9 June 2009

12th (Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers

The image above shows men from the 12th (Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers in Castle Street, Shrewsbury, on their return from the Boer war in 1902. Image borrowed from the Darwin Country website.

This post will look at numbering in the 12th Lancers between 1881 and 1906. Numbering in the regiment was unaffected by the Army Reforms of 1881. I'm going to start in 1882 and end in 1906, the last year cavalry of the line regiments numbered by regiment as opposed to corps. Read more about the changes in cavalry numbering, which was dealt with by Army Order 289 in December 1906.

2391 joined on 17th August 1882
2465 joined on 18th July 1883
2633 joined on 6th September 1884
2813 joined on 23rd November 1885
2877 joined on 6th February 1886
3053 joined on 30th December 1887
3076 joined on 13th October 1888
3192 joined on 16th August 1889
3331 joined on 21st April 1891
3572 joined on 23rd July 1892
3666 joined on 5th April 1893
3850 joined on 8th August 1894
3900 joined on 21st August 1895
3962 joined on 6th January 1896
4118 joined on 11th August 1897
4360 joined on 11th January 1898
4715 joined on 1st September 1899
4929 joined on 22nd March 1900
5370 joined on 9th January 1901
5620 joined on 28th January 1902
7494 joined on 27th October 1906

I currently have a gap in my data for 1903-1905 but even a cursory glance at the numbers above, re-enforces again just how slow recruitment into the regular British Army could be. I have drawn attention to this before on my posts regarding 1882 enlistments for the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards and also Corps of Dragoons recruitment: 1881-1906.

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John said...

My great great grandfather Joseph Rothwell joined the XII Lancers about 1870 - his number was 1090 (from Quarterly Muster Rolls at NA).

Paul Nixon said...

John, thanks for that. Yes, that fits with what I have for the regiment at this time. I have 1071 in November 1869 and 1144 in September 1870. They recruited VERY slowly.


AnnieM said...

I am trying to trace the number of my great uncle, James Fraser, born 1887 Ballyshannon, County Donegal. I know he was a regular soldier and appears overseas on the 1911 census but I would like to be able to find out when and where he was recruited.

Paul Nixon said...


Quite tricky without a number, but as a start, work from the assumption that he joined when he was eighteen, which would have made his enlistment year 1906. If he served during WW1 he should have a medal index card (assuming he served overseas). I couldn't find one during my cursory look, however.

Chef_Hendrix said...

Hi Paul,

just to confirm my GGG Uncle was number 3910 and attested 30 Sep 1895 and matches your info above.



Dave Holding said...

My Great Gand Father (George Henry Holding) joined the 12th Lancers in Dundalk in 1869, his number is 1063 he was discharged in 1876 at Shorncliffe. My question is why would he have joined in Dundalk as he lived and are up in Manchester, any clues or help most welcome.

Paul Nixon said...

I'd guess that they were stationed in Dundalk in 1869. Maybe try the museum for a definitive answer: https://royallancersmuseum.co.uk/

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