10 September 2010

The King's Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions

This post will look at numbering in the regular battalions of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment between 1881 and 1914. The regiment was formed on the 1st July 1881 from the 4th (King's Own Royal) Regiment of Foot and was established as the newly formed regiment for North Lancashire. It started numbering from 1 in July 1881.

There are over 33,000 King's Own (Royal Lancaster) service and pension 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.

10 joined on 9th July 1881
271 joined on 16th December 1882
397 joined on 2nd June 1883
599 joined on 21st March 1884
1012 joined on 12th March 1885
1632 joined on 22nd July 1886
1923 joined on 1st January 1887
2300 joined on 19th January 1888
2561 joined on 15th January 1889
2981 joined on 11th June 1890
3244 joined on 24th June 1891
3506 joined on 31st January 1892
4061 joined on 24th July 1893
4317 joined on 17th February 1894
4650 joined on 12th January 1895
5019 joined on 29th January 1896
5311 joined on 3rd May 1897
5671 joined on 14th April 1898
5923 joined on 24th March 1899
6288 joined on 2nd April 1900

The 1st Volunteer Battalion, The King’s Own, sent over 150 of its volunteers to South Africa to serve with the 2nd Battalion. Such was the number of men wishing to serve with the Volunteers that a 2nd Volunteer Battalion was formed and its headquarters was set up at Lancaster. Those volunteers who made it to South Africa fought in several actions and guarded prisoners at Ladysmith.

Numbers within the range to 7200 to 7352 were issued to men serving in the 1st VSC. Numbers 7353 to 7448 were issued to men serving with the 2nd VSC. Numbers 7449 to 7468 were issued to men serving with the 3rd VSC and – as stated on the QSA medal roll – the Volunteer Service Section.

6665 joined on 4th January 1901
7003 joined on 17th February 1902
7652 joined on 5th January 1903
8079 joined on 11th January 1904
8489 joined on 9th January 1905
8847 joined on 9th March 1906
9134 joined on 1st January 1907
9800 joined on 20th August 1908
10076 joined on 21st April 1909
10178 joined on 14th February 1910
10439 joined on 20th April 1911
10649 joined on 3rd May 1912
10836 joined on 3rd January 1913
11105 joined on 3rd February 1914

In August 1914, Britain went to war, and the newly forming service battalions all drew their numbers from the same series that had previously been the sole preserve of the two regular battalions. Latterly, service battalions prefixed their numbers with the letter K/, although this practice does not appear to have been used consistently.

All information on this post comes as a result of trawling through service records held in the WO 363 and WO 364 series at the National Archives, and to a lesser extent the WO 97 series, also held at TNA. Ancestry.co.uk is currently offering a 14 day FREE trial (which means you can look at WO 363 and WO 364), whilst an almost complete collection of the WO 97 series is accessible via findmypast.co.uk. Note that pre 1914 pension records are accessible online via Findmypast whilst service and pension records for the First World War have been digitised by Findmypast and Ancestry - separate searches for service records and pension records. Note that there are different versions of these indexes, Findmypast having indexed more records than you'll find on Ancestry.

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


Anonymous said...

Hello Paul

Pte CH Picot number 8556 enlisted 17 March 1905


Paul Nixon said...

That fits; thanks Meurig ;)

Steve Brown said...

My paternal grandfather joined the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion on 2 Feb 1910 and was given the number 1582. Enlisted in London.
Must have completed training and was then given the number 10251 when his reserve service was annulled when he enlisted on the 4 May 1910 at Lancaster. He was sent to the 2nd Battalion in Jersey and then to India in 1912.
The unit returned to the UK in late 1914 and was sent to France / Belgium in early Jan 1915. Wounded in Feb 1915 and returned to the UK for treatment and rejoined the unit around the 4th May 1915. He was possible wounded and captured on the 8th May 1915 during the start of the second battle of Ypres. Spent 3 years as a POW at Giessen just north of Frankfurt.

Shannon said...

His history sounds very much like that of my great uncle, John Hymns.
I am trying to find out more about his history.
He was killed in action in February 1915. His name is on The Menin Gate.
What were they doing in India?

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