30 December 2012

8th (King’s Royal Irish) Hussars


This post will look at numbering in the 8th (King’s Royal Irish) Hussars between 1881 and 1906. The cavalry regiments were unaffected by Cardwell's Army reforms; however, in keeping with the parameters of this blog, my starting point is 1881.

The database and information on this blog have been compiled as a result of studying service records in WO 97 (British Army pensions to 1913), WO 363 (WW1 service records) and WO 364 (WW1 pension records). All of these series are now online. Click on the links for further information.

2214 joined on 17th March 1881
2270 joined on 29th March 1882
2419 joined on 29th May 1883
2606 joined on 29th August 1884
2700 joined on 8th June 1885
2937 joined on 21st January 1886
3117 joined on 3rd January 1887
3224 joined on 13th October 1888
3247 joined on 24th September 1889
3276 joined on 28th February 1890
3329 joined on 12th January 1891
3453 joined on 9th February 1892
3566 joined on 7th February 1893
3685 joined on 16th March 1894
3798 joined on 3rd October 1895
3817 joined on 10th April 1896
3881 joined on 13th April 1897
4117 joined on 10th May 1898
4318 joined on 5th January 1899
4780 joined on 9th January 1900
5282 joined on 5th January 1901
5560 joined on 3rd January 1902
6242 joined on 22nd June 1903
6333 joined on 1st December 1904
6373 joined on 18th January 1905
6833 joined on 4th July 1906

In December 1906, Army Order 289 changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this, 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 8th Hussars was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the all of the Hussars regiments:

3rd (King's Own) Hussars
4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
7th (Queen's Own) Hussars
8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars
10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars
13th Hussars
14th (King's) Hussars
15th (King's) Hussars
18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars
19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars
20th Hussars

See also, my posts on numbering in the Corps of Hussars 1907-1914, Queen's and King's Regulations: regimental numbering and cavalry numbering in 1906.

7th (Queen's Own) Hussars


This post will look at numbering in the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars between 1881 and 1906. The cavalry regiments were unaffected by Cardwell's Army reforms; however, in keeping with the parameters of this blog, my starting point is 1881.

The database and information on this blog have been compiled as a result of studying service records in WO 97 (British Army pensions to 1913), WO 363 (WW1 service records) and WO 364 (WW1 pension records). All of these series are now online. Click on the links for further information.

2342 joined on 7th Janruary 1881
2405 joined on 19th December 1882
2406 joined on 2nd March 1883
2546 joined on 13th June 1884
2709 joined on 7th September 1885
2858 joined on 26th January 1886
3153 joined on 22nd January 1887
3320 joined on 17th September 1888
3350 joined on 26th January 1889
3481 joined on 23rd October 1890
3516 joined on 12th January 1891
3675 joined on 13th January 1892
3977 joined on 15th February 1893
4132 joined on 28th March 1894
4215 joined on 23rd October 1895
4231 joined on 30th January 1896
4244 joined on 18th February 1897
4436 joined on 7th November 1898
4590 joined on 31st January 1899
5007 joined on 10th January 1900
5526 joined on 3rd January 1901
5976 joined on 1st January 1902
6679 joined on 21st November 1903
6789 joined on 18th January 1904
6834 joined on 4th October 1905
7045 joined on 2nd April 1906

In December 1906, Army Order 289 changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this, 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 7th Hussars was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the all of the Hussars regiments:

3rd (King's Own) Hussars
4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
7th (Queen's Own) Hussars
8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars
10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars
13th Hussars
14th (King's) Hussars
15th (King's) Hussars
18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars
19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars
20th Hussars

See my post on numbering in the Corps of Hussars 1907-1914. For further background, also see my posts on Queen's & King's Regulations: regimental numbering and  cavalry numbering in 1906.

29 December 2012

4th (Queen's Own) Hussars 1881-1906


This post will look at numbering in the 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars between 1881 and 1906. The cavalry regiments were unaffected by Cardwell's reforms, the localisation of Infantry of the Line and the pairing of infantry regiments on territorial lines. However, in keeping with the self-imposed parameters of this blog, my starting point is 1881.

The database and information on this blog have been compiled as a result of studying service records in WO 97 (British Army pensions to 1913), WO 363 (WW1 service records) and WO 364 (WW1 pension records). All of these series are now online.

1905 joined on 22nd February 1881
1967 joined on 9th February 1882
2078 joined on 1st January 1883
2153 joined on 5th February 1884
2294 joined on 16th January 1885
2300 joined on 18th March 1886
2570 joined on 17th September 1887
2632 joined on 20th August 1888
2729 joined on 12th September 1889
3006 joined on 22nd November 1890
3056 joined on 10th January 1891
3297 joined on 23rd February 1892
3467 joined on 24th January 1893
3590 joined on 3rd January 1894
3718 joined on 23rd March 1895
3806 joined on 3rd January 1896
4010 joined on 4th February 1897
4081 joined on 7th December 1898
4175 joined on 24th February 1899
4401 joined on 4th January 1900
4444 joined on 6th January 1903
4705 joined on 8th September 1904
4743 joined on 31st August 1905
4768 joined on 3rd May 1906

In December 1906, Army Order 289 changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this, 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 4th Hussars was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the all of the Hussars regiments:

3rd (King's Own) Hussars
4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
7th (Queen's Own) Hussars
8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars
10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars
13th Hussars
14th (King's) Hussars
15th (King's) Hussars
18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars
19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars
20th Hussars

See my post on numbering in the Corps of Hussars 1907-1914. For further background, also see:

1. Queen's & King's Regulations: regimental numbering
2. Cavalry numbering in 1906

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

Corps of Hussars 1907-1914


As I have noted elsewhere, in December 1906, Army Order 289 changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this, 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.

The Corps of Hussars consisted of twelve individual regiments, each of these with long and proud histories:

3rd (King's Own) Hussars
4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
7th (Queen's Own) Hussars
8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars
10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars
13th Hussars
14th (King's) Hussars
15th (King's) Hussars
18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars
19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars
20th Hussars

Now, numbering by regiment was abandoned and the corps of Hussars allocated numbers from a single series.  Here are some numbers from that series which, as they were issued chronologically, should help to provide pointers towards likely enlistment dates for other Hussars recruits.

The H/ (Hussars) prefix appears on some attestation papers but there appears to be no consistency to its usage and my own research shows that more often than not this was not used.

7 joined on 5th January 1907
1096 joined on 13th September 1907
1954 joined on 15th January 1908
2635 joined on 27th June 1908
3901 joined on 28th January 1909
4648 joined on 27th August 1909
5192 joined on 14th January 1910
5869 joined on 28th July 1910
6789 joined on 6th January 1911
7546 joined on 14th October 1911
8146 joined on 8th January 1912
8837 joined on 25th May 1912
9589 joined on 16th January 1913
10287 joined on 25th June 1913
H/10942 joined on 21st January 1914

A future post will look at numbering in the Corps of Hussars from August 1914.

The photo on this post shows my paternal great-grandmother's brother, Bertrand (Bert) Elam, who enlisted with the 20th Hussars in 1894.  He had previously served briefly with the Wiltshire Regiment but had purchased his discharge for £10, as he was entitled to do, having served with the regiment for less than three months.  He served 12 years with the Hussars, re-enlisted with the Rifle Brigade in September 1914, transferred to the Gloucestershire Regiment in 1917 (he wears the Gloucestershire Regiment cap badge in this photo, along with his QSA and 1914 Star ribbons) and finished the war with the Royal Defence Corps. Throughout his army career he served under the alias Herbert Richard Hellam (although to further confuse matters, some papers give hsi surname as Hallam). He has extensive service records which survive in WO 97 (four pages relating to his brief service with the Wiltshire Regiment) and WO 364 (40 pages).

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

28 December 2012

7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards


This post will look at numbering in the 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards. I've compiled the information on this post by studying 7th Dragoon Guards (and from 1907, corps of Dragoons’) service records in WO 97 (on-line with Findmypast) and WO 363 and WO 364 (on-line with Ancestry). Use the numbers below (all issued chronologically) and enlistment dates to estimate joining dates for other men who served with the 7th Dragoon Guards.

2319 joined on 8th February 1881
2458 joined on 3rd January 1882
2719 joined on 14th April 1883
2754 joined on 3rd February 1884
2836 joined on 12th March 1885
3039 joined on 10th February 1886
3517 joined on 28th February 1887
3651 joined on 23rd November 1888
3663 joined on 3rd January 1889
3752 joined on 10th February 1890
3829 joined on 6th April 1891
3984 joined on 22nd April 1892
4013 joined on 1st February 1893
4097 joined on 12th March 1894
4117 joined on 13th July 1895
4152 joined on 24th April 1896
4199 joined on 20th January 1897
4385 joined on 25th April 1898
4555 joined on 5th January 1899
4765 joined on 4th January 1900
5497 joined on 14th January 1901
5808 joined on 3rd January 1902
6423 joined on 4th February 1903
6518 joined on 1st July 1904
6579 joined on 16th January 1905
6876 joined on 16th January 1906

In December 1906, Army Order 289 changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this, 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 7th Dragoon Guards was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, 2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen’s Bays), 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, 5th Dragoon Guards, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers), 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. See my post on the 1st (Royal) Dragoons to see how the numbering sequence worked for the Corps of Dragoons post 1906.

Noting the distinction between the regimental sequence used by the 6th Dragoon Guards up until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 6th Dragoon Guards and all other regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 6th Dragoon Guards man, for instance, whose number is 4073 could point to a March 1899 joining date if the number falls within the regimental sequence, or December 1909 if the man enlisted with the corps of Dragoons. Here, knowing the soldier's age might well help to rule one number series or the other.

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

6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers)


This post will look at numbering in the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers). I've put the information on this post together by studying 6th Dragoon Guards and, from 1907, corps of Dragoons’ service records in WO 97 (on-line with Findmypast) and WO 363 and WO 364 (on-line with Ancestry). Use the snapshot numbers below (all issued chronologically) and enlistment dates to estimate joining dates for other 6th Dragoon Guardsmen.

1946 joined on 22nd October 1881
1985 joined on 17th January 1882
2025 joined on 14th June 1883
2090 joined on 25th March 1884
2252 joined on 20th April 1885
2456 joined on 22nd April 1886
2662 joined on 10th January 1887
2710 joined on 5th December 1888
2723 joined on 14th October 1889
2757 joined on 27th February 1890
2809 joined on 14th August 1891
2909 joined on 9th June 1892
3145 joined on 23rd May 1893
3248 joined on 2nd January 1894
3380 joined on 10th August 1895
3484 joined on 15th September 1896
3724 joined on 3rd March 1897
3926 joined on 4th June 1898
4016 joined on 19th January 1899
4333 joined on 24th April 1900
4569 joined on 29th January 1901
4789 joined on 28th January 1902
5126 joined on 31st January 1903
5278 joined on 17th December 1904
5834 joined on 27th June 1906

In December 1906, Army Order 289 completely changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this, 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 Dragoon Guards was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, 2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen’s Bays), 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, 5th Dragoon Guards and 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards, 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. See my post on 1st (Royal) Dragoons to see how the numbering sequence worked for the Corps of Dragoons post 1906.

Noting the distinction between the regimental sequence used by the 6th Dragoon Guards up until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 6th Dragoon Guards and all other regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 6th Dragoon Guards man, for instance, whose number is 4073 could point to a March 1899 joining date if the number falls within the regimental sequence, or December 1909 if the man enlisted with the corps of Dragoons. Here, knowing the soldier's age might well help to rule one number series or the other.

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

5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards


This post will look at numbering in the 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards. I've put the information on this post together by studying 5th Dragoon Guards and, from 1907, corps of Dragoons’ service records in WO 97 (on-line with Findmypast) and WO 363 and WO 364 (on-line with Ancestry). Use the snapshot numbers below (all issued chronologically) and enlistment dates to estimate joining dates for other 5th Dragoon Guardsmen.

2159 joined on 9th July 1881
2206 joined on 21st January 1882
2422 joined on 1st July1883
2589 joined on 31st August 1884
2816 joined on 21st July 1885
2872 joined on 21st February1886
3107 joined on 18th October 1887
3207 joined on 14th June 1888
3277 joined on 6th January 1889
3359 joined on 10th April 1890
3438 joined on 2nd January 1891
3692 joined on 26th February 1892
3983 joined on 4th May 1893
4197 joined on 22nd September 1894
4275 joined on 1st February 1895
4354 joined on 1st February 1896
4415 joined on 13th January 1897
4668 joined on 17th August 1899
4790 joined on 1st February 1900
5202 joined on 27th August 1902
5220 joined on 10th April 1904
5373 joined on 27th September 1906

In December 1906, Army Order 289 completely changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this, 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 5th Dragoon Guards was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, 2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen’s Bays), 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) and 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards. 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. See my post on 1st (Royal) Dragoons to see how the numbering sequence worked for the Corps of Dragoons post 1906.

Noting the distinction between the regimental sequence used by the 5th Dragoon Guards up until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 5th Dragoon Guards and all other regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 5th Dragoon Guards man, for instance, whose number is 5208 could point to a September 1902 joining date if the number falls within the regimental sequence, or October 1910 if the man enlisted with the corps of Dragoons. Here, knowing the man's age might well help to determine which year he joined.

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

3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards


This post will look at numbering in the 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards. The information on this post has been compiled from a study of 3rd Dragoon Guards and, from 1907, corps of Dragoons’ service records in WO 97 (on-line with Findmypast) and WO 363 and WO 364 (on-line with Ancestry).

2036 joined on 3rd January 1881
2064 joined on 31st August 1882
2203 joined on 4th April 1883
2313 joined on 8th March 1884
2455 joined on 5th February 1885
2736 joined on 10th July 1886
3094 joined on 11th November 1887
3154 joined on 14th January 1888
3204 joined on 18th January 1889
3284 joined on 13th March 1890
3398 joined on 2nd January 1891
3533 joined on 26th January 1892
3608 joined on 21st May 1894
3624 joined on 23rd April 1895
3658 joined on 21st January 1896
3778 joined on 12th January 1897
3985 joined on 25th January 1898
4185 joined on 6th February 1899
4355 joined on 4th January 1900
4855 joined on 5th February 1901
5108 joined on 4th January 1902
5430 joined on 13th March 1903
5460 joined on 31st January 1904
5538 joined on 16th January 1905
5617 joined on 3rd January 1906

Army Order 289 of December 1906 completely changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this, 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 3rd Dragoon Guards was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, 2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen’s Bays), 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales’s) Dragoon Guards, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers), 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards, 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. See my post on the 2nd Dragoon Guards  to see the numbering sequence for the Corps of Dragoons post 1906.

Noting the distinction between the regimental sequence used by the 3rd Dragoon Guards up until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 3rd Dragoon Guards and all other regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 3rd Dragoon Guards man, for instance, whose number is 5482 could point to a 1st September 1904 joining date if the number falls within the regimental sequence, or January 1911 if the man enlisted with the corps of Dragoons.

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

27 December 2012

Naval & Military Press - Save 20% on ALL titles


OK, fill your boots. Here's the bi-annual Naval & Military Press sale: 20% off ALL stock for orders placed by 6pm on Monday 21st January 2013.  Click on the image above to go straight to the Naval & Military Press website.

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

26 December 2012

6th (Banff & Donside) Battalion, Gordon Highlanders

The 6th (Banff and Donside) Battalion, Gordon Highlanders was a Territorial Force Battalion formed on 1st April 1908. It was formed by the amalgamation of the 4th and 6th Volunteer Battalions of the Gordon Highlanders, each of these battalions contributing four companies of men (the 4th VB accounted for companies E to H, whilst the 6th VB accounted for companies A to D). The 6th Battalion was headquartered at Keith and was administered by the Banff Association. The distribution of companies and drill stations was as follows:

A Company
Banff; drill stations at Aberchirder, Cornhill, Portsoy.
B Company
Dufftown; drill stations at Aberlour, Chapelton (Braes of Glenlivet), Glenrinnes, Minmore
C Company
Keith; drill station at Grange.
D Company
Buckie; drill stations at Findochty, Cullen.
E Company
Inverurie; drill stations at Pitcaple.
F Company
Alford; drill stations at Cushnie, Lumsden, Glenbuckat, Strathdon, Corgarff, Towie.
G Company
Bucksburn; drill station at Dyce.
H Company
Huntly; drill stations at Insch, Rhynie.

There were certainly two number series in use for this battalion, and what follows is largely conjecture based on what is a relatively small sample of data from my own database.

One number series (which I’ll call Series One) began at 1 in 1908. The second number series (which I’ll call Series Two for the sake of consistency) may have started at 10000 or 12000 or higher. The lowest number I have for this series is 12094 David Allen Clark. His surviving attestation papers in WO 364 show that he joined the 4th VB Gordon Highlanders on 7th April 1896. He then attested with the 6th (Banff & Donside) Battalion at Alford on 17th April 1908. He was signed up on Army Form E.502 which was the form to be used by “Imperial Yeomanry or Volunteers, enlisted or enrolled before the 1st April 1908, enlisting in the Force”. Pages one and three of his attestation papers give the number 468 which is crossed out and over-written with the number 10294.

It is this lower number series which appears to have been discontinued after war broke out. Beginning at 1, here are some sample numbers and enlistment dates up to 3rd August 1914:

167 joined on 16th April 1908
208 joined on7th April 1909
664 joined on 7th November 1910
723 joined on 2nd February1911
901 joined on 12th January 1912
1159 joined on 13th February 1913
1431 joined on 31st January 1914
1675 (the highest four-digit number on my 6th Gordons database) joined on 3rd August 1914

From the five digit series:

10394 joined on 14th June 1908
10492 joined on 16th February 1909
10701 joined on 12th September 1910

I have nothing at all after 10701 until we get to 25th August 1914 when 10705 joined the battalion. It almost looks as though in September 1910 the decision was taken to abandon the five digit number series and just continue with the series which had started at one. This decision, if indeed it was a decision, was reversed in August 1914 when the five-digit series was continued at the expense of the other series. As I said, this is all conjecture on my part, and if anyone knows any different, or can add further speculation, please do post a comment. On the face of it, given that the 6th Battalion was the result of a merger between two distinct Volunteer Battalions, logic might suggest that one series was used by men from the area previously covered by the 4th VB whilst the other series was used by men from the area previously covered by the 6th VB. Unfortunately, an analysis of places of enlistment for men from both series does not support this theory.

10705 joined on 25th August 1914
10732 joined on 6th September 1914
11119 joined on 1st October 1914

A 2/6th Battalion was formed at Keith in October 1914 and upon formation the 6th Battalion became the 1/6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders. The 2/6th Battalion used the same number sequence as the 1/6th.

11480 joined on 2nd November 1914
11664 joined on 7th December 1914
11746 joined on 14th January 1915
11816 joined on 6th February 1915
11864 joined on 22nd March 1915
12094 joined on 17th May 1915

A 3/6th Battalion was formed in May 1915 and it too used the same number sequence as that being used by the 1/6th and 2/6th Battalions.

12208 joined on 1st June 1915
12302 joined on 13th July 1915
12456 joined on 16th November 1915
12575 joined on 21st February 1916
12585 joined on 2nd March 1916
12671 joined on 14th June 1916
12870 joined on 25th July 1916
12912 joined on 4th August 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, men from the 6th Gordons were issued numbers in the range 265001 to 290000, the lowest number being issued to the man with the lowest number from the first series. For instance, 265005 was issued to J McLaren who had originally joined the battalion on the 1st April 1908 and who, before that time, had served with the Volunteer Force.

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

24 December 2012

5th (Buchan and Formartin) Battalion, Gordon Highlanders


The 5th (Buchan and Formartin) Battalion, Gordon Highlanders was a Territorial Force Battalion formed on 1st April 1908. It was the natural heir to the 2nd Volunteer Battalion and the 3rd (The Buchan) Volunteer Battalion, Gordon Highlanders and was headquartered at Peterhead. It was administered by the Aberdeenshire Association with companies and drill halls in the following locations:

A Company
Strichen; drill stations at New Pitsligo, New Aberdour, New Dear and Maud.
B Company
Peterhead; drill stations at Longside and St Fergus.
C Company
Peterhead; drill stations at Boddam and Hatton.
D Company
Turriff; drill stations at Fyvie and Cuminestown.
E Company
Ellon; drill stations at Auchnagatt, Methlick, Skilmafilly and Newburgh
F Company
Old Meldrum; drill stations at Tarves, Newmacher, and Pitmedden
G Company
Fraserburgh; drill station at Rosehearty
H Company
Fraserburgh; drill station at Lonmay

414 joined on 16th May 1908
506 joined on14th January 1909
1128 joined on 15th March 1910
1262 joined on 3rd February1911
1382 joined on 31st January 1912
1548 joined on 6th January 1913
1753 joined on 19th February 1914
1872 joined on 4th August 1914
2164 joined on 2nd September 1914

A 2/5th Battalion was formed at Peterhead in October 1914 and upon formation the 5th Battalion became the 1/5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders. The 2/5th Battalion used the same number sequence as the 1/5th.

2399 joined on 19th October 1914
2497 joined on 7th November 1914
2699 joined on 7th December 1914
2840 joined on 5th January 1915
3041 Joined on 6th February 1915
3070 joined on 4th March 1915
3101 joined on 3rd April 1915
3186 joined on 4th May 1915

A 3/5th Battalion was formed at the beginning of May 1915 and it too used the same number sequence as that being used by the 1/5th and 2/5th Battalions.

3251 joined on 8th June 1915
3289 joined on 5th July 1915
3357 joined on 3rd August 1915
3404 joined on 20th September 1915
3409 joined on 4th October 1915
3507 joined on 1st November 1915
3590 joined on 3rd December 1915
3662 joined on 1st February 1916
3722 joined on 15th March 1916
3890 joined on 20th April 1916
3956 joined on 29th May 1916
4157 joined on 7th July 1916
4361 joined on 15th September 1916
4379 joined on 5th October 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, men from the 5th Gordons were issued numbers in the range 240001 to 265000, the lowest number being issued to the man with the lowest number from the first series. For instance, 240139 was issued to George Bruce who had originally joined the battalion on the 21st March 1912 and whose original number, according to his surviving service record in WO 364 was 1466.

Carolyn Morrisey's excellent website devoted to the 5th Gordon Highlanders is well worth a visit and also includes useful information on the numbering in this battalion: The 5th Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders. Map of Aberdeenshire (2012) courtesy Google.

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

23 December 2012

4th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders


The 4th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders was a Territorial Force Battalion formed in April 1908.  It was the natural heir to the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Gordon Highlanders and was headquartered at Aberdeen. It was administered by the City of Aberdeen Association and recruited in the city, companies A to H and the HQ all situated there.

The following regimental numbers and joining dates will hopefully provide some pointers for likely enlistment dates of men into the battalion.

1 – 155 all joined in April 1908, the majority of these men having previously served in the 1st VB Gordon Highlanders
454 joined on16th March 1909
1016 joined on 17th June 1910
1135 joined on 3rd April 1911
1307 joined on 15th April 1912
1396 joined on 13th January 1913
1668 joined on 30th March 1914
1976 joined on 11th August 1914

A 2/4th Battalion was formed in September 1914 and upon formation the 4th Battalion became the 1/4th Battalion Gordon Highlanders. The 2/4th Battalion used the same number sequence as the 1/4th.

2502 joined on 25th September 1914
2658 joined on 6th October 1914
2969 joined on 2nd November 1914
3250 joined on 3rd December 1914
3406 joined on 4th January 1915
3544 Joined on 1st February 1915

A 3/4th Battalion was formed in February 1915 and it too used the same number sequence as that being used by the 1/4th and 2/4th Battalions.

3689 joined on 23rd March 1915
3861 joined on 7th May 1915
3950 joined on 1st June 1915
4123 joined on 9th July 1915
4201 joined on 3rd August 1915
4499 joined on 6th November 1915
4630 joined on 4th December 1915
4740 joined on 21st January 1916
4889 joined on 3rd February 1916
5126 joined on 7th April 1916
5248 joined on 1st July 1916
5554 joined on 4th October 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, men from the 4th Gordons were issued numbers in the range 200001 to 240000, the lowest number being issued to the man with the lowest number from the first series. For instance, 200061 was issued to James Lewis who had originally joined the battalion on the 31st March 1911 and whose original number, according to his medal index card, was 1129.

For further information on the 4th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, visit Christopher McDonald's excellent 4thGordons.com.The photo I've used on this post is taken from the 4th Gordon's website.

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

2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen’s Bays)


This post will look at numbering in the 2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen’s Bays). The information on this post has been compiled from a study of the 2nd Dragoon Guards and, from 1907, corps of Dragoons’ service records in WO 97 (on-line with Findmypast) and WO 363 and WO 364 (on-line with Ancestry).

2325 joined on 7th March 1881
2412 joined on 20th October 1882
2492 joined on 20th April 1883
2603 joined on 30th January 1884
2846 joined on 20th February 1885
3220 joined on 1st September 1886
3360 joined on 19th September 1887
3398 joined on 8th December 1888
3435 joined on 19th April 1889
3522 joined on 2nd April 1890
3735 joined on 31st August 1891
3810 joined on 23rd January 1892
4191 joined on 20th April 1893
4249 joined on 30th January 1894
4281 joined on 10th February 1896
4306 joined on 3rd June 1897
4505 joined on 11th May 1898
4785 joined on 20th March 1899
5119 joined on 7th March 1900
5714 joined on 26th September 1901
5869 joined on 2nd January 1902
6390 joined on 25th March 1903
6514 joined on 10th September 1906

I have some notable gaps in the sequence above with nothing for 1895 (when recruitment appears to have slowed to a trickle) and nothing either for 1904 and 1905. 1902 was a bumper year for recruitment with around 400 men joining the regiment. This drive certainly slowed the following year which also saw a number of transfers in from the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers).

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 2nd Dragoon Guards was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, 3rd (Prince of Wales’s) Dragoon Guards, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales’s) Dragoon Guards, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers), 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards, 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. See my post on the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) to see the numbering sequence for the Corps of Dragoons post 1906.

Noting the distinction between the regimental sequence used by the 2nd Dragoon Guards up until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 2nd Dragoon Guards and all other regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 2nd Dragoon Guards man, for instance, whose hypothetical number is 4610 could point to a September 1898 joining date if the number falls within the regimental sequence, or 1910 if the man enlisted with the corps of Dragoons.

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

1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards


This post will look at numbering in the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards. The information on this post has been compiled from a study of 1st King’s (Dragoon) Guards and, from 1907, corps of Dragoons’ service records in WO 97 (British Army Pensions 1760-1913) (on-line with Findmypast) and WO 363 (British Army Service Records 1914-1920) and WO 364 (British Army Pensions) (on-line with Ancestry).

2337 joined on 22nd April 1881
2412 joined on 21st November 1882
2460 joined on 24th September 1883
2574 joined on 9th September 1884
2654 joined on 13th February 1885
3069 joined on 9th October 1886
3126 joined on 8th January 1887
3306 joined on 15th November 1888
3342 joined on 9th February 1889
3442 joined on 21st June 1890
3471 joined on 20th October 1891
3499 joined on 10th June 1892
3592 joined on 20th June 1893
3745 joined on 8th January 1894
3851 joined on 3rd April 1895
3960 joined on 12th August 1896
4018 joined on 23rd January 1897
4171 joined on 31st March 1898
4415 joined on 8th March 1899
4568 joined on 1st January 1900
5061 joined on 4th February 1901
5581 joined on 19th April 1902
5830 joined on 27th January 1903
5856 joined on 11th April 1904
5892 joined on 6th March 1905
6443 joined on 26th September 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 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays), 3rd (Prince of Wales’s) Dragoon Guards, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales’s) Dragoon Guards, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers), 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards, 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. See my post on the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) to see the numbering sequence for the Corps of Dragoons post 1906.

Noting the distinction between the regimental sequence used by the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards up until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards and all other regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards man, for instance, whose hypothetical number is 4610 could point to a 1900 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.

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

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.

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