22 September 2019

Black Watch - 4th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th Battalion (TF), The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 1st (City of Dundee) Volunteer Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 21 officers and 487 men. 182 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 248 attended got 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 23 officers and 664 men and at the annual camp at Balshandie in 1909, 241 officers and men had attended for eight days whilst 297 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled from the 16th July.

By August 1914 the battalion was headquartered in Dundee with all recruits drawn from that city.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 4th Battalion (TF), The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders).

216 joined from the Volunteer Force on the 6th April 1908
638 joined on the 18th February 1909
1077 joined on the 2nd February 1911
1292 joined on the 7th March 1912
1599 joined on the 5th March 1913
1924 joined on the 7th May 1914
2036 joined on the 4th August 1914

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1111 he would have joined the battalion between February 1911 and March 1912.

Remember. I research soldiers!


To search for photos of your Black Watch ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

15 September 2019

Bedfordshire Regiment - 5th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th Battalion (TF), Bedfordshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 3rd and 4th (Huntingdon) Volunteer Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 24 officers and 738 men. No details of camp attendance for that year are given.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 23 officers and 664 men and at the annual camp in 1909, 159 officers and men had attended for eight days whilst 443 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled to be held at Ipswich from the 30th July


In August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Gwyn Street, Bedford and the battalion's companies drew men from the following areas.


A Company: Bedford
B & C Companies: Luton
D Company: Biggleswade, with drill stations at Sandy, Arlesey and St Neots
E Company: Ampthill, with a drill station at Olney
F Company: Luton, with drill stations at Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard
G Company: Fletton, with a drill station at Yaxley
H Company: Hintingdon, with drill stations at St Ives and Ramsey

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 5th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in Ampthill and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to E Company. (Note that this logic was abandoned after 4th August 1914).


Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

Numbering started at around 2000 in 1908

2015 joined from the Volunteer Force on the 30th June 1908

2508 joined on the 23rd March 1909
2637 joined on the 16th March 1910
2741 joined on the 16th January 1911
2925 joined on the 23rd March 1912
2992 joined on the 3rd January 1913
3181 joined on the 5th March 1914
3785 joined on the 18th August 1914

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 2345 he would have joined the battalion between June 1908 and March 1909. 


Also see my posts on regimental numbering in these other Bedfordshire Regiment battalions:

1st and 2nd Battalions, Bedfordshire Regiment

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment
4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment



Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your Bedfordshire Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

8 September 2019

Border Regiment - 5th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Cumberland) Battalion (TF), Border Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 3rd Volunteer Battalion (Cumberland). The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 25 officers and 685 men and at the annual camp at Peel, Isle of Man in 1908, 585 officers and men had attended for eight days whilst 171 officers and men had attended for 15 days.


The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 26 officers and 969 men and at the annual camp in 1909 (at Conway), 273 officers and men had attended for eight days whilst 629 officers and men had attended for 15 days.


In August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Workington and the battalion's companies drew men from the following areas.


A Company: Whitehaven
B & C Companies: Workington
D Company: Cockermouth
E Company: Egremont, with drill stations at St Bees and Cleator
F Company: Wigton
G Company: Frizington
H Company: Aspatria, with drill stations at Dearham and Bullgill

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 5th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in Wigton and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to F Company. (Note that this logic was abandoned after 4th August 1914).


Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 5th Battalion, Border Regiment.


63 joined from the Volunteer Force on the 1st April 1908

762 joined on the 25th February 1909

Like the 4th Battalion, Border Regiment, the 5th Battalion had recruited steadily (and a little faster than the 4th Battalion) since its inception and by the 12th May 1909 was issuing the number 940 to its latest recruit. Recruitment hereafter slowed down dramatically, as can be seen from the pattern of numbers issued in the ensuing years to August 1914.

1148 joined on the 28th February 1910
1262 joined on the 15th February 1911
1365 joined on the 12th February 1912
1553 joined on the 10th February 1913
1728 joined on the 20th March 1914
1925 joined on the 4th August 1914

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1234 he would have joined the battalion between February 1910 and February 1911. 


Note that the 4th (Cumberland & Westmorland) Battalion of the Border Regiment had its own separate regimental number sequence which had also all started with the number 1 in April 1908.



Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your Border Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

Border Regiment - 4th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914



This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th (Cumberland & Westmorland) Battalion (TF), Border Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and brought together what had previously been the 1st Cumberland Volunteer and the 2nd Westmorland Volunteer battalions. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 38 officers and 694 men and at the annual camp in 1908, 388 officers and men had attended for less than 15 days whilst 284 officers and men had attended for 15 days.


The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 38 officers and 882 men and at the annual camp in 1909 (at Conway), 337 officers and men had attended for less than 15 days whilst 456 officers and men had attended for 15 days.


In August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Strand Road, Carlisle and the battalion's companies drew men from the following areas.


A & B Companies: Carlisle
C Company: Keswick, with a drill station at Brampton
D Company: Penrith
E Company: Kirkby Lonsdale, with drill stations at Sedbergh, Endmoor and Appleby
F & G Companies: Kendal, with drill stations at Burneside and Staveley
H Company: Windermere, with drill stations at Ambleside and Elterwater

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 4th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in Penrith and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to D Company. (Note that this logic went out of the window after 4th August 1914).


Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 4th Battalion, Border Regiment.


28 joined from the Volunteer Force on the 1st April 1908

808 joined on the 17th February 1909

The battalion had recruited steadily since its inception and by the 24th November 1909 was issuing the number 1204 to its latest recruit. Recruitment hereafter slowed down dramatically, as can be seen from the pattern of numbers issued in the ensuing years to August 1914.

1149 joined on the 28th October 1910
1178 joined on the 6th January 1911
1313 joined on the 14th February 1912
1484 joined on the 9th April 1913
1628 joined on the 18th February 1914
1769 joined on the 4th August 1914

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1234 he would have joined the battalion between January 1911 and February 1912. 


Note that the 5th (Cumberland) Battalion of the Border Regiment had its own separate regimental number sequence which had also all started with the number 1 in April 1908.



Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your Border Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

1 September 2019

Cheshire Regiment - 4th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908, taking over where the 1st Volunteer Battalion had left off. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 22 officers and 500 men and at the annual camp in 1908, 174 officers and men had attended for less than 15 days whilst 273 officers and men had attended for 15 days.

The following year, the The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 27 officers and 827 men and at the annual camp in 1909 (at Conway), 192 officers and men had attended for less than 15 days whilst 554 officers and men had attended for 15 days.

The battalion was headquartered at Grange Road, Birkenhead and the battalion's companies drew men from the following areas.

A, B, C and D Companies: Birkenhead
E Company: Tranmere
F & G Company: Liscard
H Company: Heswell, with drill stations at Parkgate and Hoylake

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 4th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in Tranmere and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to E Company. (Note that such logic went out of the window after 4th August 1914).

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 4th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment.

91 joined from the Volunteer Force on the 1st April 1908
648 joined on the 25th February 1909
1020 joined on the 23rd February 1910
1132 joined on the 17th February 1911
1287 joined on the 19th April 1912
1468 joined on the 11th March 1913
1589 joined on the 6th February 1914
1807 joined on the 6th August 1914

Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1234 he would have joined the battalion between February 1911 and April 1912. 

Note that the 5th, 6th and 7th (TF) Battalions of the Cheshire Regiment each had their own separate regimental number sequences (which also all started with the number 1 in April 1908).

The photo above, source unknown, shows men of the 4th Cheshire Regiment at their annual camp in Carnarvon in 1912.


Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your Cheshire Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.