The 3rd (Special Reserve) and the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment were the natural heirs of the 3rd and 4th Bedfordshire Militia Battalions and men transferring from the Bedfordshire Militia to the newly formed Bedfordshire Special and Extra Reserve Battalions in 1908, retained their old numbers.
Men attested with the Special Reserve on Army Form B.59: ARMY RESERVE (SPECIAL RESERVISTS) and they did so for six years' service. Question 11. of the attestation form asked:
"Have you ever served in the Army, the Marines, the Reserve Forces, the Territorial Force, the Militia, the Militia Reserve, The Imperial Yeomanry, or the Royal Navy. If so, state which and cause of discharge."
An asterisk against the question pointed towards a further note:
"If so, the Recruit is to be asked the particulars of his former service, and to produce, if possible, his Parchment Certificate of Discharge and Certificate of Character which should be returned to him conspicuously endorsed in red ink as follows: Name, Re-enlisted in the (Regiment), on the (Date)."
Men joining the Special Reserve or Extra Reserve straight from the Militia fell into none of the eight categories outlined in question 11. and so it is usual in their cases to see the answer given as, "No, except for the Militia in which I am still serving" or words along those lines.
Here are some Army Service numbers and corresponding joining dates for men attesting with the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment:
The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment
4305 joined on 21st June 1908
As I mentioned earlier, men joining the 3rd & 4th Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment from the old Bedfordshire Militia battalions retained their old Militia numbers. Neither the 3rd nor the 4th Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment started numbering from 1 in 1908. Number 4305 was a 3rd Militia Battalion man who had originally been issued his number when he joined the Militia in September 1901. Certainly by the time the Militia ceased to exist, both the 3rd and the 4th Bedfordshire Militia battalions were numbering in the 5900s and possibly higher (although I don't currently have the data to prove that).
6086 joined on 30th June 1908 (no prior Militia service)
6170 joined on 5th January 1909
6518 joined on 25th April 1910
6835 joined on 8th August 1911
6994 joined on 29th January 1912
7258 joined on 11th February 1913
7486 joined on 6th July 1914
7511 joined on 8th August 1914
7932 joined on 10th September 1914
8608 joined on 2nd October 1914
8756 joined on 2nd November 1914
My data for the 3rd Battalion currently ends at this point.
4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment
6092 joined on 2nd November 1908
6141 joined on 20th January 1909
6267 joined on 17th January 1910
6602 joined on 30th December 1911
6694 joined on 28th August 1912
6772 joined on 4th January 1913
6908 joined on 8th January 1914
7101 joined on 7th August 1914
7326 joined on 5th September 1914
My data for the 4th Battalion currently ends at this point.
Although I've not included prefixes in the numbers above, it was usual to prefix 3rd battalion numbers with a 3/ and 4th Battalion numbers with a 4/; usual but by no means universal.
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