22 December 2012

2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys)

This post will look at numbering in the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys). I compiled the information on this post as a result of examining service records in WO 97 (online with Findmypast) and WO 363 and WO 364 (online with Ancestry). Note that Findmypast has also indexed WO 363/4 (and uncovered an additional half a million names in doing so).

2291 Kames Kirkaldy joined on 2nd April 1880
2397 Alexander Dickson joined on 27th January 1881
2425 John Watt joined on 29th May 1882
2476 George Walter Price joined on 2nd March 1883
2661 Thomas Foster joined on 11th November 1884
2702 Robert Hunter joined on 20th March 1885
2785 William Rolph joined on 9th January 1886
3001 Horace William Jenkins joined on 17th August 1887
3055 Owen Deary joined on 23rd January 1888
3346 Edward George Morgan joined on 13th March 1889
3426 Charles Innes joined on 10th February 1890
3548 John Cameron joined on 2nd February 1891
3653 Charles James Betts joined on 2nd January 1892
3826 William John Reeves joined on 24th July 1893
3992 George William Francis Cunningham joined on 30th August 1894
4070 John Sloan joined on 8th March 1895
4276 John Lockhart joined on 17th March 1896
4392 Thomas Hornsby joined on 11th August 1897
4420 James Bowman joined on12th January 1898
4772 George Collings joined on 30th October 1899
4964 John Brake joined on 28th March 1900
5243 George Cartrwright (aka George Richardson) joined on 4th March 1901
5497 Richard Bain joined on 14th January 1902
5755 John Henry Shepherd joined on 24th January 1903
5938 William Swallow, formerly 3980 1st (Royal) Dragoons, transferred on 1st July 1904
6026 William Anderson joined on 15th March 1905
6230 John Burns joined on 12th January 1906

Army Order 289 of December 1906 changed the numbering as far as cavalry of the line was concerned. Prior to this Army Order, all cavalry regiments had numbered individually by regiments. Now, line cavalry and household cavalry were differentiated, and each corps of line cavalry was to use a separate number series extending to 49,999.

What this meant for the 2nd Dragoons was that from late December 1906 they now shared one number sequence with the 1st and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and the 1st (King’s), 2nd (Queen’s Bays), 3rd (Prince of Wales’s), 4th (Royal Irish), 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales’s), 6th (Carabiniers) and 7th (Princess Royal’s) Dragoon Guards. The following numbers and joining dates are snapshots taken from my database of this new Corps of Dragoons numbering sequence:

30 Ernest Dear the Corps of Dragoons (5th Dragoon Guards) on 9th January 1907
1598 Edward Sidney Bast joined the Corps of Dragoons (5th Dragoon Guards) on 27th January 1908
3011 Norman Smith joined the Corps of Dragoons (2nd Dragoons) on 9th February 1909
4248 John Cullen joined the Corps of Dragoons (3rd Dragoon Guards) on 2nd February 1910
5530 Ernest Bowen joined the Corps of Dragoons (2nd Dragoon Guards) on 12th January 1911
6546 Charles James Bishop joined the Corps of Dragoons (5th Dragoon Guards) on 1st January 1912
D/7785 Albert Henry Long joined the Corps of Dragoons (4th Dragoon Guards) on 11th January 1913
8620 John Dunnett joined the Corps of Dragoons (2nd Dragoons) on 6th January 1914

Noting the distinction between the regimental sequence used by the 2nd Dragoons until the end of 1906 and the corps sequence used by the 2nd Dragoons and all other regiments of Dragoons and Dragoon Guards from late 1906 is an important distinction to note. Researching a 2nd Dragoons man, for instance, whose hypothetical number is 4567 could point to a late 1890s 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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Anonymous said...

Great Blog and interesting article on the Scots Greys. My
grandfather joined up on 7th September 1914 in Bristol and ended up in the Scots Greys, training at Dunbar . His service number was 9466 with no GS prefix. Was the GS prefix introduced with Conscription?

Paul Nixon said...

No, it stands for General Service, introduced in 1914 for men enlisting for wartime service only.

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