 1914
3113 joined on 2nd November 1914
3246 joined on 2nd December 1914
3332 joined on 15th January 1915
3403 26th February 1915
3416 joined on 1st March 1915
3524 joined on 12th April 1915
3753 joined on 3rd May 1915
3937 joined on 7th June 1915
4059 joined on 27th July 1915
4075 joined on 6th August 1915
4185 joined on 20th September 1915
4265 joined on 19th October 1915
4371 17th November 1915
4576 11th December 1915

See also the Suffolk Regiment website which contains a separate section on the Cambridgeshire Regiment. I have borrowed the cap badge image from this site.


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

Further reading

http://www.naval-military-press.com/product.php?productid=20642&partner=PaulNixon
 
 
On the outbreak of war in 1914, the Cambridgeshire Regiment was stationed in Cambridge, with the East Midland Brigade, East Anglian Division - a TF formation. In February 1915 it left the division and went to France where it joined the 82nd Brigade, 27th Division, a regular army formation which had been created in November/December 1914 from battalions returning from India, Hong Kong and Tsientsin. In November 1915 it was transferred to VII Corps troops and then became Training Battalion for Third Army. At the end of February 1916 it moved again - to 118th Brigade, 37th Division, and finally, in May 1918, it was again transferred, this time to 35th Brigade, 12th Division with whom it saw out the war.
 
All of these moves are described in this history together with good accounts of the battles in which it fought - at Ypres, Somme, Passchendale, Hindenburg Line and the final advance. Appendices list 27 Battle Honours and give a summary of Honours awarded and of casualties. Approximately 10,000 of all ranks served in the battalion in France, 4,324 became casualties and of these 866 died. Finally there is a brief account of those units of the regiment that did not go overseas, including the Depot and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th line battalions.

12 July 2009

2/15th London Regiment - Illustrated War News 1915



I've added a cracking photograph of 2/15th London Regiment officers to the page for the 15th London Regiment. That photo, and the two pages above, were originally published in volume 44 of the Illustrated War News, published on 5th June 1915. Click on the images for readable versions.


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

10 July 2009

The King's (Liverpool Regiment) - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the 1st and 2nd Battalions of The King's (Liverpool Regiment) between the regiment's formation in 1881, and the day Britain went to war with Germany: 4th August 1914.

There are over 67,000 King's (Liverpool 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.

The King's (Liverpool Regiment) was formed in July 1881 from the 8th (The King's) Regiment of Foot. 

157 joined on 21st October 1881
210 joined on 18th February 1882
376 joined on 5th July 1883
690 joined on 18th March 1884
1028 joined on 1st January 1885
1647 joined on 29th April 1886
2055 joined on 21st April 1887
2373 joined on 1st February 1888
2880 joined on 30th March 1889
3344 joined on 18th April 1890
3541 joined on 29th May 1891
3811 joined on 10th May 1892
4098 joined on 16th February 1893
4443 joined on 1st February 1894
4874 joined on 31st July 1895
5290 joined on 16th April 1896
5659 joined on 5th March 1897
6125 joined on 9th July 1898
6351 joined on 4th February 1899
6733 joined on 20th February 1900
7332 joined on 9th January 1901
8151 joined on 22nd May 1902
8418 joined on 24th February 1903
8774 joined on 28th April 1904
9316 joined on 8th July 1905
9622 joined on 10th September 1906
9923 joined on 25th April 1907
10477 joined on 9th November 1908
10578 joined on 9th June 1909
10799 joined on 11th January 1910
11102 joined on 15th March 1911
11226 joined on 12th February 1912
11588 joined on 26th May 1913
11987 joined on 4th August 1914

Number 11987 enlisted as a career soldier for 12 years' long service, and there would be many thousands of men following in his footsteps, albeit the vast majority of these for shorter, war-time only service.

The King's did not start a separate series for the Kitchener volunteers but used the same number series that had been in use by the regulars up until then. The only differentiation between a man enlisting for a regular period of service was - initially at least - the prefix before the number. Numbers for the volunteers were prefixed with the letter K/ whilst those enlisting for regular service had the letter L/ placed before their numbers. The King's appear to have abandoned the K/ prefix by around mid November 1914, but the L/ prefix continued to be used - inconsistently - for regular enlistments; certainly into 1915 at least.

I've borrowed the image on this post from the Wikipedia page about the King's (Liverpool Regiment). It shows men from The King's (D Company; battalion not stated) at Wellington Barracks, Nova Scotia in 1890.


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

Further Reading
King's (Liverpool Regiment)

History of the King's Regiment (Liverpool) 1914-1919
Massive history of the old 8th Regiment of Foot. Originally published in three volumes this reprinted work comes in one softback edition and include a roll of honour of 14,200 war dead.

The History of the 2/6th Battalion "The King's" (Liverpool Regiment) 1914-1919
Contains detailed appendices listing officers and other ranks, appointments held, casualty details etc.

Story of the "9th King's" in France
First World War history of this Territorial Force formation.

The Liverpool Scottish 1900-1919
Solid history of this King's (Liverpool Regiment) Territorial Force battalion from its formation in 1900.

9 July 2009

Essex Regiment - 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion



This post will look at numbering in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Essex Regiment. Service records for all of the numbers referred to in this post survive at the National Archives in the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pension) series. They can also be viewed on-line via the Ancestry.co.uk website.

The Essex Regiment was one of those regiments which, under the Army Order of 23rd December 1907, lost a militia battalion when the Militia was converted into the Special Reserve.

The old 3rd (Militia) Battalion was converted into the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, but the 4th (Militia) Battalion was one of 23 militia battalions to be disbanded. These battalions are listed in the Army Order appendices.

My data suggests that 3rd Militia Battalion men transferring to the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, retained their old militia numbers whereas old 4th Militia Battalion men and new recruits were given numbers from a new series beginning with 1.

So 6472 Pte Thomas Page and 9507 Pte John Ballinger, who both joined the 3rd Essex on 12th July 1908, were old militia men of long-standing. Thomas Page had originally joined the 3rd Militia Battalion in March 1900 and had fought against the Boers in South Africa. John Ballinger had enlisted later, probably in 1902 or 1903, but both men retained their militia numbers when they joined the 3rd Essex in 1908. Leonard Collard, on the other hand, who was given the number 8820 when he joined the 4th Militia Battalion on 11th June 1902, was re-numbered 77 when he transferred to the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion on 10th February 1908. I've reproduced a letter from him (above) which outlines his extensive military service with the Essex Militia, the Essex Special Reserve, the 2nd Essex Regiment and finally the Machine Gun Corps. The image is Crown Copyright.

Here then, are some sample 3rd Essex army service numbers from the 'new' number series, and their corresponding joining dates.

3/460 joined on 19th August 1908
3/695 joined on 29th March 1909
949 joined on 26th May 1910
1256 joined on 24th Match 1911
1614 joined on 16th May 1912
1938 joined on 11th June 1913
3/2218 joined on 20th April 1914
3/2304 joined on 8th August 1914
2583 joined on 4th September 1914
3321 joined on 5th October 1914
3/3547 joined on 4th November 1914

My data for 3rd Essex enlistments ends at this point, and as can be seen from the small series above, the 3/ prefix was used on some but by no means all numbers issued to 3rd Battalion men.

Also see my posts on other Essex Regiment battalions:

1st and 2nd Battalions

4th Battalion (TF)
5th Battalion (TF)
6th Battalion (TF)
7th Battalion (TF)
8th (Cyclist) Battalion (TF)

9th – 14th (Service) Battalions


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