28 August 2009

Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the regular battalions of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry between the regiment's formation in July 1881, and August 1914. The regiment was formed out of the old 32nd Regiment of Foot and the 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment of Foot.

There are over 23,000 Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry service and pension records (for this regiment - and its antecedents) in various War Office series held at the National Archives. Clicking on the link will take you to the results on Findmypast but you will need a subscription or Pay-Per-View credits to actually view the records. Some of these records can also be viewed on-line on Ancestry although Findmypast has by far the most comprehensive service record collection.


Use the regimental numbers and dates on which these were issued, below, to determine parameters for when your own Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry ancestor would have joined up. Note though that these numbers are only for regular enlistments. Special Reserve and Territorial Force battalions operated completely separate regimental number sequences.

35 joined on 18th July 1881
415 joined on 15th July 1882
1100 joined on 5th June 1883
1236 joined on 8th April 1884
1559 joined on 6th January 1885
1943 joined on 8th January 1886
2495 joined on 26th January 1888
2854 joined on 20th January 1889
3199 joined on 4th October 1890
3282 joined on 9th February 1891
3634 joined on 2nd January 1892
4012 joined on 31st January 1893
4356 joined on 24th January 1894
4822 joined on 18th June 1895
4995 joined on 12th February 1896
5201 joined on 6th April 1897
5466 joined on 23rd May 1898
5741 joined on 25th January 1899
6116 joined on 12th January 1900
6541 joined on 25th May 1901
6911 joined on 13th March 1902
7274 joined on 3rd March 1903
8216 joined on 15th September 1905
8338 joined on 19th March 1906
8566 joined on 17th January 1907
9080 joined on 8th September 1908
9217 joined on 5th January 1909
9378 joined on 1st March 1910
9711 joined on 16th February 1911
9895 joined on 17th April 1912
10163 joined on 20th February 1913
10456 joined on 4th August 1914

During the course of the Great War, the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry added eight service battalions to the two regular, one reserve and two Territorial Force battalions that already existed. These new service battalions would all draw their numbers from the same series listed above.

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

Books from the Naval & Military Press



History of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 1914-1919

The author is one of the most prolific of the military history writers with seven regimental and four divisional histories when this one went to press. The narrative begins with the 1st Battalion mobilizing and embarking for France where it arrived on 15th August, part of the original BEF. The 2nd Battalion returned from Hong Kong to join the newly formed 27th Division, which arrived in France in December 1914 and eleven months later was transferred to Salonika. Wyrral follows his usual pattern of providing a chronological account of the war from Mons to the Armistice as it affected the DCLI, and in the margins of each page is the date of the events being described and the battalion or battalions involved. There is a Roll of Honour, list of Honours and Awards including Mentions in Despatches and Foreign Awards, promotions for services in the field and a useful reference showing the allocations of battalions of the Regiment to brigades or divisions. CLICK HERE.

British Military History Bookshop

Click the link above to view Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and Cornwall-related military books.

More from The Naval & Military Press

Historical Records of the 32nd (Cornwall) Light Infantry


A history of the 32nd (Cornwall) Light Infantry, proudly narrating its service throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

I've borrowed the image on this page from the excellent Light Infantry Regiments website which has detailed information on the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and other British Light Infantry Regiments. The photograph depicts men of E Company, 2nd DCLI in Hong Kong in 1913.

22 August 2009

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers between 1881 and 1914.


There are over 48,000 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers service andpension 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 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers ancestor would have joined up. Note though that these numbers are only for regular enlistments. Special Reserve and Extra Reserve battalions operated completely separate regimental number sequences.

10 joined on 30th July 1881
289 joined on 17th October 1882
599 joined on 11th July 1883
837 joined on 12th February 1884
1501 joined on 8th June 1885
1847 joined on 30th January 1886
2210 joined on 17th April 1887
2442 joined on 27th February 1888
2849 joined on 8th February 1889
3293 joined on 9th July 1890
3505 joined on 28th January 1891
3885 joined on 10th May 1892
4195 joined on 15th January 1893
4609 joined on 29th May 1894
4814 joined on 22nd January 1895
5201 joined on 18th January 1896
5507 joined on 19th August 1897
5975 joined on 25th July 1898
6208 joined on 31st January 1899
6489 joined on 5th January 1900
6890 joined on 28th February 1901
7295 joined on 21st July 1902
7648 joined on 24th April 1903
7959 joined on 24th May 1904
8251 joined on 28th February 1905
8447 joined on 3rd February 1906
8920 joined on 9th January1907
9521 joined on 28th August 1908
9646 joined on 22nd April 1909
9812 joined on 17th February 1910
10094 joined on 2nd September 1911
10277 joined on 8th May 1912
10591 joined on 15th November 1913
10744 joined on 3rd August 1914

The following day, Britain went to war with Germany, and when the new service battalions of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers started forming shortly afterwards, they too drew their numbers from the same series which, up until that point, had been the sole preserve of the two regular battalions.

Also see this post on regimental numbering in the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

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

British Military History Bookshop

Click the link above to view books on the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and Iniskilling Dragoons.

Books from The Naval & Military Press




The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the World War
Written at a time when there had only been one world war, this book details the actions of the regiment's thirteen battalions during the First World War.
The regiment lost over five and a half thouand men and won seven Victoria Crosses. Two appendices provide the Roll of Honour with the officers grouped together in alphabetical order and the other ranks alphabetically by battalions, and the list of Honours and Awards. These are headed by the VCs with citations and the others are grouped according to the award - in all cases the names are in alphabetical order. Battalions of the regiment served on the Western Front, in Gallipoli, Salonika and Palestine; two of them were with the 10th (Irish) Division, two with the 16th (Irish ) Division - the North and the South.
The book is arranged in three parts: the first provides the background to the war and the that of the Inniskillings and the type of man who served in the regiment; the second part, which takes up most of the book, is about the war on the Western Front and the part played by the battalions; the third section deals with the Eastern theatres - Gallipoli, Salonika and Palestine. This is a well-written and descriptive Great War regimental history. CLICK to order.
The recruitment poster on this post also appears on the excellent, Ballymena and the Great War website.

18 August 2009

Middlesex Regiment - Football Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers allocated to the 17th (Service) and 23rd (Service) Battalions of the Middlesex Regiment; also known as the 1st Football and 2nd Football Battalions.

Last week I picked up a copy of When the Whistle Blows: The Story of the Footballers' Battalion in the Great War and I have been reading about the formation of the 17th Middlesex, and the initial difficulties - as can be seen from the numbers below - in actually getting enough men to join up.

Service records for all of these numbers survive in the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew, London. They can also be viewed on-line via Ancestry.co.uk which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial.

Here then, is a sample selection of numbers for the two Footballers' battalions. All numbers were prefixed with the letter F/.

F/13 joined on 22nd December 1914
F/81 joined on 14th January 1915
F/507 joined on 2nd February 1915
F/973 joined on 4th March 1915
F/1264 joined on 10th April 1915
F/1497 joined on 10th May 1915
F/1626 joined on 14th June 1915

The last number I have for the 17th Middlesex is F/1635 which was issued to a man joining on the 29th June 1915. F/1649 was allocated to a man joining the 23rd (2nd Football) Battalion on the 12th July 1915, and the following numbers are all 23rd Battalion issues:

F/1716 joined on 5th August 1915
F/1876 joined on 11th September 1915
F/1987 joined on 6th October 1915
F/2228 joined on 1st November 1915
F/2779 joined on 3rd January 1916

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



British Military History Bookshop

Click the link above to see Middlesex Regiment related literature.

The cartoon on this post originally appeared in Punch on 29th September 1915, and also appears on the Spartacus Educational site which is where I have borrowed the image from.

15 August 2009

The Delhi Durbar, 1903


I was looking through the medal roll for the 1903 Delhi Durbar yesterday; fascinating stuff and a real insight into the administration of Empire. Sandwiched in between the Heralds and Trumpeters, the Jurors of the Art Exhibition, the single beneficiary from the Football & Hockey Tournament and the native and European Mutiny veterans, is the soldiery, both native and British.

A number of British infantry regiments were present, each regiment nominating eight men to receive the Delhi Durbar Medal. Those eight men were:

The Commanding Officer
The Second in Command
Adjutant
Sergeant Major (acting or otherwise)
Senior NCO
Senior Colour Sergeant (not being the senior NCO)
Senior Corporal
Longest Serving Private

I thought it would while away half an hour to look at my army service numbers database and see just when those longest serving privates joined their regiments. The following infantry regiments are listed on the 1903 Delhi Durbar roll:

1st Northamptonshire Regiment
1st South Wales Borderers
2nd Welsh Regiment
2nd Gordon Highlanders
2nd Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
1st Royal Irish Rifles
1st Bedfordshire Regiment
1st Norfolk Regiment

2nd Rifle Brigade
2nd King's Royal Rifle Corps
2nd Yorkshire Regiment

1st North Staffordshire Regiment1st Royal Munster Fusiliers

Unfortunately, only those regiments indicated in Bold reveal the army numbers of their nominated recipients on the medal roll, and the 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers only fielded two men: Brevet Major G D Crocker (senior officer) and Bandmaster Elcox (senior NCO). Here though, are the details of the longest serving privates for those regiments which did record army service numbers:

3184 Pte W Brown, 2nd Welsh Regiment
448 Pte W Heron, 1st Royal Irish Rifles
2697 Pte Odell, 1st Bedfordshire Regiment
1629 Pte A J Helps, 1st Norfolk Regiment
4811 Bandsman J Gibson, 2nd Rifle Brigade
3919 Pte A R Miller, 2nd King's Royal Rifle Corps
246 Pte H Walklate, 1st North Staffordshire Regiment

All of these men, with the exception of 448 Pte Heron and 246 Pte Walklate, joined their regiments before the Childers reforms of 1881. Their numbers belong to the old series in use by the Regiments of Foot. Private Heron must have joined the 1st Royal Irish Rifles in 1882 or 1883, while Pte Walklate must have joined the North Staffordshire Regiment in the first half of 1882. All of which means that the seven men listed above, had over 140 years' of soldiering experience between them and, lined up under the hot Delhi sun in 1903, probably felt that they well and truly deserved the Delhi Durbar medal.

I've taken the image on this post from an informative blog post on the 1903 Delhi Durbar.


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

11 August 2009

The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry - 1st & 2nd Battalions


The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry can trace its history back to 1755. This post however, concerns army service numbers and the dates on which these were issued between 1881 and 1914.

In 1881 The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment) was formed out of the old 51st and 105th Regiments of Foot. The 51st Regiment of Foot became the 1st Battalion, King's Own Light Infantry, and the 105th Regiment of Foot became the 2nd Battalion. The newly formed regiment started numbering from 1 in July and continued without pause when the regiment changed its name in 1887 to The King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry). The name would be changed for a third time, in 1920, to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.


All of the service numbers listed below come from a larger army service numbers database and are listed her for the purpose of providing a snapshot of army service number patterns in the KOYLI. Service records for all of these numbers survive in the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew, London. They can also be viewed on-line via Ancestry.co.uk which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial.

In fact, there are over 37,000 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry service and pension records (for this regiment - and its antecedents) in various War Office series held at the National Archives. Clicking on the link will take you to the results on Findmypast but you will need a subscription or Pay-Per-View credits to actually view the records. Some of these records can also be viewed on-line on Ancestry although Findmypast has by far the most comprehensive service record collection.


Use the regimental numbers and dates on which these were issued, below, to determine parameters for when your own King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry ancestor would have joined up. Note though that these numbers are only for regular enlistments. Special Reserve and Territorial Force battalions operated completely separate regimental number sequences.

The King's Own Light Infantry (South Yorkshire Regiment)

45 joined on 24th November 1881
207 joined on 30th May 1882
780 joined on 6th September 1883
1163 joined on 14th June 1884
1591 joined on 13th February 1885
2281 joined on 19th February 1886

The King's Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)
2781 joined on 2nd July 1887
2828 joined on 31st August 1888
2987 joined on 18th September 1889
3216 joined on 23rd August 1890
3565 joined on 29th October 1891
3882 joined on 15th August 1892
4113 joined on 7th January 1893
4504 joined on 4th January 1894
5112 joined on 24th October 1895
5215 joined on 18th March 1896
5462 joined on 5th April 1897
5694 joined on 10th February 1898
6222 joined on 29th September 1899
6606 joined on 14th May 1900
6755 joined on 19th February 1901
7011 joined on 1st February 1902
7436 joined on 23rd June 1903
8107 joined on 25th January 1904
8661 joined on 15th February 1905
8843 joined on the 14th April 1906
9207 joined on 10th May 1907
9842 joined on 17th September 1908
10049 joined on 15th April 1909
10181 joined on 5th January 1910
10538 joined on 8th December 1911
10584 joined on 10th January 1912
10894 joined on 17th June 1913
11008 joined on 7th January 1914

When Britain went to war with Germany in August 1914, the newly forming service battalions drew their numbers from the same series above.

The image on this post is that of Major Charles Allix Lavington Yate VC. Charles Yate joined the 2nd KOYLI in Bombay on 13th August 1892 and later took part in the Tirah Campaign of 1897-98. He was seriously wounded during the Boer War and won his VC at Le Cateau on 26th August 1914. Having led a charge against German positions there, he was again severely wounded, taken prisoner, and died a month later in a German prisoner of war camp.

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

From The Naval & Military Press:



King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Great War

This from the N&M Press:

The KOYLI began the war with five battalions: the 1st and 2nd (in Singapore and Dublin respectively); the 3rd Special Reserve at the Depot in Pontefract, and two Territorial battalions, the 4th in Wakefield and the 5th in Doncaster. Subsequently the two TF battalions each raised second and third line battalions, both the former (2/4th and 2/5th) went to France, and ten Service or Reserve battalions were also raised, numbered 6th to 15th. Of these, the 6th to 10th and the 12th were formed in August/September 1914 and went on active service, while the 15th was formed in France in June 1918. All these battalions served on the Western Front, two of them also served on other fronts - the 1st in Salonika and the 8th in Italy. Fifty-nine battle honours were awarded, 9447 all ranks died and eight VCs were won.

The first chapter is concerned with the 2nd Battalion (13th Brigade, 5th Division) and takes the story from Mons to January 1915 when the 1st Battalion arrived with the newly formed 28th Division. The next chapter is their story from the move from Singapore to their first couple of months in the trenches, to early April 1915. There is a chapter describing the raising of the wartime battalions and with all those that went overseas there is the nominal roll of officers who embarked with them.

There is an index but no roll of honour nor list of awards. These are noted in the text as are officer casualties by name and other ranks by totals. Maps and illustrations are very good. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

6 August 2009

Royal Irish Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at regular enlistments into the Royal Irish Regiment between 1881 (when the regiment was formed out of the old 18th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot) and 1914.

There are close to 20,000 Royal Irish 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 and pension record collection.

Use the regimental numbers and dates on which these were issued, below, to determine parameters for when your own Royal Irish Regiment ancestor would have joined up. Note though that these numbers are only for regular enlistments. Special Reserve and Extra Reserve battalions operated completely separate regimental number sequences.


23 joined on 15th November 1881
321 joined on 7th February 1882
1101 joined on 3rd February 1883
1152 joined on 5th January 1884
1884 joined on 31st January 1885
2508 joined on 22nd May 1886
2734 joined on 10th January 1887
2990 joined on 20th January 1888
3160 joined on 24th January 1889
3492 joined on 20th January 1890
3952 joined on 18th June 1891
4301 joined on 1st February 1892
4751 joined on 1st May 1893
5065 joined on 10th January 1894
5364 joined on 19th February 1895
5867 joined on 13th August 1896
6013 joined on 6th March 1897
6256 joined on 11th January 1898
6613 joined on 5th April 1899
6792 joined on 2nd January 1900
7108 joined on 5th October 1901
7257 joined on 15th March 1902
7639 joined on 28th February 1903
8148 joined on 18th January 1904
8508 joined on 27th January 1905
9001 joined on 17th July 1906
9201 joined on 16th January 1907
9471 joined on 20th March 1908
9758 joined on 24th February 1909
10011 joined on 3rd March 1910
10387 joined on 15th January 1911
10598 joined on 17th October 1912
10673 joined on 17th February 1913
10915 joined on 18th March 1914

When Britain went to war with Germany a few months later, the Royal Irish Regiment started a new series from 1 for war-time service enlistments joining the newly forming service battalions. Men who, during war-time wanted to enlist for regular terms of service, were given numbers from the series above. Thus, for example, 11042 was a regular enlistment in January 1915, whilst men joining the 5th and 6th service battalions at this time were being given numbers in the 25** and 26** range.

The image on this post shows the Colours of the 18th Foot and was originally published in the Historical record of the Eighteenth, or the Royal Irish Regiment of Foot in 1848. Wikimedia has the image on-line here.


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

The Royal Irish Regiment at The Naval & Military Press



Campaigns and History of the Royal Irish Regiment from 1684-1902
CLICK HERE for a short synopsis from N&M Press. Book includes appendices showing a calendar of the Regiment’s moves from 1685 to 1902 including location of peacetime stations during that time. Each battalion is shown separately. Then follows the casualty roll giving names of officers killed, died of wounds or disease and wounded in every campaign or battle from 1690, the siege of Limerick, to the end of the Boer War. Other rank casualties are at first given as figures but from the American War of Independence on they, too, are named. Another appendix gives the names of all 52 officers who died in the West Indies and this is followed by the list of awards for gallantry (three VCs) and the recipients of the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (LSGCM). There is a list showing succession of colonels from 1684 to 1897 with biographies, including that of the Colonel-in-Chief (Viscount Wolseley). And finally there is a descriptive list of Memorials of the Regiment, noting to whom they are dedicated with any inscriptions and names. The book ends with a good, twenty-page index.


Campaigns and History of the Royal Irish Regiment from 1900-1922

In the long history of Irish regiments serving with the British Army, few units have acquired more battle honours than the Royal Irish Regiment, ranging from Marlborough’s great victories in the 18th century to the Crimean and Boer Wars. This volume covers the actions of the regiment’s nine battalions in the Great War, in which it saw continuous action from the first battle (Mons) to the last (Hindenburg LIne). As well as service in all the major and minor battles in France and Flanders - Marne, Aisne, the three Ypres; the Somme; Messines; Passchdendaele and Cambrai, the regiment served in other theatres including Gallipoli; Macedonia; and Palestine. It is a proud record to which this history does full justice, with appendices on the distinguished Colonels of the regiment (including Field Marshal Sir John French) and Rolls of Honour. CLICK HERE to order.

3 August 2009

Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment between July 1881, when the regiment was formed, and August 1914.

The regiment was formed by the amalgamation in 1881 of the 33rd Regiment of Foot (which became the 1st Battalion) and the 76th Regiment of Foot (which became the 2nd Battalion). The "Duke of Wellington" title was a legacy belonging to the former 33rd Regiment which had been granted the title by Queen Victoria in June 1853 following the death of the Duke of Wellington in September 1852.

The numbers and joining dates below should be regarded as a snapshot - one date and one number per year - during the period covered. 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 which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial.

In fact, there are over 59,000 Duke of Wellington's (West Riding 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 West Riding 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.

10 joined on 15th July 1881
135 joined on 7th January 1882
422 joined on 25th January 1883
757 joined on 27th March 1884
1011 joined on 25th January 1885
1801 joined on 3rd February 1886
2061 joined on 25th January 1887
2514 joined on 24th July 1889
2595 joined on 23rd January 1890
2904 joined on 10th January 1891
3358 joined on 27th April 1892
3629 joined on 25th January 1893
4171 joined on 11th July 1894
4696 joined on 6th March 1895
4837 joined on 9th January 1896
5316 joined on 14th July 1897
5783 joined on 8th March 1898
5860 joined on 22nd March 1899
6222 joined on 1st January 1900
6667 joined on 14th February 1901
6905 joined on 2nd January 1902
7361 joined on 22nd January 1903
7757 joined on 13th January 1904
8455 joined on 19th January 1905
8564 joined on 8th February 1906
8880 joined on 25th January 1907
9257 joined on 15th May 1908
9613 joined on 25th January 1909
9864 joined on 4th April 1910
10122 joined on 13th September 1911
10424 joined on 24th August 1912
10529 joined on 24th February 1913
10705 joined on 21st January 1914

On 8th August 1914, with the war against Germany just four days old, 10811 signed up with the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment under regular terms of enlistment.

The undated photograph above comes from ibew's site of vintage brass bands and shows men of the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, West Riding Regiment.


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