15 February 2011

Monmouthshire Regiment - 3rd Battalion

This post will look at numbering in the 3rd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment, between 1908 and 1914.

The Monmouthshire Regiment was a Territorial Force regiment which was administered by the County Association for Monmouth. As well as administering the three TF infantry battalions, the County Association also administered the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Monmouthshire Batteries of the 4th Welsh Brigade, the 4th Welsh Ammunition Column and the 1st Welsh Field Ambulance.

The Territorial Year Book, published in 1909 notes:

"Officer Commanding: Lt-Col W D Steel VD; Adjutant: Capt R S Gwynn, S Wales Bord; Headquarters: Abergavenny; Strength (Oct [1909]), 17 officers, 657 men. Camp 1908 for 8 days: 247 all ranks; for 15 days 408; former unit: 4th Volunteer Battalion, South Wales Borderers. Uniforms: scarlet, facings green. South Africa 1900-02."

In His Majesty's Territorial Army, published in 1910, Walter Richards notes:

"... it [the 4th Volunteer Battalion] contributed largely - seventy-six in all - to the Service Companies sent out by the Volunteer battalions of the South Wales Borderers, and one of its officers, Captain W J R Marsh, who served in the 1st Battalion Imperial Yeomanry, was mentioned by Lord Roberts in despatches... In the last year of its existence as a Volunteer corps, the strength of the 4th Volunteer Battalion, South Wales Borderers was returned as 956 out of an establishment of 1160. The strength at present is 917 out of 1009. The headquarters of the battalion are at Abergavenny where A Company is stationed; B, C and D Companies are at Ebbw Vale, Cwym and Sirhowy respectively; E and F are at Abertillery; G at Tredegar and H at Blaina."

Surviving records for the 3rd Battalion are not as abundant as those which survive for men in most other infantry regiments. The following snapshot has been compiled from surviving service records in WO 363 and WO 364; both of these now on-line courtesy of Ancestry.co.uk which - for anybody out there who is not yet a subscriber - offers a FREE 14-day trial.

675 joined on 1st October 1908
1043 joined on 7th December 1909
1118 joined on 20th June 1910
1193 joined on 24th March 1911
1264 joined on 6th March 1912
1503 joined on 7th March 1913
1888 joined on 10th August 1914
2476 joined on 2nd October 1914
2881 joined on 21st November 1914
2932 joined on 1st December 1914

When it was re-numbered in early 1917, the number block 290001 to 315000 was allocated to the 3rd Monmouths.

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Anonymous said...

Paul, Les Carter here from Australia. I have located WW1 medals in the name of 1630 Pte H Hurcombe, Monmouthshire Regt. The medals were in my mother and fathers possessions, they are now deceased. I have no idea how they got their. We have no Welsh, West of England connections. My father was Northamptonshire Regt. We are in Wales next year and want to try and return the medals to family, any ideas who this bloke was?

Paul Nixon said...


He was Henry Hurcombe and he joined the regiment between April and July 1913. It's safe to assume that he was living in Monmouthshire at the time he joined although the surname appears most commonly in Gloucestershire. I know no other details about him I'm afaraid and I think you could have difficulty tracking down his family. Nevertheless, try various forums and Google the name "Hurcombe" to see if that points you in the right direction. Ideally you'd want to tie dwn his age and you'll need to access census and BMD records for that. There is no surviving WW1 service record for him that I could find.


Anonymous said...

Paul, thanks for the reply, yes, almost impossible to trace the family, I think I will take the medals to UK with me next year, we will be in the Brecon area of Wales for a few days and I intened to visit the Military Museum there, I will donate the medals.

Thanks for your efforts, in the meantime I will continue to google Henry Hurcombe!

Kind Regards, Les Carter, ex British and Australian Army.

Batemans Bay, Australia.

Gordon the Guide said...

Henry Hurcombe was in the 1st Battalion the Monmouthshire Regiment, which recruited in Newport and the Western Valleys of Gwent.
This is probably a little late for you, but the Gwent Archives at Ebbw Vale have cencus records which might help you. If you need any more help let me know.
Gordon Hill

Paul Nixon said...

Gordon, thanks for posting this additional information.

Rachel said...

Hi there, I'm investigating Kenneth Lloyd of the Monmouth Regiment. His number was 315,500 with the Monmouth Regiment so which regiment would he be in? He then seems to have transferred to the Royal Irish Rifles reg. no. 45,741.

Many thanks

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks for commenting Rachel. Please follow the instructions on the RESEARCH tab.

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