21 December 2012

Welsh Regiment - 1st and 2nd Battalions

The Welsh Regiment was formed on the 1st July 1881; the 1st Battalion from the 41st (The Welsh) Regiment of Foot, and the 2nd Battalion from the 69th (South Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot.

There are over 43,000 Welsh Regiment service and pension 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 Welsh 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.

The newly formed regiment was established as the county regiment for Carmarthenshire, Glamorganshire and Pembrokeshire and started numbering from 1 in 1881.

16 joined on 26th July 1881
142 joined on 8th April 1882
309 joined on 1st March 1883
694 joined on 12th April 1884
1170 joined on 13th May 1885
1391 joined on 7th January 1886
1836 joined on 9th April 1887
2264 joined on 17th May 1888
2459 joined on 7th February 1889
2783 joined on 30th April 1890
3027 joined on 19th June 1891
3271 joined on 30th January 1892
4029 joined on 23rd May 1893
4238 joined on 15th March 1894
4643 joined on 1st March 1895
4943 joined on 16th March 1896
5197 joined on 25th March 1897
5507 joined on 26th January 1898
5931 joined on 15th August 1899
6245 joined on 1st January 1900
The Welsh Regiment raised three volunteer service companies during the South African War and allocated numbers as follows:

1st VSC: numbers within the range 7324 to 7526
2nd VSC: numbers within the range 7436 to 7584
3rd VSC: numbers range unknown
The 1st Volunteer Service Company arrived in South Africa on the 9th March 1900 and comprised four officers, one colour sergeant, seven sergeants, nine corporals, three lance-corporals, two drummers and 111 privates.  Three privates would die of disease.

The 2nd Volunteer Service Company arrived in South Africa on the 29th April 1901 and comprised two officers, one colour sergeant, six sergeants, three corporals, ten lance-corporals, two drummers and 82 privates.

The 3rd Volunteer Service Company arrived in South Africa on 3rd April 1902 and comprised one officer, one colour sergeant, three sergeants, one corporal, two lance-corporals, one bugler and 45 privates. One sergeant and two privates had previously served in South Africa with the 1st VSC.

6896 joined on 16th July 1901
7156 joined on 13th June 1902
8026 joined on 23rd September 1903
8160 Joined on 10th Feb 1904
8555 joined on 7th January 1905
8890 joined on 18th January 1906
9213 joined on 7th January 1907
9632 joined on 20th January 1908
10015 joined on 26th January 1909
10271 joined on 26th January 1910
10542 joined on 22nd February 1911
10643 joined on 25th January 1912
10887 joined on 13th January 1913
11192 joined on 20th July 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 19th June 1891, The Welsh Regiment recruited 3,027 men, a low average of 303 each year.  Of the sixty-nine infantry regiments recruiting at this time, The Welsh Regiment was the sixty-third most successful infantry recruiter.

The regiment’s fortunes improved dramatically in the 1890s however, and up until the 16th July 1901 it added a further 3,900 men to its books; a higher than average recruitment rate for the decade of 384 men.
The 1890s would be the Welsh Regiment’s most effective recruitment period but nevertheless, by 22nd February 1911, the regiment was issuing number 10542 to its latest recruit and could still boast a higher than average 380 men recruited per annum over the decade.

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JP said...
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Hugh Sockett said...

In general terms, does the number indicate the precise date of enlistment/conscription?

Paul Nixon said...

It won't indicate a date of conscription but it does indicate the date - usually - when a man actually joined his regiment and was issued with the regimental number. A man could be mobilised months or even years after conscription.

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