8 September 2019

Border Regiment - 4th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th (Cumberland & Westmorland) Battalion (TF), Border Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and brought together what had previously been the 1st Cumberland Volunteer and the 2nd Westmorland Volunteer battalions. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 38 officers and 694 men and at the annual camp in 1908, 388 officers and men had attended for less than 15 days whilst 284 officers and men had attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 38 officers and 882 men and at the annual camp in 1909 (at Conway), 337 officers and men had attended for less than 15 days whilst 456 officers and men had attended for 15 days.

In August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Strand Road, Carlisle and the battalion's companies drew men from the following areas.

A & B Companies: Carlisle
C Company: Keswick, with a drill station at Brampton
D Company: Penrith
E Company: Kirkby Lonsdale, with drill stations at Sedbergh, Endmoor and Appleby
F & G Companies: Kendal, with drill stations at Burneside and Staveley
H Company: Windermere, with drill stations at Ambleside and Elterwater

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

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 4th Battalion, Border Regiment.

28 joined from the Volunteer Force on the 1st April 1908

808 joined on the 17th February 1909

The battalion had recruited steadily since its inception and by the 24th November 1909 was issuing the number 1204 to its latest recruit. Recruitment hereafter slowed down dramatically, as can be seen from the pattern of numbers issued in the ensuing years to August 1914.

1149 joined on the 28th October 1910
1178 joined on the 6th January 1911
1313 joined on the 14th February 1912
1484 joined on the 9th April 1913
1628 joined on the 18th February 1914
1769 joined on the 4th 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 1234 he would have joined the battalion between January 1911 and February 1912. 

Note that the 5th (Cumberland) Battalion of the Border Regiment had its own separate regimental number sequence which had also all started with the number 1 in April 1908.

Remember. I research soldiers!

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

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