23 April 2009

The Gloucestershire Regiment - 5th Battalion

The 5th Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, was a Territorial Force Battalion formed in April 1908. It had its origins in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment.

By February 1914, the distribution of 5th Battalion companies was as follows: HQ and A and B Companies were at Gloucester, C Company: Stroud, D Company: Tewkesbury, E and F Companies: Cheltenham, G Company: Dursley, H Company: Campden.

Here are some sample army service numbers and corresponding joining dates for the 5th Gloucesters.

717 24th September 1908
1106 joined on 30th September 1909
1245 joined on 2nd March 1910
1339 joined on 29th January 1911
1598 joined on 15th March 1912
1758 joined on 29th January 1913
2104 joined on 30th March 1914
2473 joined on 28th August 1914
2849 joined on 7th September 1914
3336 joined on 13th October 1914
3406 joined on 3rd November 1914
3734 joined on 4th December 1914
3822 joined on 23rd January 1915
3878 joined on 2nd February 1915
3949 joined on 16th March 1915
4106 joined on 17th April 1915
4198 joined on 8th May 1915
4359 joined on 1st June 1915
4474 joined on 9th July 1915
4498 joined on 4th August 1915
4533 joined on 4th September 1915
4570 joined on 12th October 1915
4615 joined on 3rd November 1915
4719 joined on 6th December 1915
4767 joined on 15th January 1916
4790 joined on 8th February 1916
5013 joined on 14th March 1916
5265 joined on 27th April 1916
5300 joined on 2nd May 1916
5443 joined on 1st July 1916
5492 joined on 4th August 1916

I'm going to stop at this point as from here on in, with men transferring into the 5th Battalion from other Gloucestershire Regiment battalions, and from other regiments, the data becomes far less sequential (for instance, 5965 also joined on the 1st July 1916, transferring from the 6th King's Liverpool Regiment).

There were also supernumerary companies attached to the 5th Gloucestershire Regiment, these filled with local National Reservists. These men were at first numbered in the same series noted above, although from July 1915 they were allocated a separate series beginning at 20000. Thus 20003 joined on 13th July 1915 and 20095 on 26th October 1915. Supernumerary Company men who had previously been given four digit numbers from the main series were not re-numbered when the five digit series was introduced.

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, the 5th Gloucestershire Regiment was allocated numbers within the range 240001 to 265000. Here are some numbers and dates from this six digit series.

240009 originally joined on 5th April 1908
240198 originally joined on 29th January 1913
240371 originally joined on 1st April 1914
240642 originally joined on 26th August 1914
240913 originally joined on 11th September 1914
241133 originally joined on 27th October 1914
241191 originally joined on 26th November 1914
241225 originally joined on 21st December 1914
241269 originally joined on 2nd February 1915
241304 originally joined on 29th March 1915
241316 originally joined on 17th April 1915
241403 originally joined on 27th May 1915
241482 originally joined on 9th July 1915
241496 originally joined on 10th August 1915
241522 originally joined on 12th October 1915
241624 originally joined on 6th December 1915
241650 originally joined on 15th January 1916
241800 originally joined on 14th March 1916
241985 originally joined on 17th July 1916

Again, I'll stop the data at this point. Well worth a visit for anybody with a Gloucestershire Regiment interest, is the Soldiers of Gloucestershire website which includes searchable databases of 19th Century and WW1 Gloucestershire Regiment men. Key in the numbers above to reveal brief details about the men, or read their service and pension records or medal index cards via the Ancestry.co.uk website.

WW1 poet Ivor Gurney was a 5th Gloucestershire man. His original number was 3895 which means that he must have joined the battalion between 2nd and 24th February 1915 (3908 joined on 24th February 1915). He was later re-numbered 241281.

Also see my other posts on the Gloucestershire Regiment:

1st and 2nd (Regular) Battalions, The Gloucestershire Regiment

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment

4th (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

Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!

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."

Search British Army WW1 Records HERE!

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