9 December 2011

Highland Light Infantry - Regular enlistments 1914

I've just been browsing back issues of the Highland Light Infantry Chronicle for 1914.  Volume XIV, No 4 published in October 1914 (priced fourpence) gives the following list of "recruits joined since last issue and during mobilisation".  All of these men are regular recruits, the gaps in between their numbers being filled - so I believe - by men joining up for wartime service only.  I have identified some of these men as having surviving service records in WO 364 and have therefore been able to put dates next to their numbers.

12325 Pte E Semple
12326 Pte J Baker
12327 Pte S Haughey joined 6th July 1914
12329 Pte P Leith
12331 Pte E King
12332 Pte J Hall
12333 Pte G Taylor
12334 Pte John Livingstone joined 29th July 1914
12335 Pte H Whitehurst
12336 Pte R McCallum
12337 Pte T Lenaghan
12338 Pte J Goodlad
12339 Pte J McCabe
12340 Pte E Conway
12343 Pte G Braid
12344 Pte W Barrett
12345 Pte G McLeod
12346 Pte E McKay
12347 Pte R Brough
12348 Pte A Brown
12349 Pte W Miller
12350 Pte G Haynes
12351 Pte J Johnston
12352 Pte D Craig
12353 Pte J Milligan
12354 Pte W Dick
12355 Pte G Kidd
12356 Pte S Proctor
12357 Pte J Todd
12358 Pte H Forbes
12359 Pte W Anderson
12360 Pte A Osbourne
12361 Pte H Lennon
12362 Pte J McDonald
12363 Pte R Russell
12364 Pte J Summerville
12365 Pte E Connall
12366 Pte G Quigley
12367 Pte S Rankin
12368 Pte P Milligan
12369 Pte James McNaughton joined 10th August 1914
12370 Pte C Sneddon
12371 Pte J Barbour
12372 Pte P Callaghan
12373 Pte J McAulay
12374 Pte J Ross
12375 Pte G Dunn
12376 Pte W Wilson
12377 Pte P Montgomery
12378 Pte W Stevenson
12379 Pte G Monaghan
12380 Pte J Barrie
12381 Pte J Hartvig
12382 Pte L Waterston
12383 Pte J Schuman
12384 Pte A Reid
12385 Pte H McSherry
12386 Pte T McCurdy
12387 Pte E Benson
12388 Pte P Shearer
12389 Pte P Carroll
12390 Pte W Kennedy
12391 Pte D McKeegan
12392 Pte A McDonald
12393 Pte J Beverley
12394 Pte W Roy
12395 Pte T White
12396 Pte James Marshall Rankin joined 15th August 1914
12397 Pte A Watt
12398 Pte D Simpson
12399 Pte A Fleming

[Note gap between 12399 and 12901]

12901 Pte W Green
12902 Pte E Bray
12903 Pte J Scott
12904 Pte J Lugton
12905 Pte G Carter
12906 Pte Francis Gillespie joined 25th August 1914
12907 Pte W Martin
12908 Pte H Forrester
12909 Pte J Hoggan
12910 Pte H Hynman
12911 Pte S Ryder
12912 Pte E Simons
12913 Pte A Paterson
12914 Pte James Mooney joined 10th August 1914
12915 Pte R Nairn
12916 Pte W Clark
12917 Pte W Robb
12918 Pte J Watters
12919 Pte N Haggerty

[Note gap between 12919 and 16370]

16370 Pte J Ferrell
16371 Pte D McIntyre
16372 Pte P Carroll
16373 Boy H G Robinson (injured by a runaway horse and lorry on December 15th 1914)
16374 Pte J Anderson
16375 Boy W Venables
16376 Boy S Kirkland
16377 Pte T McCabe

The next volume, XV, No 1, dated January 1915, continues where the previous volume left off:

16378 Boy F H Green

16379 Boy William Button joined aged 14 years and 351 days on 26th October 1914.  Later transfered to Army Cyclist Corps and discharged from ACC on 22nd November 1918.

16380 Boy G H King

1720 Boy Joseph James Burgess joined as a 14 year old on 4th December 1914.  Discharged medically unfit on the 2nd February 1915.  I have no idea why this boy was given this number.

18279 Boy E White
18280 Boy W Short

18364 Boy George Copeland joined 20th January 1915 aged 15 years and 10 months.  Discharged medically unfit on the 13th November 1915 (but not before he'd appeared before a District Court Martial in January in September 1915 and been sentenced to 56 days detention for "when on active service stealing goods, the property of a comrade...").

18502 Pte Patrick King joined on 29th January 1915, General Service for duration of war.
18526 Pte G Davison
18527 Pte R Corinns
18528 Pte E Gittings

Note that with two exceptions, numbers 16373 to 16380 are all Boy enlistments, then there's an odd number - 1720 - and then another large gap until we get to 18279 and 18280 (two more Boys). 18502, Patrick King is a war-time service only enlistment, I'm not sure about Privates Davison, Corinns and Gittings.

The portrait is of Captain Robert Guy Ingledon Chichester, 2nd Battalion, Highland Light Infantry and a veteran of operations in India (1897-1898) and the Boer War, who was killed in action on the 13th November 1914.  He wears the India Medal and the Queen's South Africa Medal.

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Anonymous said...

My Great uncle - Thomas Bennett Donald was a private in the 10th Battalion of the HLI and had the service number 1725 according to the inscription on the war memorial at Barrow in Furness. He was KIA on 25th Sept 1915 at Loos. I believe he was only 16 or 17 at the time of his death.

Paul Nixon said...

The HLI numbers jump around a little and certainly more than one series appears to have been in use for the service battalions. From the information I have I would suggest the number dates to around November 1914.


Unknown said...

My grandfather 12910 H Hynman joined 04/11/1914. How can I find out what battalion he was in? His record says he went to France (theatre of war)
24/03/1915 and not much else.

Paul Nixon said...

Thank you for commenting. Please read this: http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.co.uk/p/research.html

Sean said...

My great uncle M O'Rourke had the service number 18958 12th BN Highland Light Infantry. Died 17th September 1917... don't know where though.

Paul Nixon said...

he's buried here: http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/302776/O'ROURKE,%20M, A reading of the 12th Bn war diary might help you understand how his death occurred.

Unknown said...

My grandfather George Robert Alexander's military medal from WW1 has a regimental number of 53109 with the 12/High. L. I. This does not appear to agree with your list, any idea why?

Paul Nixon said...

It's a much later issue, Reg. The series I have posted here only runs until 1915.

Captain (ret.) Doug Newman 22 Wing Heritage Officer said...

Hello from Canada. I am the Wing Heritage Officer for 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay, a Royal Canadian Air Force Base about 250 miles north of Toronto. Part of my duties involve helping people find records of relatives who served in the world wars. Last week I was asked how to find the records of 3909 Private Edward McKechnie, who apparently served in the Highland Light Infantry in the First World War. My searches have turned up nothing, which is unusual. This includes searches into the regiment. I was wondering if you might be able to help me. He was not a member of the Canadian Forces, that is certain. Thank you.

Doug Newman, Captain (retired)

Paul Nixon said...

He was subsequently 120613 MGC. There is no service record that survives for this man, just his MIC and medal roll entries.

William MacLean said...

To the first anonymous poster my great uncle Pte 1716 Murdoch Nicolson was also in 10th Battalion HLI and was also killed at Loos 25th September 1915. I have found a lot of information online but just cannot source either a battalion photo or one of him in uniform. I dont even have a family photo to search with! Help!

Paul Nixon said...

Re Murdoch Nicolson and photos generally. Read this first: http://armyancestry.blogspot.com/2016/12/finding-photo-of-your-british-military.html

And also read this:

William MacLean said...

Thanks for that Paul. So the search continues!!

William MacLean said...

Thanks Paul...and so the search continues!!

Sean lafferty said...

Found a short term enlistment for my great grandad Robert lafferty signed on 10th sept 1914 it’s has two numbers inked through 17580 and 34552 a third written above is 81544 any thoughts?

Paul Nixon said...

Sean Lafferty, it indicates that he was issued with three regimental numbers in total. Have a look through the rest of his papers to see if you can glean any more information.

Paul Milsom said...

My ancestor Galla RICE (born RISI) enlisted in the HLI 2/7th Blythswood Bttn TA at Pontefract. Service no. 281706. I believe he enlisted some time in 1916. Would that be a correct assumption?

Paul Nixon said...

@paul Milsom

PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE COMMENTING. Thank you for visiting this blog. I welcome insights about regimental numbering but I do not have time to respond to individual research queries here. If you want me to undertake paid research, please follow the instructions on the RESEARCH tab.

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