18 February 2012

Hampshire Regiment - 1st & 2nd Battalions

This post will look at numbering in The Hampshire Regiment between 1881 and 1914.

The Hampshire Regiment was formed on the 1st July 1881; the 1st Battalion from the 37th (North Hampshire) Regiment of Foot, and the 2nd Battalion from the 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment of Foot. It was established as the county regiment for Hampshire and started numbering from 1 in 1881.

There are over 33,000 Hampshire Regiment pension and service 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. Some of these records can also be viewed on-line on Ancestry although Findmypast has by far the most comprehensive service record collection.

Use the regimental numbers and dates on which these were issued, below, to determine parameters for when your own Hampshire Regiment ancestor would have joined up. Note though that these numbers are only for regular enlistments. Special Reserve and Territorial Force battalions operated completely separate regimental number sequences.

13 joined on 6th September 1881
196 joined on 13th January 1882
617 joined on 5th January 1883
1491 joined on 18th September 1884
1682 joined on 25th February 1885
1987 joined on 13th January 1886
2470 joined on 22nd January 1887
2581 joined on 4th January 1888
2702 joined on 30th January 1889
3004 joined on 18th February1890
3377 joined on 13th January 1891
3711 joined on 7th January 1892
4025 joined on 24th January 1893
4410 joined on 25th January 1894
4573 joined on 4th February 1895
4798 joined on 11th February 1896
4977 joined on 7th January 1897
5242 joined on 24th February 1898
5636 joined on 3rd June 1899
5881 joined on 20th January 1900

The Queen’s South Africa Medal roll for the volunteers of the Hampshire Regiment runs to 13 pages (including one blank page). The regiment commenced an entirely new number series for its volunteers who are differentiated on the medal roll simply as “Volunteer Company Hampshire” and then “3rd V Active Service Company”. The former were issued numbers within the range 1 to 252. The latter were issued consecutive numbers between 297 and 351.

6157 joined on 6th March 1901
6468 joined on 3rd March 1902
6837 joined on 28th April 1903
7139 joined on 22nd March 1904
7444 joined on 11th May 1905
7677 joined on 8th September 1906
7835 joined on 29th July 1907
8054 joined on 4th February 1908
8336 joined on 8th January 1909
8570 joined on 14th January 1910
8751 joined on 20th February 1911
9059 joined on 21st February 1912
9244 joined on 1st January 1913
9632 joined on 7th August 1914

The First World War

When Britain went to war in August 1914, men joining the new service battalions were issued with numbers from the same series in use by the two regular battalions.

Recruitment rates 1881-1911

Between 1st July 1881 and 13th January 1891, The Hampshire Regiment recruited 3,377 men, an average rate for the decade of 352 men a year and one which placed the regiment in twenty-eighth position out of sixty-nine infantry recruiting regiments.

Recruitment in the 1890s continued to be buoyant and by March 1901 the Hampshire Regiment had issued number 6157 to its latest recruit; an annual average recruitment rate for the decade of 398 men and one which saw the regiment in the top ten infantry recruiting regiments.

Between March 1901 and February 1911 however, recruitment into the Hampshire Regiment nose-dived with just 2,600 men added to the regiment’s books, the biggest fall in recruitment of any infantry regiment for the decade.

1st Battalion stations 1881-1914

1881 Kilkenny
1883 England
1884 Malta
1886 Secunderabad
1888 Burma
1891 Bareilly
1893 Raniket
1896 Mooltan
1899 Cherat
1903 Aden
1903 Somaliland (two companies)
1904 Portsmouth
1907 Londonderry
1910 Aldershot
1913 Colchester
1914 France & Flanders (from August)

2nd Battalion stations 1881-1915

1881 Madras
1883 Secunderabad
1885 Burma
1887 India
1888 Chatham
1891 (Jul) Winchester
1891 (Nov) Portsdown Hills
1892 (Mar) Winchester
1892 (Jun) Gosport
1892 (Oct) Portsmouth
1893 (Nov) Curragh
1895 Birr
1897 Cork
1900 South Africa
1902 Portsmouth
1903 Malta
1905 Bermuda
1907 South Africa
1911 Mauritius
1913 Mhow
1915 Gallipoli (from April)

For a detailed summary of the Hampshire Regiment during 1914-1918, visit the Hampshire Regiment page on The Long, Long Trail website.

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


AHJ said...

Paul, I've been doing some research on a man with a high (40,000+ number) who ended up in the 1/6th Hants. Whilst doing this I noted the following, which I thought might have been useful for the database:

41009 John Stanley and 41013 Thomas Allen: from 1st Garrison Battalion Notts & Derby to 2/5th Hampshires circa 29 August 1917.


Paul Nixon said...

@Anthony, thanks for this; possibly part of a larger transfer from the 1st GB Sherwood Foresters at this time.

Unknown said...

I'm looking for information on Edward Doige from Portsmouth who served in South Africa if you can help it'll be much appreciated thanks

Unknown said...

Have you any idea when soldier H Pullen number 43673 would have joined?

Paul Nixon said...


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