25 February 2011

Royal Horse Guards 1867-1880

A little beyond the scope of this particular army service numbers blog, but as I have the data, I thought I'd post it here. This also of course, ends nicely at the point at which my previous blog post on Royal Horse Guards numbering begins. See Royal Horse Guards 1881-1914.

Service records for all of the numbers listed below, survive in a number of military series. The majority (in this small sample) are taken from the WO 97 Chelsea Pensioners series at the National Archives in Kew. These can also be viewed on-line via Find My Past which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial. Some records here are also taken from the WO 363 Service Records and WO 364 Pension Records which are also housed at Kew and also available online, in this case with Ancestry.co.uk (which also offers a FREE 14 day trial).

447 joined on 4th November 1867
479 joined on 16th June 1868
525 joined on 1st October 1869
547 joined on 15th February 1870
605 joined on 31st October 1871
622 joined on 2nd January 1872
731 joined on 22nd December 1873
739 joined on 13th January 1874
814 joined on 6th July 1875
841 joined on 12th June 1876
916 joined on 18th April 1877
968 joined on 28th January 1878
1015 joined on 19th March 1879
1072 joined on 19th February 1880

So all in all a pretty slow recruitment rate for the Royal Horse Guards in the period outlined above with, by my rough calculations, just four men recruited on average per month.

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15 February 2011

Monmouthshire Regiment - 3rd Battalion

This post will look at numbering in the 3rd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment, between 1908 and 1914.

The Monmouthshire Regiment was a Territorial Force regiment which was administered by the County Association for Monmouth. As well as administering the three TF infantry battalions, the County Association also administered the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Monmouthshire Batteries of the 4th Welsh Brigade, the 4th Welsh Ammunition Column and the 1st Welsh Field Ambulance.

The Territorial Year Book, published in 1909 notes:

"Officer Commanding: Lt-Col W D Steel VD; Adjutant: Capt R S Gwynn, S Wales Bord; Headquarters: Abergavenny; Strength (Oct [1909]), 17 officers, 657 men. Camp 1908 for 8 days: 247 all ranks; for 15 days 408; former unit: 4th Volunteer Battalion, South Wales Borderers. Uniforms: scarlet, facings green. South Africa 1900-02."

In His Majesty's Territorial Army, published in 1910, Walter Richards notes:

"... it [the 4th Volunteer Battalion] contributed largely - seventy-six in all - to the Service Companies sent out by the Volunteer battalions of the South Wales Borderers, and one of its officers, Captain W J R Marsh, who served in the 1st Battalion Imperial Yeomanry, was mentioned by Lord Roberts in despatches... In the last year of its existence as a Volunteer corps, the strength of the 4th Volunteer Battalion, South Wales Borderers was returned as 956 out of an establishment of 1160. The strength at present is 917 out of 1009. The headquarters of the battalion are at Abergavenny where A Company is stationed; B, C and D Companies are at Ebbw Vale, Cwym and Sirhowy respectively; E and F are at Abertillery; G at Tredegar and H at Blaina."

Surviving records for the 3rd Battalion are not as abundant as those which survive for men in most other infantry regiments. The following snapshot has been compiled from surviving service records in WO 363 and WO 364; both of these now on-line courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk which - for anybody out there who is not yet a subscriber - offers a FREE 14-day trial.

675 joined on 1st October 1908
1043 joined on 7th December 1909
1118 joined on 20th June 1910
1193 joined on 24th March 1911
1264 joined on 6th March 1912
1503 joined on 7th March 1913
1888 joined on 10th August 1914
2476 joined on 2nd October 1914
2881 joined on 21st November 1914
2932 joined on 1st December 1914

When it was re-numbered in early 1917, the number block 290001 to 315000 was allocated to the 3rd Monmouths.

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

9 February 2011

Royal Irish Fusiliers - 1st & 2nd Battalions


This post will look at regular enlistments into the Royal Irish Fusiliers between 1881 (when the regiment was formed out of the old 87th (Royal Irish Fusiliers) and 89th (Princess Victoria's)Regiments of Foot) and 1914.

Service records for all of the numbers listed below, survive in a number of military series. The majority (in this small sample) are taken from the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew. These can also be viewed on-line via Ancestry.co.uk which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial. Some records here are also taken from the WO 97 Army Pensions series which is available to search on the Find My Past website. Find My Past also offers a FREE 14 day trial.


In fact, there are over 26,000 Royal Irish 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 Irish 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.

68 joined on 30th July 1881
745 joined on 23rd January 1882
1231 joined on 27th January 1883
1544 joined on 22nd February 1884
1740 joined on 9th January 1885
1979 joined on 26th January 1886
2585 joined on 8th January 1887
2879 joined on 5th January 1888
3216 joined on 14th March 1889
3496 joined on 7th January 1890
3900 joined on 1st June 1891
4242 joined on 26th September 1892
4636 joined on 28th September 1893
4839 joined on 13th February 1894
5259 joined on 26th February 1895
5602 joined on 17th March 1896
5900 joined on 19th February 1897
6119 joined on 12th January 1898
6548 joined on 8th March 1899
6792 joined on 11th January 1900
7104 joined on 21st March 1901
7565 joined on 7th July 1902
7959 joined on 13th April 1903
8292 joined on 9th January 1904
8945 joined on 9th August 1905
9154 joined on 14th March 1906
9591 joined on 15th January 1907
10008 joined on 13th August 1908
10312 joined on 16th August 1909
10497 joined on 8th September 1910
10673 joined on 9th May 1911
10947 joined on 23rd February 1912
11235 joined on 6th March 1913
11411 joined on 14th January 1914

When Britain went to war with Germany a few months later, the Royal Irish Fusiliers continued with the same number series when the new service battalions were formed, there then being no distinction in numbering between men who were joining up for war-time service only, and men joining as career soldiers.

I've borrowed the image on this post from Fine Rare Prints and trust that this acknowledgement and the link will be sufficient discharge of obligations.

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