23 December 2009

South Staffordshire Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions

This post will look at numbering in the regular battalions of The South Staffordshire Regiment between 1881 and spring 1914.

The regiment was formed in July 1881; the 1st Battalion from the old 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot, and the 2nd Battalion from the old 80th (Staffordshire Volunteers) Regiment of Foot. Service records for all of the following numbers - a sample from a larger database - 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.

In fact, there are over 39,000 South Staffordshire 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 South Staffordshire 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.

162 joined on 10th December 1881
361 joined on 16th August 1882
487 joined on 15th March 1883
796 joined on 2nd February 1884
1198 joined on 30th January 1885
1639 joined on 3rd January 1886
2269 joined on 29th July 1887
2530 joined on 10th October 1888
2616 joined on 10th February 1889
2761 joined on 14th January 1890
3053 joined on 29th May 1891
3315 joined on 27th February 1892
3679 joined on 14th January 1893
4211 joined on 21st July 1894
4675 joined on 29th May 1895
4862 joined on 8th April 1896
5096 joined on 13th August 1897
5292 joined on 24th February 1898
5589 joined on 19th January 1899
5944 joined on 11th June 1900
6202 joined on 18th June 1901
6333 joined on 10th January 1902
6719 joined on 7th January 1903
7126 joined on 1st May 1904
7261 joined on 9th January 1905
7540 joined on 4th January 1906
7971 joined on 29th April 1907
8249 joined on 17th January 1908
8619 joined on 4th August 1909
8761 joined on 5th January 1910
8968 joined on 6th April 1911
9127 joined on 10th April 1912
9419 joined on 3rd June 1913
9519 joined on 21st April 1914

In August 1914 Britain went to war with Germany, and when the new service battalions of the South Staffordshire Regiment started forming shortly afterwards, men joining these battalions for war-time service only (as well as those men who joined the regular battalions as career soldiers) were given numbers in continuation of the number series, above.

The photo on this post is borrowed from a family history website and shows 9152 Corporal Isaac Leonard Williams of the 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment. He would be killed in action with his battalion on 29th July 1916.

Len Williams was a 22-year-old sergeant when he died, and he was also the holder of the Military Medal. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission tells us that he was the son of Isaac and Harriet Williams, of High Street, Swindon, Dudley and that he is buried in Gordon Dump Cemetery at Ovillers La Boiselle. Len's number indicates that he joined the South Staffs between April and October 1912. He arrived in France on the 12th August 1914. Len Williams RIP.

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AHJ said...

Paul, can you help me with a sense check, here - I have a hunch from various South Staffs service records I have pulled that service numbers from 60000 onwards were issued post-war (circa February 1919 when you are getting up to the 612xx range); does that accord with what you have found out?



Paul Nixon said...

Numbers in the 60000 range were being issued from 27th August 1918, Anthony.


Unknown said...

Hello, I have my grandfather's (Joseph Hough) THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILISATION 1914-1919 medallion edge stamped 43338 A. C. SJT. J/HOUGH. S. STAFFS . R .
I've web searched but can't find any details. Maybe SJT is an old fashioned typo and should be SGT (?) anyway I know he was very involved with St. John. Can anyone help me find out more please? Thanks you Phil

Paul Nixon said...

This man has papers in WO 363 that you can download, provided you pay Findmypast: https://britisharmyancestors.co.uk/search-result/?q=43338+hough

Unknown said...

Hi. I would like to find out more about my Great Grandfather. Name Frank William Brunn. Service number 6526.2nd Battalion. Disembarked Le Havre August 2014. I believe he was a Reserve. I heard he was wounded and discharged (possibly 1916) but know nothing else about his service. (When he enlisted, where he fought) Any information would be gratefully received. . Thanks, Paul

Paul Nixon said...

Re 6526 Frank Brunn, please drop me a line if you would like me to research him. There is additional information for this man. http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/p/research.html

Unknown said...

9065 Frank Howse looking for more info regarding grandfather served in WW1

Unknown said...

Hi I'm trying to ascertain my Grandads Service no. & record but am having no joy. All I have is his name & DOB. I have 3 medals for WW2 suggesting he was based in France & Germany. The box the medals were sent in say South staffs so I assume South Staffs regiment. I also have a 5 Frank note which has handwritten note 'redeemed 18 July 1944'. Where should I start searching?

Paul Nixon said...

@Unknown re WW2. For all WW2 enquiries you need to approach to MoD. See here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records

Paul tafe said...

Hello I'm looking for any information on my grandad Thomas james tafe on my dad's birth certificate it tell me he was in the south staffordshire regiment

Paul Nixon said...

Re Thomas James Tafe. If your dad was born after 1920 then you'll need to contact the MoD. I could see no men called Thomas Tafe who served in the S Staffs pre-1920; South Lancashire Regt, yes, but not South Staffs. For the MoD go here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records

Trevor in Canada said...

I have some confusing records on one of my forebears. George Bourne #5883 enlisted in the 4th Bn South Staffs on 04Jun00. But the enlistment papers do not show that he was medically examined or have the attesting authority completed. The military history is notably blank but his statement of service shows attested 04Jun00, Training 03, Present 04 and then joined the SS Regiment 06Oct04. Then a pension record appears showing he now has a service number of #7199, embarked for France 12Aug14 and was killed in action 02Nov14. Would this be normal that he would have been issued two regimental numbers and that the numbers that he has appear to agree with the timeline sequence for numbers issued for the South Staffs? First time I have encountered such a major blank in records - what was he doing from 1904 to 1914? Do you think this is a coincidence and these are two different George Bourne's, but my research elsewhere indicates that they are one in the same.

Unknown said...

My great uncle John Thomas dingley died on the Somme 1/7/16 service number 9404 I’m trying to find anything other than he died

Paul Nixon said...

Re John THomas Dingley it would be possible to work out when this man joined the regiment, and probably more besides. Drop me a line at paul@britisharmyancestors.co.uk if you would be interested in me undertaking research on your behalf.

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