15 September 2019

Bedfordshire Regiment - 5th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th Battalion (TF), Bedfordshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 3rd and 4th (Huntingdon) Volunteer Battalions of the Bedfordshire Regiment. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 24 officers and 738 men. No details of camp attendance for that year are given.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 23 officers and 664 men and at the annual camp in 1909, 159 officers and men had attended for eight days whilst 443 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled to be held at Ipswich from the 30th July

In August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Gwyn Street, Bedford and the battalion's companies drew men from the following areas.

A Company: Bedford
B & C Companies: Luton
D Company: Biggleswade, with drill stations at Sandy, Arlesey and St Neots
E Company: Ampthill, with a drill station at Olney
F Company: Luton, with drill stations at Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard
G Company: Fletton, with a drill station at Yaxley
H Company: Hintingdon, with drill stations at St Ives and Ramsey

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 5th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in Ampthill and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to E Company. (Note that this logic was abandoned after 4th August 1914).

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

Numbering started at around 2000 in 1908

2015 joined from the Volunteer Force on the 30th June 1908

2508 joined on the 23rd March 1909
2637 joined on the 16th March 1910
2741 joined on the 16th January 1911
2925 joined on the 23rd March 1912
2992 joined on the 3rd January 1913
3181 joined on the 5th March 1914
3785 joined on the 18th August 1914

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 2345 he would have joined the battalion between June 1908 and March 1909. 

Also see my posts on regimental numbering in these other Bedfordshire Regiment battalions:

1st and 2nd Battalions, Bedfordshire Regiment

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment
4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment

Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your Bedfordshire Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

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