5 February 2014

Not with a bang but a whimper: the demise of Special & Extra Reserve enlistments


This post will look at the demise of Special and Extra Reserve enlistments in the Infantry of the Line. I've not seen any official Army Council Instruction dealing with this and consequently would be pleased to know if anyone has seen evidence that recruiting into these battalions should cease. What follows is an alphabetical listing of infantry regiments and the latest dates that I have in my database for enlistments into their Special and Extra Reserve battalions. This is obviously a huge caveat as my database is, and always will be, incomplete: the later the war progresses, the thinner the data becomes. With largely Irish exceptions though, as will be seen from what follows, recruiting into the majority of Special and Extra Reserve battalions had become a thing of the past by the end of 1914. I will be pleased to update this list if anyone wishes to  add to, or correct, the information contained here.

3rd A & S Highlanders: Oct 1914
4th A & S Highlanders: Oct 1914
3rd Beds Regt: Nov 1914
4th Beds Regt: Sep 1914
3rd Black Watch: Sep 1914
3rd Border Regt: Oct 1914
3rd Buffs: Aug 1914

Note that a new number sequence was begun for men wishing to join the SR for wartime service only and this ran at least until October 1914

3rd Cameron Highlanders: Jan 1915
3rd Cameronians: Sep 1914
4th Cameronians: Sep 1914
3rd Cheshire: Jul 1915
3rd and 4th Connaught Rangers: appear to have recruited and maintained their number sequences throughout the war
3rd Devonshire Regt: Oct 1914
3rd Dorsetshire Regt: Mar 1915
3rd DCLI: Oct 1914
3rd Duke of Wellington's: Apr 1916
3rd Durham L.I.: Oct 1914
4th Durham L.I.: Sep 1914
3rd East Lancs Regt: Oct 1914
3rd East Surrey Regt: Apr 1915
4th East Surrey Regt: Sep 1914

Note that two new short-lived number sequences were begun In August 1914 for men wishing to join the 3rd E Surrey and 4th E Surrey for wartime service only and these ran at least until October and September 1914 respectively

3rd East Yorks Regt: Dec 1914
3rd Essex Regt: Nov 1914
3rd Gloucs Regt: Nov 1914
3rd Gordon Hrs: Nov 1914
3rd Hants Regt: Nov 1914
3rd HLI: Oct 1914
4th HLI: Sep 1914
3rd King's (Liverpool Regt): Nov 1914
4th King's (Liverpool Regt): Sep 1914
3rd King's Own: Nov 1914
3rd KOSB: Apr 1915
3rd KOYLI: Sep 1914
5th KRRC: Sep 1914
6th KRRC: Insufficient data
3rd Lancs Fus: Oct 1914
4th Lancs Fus: Oct 1914
3rd Leics: Sep 1914 3rd,
4th & 5th Leinster Regt: appear to have recruited and maintained their number sequences throughout the war
3rd Lincs Regt: Jun 1915
3rd Loyal N Lancs: Nov 1914
3rd Manchester Regt: Nov 1914
4th Manchester Regt: Nov 1914
5th Middx: Aug 1914
6th Middx Regt: Aug 1914

Note that two new short-lived number sequences were begun In August 1914 for men wishing to join the 5th Middx and 6th Middx for wartime service only and these ran at least until October and September 1914 respectively

3rd Norfolk Regt: Oct 1914
3rd Northants Regt: Sep 1914
3rd North Staffs Regt: Oct 1914
4th North Staffs: Sep 1914
3rd Northumberland Fus: Sep 1914
3rd Ox & Bucks LI: Nov 1914
3rd Queen's (RWS): Oct 1914
5th Rifle Brigade: Aug 1914
6th Rifle Brigade: Aug 1914
7th Rifle Brigade: Insufficient data
3rd Royal Berks Regt: Oct 1914
3rd, 4th and 5th Royal Dublin Fus: appear to have recruited and maintained their number sequences throughout the war 5th Royal Fus: Jan 1915
6th Royal Fus: Dec 1914
7th Royal Fus: Jan 1915
3rd & 4th R Innis Fus: appear to have recruited and maintained their number sequences at least until the end of 1915 and possibly throughout the war
3rd & 4th R Irish Fus: appear to have recruited and maintained their number sequences at least until the end of 1915 and possibly throughout the war
3rd & 4th R Irish Regt: appear to have recruited and maintained their number sequences at least until the end of 1915 and possibly throughout the war
3rd, 4th and 5th R Irish Rifs: appear to have recruited and maintained their number sequences at least until Jan 1916 in the case of the 4th and 5th Battalions, and at least until October 1916 for the 3rd Battalion; possibly to the end of the war for all battalions
3rd, 4th and 5th R Munster Fus: appear to have recruited and maintained their number sequences well into 1916 and possibly throughout the war
3rd Royal Scots: Jan 1915
3rd Royal Scots Fus: Oct 1914

3rd Royal Sussex Regt: Nov 1914 Note that a new short-lived number sequences were begun in August 1914 for men wishing to join the 3rd R Sussex for wartime service only. This appears to have petered out by November 1914.

3rd R Warwicks Regt: Sep 1914
4th R Warwicks Regt: Oct 1914
3rd Royal Welsh Fus: Feb 1915
3rd Royal West Kent Regt: Aug 1914

Note that a new short-lived number sequences were begun in August 1914 for men wishing to join the 3rd RWK for wartime service only. This appears to have petered out by October 1914.

3rd Seaforth Hrs: Nov 1914
3rd Sherwood Foresters: Nov 1914
4th Sherwood Foresters: Sep 1914
3rd Shrops L I: Feb 1915
3rd Somerset L I: Oct 1914
3rd South Lancs Regt: Jun 1915
3rd South Staffs Regt: Oct 1914
4th South Staffs Regt: Oct 1914
3rd South Wales Bords: Sep 1914
3rd Suffolk Regt: Nov 1914
3rd Welsh Regt: May 1915
3rd West Yorks Regt: Oct 1914
4th West Yorks Regt: Aug 1914
3rd Wilts Regt: Nov 1914
5th Worcs Regt: Aug 1914
6th Worcs Regt: Nov 1914
3rd Yorks Regt: Jul 1915
3rd York & Lancs Regt: Mar 1915

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