1 September 2008

10th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Hackney)

This battalion of the London Regiment has an interesting numbering sequence and history.

The battalion had its origins in the 18th Middlesex Volunteer Rifles Corps and in 1908 became the 10th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Paddington Rifles). On 22nd May 1912, Hansard reported that a Mr Nield stated:

"I refer to a letter just received by the Paddington Bines from the officer commanding, based on a communication from the Army Council, regretting that he had received an intimation of the disbandment of the Paddington Rifles. I submit that there is nothing in the world to justify this drastic order. The Paddington Rifles have been steadily improving their position. They have been taken in hand by the mayor and the chief tradesmen in the borough of Paddington. Money has been collected. A committee has been formed which has sat every other week for two years doing its best to provide for the popularity of the corps, and the result has been an extraordinary increase of membership, which has brought up the strength since 1909 to almost 100 per cent. Indeed, so keen is the interest now taken in this battalion that fifteen or twenty recruits had to be refused on Monday night last in view of the intimation which had been received. Surely that is a very undesirable result..."

Mr Nield continued:

"... the headquarters of the battalion have been allowed to get into a neglected state. Years ago, the Urban District Council proposed to spend no less a sum than £10,000 in putting these headquarters into proper condition. For some reason or another, unknown to either the officers or others, no money has been spent at all. No doubt that has somewhat to do with the difficulties of the battalion in the past. The armoury is small, dark and damp. The weapons are not properly housed there. Generally speaking outside the drill hall the premises are wholly unsuitable."

Despite Mr Nield's assertions of an "extraordinary increase in membership", by May 1911, the battalion had recruited just over 850 men, the lowest number of all the London City and County battalions.

A new 10th Battalion was then raised in Hackney. Initially at least, a lot of the men joining the new battalion, joined from the 7th Essex Regiment which, in broad terms, was drawing men from roughly the same area (Walthamstow) and which, by January 1912, had already recruited over 1600 men - just about double the numbers recruited by The Paddington Rifles. Neither officers nor men who had previously served with the Paddington Rifles joined the new Hackney battalion, but in 1913 those Paddington men who chose to do so, joined the 3rd (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) and formed 'F' (Paddington) Company. The headquarters of the 3rd London Regiment was later moved from North West London to Paddington.

But as far the 10th (Hackney) Londons was concerned, it started numbering from 1 again in 1912 which explains the odd blip for 1912 in the following sequence:

335 joined on 29th September 1908
667 joined on 24th January 1910
858 joined on 15th May 1911
352 joined on 27th November 1912
513 joined on 15th January 1913
1267 joined on 4th May 1914
1570 joined on 18th September 1914
1979 joined on 23rd October 1914
2067 joined on 3rd November 1914
2818 joined on 25th March 1915
3365 joined on 1st June 1915
3585 joined on 6th July 1915
3679 joined on 9th August 1915
3789 joined on 11th September 1915
4514 joined on 14th February 1916
5158 joined on 24th July 1916
5656 joined on 10th October 1916
6031 joined on 1st November 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, the 10th London Regiment re-numbered within the block 420001 to 450000.

The photo on this post shows men of the 10th Londons at their annual camp in Aldershot in August 1911 and is taken from a private collection belonging to the Edwards/Kirby family archive. My thanks to Vicki Edwards for permission to reproduce it here. My thanks too, to Mr Jim Kelleher for his assistance regarding the disbanding of the Paddington battalion and the establishment of its Hackney successor.

I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.

Find your army ancestors today with a FREE 14 day trial to Ancestry.co.uk - Click here!

Read my other posts on numbering in the London Regiment battalions:

City of London Battalions

1st (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
2nd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
3rd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
4th (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
5th (City of London) Battalion (Rifle Brigade)
6th (City of London) Battalion (Rifles)
7th (City of London) Battalion
8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office Rifles)

County of London Battalions

9th (County of London) Battalion (Queen Victoria's Rifles)
11th (County of London) Battalion (Finsbury Rifles)
12th (County of London) Battalion (The Rangers)
13th (County of London) Battalion (Kensington)
14th (County of London) Battalion (London Scottish)
15th (County of London) Battalion (Prince of Wales's Own Civil Service Rifles)
16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster Rifles)
17th (County of London) Battalion (Poplar & Stepney Rifles)
18th (County of London) Battalion (London Irish Rifles)
19th (County of London) Battalion (St Pancras)
20th (County of London) Battalion (Blackheath & Woolwich)
21st (County of London) Battalion (First Surrey Rifles)
22nd (County of London) Battalion (The Queen's)
23rd (County of London) Battalion
24th (County of London) Battalion (The Queen's)
25th (County of London) Cyclist Battalion
28th (County of London) Battalion (Artists Rifles)


Anonymous said...

Can you shed some light on this photo, please? Am I in the right place? See link below.

Thanks, Vicki


Paul Nixon said...

That's a cracking photo, Vicki. Bourley Camp was at Aldershot and this was possibly taken during the 10th London's annual camp in August1911. I'd have to dig through some old 10th London attestation papers to be sure of that.

Interesting headgear. It looks as though they've all tucked something under their caps to protect the back of their necks from the sun. That, and the fact that they're in shirt sleeves (well, as cooks, you might expect them to be, I suppose), lends weight to the August 1911argument. Also, the non-uniformed man is wearing a boater - a summer hat.

Apart from the chap standing second from left, back row, they all look fairly seasoned men, for want of a better term, and were probably 18th Middlesex Volunteer Rifles Corps volunteers before they re-enlisted with the 10th Londons in 1908.

If you have a relative in there, do you know his name and number?

Would you mind if I use that photo on this particular blog post?

Paul Nixon said...

OK, just checked another 10th London man's service record and the battalion was indeed at Aldershot for its annual training between 13th and 20th August 1911. So that's when your photo was taken.

Thanks for posting on the Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 blog.

Anonymous said...

It is, thank you.

Is there a place on this site regarding the Royal Horse Artillery, H Bty?


Paul Nixon said...

Not yet I'm afraid Vicki; I've been mainly concentrating on infantry regiments to date.

Thanks for the link on the genealogy forum you belong to.

Anonymous said...

Sorry! I didn't think to ask if it was ok if I put a link! It's ok, right?

Paul Nixon said...

Yes of course, the more the merrier. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi - can anyone help with my Great Uncle's military numbers
10/London Regiment 374258
Royal West Kent L/13202

Does the 10/London Regiment imply 10th battalion? Do either of the numbers indicate when he joined? Does the L/13202 indicate he was a linesman?


Paul Nixon said...

374258 belongs to the series used by the 8th London Regt and dates to Oct/Nov 1916. The RWK number belongs to a series reserved for men enlisting as career soldiers. It's higher than any of the numbers I have in my database and probably dates to post Nov 1918.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Paul - would you know what the "10" indicates for the London Regiment, and the "L" for the RWK?
regards Lyn

Anonymous said...

Thank you Paul. Apologies if you've already seen this question but wasn't sure if I postedit correctly. Do you know what the "10/" and the "L/" stands for?

Paul Nixon said...


The 10/ prefix indicates the battalion, ie the 10th Battalion of the London Regiment. The L/ prefix indicates, in this case, that the man was aregular soldier. It may stand for "Line".


S. Phillips said...

Hi, is it possible to track Thomas Calvary Phillips, 10th London Regiment WW1, Reg No. 426405, badge number B59589, SB/47299
he was a Lewis Gunner and was wounded in action but lived to 70 years old

Paul Nixon said...

Re 426405, it's quite a late number and the SWB roll gives an enlistment date of 5th Feb 1918 and a discharge date of 7th December 1918. Thomas was 19 years old and he was discharged as a result of wounds.

Anonymous said...

Hi I wonder if you could help, my Grandfather was a member of the 1/10 London regiment his rank and name is Sjt J McKean number 4 platoon A company of the 1/10 I have a photo of him and his platoon given to him possibly by a Major JBD Mann

Paul Nixon said...

Please see the RESEARCH tab at the top of this blog. Many thanks.

Grab a book bargain - 1000s of titles