20 September 2009

22nd (Service) Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers (Kensington)

The 22nd (Service) Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers (Kensington) was raised by the Mayor and Borough of Kensington on 11th September 1914 at the White City. It moved to Roffey Camp, Horsham, Sussex in October 1914 and by June 1915 it was at Clipstone Camp, as part of the 99th Brigade (along with 17th, 23rd and 24th Battalions RF) in the 33rd Division. It landed at Boulogne in November 1915.

Bert Danson of the Ten Tommies joined this battalion and, like all new recruits to the battalion - certainly the initial intake at least - his number was prefixed with the letter K/ for Kensington. Numbering started at 1 and by by June 1915 it had reached the 1500s. This post will look at numbering in the Kensington Battalion between August 1914 and June 1915.

With the exception of the first number, below, service records for the following numbers survive in the WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) series at the National Archives in Kew, London. These records can also be viewed on-line via Ancestry.co.uk which is currently offering a FREE 14 day trial.

K/225 joined on 25th August 1914
K/464 joined on 18th September 1914
K/1223 joined on 14th November 1914
K/1244 joined on 5th December 1915
K/1369 joined on 13th February 1915
K/1452 joined on 24th April 1915
K/1521 joined on 31st May 1915
K/1574 joined on 7th June 1915

The author, Saki (Hector Hugh Munro, pictured) was the K/225 mentioned above. He would be killed in action with the Kensington Battalion in November 1916.

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From The Naval & Military Press:

A History of the 22nd (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Kensington)

This book, as the editor stresses, was compiled for the surviving members of the battalion. Some 410 died and Lance-Sergeant Palmer (who also held the Military Medal) won the Victoria Cross near Courcelette in February 1917.

There is a Roll of Honour in which the dates of death of the officers are given, but in the case of other ranks, they are helpfully grouped by companies for each year of the war but unhelpfully without number, rank or date of death. Researchers would need to piece this latter information together by referring to Soldiers Died in The Great War.

There is also a list of recipients of honours and awards, headed by L/Sgt Palmer with his VC. In this list, which includes mentioned in despatches, names are grouped alphabetically for each medal but again, no number, rank or date of award. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

Also see these other Royal Fusiliers titles

Royal Fusiliers - regimental histories

Historical Records of the Seventh or Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Covers the period form the raising of the regiment in 1685 to 1875. Includes a roll call of every officer who served in the Regiment during these 190 years with his record of service, listed in alphabetical order.

Royal Fusiliers in the Great War
The appendix gives the Roll of Honour of officers (1054 names); a table showing the numbers of Warrant Officers, NCOs and Men on the Roll of Honour, by battalions; a table summarising decorations awarded, including foreign awards; brief biographies or notes on a number of RF general ranking officers; and several accounts of soldiers who took part in the various operations.

2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) in the Great War 1914-1919
The Roll of Honour lists 1,345 dead and the summary of awards shows 65 British decorations to officers and 246 to other ranks, excluding MiD.

The War History of the 4th Battalion The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 1914-1919
Includes a list of Honours and Awards, including foreign decorations, as well as a list of officers and men of other regiments who won their awards serving with the 4th London Regiment.

The History of the old 2/4th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)There is no Roll of Honour nor list of Honours and Awards, all these are noted in the text and the last ninety pages contain the service records of every officer and man of the battalion where such information can be found, including details of any wounds received.

The Kensington Battalion
This books draws on first hand material (diaries, letters and official documents) as well as interviews from the 1980s.

Hard as Nails: The Sportsmen's Battalion of World War One
Michael Foley's history of the 23rd (Service) Battalion.

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