11 February 2010

The 7th (Merioneth and Montgomery) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

The 7th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers was administered by two County Associations. The Montgomery County Association administered the headquarters at Newtown and four companies of the battalion, whilst the Merioneth County Association administered the other four companies.

As far as numbering in the battalion was concerned, each County Association issued numbers to new recruits from two different number series. Merioneth CA issued numbers beginning at 2000 in April 1908, whilst Montgomery CA issued numbers beginning at 1 in April 1908. Both associations ran their number series sequentially until the Montgomery series was abandoned (or discontinued) at around 1205. I don't yet have an accurate date when this series was stopped but it was certainly post September 1914 (which was when 1144 was issued).

When it came to renumbering the battalion in 1917, the 7th Battalion issued numbers from the block 290001 to 315000. Those Montgomery men who were still serving (or still 'on the books') when the re-numbering exercise took place, were issued with numbers first. When all of these men had been given new six digit numbers, the next number along went to the longest serving man from the Merioneth companies.

My lowest six digit number for a Merioneth County man is 290366 which was issued to a man who had originally joined the battalion on the 29th April 1908. It's reasonable to assume therefore that of the approximately 1205 men who'd originally joined a Montgomery-administered company, around 360 were still 'on the books' in early 1917, (and close to half of this number were men who'd joined the battalion before the First World War began).

Finally, publishing this post on the 7th Battalion, presents me with an opportunity to also publish the attached undated photograph of 7th RWF men which was taken in Ingatestone in Essex, and which I picked up in an Ingatestone antique shop at least twenty years ago.

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Anonymous said...

I'm just trying to confirm some thoughts regarding my grandfather's WW1 regimental numbers. He enlisted in the RWF
6th Batt in August 1914 in Dublin and was given the number 1424, which I believe seems like a number from an earlier period.We think that the RWK had been stationed in Dublin up until 1908 - could the number have been 'left over' from then? His second number was given to him when he transferred to the Royal Munster Fusiliers - G1678. I know that this was sometime before October 1917, and he was stationed with a garrison battallion on Valentia Island. Does the 'G' of the number relate to that? Many thanks

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Teresa

1424 for the 6th RWF dates to about 20th August 1914 and is absolutely right for one of the series of numbers issued to the 6th RWF which began with number 1 issued in April 1908. The battalion also initially operated a second series of numbers which I believe started at 2000 in April 1908. The reason for two number series for the same battalion was because the area was administered by two County Territorial Associations. The G/ prefix possibly represents "Garrison" for the Royal Munster Fusiliers but that's a guess on my part.

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