2 September 2011

East Surrey Regiment curiosities - 364**

I was reading through posts on the Great War Forum the other day and came across this query about an East Surrey Regiment man: George Addison.

What puzzled me about this man was his number. He had enlisted in 1914 and yet his number was not from a series of numbers I would have expected to see for 1914 enlistments for this regiment. I decided to investigate further by making a list of men who had numbers beginning 364* and then checking their names against surviving service records in WO 363 and WO 364 to see if there were any patterns. Here are the results:

36411 William J A Edwards, arr o/seas 1916 onwards
36412 Stanley W Bartram, arr o/seas 1916 onwards, later L/13015
36414 Alfred W Green, arr o/seas 1916 onwards, later Labour Corps
36415 Sydney W Lloyd, arr o/seas 1916 onwards.
36418 Joseph J Nicholson, arr o/seas 1916 onwards.
34620 Henry Ernest Perry, arr o/seas 1916 onwards. SWB MIC gives enlist date as 02/11/1917
36423 Charles William Ashpole, arr o/seas 1916 onwards. WO 364. Enlisted 11/12/1915
36427 Joseph Kilborn. SWB MIC gives enlist date as 27/05/1916
36430 Robert D Paulett, arr o/seas 1916 onwards.
36436 Joseph C Hall, arr o/seas 1916 onwards, later Labour Corps
36437 Charles T Hancock, arr o/seas 1916 onwards.
36439 Herbert R Harris, arr o/seas 1916 onwards.
36441 James H Chiverton, arr o/seas 1916 onwards.
36453 Herbert Evans, Unknown Bn, arr F&F 07/10/1915, later ASC
36454 George F Addison, 7th Bn, arr F&F 28/07/1915
36455 Henry C Morland, 7th Bn, arr F&F 29/07/1915
36455 Horace Alfred Allen
36456 William S Beteux, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36458 Alfred T Clouder, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36459 George A Crouch, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36460 Alfred W Caston, 8th Bn, arr F & F 27/07/1915. WO 363. Attested Norwich 8th Sep 1914 with Norfolk Regt. Transferred to 8th Bn E Surrey Regt on 11th Sep 1914
36461 John Chestney, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36462 Albert Cullen, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915, later L/13024
36463 William Cullum, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36464 John W Flack, 8th Bn, arr F&F 25/08/1915
36465 William H Curtis, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36466 William J Cutting, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36467 Wilfred J Darkens MM, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36468 Albert Joyce, 8th Bn, arr F&F 25/08/1915
36469 Thomas A De’ath, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36471 George E Fox, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915; SWB MIC gives enlist date as 05/09/1914
36472 David Goodman, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36475 William G Collins
36477 Arthur Fisher, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36478 Alfred E Forder, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915
36479 Frederick James Pulsford, 8th Bn, arr F&F 27/07/1915. Formerly 4933 East Surrey Regt
36482 Albert Floyd, arr o/seas 1916 onwards.
36483 Leslie Edward Fisher, 7th Bn, arr F&F 03/06/1915
36487 Thomas W Jones, arr o/seas 1916 onwards.
G/36491 Frederick William Manifold, arr o/seas 1916 onwards.

I have to say that the results are inconclusive due to the paucity of surviving service records, although I am tempted to draw the following conclusions:

36401-36441 are possibly Derby Scheme attestations from late 1915.
36454-36483 are mostly 7th and 8th Bn enlistments from 1914

I wonder whether there is a Norfolk/Suffolk link here somewhere as a number of the surnames are particularly common to those counties and I wonder how many of these man transferred onto the East Surrey Regiment from the Norfolk Regiment and the Suffolk Regiment. At least one did - 36460 - but admittedly, he may be the only one.

So as I say, an inconclusive result and a topic within a topic for which further responses would be most welcome.

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Paul Nixon said...

A correspondent, Tony Pringle, writes:

"You comment on transfers from Norfolk or Suffolk Regt to the East
Surreys. Having researched about 60 war memorials in
Newmarket/Lakenheath/Brandon area I have noticed that by far the most
"popular" unit outside of the obvious Norfolk or Suffolk Regiment was
the East Surreys and in particular the 8th Battalion. I have so far not uncovered any reason for this, but will one day take time with Suffolk Regt folk to see if the answer can be found."

Tony, thank you for the observation, and I look forward to future insights.

Unknown said...

i have another curiosity for you
my grandfather (B L Packer) was born 1892 but served in the East Surreys during WWI - i have a medal with a service number of 3261 on it - elsewhere i have found another possible service number of 241027.
Neither of these fit with your numbering - can you offer any suggestions?

Paul Nixon said...

The six-digit number inicates a Territorial Force battalion, Jane. The.four-digit number is probably his original TF number.

PEJ said...

Hi, I have an ancestor from Norfolk who served in the East Surrey Regiment. Only one person but backs up your theory! I’d be interested to know more. Poppy

Mark said...

I have been researching a Suffolk man who served in the East Surrey regiment. On applying to the Suffolk Regt in August 1914 he was told that it was 'full', and was directed to the East Surrey Regt. His medal card records his arrival in France as 27/07/1915, which matches the arrival of the 8th battalion. He had a four digit service number.

Anonymous said...

Age may play a part in this - No. 36441 James Henry Chiverton was born in 1899 and would have been under age for overseas service

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