7 October 2008

13th (County of London) Bn, The London Regiment (Kensington)

This battalion had its origins in the 4th Middlesex Volunteer Rifles Corps. Its headquarters was at Iverna Gardens, Kensington.

201 joined on 4th April 1908
570 joined on 19th February 1909
1044 joined on 8th February 1910
1147 joined on 10th January 1911
1293 joined on 14th May 1912
1367 joined on 21st January 1913
1540 joined on 3rd March 1914
1725 joined on 5th August 1914
2430 joined on 1st September 1914
3311 joined on 10th November 1914
3672 joined on 10th December 1914
3846 joined on 20th January 1915
3944 joined on 9th February 1915
4025 joined on 8th March 1915
4091 joined on 12th April 1915
4249 joined on 12th May 1915
4313 joined on 8th June 1915
4421 joined on 14th July 1915
4461 joined on 9th August 1915
4489 joined on 9th September 1915
4518 joined on 5th October 1915
4550 joined on 8th November 1915
4651 joined on 11th December 1915
4690 joined on 12th February 1916
4753 joined on 31st March 1916
4814 joined on 1st April 1916
5282 joined on 2nd May 1916
5403 joined on 5th June 1916
5717 joined on 4th July 1916
6384 joined on 21st August 1916
6483 joined on 1st September 1916
6629 joined on 17th October 1916
6784 joined on 20th November 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, The 13th Londons re-numbered within the block 490001 to 510000. Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates within the six digit range:

490025 originally joined on 19th February 1909
490057 originally joined on 9th January 1912
490149 originally joined on 16th September 1913
490252 originally joined on 5th August 1914
490510 originally joined on 1st September 1914
490928 originally joined on 12th November 1914
491130 originally joined on 17th December 1914
491216 originally joined on 13th January 1915
491307 originally joined on 5th February 1915
491367 originally joined on 5th March 1915
491585 originally joined on 28th June 1915
491720 originally joined on 8th November 1915
493278 originally joined on 30th August 1916
493924 joined on 16th January 1917
494058 joined on 14th February 1917
494264 joined on 30th March 1917
494291 joined on 23rd April 1917
495322 joined on 9th May 1917
495671 joined on 11th June 1917
495897 joined on 11th October 1917
496075 joined on 9th January 1918
496634 joined on 21st May 1918


It is wrong to assume that numbers were issued in a strict sequential sequence. They weren't. As the war progressed and casualties grew, large numbers of men were often transferred from one battalion to another and allocated numbers within blocks which did not fit the sequential patterning seen to date. This becomes particularly evident in most battalions from 1916 onwards.

As an example, take a look at these six digit numbers for the Kensingtons beginning 505***.

c505004 to 505027
Numbers in this range were issued to men who transferred in France, from the 23rd Londons to the 13th Londons. This transfer took place on 14th April 1917 and NOT in 1918 as could be implied from the sequential list above.
c505038 to 505045
Issued to men who had transferred from the 8th Londons to the 13th Londons.
c505049 to 505063
Issued to men who had transferred from the 17th Londons to the 13th Londons.
c505073 to 505096
Issued to men who had transferred from the 18th Londons to the 13th Londons

It gets messier from here, men with numbers in the 5051** and 5052** range being transferred from a variety of regiments, the majority of which are other London Regiment battalions but also men from the Sussex Yeomanry, Monmouthshire Regiment and others. I suspect that men in the 505*** range were all transferred in April 1917, but I'll check this.

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Read the history of The Kensingtons (first published in 1936) this from the N&MP blurb on their advertised reprint below:

"A brief account of the history of the Kensingtons before the Great War is given in the opening chapter of this book. When war broke out the battalion was already allocated to the 4th London Brigade, 2nd London Division, but in November 1914 it left the division and went to France, arriving on 4th; it was allocated to 25th Brigade, 8th Division, a newly formed regular division, with which it fought its first major action, at Neuve Chapelle in March 1915. After a spell on the Lines of Communication the battalion joined the re-formed 1st London Division (now numbered 56th) in 168th Brigade, and it fought in that brigade on the Western Front for the rest of the war.

"In September 1914 a second line battalion was formed (2/13th) which was assigned to179th Brigade 60th Division. An unexpected diversion occurred at the end of April 1916 when the brigade was sent to Ireland on internal security duties following the Easter rebellion. A fortnight later it returned to England and on 21 June the 60th Division began its move to France. After about four months in the Vimy sector the division was transferred to Macedonia where the battalion arrived at the end of November 1916. Its spell in that theatre was comparatively short for in May 1917 the division moved again - to Palestine where it served with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force until the end of the war.

"This history is arranged in two parts, the first deals with the first line battalion, 1/4th, and is written by Sgt Bailey; the second part is the history of the 2/4th, written by Sgt Hollier. There is a final chapter covering the post-war period up to 1935, written by one of the commanding officers. The Roll of Honour lists the dead (60 officers 1003 men), alphabetically by ranks, without identifying battalion, nor does the list of Honours and Awards identify the battalion."

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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)
10th County of London) Battalion (Hackney) [Originally Paddington Rifles]
11th (County of London) Battalion (Finsbury Rifles)
12th (County of London) Battalion (The Rangers)
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)

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