7 December 2009

Wiltshire Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions

This post will look at numbering in the regular battalions of The Wiltshire Regiment between 1881 and August 1914.

The regiment was formed in July 1881; the 1st Battalion from the old 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot, and the 2nd Battalion from the old 99th (Duke of Edinburgh's) Regiment of Foot.

There are over 20,000 Wiltshire 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 Wiltshire 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.

126 joined on 15th December 1881
139 joined on 12th January 1882
436 joined on 16th June 1883
628 joined on 13th February 1884
1036 joined on 2nd January 1885
1478 joined on 2nd April 1886
1737 joined on 27th January 1887
2222 joined on 25th April 1888
2466 joined on 23rd February 1889
2575 joined on 23rd April 1890
2950 joined on 30th July 1891
3151 joined on 12th January 1892
3384 joined on 17th January 1893
3795 joined on 29th January 1894
4235 joined on 2nd May 1895
4499 joined on 17th August 1896
4677 joined on 14th January 1897
5061 joined on 11th August 1898
5281 joined on 21st February 1899
5522 joined on 5th February 1900
5714 joined on 14th March 1901
5875 joined on 4th February 1902
6183 joined on 12th January 1903
6938 joined on 12th July 1904
7205 joined on 31st January 1905
7582 joined on 27th August 1906
7728 joined on 10th January 1907
8108 joined on 8th March 1908
8290 joined on 29th January 1909
8484 joined on 17th January 1910
8665 joined on 11th March 1911
8816 joined on 2nd February 1912
9011 joined on 1st May 1913
9088 joined on 9th January 1914
9282 joined on 13th August 1914

By the time 9282 Frederick Charles Allford joined the Wiltshire regiment on 13th August 1914, his King and Country had already been at war with Germany for a little over a week. Frederick Allford enlisted for seven years with the Colours and five years on the Reserve, but already there were other men who had signed up for war-time service only who would be given numbers from the same series which, up until August 1914, had been the sole preserve of the 1st and 2nd regular battalions.

From August 1914 until the end of the war, the 1st and 2nd Battalions would share their number series with men joining the 5th, 6th and 7th (Service) Battalions, and the 8th (Reserve) Battalion.

For more information on the Wiltshire Regiment, visit The Wardrobe. I've borrowed the photograph on this post from the excellent, Soldiers of The Queen website. It depicts an unnamed soldier of the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment (and dog) taken at Mandalay in 1894.

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


Unknown said...

Joseph Farley 2nd Battalion (born 1870 Orcheston St George, Parents Charles & Ann) has service number 8362 but is on the 1911 Census at Seend as a Chauffeur.

Paul Nixon said...

Re Joseph Farley, his number probably belongs to the series issued by the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion in that case. I'll write another educational piece about this in due course.

Bryan Pready said...

Paul, if this is of any interest to you, I'm working through the Swindon-born men of 1/Wilts who were recorded in the 1911 Census in South Africa. They are in s/n order on the census, which helps to identify men with similar names (!) Example: Pte Frederick Kent 7569 enlisted 8/8/1906. PoW Ypres 24/10/1914 (2/Wilts) until 2/12/1918. Reserve Z: 28/5/1919 Died: 29/3/1920 https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/2231065

Details of others also on "Lives"

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks Bryan. I have also transcribed the entire 1911 Census for British troops overseas but I haven't yet got around to matching them up to MICs. The vast majority of the regular army in that census would have gone on to serve in 1914. In many respects it's a nominal roll of the BEF (not forgetting men on the returns for England, Ireland and Scotland as well).

Unknown said...

I am researching the men of old North Bradley Parish in Wiltshire who died in the World Wars, so unsurprisingly, several served in the Wiltshire Regiment. This info. may be of interest: George Blackman enlisted 31/12/1913 [Soldiers Effects] A Coy 1st Wiltshires Service number 9086 - KiA 18/10/1914 His brother Matthew Henry Blackman enlisted 6/6/1913 1st Wiltshires Service number 9022, later MGC Service number 18069, Discharged (disability) 24/1/1918

Paul Nixon said...

Re George & Matthew Blackman, thank you, that ties in with what I have.

Anonymous said...

George and Matthew are my great uncles. I’ve just bought George’s medals from a dealer. George may have only been 17 when he died as he was baptised in North Bradley on Oct 31 1897 so may have lied about his age to enlist.

Unknown said...

Trying to find what happened to a 8116 Pte Alfred John Hallett 2nd Wilts landed in France Oct 14 and sent back to England on the 24 -10 -14

Paul Nixon said...

Re 8116 Hallett please see the reserach page.

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