18 August 2009
Middlesex Regiment - Football Battalions
This post will look at army service numbers allocated to the 17th (Service) and 23rd (Service) Battalions of the Middlesex Regiment; also known as the 1st Football and 2nd Football Battalions.
Last week I picked up a copy of When the Whistle Blows: The Story of the Footballers' Battalion in the Great War and I have been reading about the formation of the 17th Middlesex, and the initial difficulties - as can be seen from the numbers below - in actually getting enough men to join up.
Service records for all of these numbers survive in the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew, London. They can also be viewed on-line via Ancestry.co.uk which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial.
Here then, is a sample selection of numbers for the two Footballers' battalions. All numbers were prefixed with the letter F/.
F/13 joined on 22nd December 1914
F/81 joined on 14th January 1915
F/507 joined on 2nd February 1915
F/973 joined on 4th March 1915
F/1264 joined on 10th April 1915
F/1497 joined on 10th May 1915
F/1626 joined on 14th June 1915
The last number I have for the 17th Middlesex is F/1635 which was issued to a man joining on the 29th June 1915. F/1649 was allocated to a man joining the 23rd (2nd Football) Battalion on the 12th July 1915, and the following numbers are all 23rd Battalion issues:
F/1716 joined on 5th August 1915
F/1876 joined on 11th September 1915
F/1987 joined on 6th October 1915
F/2228 joined on 1st November 1915
F/2779 joined on 3rd January 1916
I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.
British Military History Bookshop
Click the link above to see Middlesex Regiment related literature.
The cartoon on this post originally appeared in Punch on 29th September 1915, and also appears on the Spartacus Educational site which is where I have borrowed the image from.