22 December 2012

6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons


This post will look at numbering in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. The information on this post has been compiled as a result of examining service records in WO 97 (online with Findmypast) and WO 363 and WO 364 (online with Ancestry).

2071 joined on 7th April 1880
2153 joined on 12th January 1881
2222 joined on 22nd June 1882
2324 joined on 26th June 1883
2377 joined on 8th February 1884
2482 joined on 6th February 1885
2686 joined on 18th May 1886
2738 joined on 11th July 1887
2831 joined on 11th February 1888
2940 joined on 4th January 1889
3042 joined on 11th January 1890
3075 joined on 2nd January 1891
3240 joined on 6th October 1892
3274 joined on 16th January 1893
3486 joined on 10th August 1894
3515 joined on 2nd July 1895
3567 joined on 11th March 1896
3742 joined on 4th November 1897
4042 joined on 12th October 1898
4096 joined on 27th February 1899


Note that, although out of sequence numerically, the majority of numbers in the range 5001 to 5178 were also issued in late 1899 and early 1900. These were allocated to recalled reservists from other Dragoon and Dragoon Guards regiments who, on recall, were sent not to their own regiments but transferred straight into the 6th Dragoons. How much say the men had in the matter is unknown. There are exceptions to this numbering schema, however - see 5004 below - and I have published a separate post on 6th Dragoons transfers in the Boer War.


4366 joined on 10th April 1900
4559 joined on 16th March 1901
4722 joined on 3rd January 1902
5004 joined on 29th April 1903
5199 joined on 10th June 1904
5368 joined on 6th March 1905
5553 joined on 5th March 1906

Army Order 289 of December 1906 changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this Army Order, all cavalry regiments had numbered individually by regiments. Now, line cavalry and household cavalry were separated; each of the three line cavalry corps – dragoons, hussars, and lancers – beginning a new number series which started at 1 and was to extend to 49,999.

What this meant for the 6th Dragoons was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and the 1st (King’s), 2nd (Queen’s Bays), 3rd (Prince of Wales’s), 4th (Royal Irish), 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales’s), 6th (Carabiniers) and 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards. The following numbers and joining dates are snapshots taken from my database of this new Corps of Dragoons numbering sequence:

155 joined 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards on 29th January 1907
1598 joined the 5th Dragoon Guards on 27th January 1908
3003 joined the 3rd Dragoon Guards on 8th February 1909
4132 joined the 2nd Dragoons on 13th January 1910
5530 joined the 2nd Dragoon Guards on 12th January 1911
6624 joined the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards on 24th January 1912
D/7785 joined the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards on 11th January 1913
8707 joined the 5th Dragoon Guards on 27th January 1914

Noting the distinction between the regimental sequence used by the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons up until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 6th Dragoons and all other regiments of Dragoons and Dragoon Guards from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 6th Dragoons man, for instance, whose hypothetical number is 4610 could point to a 1901 joining date if the number falls within the regimental sequence, or 1910 if the man enlisted with the corps of Dragoons.

When the First World War erupted an additional General Service number sequence was introduced (recruits’ numbers being prefixed with GS/) whilst career cavalrymen continued to use the corps number series from which I’ve given examples in this post.

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