24 June 2017

The Tank Corps: enlistments 1916-1919


The Tank Corps was formed from the Heavy Branch, Machine Gun Corps on the 27th July 1917 and so this year marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of this corps. That provides me with a great excuse - as if I needed one anyway -  to publish information on Tank Corps regimental numbering.

I am indebted to Mark Bailey and Howard Williamson who supplied the majority of the information below - Mark by diligently poring over hundreds of hard-to-read papers in WO 363 and WO 364, and Howard by studying thousands of entries in medal rolls. More of Howard's research on the Tank Corps can be found in volume two of his Great War Medal Collectors' Companion.

The photo above is taken comes from my collection and I'd love to know more about it. It comes from a significant archive which belonged to Old Contemptible George Anderson, formerly Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) and latterly Army Ordnance Corps. I suspect he's in this photo somewhere, but I have no idea which man he is.

Initially the Tank Corps recruited men who had experience of heavy vehicles and heavy machinery. Army Service Corps drivers, machine-gunners and artillerymen were all combed out of their units to join the newly-formed Tank Corps, and there are certainly patterns of former service to be found in the subsequent issue of regimental numbers to this corps. Use the numbers below to identify likely enlistment dates and - in some cases - former units served with. Numbers were issued in blocks of 1000 although there is evidence that large blocks of numbers were never used.

Finally, remember, I research soldiers!

40000 to 40500
40348 John Barter, joined on 05/06/1916
Howard Williamson notes that numbers in this range were issued to men who enlisted directly into the Tank Corps.

Numbers 40501 to 68999 do not appear to have been used.

69000 to 69999
69733 Clifford Baldwin, joined on 13/11/1916

70000 to 70200
Howard Williamson notes casualties from 1st December 1917. This band of 200 men largely transferred from cyclist companies.

Numbers 70200 to 74999 do not appear to have been used.

75000 to 75999
75516 George Edward Bailey, joined on 22/12/1916; formerly 8681 ACC
75640 Albert Edward Browning, joined on 31/12/1916; formerly 3051 London R

76000 to 76999
76290 Robert Allan, joined on 06/01/1917; formerly 614 ACC

77000 to 77999
Howard Williamson notes casualties from 28th July 1917

78000 to 78999
78008 John Oultram, joined on 17/11/1916; formerly 10644 ACC
78012 Samuel Waters, joined on 17/11/1916; formerly 361 ACC
78065 Thomas Harry Snary, joined on 18/11/1916; formerly 2524 Lond Cyc Coy
78110 William Humphreys, joined on 27/11/1916; formerly 21878 KOSB
78259 Harry Sherlock Holmes, joined on 02/12/1916; formerly 2203 Northern Cyc Bn
78384 Walter Leeming, joined on 04/12/1916; formerly 204 Training Reserve
78522 Arthur Dennis Tomes, joined on 11/12/1916; formerly 014031 AOC
78545 Alfred Thomas Millerson, joined on 11/12/1916; formerly 01034 AOC
78610 Harry Swift, joined on 14/12/1916; formerly DM2/223865 ASC (MT)
78671 Ernest Walter Sherriff, joined on 15/12/1916; formerly DM2/224124 ASC (MT)
78705 Charles John William Howlett, joined on 16/12/1916; formerly DM2/231070 ASC (MT)
78686 Frederick Chester Tiplady, joined on 19/12/1916; formerly 271 Lond Cyc Coy

Numbers 79000 to 90999 do not appear to have been used.

91000 to 91999
91613 Wilfred Arthur Austin, joined on 27/12/1916; formerly 1791(S) Royal Marine Artillery
91773 Alfred Edmund Leal, joined on 10/01/1917; formerly Army Res
91857 Edward Donkin Smith, joined on 12/01/1917; formerly 39186 Yorkshire Regt
91906 Gustav Stanley Degerland, joined on 11/01/1917; formerly T4/185879 ASC (666 Coy)
91907 John William Hobson, joined on 11/01/1917; formerly TS/9747 ASC (666 Coy)
91908 Arthur John Loker, joined on 11/01/1917; formerly TS/441 ASC (666 Coy)
91909 William Pratt, joined on 11/01/1917; formerly TS/9876 ASC (666 Coy)
91910 George Pratt, joined on 11/01/1917; formerly TS/9916 ASC (666 Coy)
91857 Edward Donkin Smith, joined on 12/01/1917; formerly 39186 Yorkshire Regt

92000 to 92999
92261 Robert Lewis Oates, joined on 15/01/1917; formerly 37889 York & Lancaster Regiment
92166 William Dalton Simpson Hendrie, joined on 20/01/1917; formerly M2/191652 ASC (MT)
92739 Samuel March, joined on 30/01/1917; formerly 10661 Essex

93000 to 93999
93074 Charles John Ballard, joined on 07/02/1917; formerly 32834 Essex
Howard Williamson does not note numbers in this range although Mark Bailey identified the man below, and there are plenty of numbers beginning 93* to be found on medal index cards.


Image, courtesy The National Archives

94000 to 94999 
Howard Williamson notes casualties from 29th November 1917. Men are transfers-in from line infantry and yeomanry regiments

95000 to 95999
95561 George Walter Spencer, joined on 18/02/1917; formerly 11906 Royal Berks
95122 Walter Dunbar, joined on 23/02/1917; formerly 3183 Royal Scots
95208 William Edward Judson, joined on 24/02/1917; formerly 6679 Yorkshire Regt

96000 to 96999
96684 Alfred William Woodcock, joined on 06/06/1917; formerly TR/13/51770 18 TRB
Howard Williamson notes these men are transfers-in from Training Reserve battalions.

97000 to 97999
97115 George Barker, joined on 23/06/1917; formerly M/205602 ASC (MT)
Howard Williamson notes these men are transfers-in from Army Service Corps.

Numbers 98000 to 98999 do not appear to have been used.

99000 to 99999
Scant evidence of these numbers but numbers within this block certainly were used:


Image, courtesy Ancestry

Numbers 100000 to 108999 do not appear to have been used.

109000 to 109999
109680 Francis Brown, joined on 02/07/1917; formerly 193435 RFA
109781 William Adams, joined on 08/07/1917; formerly 218488 RFA
Howard Williamson notes that men with numbers in this range were mostly transfers in from Royal Field Artillery.

110000 to 110999
110297 William Almond, joined on 02/07/1917; formerly 159943 RFA
110448 John Aldridge, joined on 05/07/1917; formerly 19990 East Lancashire Regt
Howard Williamson notes that men with numbers to 110413 were transfers in from Royal Field Artillery. Mark Bailey separately identifies 110448 John Aldridge who transfers in from line infantry.

111000 to 111999
111102 William Thomas Angel, joined on 09/07/1917; formerly 30464 SWB
111735 Leo Young, joined on 02/08/1917; formerly 194179 RFA
111951 Smith Shelton, joined on 31/07/1917; formerly RGA
Howard Williamson notes that the majority of these men were transfers-in from RHA and RFA.

112000 to 112999
112262 Thomas John Jones, joined on 07/08/1917; formerly 42185 RFA
112716 William Norbury Smith, joined on 11/08/1917; formerly 203313 RFA
112912 John Andrews, joined on 11/08/1917; formerly 200576 RFA
112542 Aric Alban Smith, joined on 25/08/1917; formerly 207675 RFA
Howard Williamson offers no results for men with numbers in this range, although Mark Bailey's evidence (above) indicates transfers-in from Royal Field Artillery.

Numbers 113000 to 199999 do not appear to have been used.

200000 to 200999
Howard Williamson notes that men with numbers in this range were transfers-in from men who were serving with the Machine Gun Corps, and specifically men with MGC numbers 1 to 3000, 32000 to 32500 and 38200 to 38999.

201000 to 201999
Similar to above, these men are transfers-in from men who were serving with the Machine Gun Corps (Howard Williamson).

202000 to 202999
Howard Williamson notes that men with numbers in this range were mostly transfers-in from men who were serving with the Machine Gun Corps.

Numbers 203000 to 204999 do not appear to have been used.

205000 to 205999
Numbers issued to men who previously served with a variety of units (Howard Williamson).

206000 to 206999
Howard Williamson notes that men with numbers in this range were mostly transfers-in from men who were serving with the Machine Gun Corps.

Numbers 207000 to 299999 do not appear to have been used.

300000 to 300999
300409 James Smith, joined on 07/08/1917; formerly 131174 RFA
300234 William Ashurst, joined on 10/08/1917; formerly 83200 RFA
Howard Williamson notes men with numbers in this range are transfers-in from RHA and RFA.

301000 to 301999
301188 Ernest Calvert, joined on 25/08/1917; formerly 85288 RFA
301236 William Bale, joined on 29/08/1917; formerly 98643 RFA
301339 Ralph Brown, joined on 29/11/1917; formerly 2622 RFA MMGS
301850 James Allen, joined on 15/12/1917; formerly 2842 E Lancs

302000 to 302999
302187 William Henry Wilson, joined on 09/10/1917; formerly M2/182480 ASC (MT)
302729 Patrick Burke, joined on 15/02/1918; formerly 2264 QR Glasgow Yeomanry
302992 Robert Smith, joined on 31/08/1918; formerly 315 Black Watch

303000 to 303999
303026 George Barrett, joined on 13/10/1918; formerly T/24716 ASC
303075 Alfred Ernest Barber, joined on 15/11/1918; formerly 36732 London R

304000 to 304999
304233 William Albert Ascough, joined on 14/12/1917; formerly 57622 Liverpool R
304516 William Atherton, joined on 20/12/1917; formerly 15284 Lancashire Fusiliers
304897 George Harry Brown, joined on 25/12/1917; formerly 34063 Glosters
304882 Ernest Wilson, joined on 28/12/1917; formerly 2314 N Irish Horse

305000 to 305999
305055 Samuel Wilson, joined on 28/12/1917; formerly 17864 Black Watch
305011 John Brown, joined on 01/01/1918; formerly 18577 Gordon Hr
305855 Rueben Frank Young, joined on 11/01/1918; formerly 1880 RE
305817 Robert James Hedger, joined on 17/01/1918; formerly 519699 RE

306000 to 306999
306164 Edward Smith, joined on 18/01/1918; formerly 65739 RE
306844 George William Abbot, joined on 18/01/1918; formerly 414 Dorset RE

307000 to 307999
307044 Cuthbert Mark Smith, joined on 19/01/1918; formerly 148192 RFA (then RE)
307635 Arthur Charles Young, joined on 21/01/1918; formerly 39113 RFC
307849 John Duncan Alexander, joined on 23/01/1918; formerly 18500 Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders

308000 to 308999
308349 Sidney Maynard Hay, joined on 29/01/1918; formerly T2/450 ASC
308790 Arthur Henry Ferris, joined on 08/02/1918; formerly 39398 R Berks
308837 George Devlin Tasker, joined on 08/02/1918; formerly T1/4631 ASC

309000 to 309999
309341 Sydney Woodcock, joined on 31/03/1918; formerly 63542 RFC
309601 Albert Henry Humphries, joined on 13/04/1918; formerly 141717 Labour C
309703 Frank Gilbert Pollard, joined on 13/04/1918; formerly 2957 Gloucs

310000 to 310999
310110 Oliver James Marshall, joined on 19/08/1918
310157 Silas Groves, joined on 19/08/1918
311213 James Brown, joined on 20/08/1918
310942 Thomas Humphries, joined on 26/08/1918; formerly 279946 RFA
Howard Williamson notes men with numbers in this range are transfers-in from miscellaneous units based at home.

311000 to 311999
311532 John Allan, joined on 29/08/1918; formerly 251075 RFA
Howard Williamson notes men with numbers in this range are transfers-in from miscellaneous units based at home.

312000 to 312999
312162 John Henry Archer, joined on 31/08/1918; formerly 136378 Labour C
312408 Arthur Robert Brown, joined on 02/09/1918; formerly 174600 Army Res
Howard Williamson notes men with numbers in this range are transfers-in from home-based men.

313000 to 313999
313113 Adam Brown, joined on 04/09/1918
313084 William Wilson, joined on 07/09/1918; formerly 22064 AVC
313626 George Harold Mills, joined on 10/09/1918; formerly D/29285 4 Res Regt Dgns
Howard Williamson notes men with numbers in this range are transfers-in from home-based men.

314000 to 314999
314025 Donald Fowler Brown, joined on 13/09/1918; formerly D/22051 4 Res Regt Dgns
Howard Williamson notes men with numbers in this range are transfers-in from home-based men.

315000 to 315999
315834 William Henry Barton, joined on 20/09/1918; formerly TR/5/131516 86 TR Bn
Howard Williamson notes men with numbers in this range are transfers-in from Training Reserve battalions.

316000 to 316999
316022 Thomas Ivor Baldwin, joined on 17/09/1918; formerly TR/5/174061 113 TR Bn
316884 George Henry Angus, joined on 17/09/1918; formerly TR/5/187178 20 TR Bn
Howard Williamson notes men with numbers in this range are transfers-in from home-based men.

317000 to 317999
317288 Walter Thomas Rowe, joined on 05/09/1918
317493 George Mills, joined on 27/09/1918
317535 Harry Young, joined on 27/09/1918
317580 Charles Brown, joined on 30/09/1918; formerly Army Res
317950 Daniel Humphreys, joined on 31/10/1918; formerly 4430 KSLI

318000 to 318999
318101 John Adamson, joined on 08/11/1918; formerly 15326 Gordon Hr
318393 George Brown, joined on 21/04/1919

319000 to 320999
319327 Robert Hay, joined on 21/06/1919

320000 to 320999


Image, courtesy Ancestry

321000 to 321999
321501 Thomas Wilson, joined on 08/03/1919; formerly 201507 L N Lancs

320000 to 321999
320288 James Atkins, joined on 22/07/1919
320858 Alfred William Bacon, joined on 06/08/1919

322000 to 322999
322227 James Sidney Baines, joined on 07/07/1919; formerly 253998 RFA
322286 George Thomas Brown, joined on 07/07/1919; formerly 254728 RFA



No comments: