14 January 2009

28th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Artists' Rifles)

The 28th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Artists' Rifles), had its origins in the 20th Middlesex (Artists) Volunteer Rifle Corps. Its headquarters was at 17 Dukes Road, Euston (now the home of the Contemporary Ballet Trust). The following information is taken from Wikipedia:

"The Artists Rifles [the apostrophe on Artists' was officially dropped in 1937] was a popular unit for volunteers. It had been increased to twelve companies in 1900 and was formed into three sub-battalions in 1914, and recruitment was eventually restricted by recommendation from existing members of the battalion. It particularly attracted recruits from public schools and universities. On this basis, following the outbreak of the First World War, a number of enlisted members of the Artists' Rifles were selected to be officers in other units. This exercise was so successful that, early in 1915, selected Artists' officers and NCOs were transferred to run a separate Officers Training Corps, the remainder being retained as a fighting unit. Over fifteen thousand men passed through the battalion during the war, more than ten thousand of them becoming officers. The battalion eventually saw battle in France in 1917 and 1918, and suffered higher casualties than those of any other battalion. Members of the Regiment won eight Victoria Crosses, fifty-six Distinguished Service Orders and over a thousand other awards for gallantry."

Here are some army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the Artists' Rifles:

96 joined on 8th April 1908
665 joined on 23rd March 1909
1099 joined on 15th October 1912
1258 joined on 28th October 1913
1344 joined on 30th June 1914
1528 joined on 6th August 1914
2124 joined on 2nd September 1914
2824 joined on 6th October 1914
2883 joined on 9th November 1914
3049 joined on 14th December 1914
3167 joined on 14th January 1915
3270 joined on 1st February 1915
3443 joined on 5th March 1915
3622 joined on 9th April 1915
3908 joined on 27th May 1915
4126 joined on 25th June 1915
4791 joined on 27th October 1915
5603 joined on 30th November 1915
6076 joined on 11th December 1915
6420 joined on 3rd January 1916
7393 joined on 22nd February 1916
7913 joined on 9th June 1916
8121 joined on 5th July 1916
8181 joined on 5th August 1916
8246 joined on 11th September 1916
8618 joined on 7th October 1916
9144 joined on 2nd November 1916
9779 joined on 12th December 1916
10304 joined on 3rd January 1916

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, the 28th Londons were allocated numbers within the range 760001 to 780000. These new six digit numbers start appearing in January 1917. See also the Artists Rifles website for more information about the battalion.

I've taken the photograph on this post from Frank Long's album on Flickr. It shows soldiers of the Artists' Rifles in 1915 shortly before they embarked for France. Fewer than half of these men would return to England, although Frank's grandfather, Francis Charles Long (fourth from left on the back row), was one of those who did.

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

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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)
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


Mister S said...

On another page I (mistakenly) offered to post a link to a book containing a calendar of WW1 Regimental Numbers - my mistake was in ascribing it to the KRRC.

It was produced for the Artist's Rifles, and is very snappily entitled:

The regimental roll of honour and war record of the Artists' Rifles (1/28th, 2/28th and 3/28th battalions, the London Regiment T. F.) Commissions, promotions, appointments and rewards for service in the field obtained by members of the corps since 4th August, 1914 (1922)

It can be downloaded from The Internet Archive at:


Mister S said...

The Artists Rifles Calendar of Regimental Numbers can be viewed /downloaded here:


Alison Botterill said...

My grandmother was a forewoman cook with the 2nd Artists Rifles at Hare Hall. I have a photo of her there with 6 other WAACs. Sadly her records didn't survive the Blitz. A couple of years ago my sister and I were invited to attend the unveiling of the memorial to the Artists Rifles at Hare Hall which was very special since our grandmother died before either of us was born.

Anonymous said...

3871 joined May 22nd 1915.

Alfred Moses Blaiberg, later commissioned 1/7th Welch Regiment.

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