I came across this article in The Western Times whilst looking for something else completely unrelated, but it does serve as a useful reminder of just how helpful newspapers can be when it comes to military research.
I have yet to check other issues of this publication and so I don't know whether this was a one-off, but I suspect not. Reporting regimental orders for the week, The Western Times records:
4TH BATT. DEVON REGIMENT
Regimental numbers - regimental numbers have been assigned the under-mentioned recruits: No 1622 Pte E Connett, No 1623 Pte T J Cowell, No 1624 Pte R W G Dare, No 1625 Pte R J Roderidge, No 1626 Pte S Ward, all of F Company; No 1627 Pte E Dunsett, G Company; No 1628 Pte G H Norman and No 1629 Pte R H Pulman, C Company...
F Company was based at Sidmouth, G Company at Cullompton and C Company at Exeter, suggesting the men who joined these companies probably came from these areas.
This is extremely useful information, particularly as service records in WO 363 for this regiment and the DCLI seem to be more scarce than those for many other line infantry regiments. A quick check on British Army Ancestors reveals that whilst some of these men did serve during the First World War, some had clearly been discharged before 1914, or did not serve overseas, and there are no surviving service records for any of these men.
The Western Times also reports discharges from the army as well as events affecting the 4th Wessex Brigade, RFA and Royal Engineers companies; all in all a very useful discovery.