23 December 2012

2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen’s Bays)

This post will look at numbering in the 2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen’s Bays). The information on this post has been compiled from a study of the 2nd Dragoon Guards and, from 1907, corps of Dragoons’ service records in WO 97 (on-line with Findmypast) and WO 363 and WO 364 (on-line with Ancestry).

2325 joined on 7th March 1881
2412 joined on 20th October 1882
2492 joined on 20th April 1883
2603 joined on 30th January 1884
2846 joined on 20th February 1885
3220 joined on 1st September 1886
3360 joined on 19th September 1887
3398 joined on 8th December 1888
3435 joined on 19th April 1889
3522 joined on 2nd April 1890
3735 joined on 31st August 1891
3810 joined on 23rd January 1892
4191 joined on 20th April 1893
4249 joined on 30th January 1894
4281 joined on 10th February 1896
4306 joined on 3rd June 1897
4505 joined on 11th May 1898
4785 joined on 20th March 1899
5119 joined on 7th March 1900
5714 joined on 26th September 1901
5869 joined on 2nd January 1902
6390 joined on 25th March 1903
6514 joined on 10th September 1906

I have some notable gaps in the sequence above with nothing for 1895 (when recruitment appears to have slowed to a trickle) and nothing either for 1904 and 1905. 1902 was a bumper year for recruitment with around 400 men joining the regiment. This drive certainly slowed the following year which also saw a number of transfers in from the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers).

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 2nd Dragoon Guards was that from late December 1906 they began a new number sequence which they shared with the 1st (King’s) Dragoon Guards, 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 2nd Dragoon Guards up until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 2nd Dragoon Guards and all other regiments of Dragoon Guards and Dragoons from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 2nd Dragoon Guards man, for instance, whose hypothetical number is 4610 could point to a September 1898 joining date if the number falls within the regimental sequence, or 1910 if the man enlisted with the corps of Dragoons.

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