15 May 2009

The Royal Sussex Regiment - 4th Battalion

The 4th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment, was a Territorial Force battalion formed in April 1908. Its natural heir was the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.

The battalion was headquartered at Horsham and in February 1914, the disposition of its eight companies was as follows:

A Company: Haywards Heath; drill station at Cuckfield
B Company: Hurstpierpoint; drill stations at Burgess Hill and Henfield
C Company: East Grinstead; drill stations at Crawley and Forest Row
D Company: Petworth; drill stations at Midhuurst and North Chapel
E Company: Horsham; drill station at Warnham
F Company: Arundel; drill stations at Ashington, Littlehampton and Storrington
G Company: Chichester; drill stations at Bognor and Eastergate
H Company: Worthing

Company information above courtesy of Ray Westlake's, The Territorial Force 1914.

Here are some sample army service numbers and joining dates for the 4th Royal Sussex.

305 joined on 10th April 1908
653 joined on 9th January 1909
1079 joined on 10th May 1910
1164 joined on 6th February 1911
1341 joined on 31st January 1912
1560 joined on 14th January 1913
1808 joined on 26th February 1914
1899 joined on 13th August 1914
2180 joined on 21st September 1914
2314 joined on 5th October 1914
2581 joined on 5th November 1914
3141 joined on 1st December 1914
3161 joined on 4th January 1915
3182 joined on 25th March 1915
3208 joined on 26th April 1915
3246 joined on 10th May 1915
3315 joined on 3rd June 1915
3444 joined on 5th July 1915
3545 joined on 2nd August 1915
3610 joined on 8th September 1915
3643 joined on 18th October 1915
3686 joined on 6th November 1915
3861 joined on 1st December 1915
3929 joined on 8th January 1916
4126 joined on 1st March 1916
4465 joined on 8th April 1916
4653 joined on 5th May 1916
4683 joined on 2nd June 1916
4729 joined on 3rd July 1916
4787 joined on 6th October 1916
5127 joined on 1st November 1916
5187 joined on 22nd January 1917
5262 joined on 17th February 1917

Service records for ALL of the numbers noted above survive in the burnt documents (WO 363)and pension (WO 364) series and can be viewed on-line via ANCESTRY.

When the Territorial Force was re-numbered in 1917, the 4th Royal Sussex was allocated numbers within the range 200001 to 240000. Here are some sample numbers and dates from the six digit series:

200101 was originally issued on 31st January 1912
200355 was originally issued on 17th August 1914
200477 was originally issued on 4th September 1914
200647 was originally issued on 29th October 1914
200712 was originally issued on 9th November 1914
200921 was originally issued on 10th May 1915
200964 was originally issued on 3rd June 1915
201111 was originally issued on 5th August 1915
201152 was originally issued on 8th September 1915
201211 was originally issued on 13th November 1915
201284 was originally issued on 1st December 1915
201559 was originally issued on 6th October 1916
201715 was originally issued on 22nd January 1917

Looking for medals? See my Royal Sussex Regiment medals for sale.

Also see Paul Reed's website and information about the 1/4th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.

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


Phil Wood said...

I am confused - how could 200101 be issued in 1912 and be part of the 1917 renumbering?

Paul Nixon said...

200101 was the number issued in 1917 to a man who had originally joined in 1912. These six-digit numbers were issued in strict sequence - the lowest number issued to the longest serving man, the next number to the second longest serving man and so on. This particular series started at 200001 and so 200101 was the 100th longest serving man in this particular TF battalion.


trevor Purnell said...


I have soldier with the service number 5303. He lived close to Petworth and therefore I assume that at some point he joined a Royal Sussex Regiment. For Petworth it was usually the 4th Battalion, but the number does not fit with your list for the 4th. He later transferred to the MGC with the number 30334. Grateful if you have any ideas of the battalion he was originally with.

Many thanks for your assistance

Paul Nixon said...

What's his name, Trevor? I'm struggling with the information you've given me.


Trevor Purnell said...


Many thanks for your reply. Sorry for true omission of his name. He is Private Egbert Reginald Pratt 30334 123 MGC. He was born in 1895 at Tillington in west Sussex. Hope this helps.

Thanks once again for your valuable assistance.


Paul Nixon said...

Hello again Trevor

30334 for MGC dates to March/April 1916. We can rule out a TF battalion for the R Sussex as they had not reached this number by this date, and so that leaves the possibility of either a General service enlistment (prefix G/, dating to Feb/Mar 1915) or Southdowns (prefix SD/)dating to Jan/Feb 1916. Prefixes were used inconsistently and so either is possible I'd suggest, although experience tends to suggest that the G/ prefix was less rigorously applied than the SD/ prefix. Hope this helps.


Trevor Purnell said...


I am researching Pte Albert Henry Bailey. His medal roll shows that he was in the Royal Sussex 2/4th with the number 2202. There are no dates and I have none. 2/4th not formed until January 1915 Does his number indicate early enrolment around this time.

Thanks and regards,
Trevor Purnel

Paul Nixon said...

Reading from the information I have posted here, Trevor, 2202 would have been issued between 21st September 1914 and 5th October 1914. This means that this man originally joined the 4th Royal Sussex Regiment but was subsequently posted to the 2/4th Battalion from January 1915.

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