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