7 November 2020

Durham Light Infantry - 6th Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 6th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Durham Light Infantry between 1908 and 1914. Use the information below to estimate when your ancestor joined this particular battalion. Note that all Territorial Force battalions had their own unique number series (and for that matter, some operated more than one number series). So if your ancestor served in the 7th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, this post won't be for you. Nothing to see here, move along...

The 6th Durham Light Infantry was headquartered at Bishop Auckland and its eight companies drew men from the following locations:

A Company: Bishop Auckland, with a drill station at Coundon; B CompanyBishop Auckland with a drill station at West Auckland; C Company: Spennymore; D Company: Crook, with a drill station at Willington; E Company: Stanhope, with drill stations at Rookhope and Wolsingham; F Company: Barnard Castle, with a drill station at Staindrop; G & H Companies drew men from Consett. The battalion was part of the Durham Light Infantry Brigade in the Northumbrian Division.

Here are some sample regimental numbers for the 6th Durham Light Infantry. These were issued sequentially, beginning at No 1 on the 1st April 1908. The vast majority of early recruits would have been men who were serving with the 2nd Volunteer Battalion.

192 joined on the 7th April 1908
1005 joined on the 30th March 1909
1161 joined on the 21st February 1910
1317 joined on the 26th January 1911
1531 joined on the 29th March 1912
1786 joined on the 8th February 1913
2003 joined on the 2nd March 1914
2238 joined on the 7th 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 had the number 1500 and came from Crook, he would have joined in the first quarter of 1912 and would have probably served in D Company. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

To search for photos of your Durham Light Infantry ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

Royal Warwickshire Regiment - 8th Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 8th (TF) Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914. 

The 8th Battalion was an entirely new Territorial Force unit, formed in 1908. It had no Volunteer Force battalion predecessor. In that year, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the 8th Battalion strength comprised 21 officers and 715 men. 630 men trained at camp that year for eight days, whilst 375 trained for 15 days. Sergeant E Robins, was the best shot of the battalion that year.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the 8th Battalion had risen to 25 officers and 970 men. At Brockenhurst camp that year, 362 men trained for eight days, and 584 trained for 15 days. Drummer Taylor of C Company was the best shot of the battalion in 1909.

The battalion was headquartered at Aston Manor, Birmingham, and with the exception of B Company (which recruited men from Saltley), A to H Companies all drew their men from Birmingham. ''D' Company, according to the Illustrated News in 1909, stood for 'Dunlop' Company as it was, in 1909 at least, composed exclusively of the employees of the Dunlop Tyre and Rubber companies. Pre 1914-1918 the battalion formed part of the Warwickshire Infantry Brigade in the South Midland Division. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 8th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment:

177 joined on the 22nd April 1908
964 joined on the 17th May 1909
1179 joined on the 3rd February 1910
1305 joined on the 16th March 1911
1482 joined on the 9th May 1912
1709 joined on the 16th January 1913
2196 joined on the 16th April 1914
2302 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 had the number 1000 and came from Saltley, he would have joined between May 1909 and February 1910 and would have almost certainly have served with B Company. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

27 October 2020

Royal Warwickshire Regiment - 7th Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th (TF) Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914. 

The 7th Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which had been formed out of the old 2nd Volunteer Battalion. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the 7th Battalion strength comprised 24 officers and 808 men. The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the 7th Battalion had risen to 23 officers and 980 men. 

The battalion was headquartered at Coventry, and A, B, C & D Companies all drew their recruits from Coventry. E Company recruited in Rugby, F Company recruited in Leamington, G Company recruited in Warwick (and had a drill station at Kenilworth), and H Company recruited in Nuneaton. Pre 1914-1918 the battalion formed part of the Warwickshire Infantry Brigade in the South Midland Division. Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment:

935 joined on the 6th April 1908
1106 joined on the 1st March 1909
1280 joined on the 18th July 1910
1325 joined on the 8th February 1911
1484 joined on the 26th February 1912
1756 joined on the 14th March 1913
2110 joined on the 18th February 1914
2678 joined on the 5th September 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 had the number 1500 and came from Coventry, he would have joined in, approximately, March 1913 and would have served in A, B, C or D Company. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

Royal Warwickshire Regiment - 5th & 6th Bns (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th & 6th (TF) Battalions, Royal Warwickshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th & 6th Battalions were Territorial Force units which were formed as independent infantry battalions on the 1st April 1908.  They had formerly been the 1st Volunteer Battalion which, prior to the transfer to the Territorial Force, had comprised no fewer than 18 separate companies and between 1800 and 1900 men. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the 5th Battalion strength comprised 24 officers and 808 men, whilst the 6th Battalion comprised 24 officers and 845 men.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the 5th Battalion had risen to 30 officers and 957 men whilst the 6th Battalion, matching the 5th almost man for man, had a strength of 29 officers and 954 men. Both battalions were headquartered at Thorp Street, Birmingham, and all companies (companies A-H) in both battalions, recruited in Birmingham.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment:

136 joined on the 8th April 1908
581 joined on the 25th January 1909
1232 joined on the 25th February 1910
1361 joined on the 24th February 1911
1501 joined on the 26th January 1912
1819 joined on the 24th January 1913
2318 joined on the 22nd May 1914
2445 joined on the 1st September 1914 

For the 6th Battalion:

1 joined on the 1st April 1908
1250 joined on the 11th March 1910
1360 joined on the 17th February 1911
1511 joined on the 26th January 1912
2110 joined on the 6th June 1913
2252 joined on the 27th March 1914
2400 joined on the 13th August 1914
2651joined on the 2nd September 1914

As can be seen from the patterns above, the battalions pretty much kept pace with each other in the years up until 1914; on the 26th January 1912 the 6th battalion had issued just ten numbers more than the 5th Battalion!

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 2000 and served with the 5th Battalion, he’d have joined the battalion between January 1913 and May 1914. The same number would have been issued to a 6th Battalion man between January 1912 and June 1913. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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


25 October 2020

Northumberland Fusiliers - 6th (City) Battalion (Territorial Force)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 6th (City) Battalion (TF), Northumberland Fusiliers between 1908 and 1914.
 

The 6th Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which was formed on the 1st April 1908.  This had formerly been the 3rd Volunteer Battalion. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 25 officers and 680 men. 247 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 436 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 had risen to 29 officers and 884 men. At the annual camp that year, 242 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 630 officers and men attended for 15 days. 


The battalion was headquartered at Northumberland Road, Newcastle-on-Tyne and all companies drew men from the City of Newcastle.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 6th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. 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 2nd VF Battalion.

482 joined on the 9th April 1908
1015 joined on the 3rd May 1909
1329 joined on the 29th August 1910
1420 joined on the 14th April 1911
1560 joined on the 22nd April 1912
1790 joined on the 15th May 1913
1875 joined on the 22nd January 1914
2500 joined on the 16th September 1914 

As can be seen from the patterns above, recruitment was steady throughout this period, and would continue to be strong during the First World War.

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Blyth in December 1914, the original 6th Battalion now becoming the 1/6th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/6th Battalion. A 3/6th Battalion would be formed in June 1915. Neither the 2/6th nor the 3/6th Battalion would serve overseas, rather training men who were then sent overseas as part of drafts for the 1/6th Battalion.

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example, if he had the number 1234 he would have joined this battalion at some time between May 1909 and August 1910. 
 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

Northumberland Fusiliers - 5th Battalion (Territorial Force)


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

The 5th Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which was formed on the 1st April 1908.  This had formerly been the 2nd Volunteer Battalion. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 22 officers and 621 men. 189 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 406 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 had risen to 30 officers and 893 men. Colour-Sergeant Armstrong of A Company was the best shot of the battalion and at the annual camp at Berwick in 1909, 212 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 677 officers and men attended for 15 days. 


The battalion was headquartered at Walker, Newcastle-on-Tyne and drew men from the following areas:

A, B and C Companies recruited in Walker, and D E and F Companies recruited in Wallsend. G and H Companies recruited in Gosforth, with G Company having drill stations at West Moor and Seaton Burn.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. 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 2nd VF Battalion.

102 joined on the 3rd April 1908
657 joined on the 18th January 1909
1035 joined on the 3rd March 1910
1163 joined on the 1st February 1911
1352 joined on the 8th February 1912
1757 joined on the 3rd April 1913
2010 joined on the 9th March 1914
2245 joined on the 10th August 1914 

As can be seen from the patterns above, recruitment was steady throughout this period, and would continue to be strong during the First World War.

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Blyth in November 1914, the original 5th Battalion now becoming the 1/5th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/5th Battalion. A 3/5th Battalion would be formed in June 1915. Neither the 2/5th nor the 3/5th Battalion would serve overseas, rather training men who were then sent overseas as part of drafts for the 1/5th Battalion.

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 800 and lived in the West Moor area, he would have joined this battalion at some time between January 1909 and March 1910, and furthermore he would probably have served with G Company. 
 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

24 October 2020

Northumberland Fusiliers - 7th Battalion (Territorial Force)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th (TF) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers between 1908 and 1914.
 

The 7th Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which was formed on the 1st April 1908.  This was an entirely new formation and had no Volunteer Force predecessor. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 14 officers and 580 men. 177 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 177 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 had risen to 17 officers and 742 men. At the annual camp in 1909, 181 officers and men attended for eight days whilst an impressive 490 officers and men attended for 15 days. 


The battalion was headquartered at Alnwick and drew men from the following areas:
 

A Company recruited in Morpeth. B Company recruited in Ashington. C Company recruited in Belford and had drill stations at Ford, Wooler and Chatton. D Company recruited in Alnwick. E Company recruited in Amble, with drill stations at Broomhill and Warkworth. F Company also recruited at Alnwick and had a drill station at Rothbury. G Company recruited in Berwick-on-Tweed, as did H Company which also had a drill station at Scremerston.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 7th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. 

149 joined on the 7th April 1908
709 joined on the 18th February 1909
849 joined on the 5th May 1911
1307 joined on the 1st November 1912
1467 joined on the 20th February 1913
1656 joined on the 15th April 1914
1799 joined on the 6th August 1914 
 

As can be seen from the patterns above, recruitment was patchy with just 140 men recruited between February 1909 and May 1911, and then a surge in recruiting between May 1911 and November 1912 which saw over 450 men signing up.

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Alnwick in September 1914, the original 7th Battalion now becoming the 1/7th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/7th Battalion. A 3/7th Battalion would be formed in June 1915. The 2/7th Battalion would later serve overseas in Egypt as a Garrison Battalion from 1917, but the 3/7th Battalion never served overseas, rather training men who were then sent overseas as part of drafts for the 1/7th and 2/7th Battalions.

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 1500 and lived in the Morpeth area, he would have joined this battalion at some time between February 1913 and April 1914 and furthermore, he would probably have served with A Company. 
 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

Northumberland Fusiliers - 4th Battalion (Territorial Force)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th (TF) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which was formed on the 1st April 1908 and, prior to this, had been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised just 17 officers and 388 men. 305 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 61 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 had risen to 19 officers and 548 men. At the annual camp at Berwick that year, 72 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 360 officers and men attended for 15 days. 

The battalion was headquartered at Hexham and drew men from the following areas:
 

A Company: recruited in Hexham, with a drill station at Acomb. B Company: recruited at Bellingham with drill stations at Plashett, Otterburn & Woodburn. C Company: recruited at Haydon Bridge with drill stations at Allendale, Langley and Newburgh. D Company: recruited at Prudhoe with a drill station at Mickley. E Company: recruited in Corbridge. F Company: recruited at Haltwhistle. G Company: recruited in Newburn, with a drill station at Whorlton. H Company recruited at Prudhoe.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 4th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. 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 1st VF Battalion.

330 joined on the 20th May1908
398 joined on the 22nd January 1909
681 joined on the 17th May 1910
826 joined on the 28th February 1911
976 joined on the 4th April 1912
1190 joined on the 17th April 1913
1291 joined on the 9th January 1914
1461 joined on the 6th August 1914 


A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Blyth in November 1914, the original 4th Battalion now becoming the 1/4th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/4th Battalion. The photo on this post shows men of the 1/4th Battalion in November 1914. A 3/4th Battalion would be formed in June 1915. Neither the 2/4th nor the 3/4th Battalion served overseas, rather training men who were then sent overseas as part of drafts for the 1/4th Battalion.

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 500 and lived in the Corbridge area, he would have joined this battalion at some time between the 22nd January 1909 and the 17th May 1910. Furthermore, he would have served with E Company. 

 Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help. 

And finally... to search for photos of your Northumberland Fusiliers ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.


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.