21 April 2009

The Gloucestershire Regiment - 4th Battalion

The 4th Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, was a Territorial Force battalion which was born on 1st April 1908. Its predecessor was the 1st Volunteer Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment. The battalion, also known as the 4th (City of Bristol) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment was entirely composed of men from the Bristol area. In early 1914 its headquarters and A to E Companies were based at Queen's Road, Clifton, Bristol. F Company was at St George, Bristol and G and H Companies were also Bristol-based. (Company information courtesy of Ray Westlake's The Territorial Force 1914).

The 4th Gloucesters started numbering from 1 in 1908. Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates between 1908 and 1916.

311 (an old 1st VB volunteer) joined on 23rd April 1908
819 joined on 7th April 1909
1056 joined on 9th February 1910
1191 joined on 16th January 1911
1514 joined on 18th January 1912
1798 joined on 21st January 1913
1953 joined on 2nd March 1914
2068 joined on 5th August 1914
2332 joined on 1st September 1914
2807 joined on 5th October 1914
3176 joined on 5th November 1914
3664 joined on 1st December 1914
3778 joined on 6th January 1915
3911 joined on 1st February 1915
4069 joined on 13th March 1915
4247 joined on 1st April 1915
4609 joined on 12th May 1915
4778 joined on 3rd June 1915
4863 joined on 3rd July 1915
4953 joined on 9th August 1915
4984 joined on 21st September 1915
4996 joined on 1st October 1915
5122 joined on 5th November 1915
5261 joined on 11th December 1915
5286 joined on 12th January 1916
5330 joined on 29th February 1916
5362 joined on 2nd March 1916
5768 joined on 27th April 1916
5889 joined on 6th May 1916
6048 joined on 14th June 1916
6165 joined on 13th July 1916
6205 joined on 6th September 1916
6558 joined on 5th October 1916
6868 joined on 9th November 1916

When the Territorial Force re-numbered in 1917, the 4th Gloucesters were allocated numbers within the range 200001 to 240000. Here are some sample numbers and original joining dates for men who received six digit numbers.

200032 originally joined on 15th February 1909
200110 originally joined on 21st November 1911
200175 originally joined on 21st June 1912
200214 originally joined on 23rd January 1913
200365 originally joined on 5th August 1914
200511 originally joined on 1st September 1914
200767 originally joined on 10th October 1914
200920 originally joined on 5th November 1914
201101 originally joined on 17th December 1914
201193 originally joined on 25th January 1915
201212 originally joined on 1st February 1915
201289 originally joined on 5th April 1915
201416 originally joined on 3rd May 1915
201495 originally joined on 3rd June 1915
201557 originally joined on 30th July 1915
201564 originally joined on 5th August 1915
201619 originally joined on 7th October 1915
201686 originally joined on 5th November 1915
201781 originally joined on 17th January 1916
201808 originally joined on 29th February 1916
201942 originally joined on 18th March 1916
202158 originally joined on 9th May 1916
202467 originally joined on 11th October 1916

Also see my other posts on the Gloucestershire Regiment:

1st and 2nd (Regular) Battalions, The Gloucestershire Regiment
3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
6th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment
The Service Battalions, The Gloucestershire Regiment

View Gloucestershire Regiment service records, pension records and medal index cards on-line.

The Gloucestershire Regiment in the War 1914-1918

The Naval and Military Press has re-published this work and has this to say about it:

"As the subtitle states these are the records of the 1st (28th Foot), 2nd (61st Foot)), 3rd (Special Reserve) and 4th, 5th and 6th (First-Line T.A.) Battalions, in other words this is the history of the battalions of the regiment which existed prior to the outbreak of war. The one appendix lists the twenty-four battalions that existed during the war, indicating the theatre of war in which they served and in which division. Eight of these battalions did not serve overseas, and of the rest only one (7th Service Battalion) did not serve on the Western Front, it went with 13th Division to Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and Persia. Total losses amounted to 8,100, 72 battle honours were awarded and in the appendix is shown which honours were awarded to which battalion.

"In August 1914 the 1st Battalion was stationed in Bordon, part of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, 1st Division, and was among the first British troops to disembark in Le Havre, on 13th August. The first quarter of this book is concerned with the doings of the 1st Battalion which saw action in the early battles of the war - Mons and the retreat, the Marne, the Aisne, First Ypres and Givenchy.

"The 2nd Battalion was in China when war broke out and came home to join the newly formed 81st Brigade, 27th Division which arrived in France in December 1914 and in November 1915 was transferred to Salonika, where it remained for the rest of the war. Three chapters of the book deal with the operations in that theatre of war.

"The three Territorial battalions were in the South Midland Division, later the 48th which crossed to France at the end of March 1915 and fought on theWestern front till November 1917, when it was sent to Italy where it remained till the armistice. The final chapter gives the account of operations in that theatre.

"The author, a well known military historian, was probably the most prolific among the writers of regimental and divisional histories, some thirteen in all, and this account reflects the skill of the writer in producing a very readable narrative, which draws on the Battalion Diary, on individual accounts of actions, some quite lengthy, and makes use of footnotes to give casualty details in addition to those contained in the text, various comments, and items of information from other sources to confirm or add to the main text. The maps are good. There is no Roll of Honour nor list of honours and awards."

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