13 July 2009

Cambridgeshire Regiment 1908-1915

The Cambridgeshire Regiment, which was a Territorial Force regiment, had its origins in the 3rd (Cambridgeshire) Volunteer Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment. When the Territorial Force came into being in 1908, the 3rd Volunteer Battalion became The Cambridgeshire Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment. The following year, it was constituted as a separate regiment with the title, 1st Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment.

This post will look at army service numbers issued to men joining the Cambridgeshire regiment between 1908 and 1915. During the First World War, the regiment raised 2nd, 3rd and 4th line battalions - expressed as 2/1st, 3/1st and 4/1st - but all men joining these battalions were given numbers from the same number series.

Service records for all of the numbers listed below, survive in WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) in the National Archives. They can also be viewed on-line via the Ancestry.co.uk website.

179 (an old 3rd VB man) joined on 8th April 1908
493 joined on 14th January 1909
1171 joined on 17th December 1910
1165 joined on 9th February 1911
1334 joined on 15th March 1912
1597 joined on 4th October 1913
1770 joined on 19th January 1914
2089 joined on 3rd August 1914
2187 joined on 2nd September 1914
2926 joined on 9th October 1914
3113 joined on 2nd November 1914
3246 joined on 2nd December 1914
3332 joined on 15th January 1915
3403 26th February 1915
3416 joined on 1st March 1915
3524 joined on 12th April 1915
3753 joined on 3rd May 1915
3937 joined on 7th June 1915
4059 joined on 27th July 1915
4075 joined on 6th August 1915
4185 joined on 20th September 1915
4265 joined on 19th October 1915
4371 17th November 1915
4576 11th December 1915

See also the Suffolk Regiment website which contains a separate section on the Cambridgeshire Regiment. I have borrowed the cap badge image from this site.

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

Further reading

On the outbreak of war in 1914, the Cambridgeshire Regiment was stationed in Cambridge, with the East Midland Brigade, East Anglian Division - a TF formation. In February 1915 it left the division and went to France where it joined the 82nd Brigade, 27th Division, a regular army formation which had been created in November/December 1914 from battalions returning from India, Hong Kong and Tsientsin. In November 1915 it was transferred to VII Corps troops and then became Training Battalion for Third Army. At the end of February 1916 it moved again - to 118th Brigade, 37th Division, and finally, in May 1918, it was again transferred, this time to 35th Brigade, 12th Division with whom it saw out the war.
All of these moves are described in this history together with good accounts of the battles in which it fought - at Ypres, Somme, Passchendale, Hindenburg Line and the final advance. Appendices list 27 Battle Honours and give a summary of Honours awarded and of casualties. Approximately 10,000 of all ranks served in the battalion in France, 4,324 became casualties and of these 866 died. Finally there is a brief account of those units of the regiment that did not go overseas, including the Depot and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th line battalions.

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