This post will look at army service numbers and the dates on which these were issued to men joining the regular (1st and 2nd) Battalions of the Northamptonshire Regiment between 1882 and July 1914.
The Northamptonshire Regiment was formed in July 1881 out of the old 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot (which became the 1st Battalion), and the 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot (which became the 2nd Battalion).
There are over 35,000 Northamptonshire Regiment pension and service records (for this regiment - and its antecedents) in various War Office series held at the National Archives. Clicking on the link will take you to the results on Findmypast but you will need a subscription or Pay-Per-View credits to actually view the records. Some of these records can also be viewed on-line on Ancestry although Findmypast has by far the most comprehensive service record collection.
Use the regimental numbers and dates on which these were issued, below, to determine parameters for when your own Northamptonshire Regiment ancestor would have joined up. Note though that these numbers are only for regular enlistments. Special Reserve and Territorial Force battalions operated completely separate regimental number sequences.
150 joined on 4th April 1882
580 joined on 14th August 1883
932 joined on 1st June 1884
1314 joined on 24th May 1885
1660 joined on 1st May 1886
1952 joined on 5th June 1887
2132 joined on 19th January 1888
2415 joined on 9th March 1889
2631 joined on 23rd January 1890
3059 joined on 5th April 1891
3676 joined on 11th January 1892
3976 joined on 19th July 1893
4309 joined on 5th April 1894
4524 joined on 10th January 1895
4842 joined on 23rd March 1896
5228 joined on 7th August 1897
5370 joined on 6th January 1898
5902 joined on 10th August 1899
6053 joined on 2nd January 1900
6313 joined on 28th January 1901
6556 joined on 24th March 1902
6828 joined on 7th January 1903
7504 joined on 8th August 1904
7759 joined on 7th September 1905
7971 joined on 21st April 1906
833o joined on 1st January 1907
8672 joined on 6th February 1908
8927 joined on 21st January 1909
9084 joined on 5th January 1910
9279 joined on 11th January 1911
9478 joined on 1st April 1912
9615 joined on 1st January 1913
9906 joined on 3rd July 1914
One month and one day later, Britain went to war with Germany, and when new Northamptonshire Regiment service battalions started forming shortly afterwards, they continued with the same number series above.
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Northamptonshire Regiment titles fromThe Naval & Military Press
The Northamptonshire Regiment 1914-1918
This history is almost entirely taken up with the two regular battalions on the Western front, though there is a chapter on the 4th (TF) Battalion which fought at Gallipoli and in Palestine, and there are a few pages on the 5th, 6th and 7th (Service) Battalions, all three of which were also in France and Flanders. Of the six VCs awarded, four were won by the 6th Battalion, including an officer from the Bedfords and one from the ASC attached to the battalion, though in the latter case that is not made clear.
Fifty-eight battle honours were awarded and the book is dedicated to the six thousand and forty soldiers of all ranks who gave their lives. The 1st Battalion was among the first to go overseas, arriving in France on 13th August 1914 with 2nd Brigade, 1st Division. The first three chapters are devoted to the battalion and its actions at Mons, the retreat, the Marne, the Aisne and First Ypres. The 2nd Battalion was in Egypt when war broke out, came home and joined the newly formed 24th Brigade of the 8th Division, arriving in France in November 1914. Both battalions remained in the same brigades throughout the war, though for a period of nine months (October 1915-July 1916) the brigade was exchanged with the 70th Brigade of the 23rd Division.
The narrative contains plenty of descriptive detail about the fighting with officers casualties named and individuals acts of gallantry recorded. Appendices list the battle honours gained by the regiment and also the Honours and Awards, less the foreign ones. There is a good index. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.
Northamptonshire & The Great War 1914-1918
A thorough and well-illustrated account of the efforts of Northamptonshire Regiment servicemen during the Great War. The regiment was amongst the first in France with the BEF in 1914, taking part in the retreat from Mons and the first battle of Ypres. 1915 was a year of disasters with the Northamptons taking heavy casualties in the catastrophic attacks at Aubers Ridge and Loos and enduring what the book calls ‘a dreadful winter in the trenches’. Meanwhile the regiment’s reserve battalions were serving in the Middle East where they helped to drive the Turks from the Holy Land.
The Northamptons served on the Somme at Trones Wood and Thiepval, where they lost their Colonel; but took part in the final breaking of the HIndenburg Line in 1918. The book has additional chapters on the county’s Victoria Cross winners. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.