22 July 2020

King's (Liverpool Regiment) - 7th Battalion (TF)

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment) between 1908 and 1914.

The 7th Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which was formed on the 1st April 1908 and, prior to this, had been the 4th Volunteer Battalion, the King's Liverpool Regiment. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 32 officers and 602 men. 217 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 255 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 25 officers and 866 men; a good increase on the previous year. At the annual camp that year, 303 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 348 officers and men attended for 15 days. 


The battalion was initially headquartered at 77 Shaw Street, Liverpool; later at 99 Park Street, Bootle, and recruited in Bootle , Southport, Formby and Crosby as below:

A, B, C, D and F Companies: recruited in Bootle
E Company: recruited in Crosby 
G & H Company: recruited in Southport, with a drill station at Formby

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 7th Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment). The majority of men signing up from April 1908 would have been men who, up until the 31st March, had been serving members of the 4th VF Battalion.

141 joined on the 2nd April 1908
853 joined on the 8th March 1909
1098 joined on the 31st March 1910
1151 joined on the 25th February 1911
1297 joined on the 9th March 1912
1639 joined on the 6th February 1913
1955 joined on the 19th March 1914
2051 joined on the 4th August 1914 


The battalion does not appear to have had any trouble recruiting and with the outbreak of war in August 1914, a reserve battalion was formed in Bootle in October 1914. The original 7th Battalion now became the 1/7th Battalion and the new reserve battalion became the 2/7th Battalion. A 3/7th Battalion would be formed in May 1915.

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 had the number 1678 he would have joined this battalion at some time between 
6th February 1913 and 19th March 1914 (and probably in about April 1913).

17 May 2020

King's (Liverpool Regiment) - 5th Battalion (TF)

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. 

The 5th Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which was formed on the 1st April 1908 and, prior to this, had been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, the King's Liverpool Regiment. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 26 officers and 599 men. 237 men attended camp at Peel, on the Isle of Man in 1908 for 8 days and 250 attended for 15 days. Best shot of the unit was Sergeant C Smith.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 33 officers and 1016 men; a significant increase on the previous year. At the annual camp that year, 925 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 650 officers and men attended for 15 days. Best shot of the unit was Sergeant J Marwood.


The battalion was headquartered at 65 St Anne Street, Liverpool and recruited in Liverpool and the surrounding district. Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th (Rifle) Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment).

200 joined on the 1st April 1908 
640 joined on the 2nd February 1909 
1164 joined on the 5th January 1910 
1328 joined on the 29th March 1911 
1386 joined on the 10th January 1912 
1548 joined on the 29th January 1913 
1820 joined on the 4th March 1914 
1954 joined on the 4th August 1914 


The battalion appears to have recruited well from 1909 and with the outbreak of war in August 1914, a reserve battalion was formed in September 1914. The original 5th Battalion now became the 1/5th Battalion and the new reserve battalion became the 2/5th Battalion. A 3/5th Battalion would be formed in May 1915.

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 had the number 1345 he would have joined this battalion at some time between 29th March 1911 and 10th January 1912.


Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your King's (Liverpool Regiment) ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

King's (Liverpool Regiment) - 6th (Rifle) Battalion

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 6th (Rifle) Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. 

The 6th (Rifle) Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which was formed on the 1st April 1908 and, prior to this, had been the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, the King's Liverpool Regiment. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 28 officers and 588 men. 341 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 176 attended for 15 days. 

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 29 officers and 968 men; a significant increase on the previous year. At the annual camp that year, 484 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 448 officers and men attended for 15 days. Best shots in the battalion were Sergeant J Pownall and Rifleman G Good. 

The battalion was headquartered at Prince's Park Barracks, Liverpool and recruited in Liverpool and the surrounding district. Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 6th (Rifle) Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment).

10 joined on the 1st April 1908 
811 joined on the 8th March 1909 
1129 joined on the 31st January 1910 
1189 joined on the 6th March 1911 
1249 joined on the 18th March 1912 
1396 joined on the 31st March 1913 
1553 joined on the 23rd March 1914 
1637 joined on the 1st August 1914 


The battalion appears to have no trouble in recruiting and the relatively low annual recruitment rates from 1910 is evidence of the battalion having already reached its establishment.

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 had the number 1234 he would have joined this battalion at some time between 6th March 1911 and 18th March 1912.


Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your King's (Liverpool Regiment) ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

16 May 2020

Durham Light Infantry - 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion - 1908-1914


In my blog post today I will look at numbering in the 3rd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry between 1908 and 1914.

The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion was the natural heir to the 3rd Militia Battalion which it replaced in 1908, and many of the men enlisting with the 3rd Special Reserve Battalion in 1908 were former militia men from the 3rd and 4th militia battalions who joined the new special reserve battalion but retained their old militia numbers. There are numerous examples of this in 1908 and a note on my spreadsheet for this battalion reads,

"Looks as though all men with prior service went into the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, whilst men with no previous service went into the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion. Numbering for new recruits in this battalion starts where numbering in the 4th (Militia) Battalion finished."

As an example of the militia / special reserve cross-over, see 7493 Joseph William Barker who has papers in WO 363 which show that he originally enlisted with the 3rd (Militia) Battalion on the 12th April 1907. The same number 7493 appears again on his special reserve attestation paper when he joined the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion on the 26th July 1908.

The lowest/earliest number I have for 3rd (Special Reserve) men is 6319 William Potts who would have originally joined the 3rd (Militia) Battalion in early 1904 and who re-enlisted with the special reserve with his same number on the 26th July 1908. Note though, that the man with the number 7246, George King, had actually joined before William. He was a former 4th (Militia) Battalion man. For all of these militia men and for the regiment, there would have been nothing unusual about this. The men would have originally signed up for six years' service with the militia and they were simply continuing their service with the newly formed special reserve. 

As noted above, men with former service in the 4th (Militia) Battalion also joined the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion and these men also retained their old 4th (Militia) Battalion numbers. And so when you look at regimental numbers for the 3rd Battalion in 1908 you have a combination of old 3rd Battalion numbers, old 4th Battalion numbers, and new numbers issued to men who had no prior service with the militia.  This from my notes on men who joined the 3rd Battalion in 1908:

6319 William Potts, 3rd Militia Bn
6743 Alfred Campbell, 3rd Militia Bn (attest date not shown)
6912 Ralph Gibson, 3rd Militia Bn
7026 Thomas Joyce, 3rd Militia Bn
7109 Watson Mills, 3rd Militia Bn
7246 George King, 4th Militia Bn att 06/11/1902
7373 George Davidson, 3rd Militia Bn
7417 John Golden, 3rd Militia Bn
7493 Joseph William Barker, 3rd Militia Bn
7693 James Garvey, no prior service
7771 Michael Gaffney, Time Ex 3rd Militia Bn
7790 Joseph Douglass, no prior service
7803 James Tuck, time-expired 3rd Militia Bn
8226 Elijah Brown, formerly 8226 4th Militia Bn
8580 William Baxter, formerly 8580 4th Militia Bn
8967 Frank Deary, formerly 8967 4th Militia Bn
9170 John Sawyer, formerly 156 7th DLI
9264 Patrick Donnelly, No prior service
9279 Ralph Hutton
9302 Michael McMahon
9355 William Barnfield, No prior service

9371 John McDonell

Both the 3rd and the 4th Militia Battalions had maintained completely separate regimental number series in the years to 1908 and both would continue to operate separate regimental number series from 1908 as the 3rd (Special Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions.

Some regimental numbers and enlistment dates for the period 1908 to 1914:

7790 Joseph Douglass (above), joined 26th May 1908

There appear to have been very few attestations in 1909 and I am guessing that this was because the battalion had reached its establishment; hardly surprising if it was taking in men from two former militia battalions.

9394 Joseph Rutley joined 19th December 1910
9474 John Atcheson joined on 9th October 1911
9533 Edward Armstrong joined on 27th January 1912
9685 Wilfred Clarke joined on the 17th February 1913
3/9775 Joseph Fraser joined on the 17th April 1914
10186 George Aberdeen joined on the 27th August 1914

Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for Durham Light Infantry photos, check my British Army Ancestors websiteImage source used on this blog post is unknown.

14 March 2020

Black Watch - 5th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Angus & Dundee) Battalion (TF), The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 2nd & 3rd Volunteer Battalions of the same regiment; the 'Angus' and 'Dundee' battalions. The headquarters of the battalion was at Arbroath and the county Territorial Association for Forfarshire administered the first six companies whilst companies G and H were administered by the Association at Dundee. 


The fact that two separate county associations administered companies in the same battalion means that there were two separate regimental number series in play; at least for a time. One series was used for men joining companies A to F, and another series was used for men joining companies G & H. The companies were distributed as follows:

A Company: Kirriemuir, with drill stations at Glamis and Newtyle
B Company: Forfar
C Company: Montrose, with a drill station at Craigo
D Company: Brechin, with a drill station at Edzell
E Company: Arbroath, with a drill station at Friockheim
F Company: Arbroath, with drill stations at Carnoustie and Monifieth
G Company: Dundee
H Company: Dundee

The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 34 officers and 650 men. The best shot of the unit that year was Lance-Sergeant D K Mitchell.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 667, all ranks, and at the annual camp that year, 369 officers and men had attended for eight days whilst 298 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled from the 16th July.
Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 5th Battalion (TF), The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). The numbers come from the series operated by the Forfarshire Association.

54 joined from the 2nd Volunteer Force Battalion on the 3rd April 1908
1028 joined on the 17th May 1909

1222 joined on the 7th April 1910
1387 joined on the 6th February 1911
1516 joined on the 1st October 1911
1846 joined on the 9th February 1914
1978 joined on the 6th 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 May 1909 and April 1910.

Remember. I research soldiers!

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

Image source used on this blog post is unknown.

Royal West Kent Regiment - 5th Battalion

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

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 23 officers and 619 men. 200 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 392 attended for 15 days. 

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 21 officers and 710 men. At the annual camp at Dover that year, 140 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 551 officers and men attended for 15 days. Best shots in the battalion were Lt E Mannington (for the officers) and Pte B E Tyrrell on behalf of the NCOs and men. This is almost certainly 645 Pte B Tyrrell who would later serve during the First World War. 

The battalion was headquartered at Bromley and recruited in the following parts of the county: 

A Company: Bromley 
B Company: Bromley 
C Company: Dartford 
D Company: Beckenham 
E Company: Sidcup, with a drill station at Dartford 
F Company: Chatham, with a drill station at Cliffe-at-Hoo 
G Company: Ditto 
H Company: Swanley 

The above information about company distribution is particularly useful if your ancestor enlisted with the 5th Royal West Kent Regiment prior to August 1914. For argument's sake, if he lived in Swanley he would have been most likely to have joined H Company; if he was in the immediate vicinity of Beckenham, D Company would have been the most likely company he served with. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th Royal West Kent Regiment. 

10 joined from the 2nd Volunteer Force Battalion on the 2nd April 1908 
226 joined on the 22nd March 1909 
1115 joined on the 21st September 1910 
1138 joined on the 13th January 1911 
1270 joined on the 24th February 1912 
1602 joined on the 7th April 1913 
1836 joined on the 4th May 1914 
1897 joined on the 8th August 1914 

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example 645 Pte B Tyrrell would have joined the regiment between March 1909 and September 1910 and in his case, he was winning prizes for shooting well before then. 


Remember. I research soldiers!



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

12 January 2020

Royal West Kent Regiment - 4th Battalion

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment (TF) between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). In 1907, prior to the advent of the Territorial Force, the 1st Volunteer Battalion had a strength of 869 out of an establishment of 1,280. The following year, in 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 18 officers and 508 men. 179 men attended camp at Walmer in 1908 for 8 days and 250 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 22 officers and 766 men. At the annual camp at Dover that year, 305 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 388 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled to take place from the 23rd July at Dover.

By August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Tonbridge, and recruiting in the following parts of the county:  


A Company: Maidstone
B Company: Maidstone, with a drill station at West Malling
C Company: Tonbridge, with a drill station at Hadlow
D Company: Tunbridge Wells
E Company: Tunbridge Wells
F Company: Orpington
G Company: Sevenoaks
H Company: Westerham, with drill stations at Edenbridge

The above information about company distribution is particularly useful if your ancestor enlisted with the 4th Royal West Kent Regiment prior to August 1914. For argument's sake, if he lived in Orpington he would have been most likely to have joined F Company; if he was in the immediate vicinity of Sevenoaks, G Company would have been the most likely company he served with.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 4th Royal West Kent Regiment.

61 joined from the 1st Volunteer Force Battalion on the 6th April 1908
549 joined on the 4th February 1909
974 joined on the 21st March 1910
1174 joined on the 2nd May 1911
1293 joined on the 1st April 1912
1461 joined on the 26th February 1913
1720 joined on the 21st May 1914
1981 joined on the 14th 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 1000 and he lived in Westerham, he would have joined the battalion some time after 21st March 1910 but before May 1911. Furthermore, he probably served with H Company.


Remember. I research soldiers!


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

11 January 2020

The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) - 5th Battalion


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Weald of Kent) Battalion (TF), The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, the Buffs (East Kent Regiment). In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for that year records, the battalion strength comprised 13 officers and 434 men. 102 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 307 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 21 officers and 710 men. At the annual camp at Dover that year, 140 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 551 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled to take place with the 4th Battalion from the 23rd July at Dover.

By August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Ashford, and recruiting in the following parts of the county:  


A Company: Cranbrook, with a drill station at Benenden
B Company: Hawkhurst, with a drill station at Sandhurst
C Company: Headcorn, with drill stations at Staplehurst, Marden and Sutton Valence
D Company: Horsmonden, with drill stations at Goudhurst, Lamberhurst, Brenchley, Yalding and Paddock Wood
E Company: Ashford, with drill stations at Pluckley, Bethersden, Aldington and Ham Street
F Company: Ashford
G Company:Tenterden, with drill stations at Lydd, Woodchurch, New Romney, Appledore, Wittersham and Rolvenden
H Company: Ashford

The above information about company distribution is particularly useful if your ancestor enlisted with the 5th Buffs prior to August 1914. For argument's sake, if he lived in Ashford he would have been most likely to have joined E, F or H Company; if he was in the immediate vicinity of Sandhurst, B Company would have been the most likely company he served with.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th (Weald of Kent) Battalion (TF), The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).

121 joined from the 2nd Volunteer Force Battalion on the 10th April 1908
500 joined on the 3rd February 1909
874 joined on the 7th April 1910
932 joined on the 8th February 1911
1050 joined on the 1st November 1912
1141 joined on the 9th June 1913
1199 joined on the 26th February 1914
1358 joined on the 6th 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 600 and he lived in Headcorn, he would have joined the battalion some time after 3rd February 1909 and before April 1910. Furthermore, he probably served with C Company.


The undated photo at the top of this page shows band members of an unidentified battalion of the Buffs. There is an array of cloth insignia on display here.

Remember. I research soldiers!


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

10 January 2020

The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) - 4th Battalion



This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th Battalion (TF), The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, the Buffs (East Kent Regiment). In 1907, the 1st VB was under-strength; 950 men out of an establishment of 1396. By 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for that year records, the battalion strength had shrunk further and now comprised 16 officers and 508 men. 158 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 259 attended for 15 days.

The following year, after an obviously successful recruiting campaign, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 18 officers and 787 men. At the annual camp that year, 316 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 385 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled to take place from the 23rd July at Dover.

By August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Canterbury, and recruiting in the following parts of the county:  


A Company: Ramsgate, with drill stations at Birchington and Broadstairs
B Company: Canterbury, with drill stations at Chatham and Ash
C Company: Canterbury, with drill stations at Littlebourne, Wingham and Nonington
D Company: Folkestone, with a drill station at Hythe
E Company: Sittingbourne, with a drill station at Sheerness
F Company: Herne Bay, with a drill station at Whitstable
G Company: Margate, with drill stations at St Nicholas at Wade, and Westgate
H Company: Dover

The above information about company distribution is particularly useful if your ancest
or enlisted with the 4th Buffs prior to August 1914. For argument's sake, if he lived in Whitstable he would have been most likely to have joined F Company; if he was in the immediate vicinity of Dover, H Company would have been the most likely company he served with.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 4th Battalion (TF), The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).

126 joined from the 1st Volunteer Force Battalion on the 24th April 1908
690 joined on the 12th January 1909
1017 joined on the 19th February 1910
1221 joined on the 17th February 1911
1367 joined on the 31st January 1912
1496 joined on the 29th January 1913
1774 joined on the 29th January 1914
1879 joined on the 5th 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 1250 and he lived in Wingham, he would have joined the battalion some time after 17th February 1911 and before January 1912. Furthermore, he probably served with C Company.


The undated photo at the top of this page shows an unidentified battalion of the Buffs on the march.

Remember. I research soldiers!


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

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.