23 December 2012

1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards

This post will look at numbering in the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards. The information on this post has been compiled from a study of 1st King’s (Dragoon) Guards and, from 1907, corps of Dragoons’ service records in WO 97 (British Army Pensions 1760-1913) (on-line with Findmypast) and WO 363 (British Army Service Records 1914-1920) and WO 364 (British Army Pensions) (on-line with Ancestry).

2337 joined on 22nd April 1881
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Army Order 289 of December 1906 changed the numbering for cavalry of the line. Prior to this Army Order, all cavalry regiments had numbered individually by regiments. Now, line cavalry and household cavalry were separated; each of the three line cavalry corps – dragoons, hussars, and lancers – beginning a new number series which started at 1 and was to extend to 49,999.

What this meant for the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays), 3rd (Prince of Wales’s) Dragoon Guards, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales’s) Dragoon Guards, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers), 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards, 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. See my post on the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) to see the numbering sequence for the Corps of Dragoons post 1906.

Noting the distinction between the regimental sequence used by the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards up until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards and all other regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards man, for instance, whose hypothetical number is 4610 could point to a 1900 joining date if the number falls within the regimental sequence, or 1910 if the man enlisted with the corps of Dragoons.

When the First World War erupted an additional General Service number sequence was introduced (recruits’ numbers being prefixed with GS/) whilst career cavalrymen continued to use the corps number series from which I’ve given examples in this post.

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