14 March 2020

Black Watch - 5th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Angus & Dundee) Battalion (TF), The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 2nd & 3rd Volunteer Battalions of the same regiment; the 'Angus' and 'Dundee' battalions. The headquarters of the battalion was at Arbroath and the county Territorial Association for Forfarshire administered the first six companies whilst companies G and H were administered by the Association at Dundee. 

The fact that two separate county associations administered companies in the same battalion means that there were two separate regimental number series in play; at least for a time. One series was used for men joining companies A to F, and another series was used for men joining companies G & H. The companies were distributed as follows:

A Company: Kirriemuir, with drill stations at Glamis and Newtyle
B Company: Forfar
C Company: Montrose, with a drill station at Craigo
D Company: Brechin, with a drill station at Edzell
E Company: Arbroath, with a drill station at Friockheim
F Company: Arbroath, with drill stations at Carnoustie and Monifieth
G Company: Dundee
H Company: Dundee

The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 34 officers and 650 men. The best shot of the unit that year was Lance-Sergeant D K Mitchell.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 667, all ranks, and at the annual camp that year, 369 officers and men had attended for eight days whilst 298 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled from the 16th July.
Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 5th Battalion (TF), The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). The numbers come from the series operated by the Forfarshire Association.

54 joined from the 2nd Volunteer Force Battalion on the 3rd April 1908
1028 joined on the 17th May 1909

1222 joined on the 7th April 1910
1387 joined on the 6th February 1911
1516 joined on the 1st October 1911
1846 joined on the 9th February 1914
1978 joined on the 6th 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 1111 he would have joined the battalion between May 1909 and April 1910.

Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your Black Watch ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website

Image source used on this blog post is unknown.


RedLichtie said...

Ah, my area of interest.

You might want to clean your keyboard Paul, as there's a few dodgy spellings there:

Glamis/Gamis, Monifieth/Monifleth

Worth noting that once abroad and adopting the 4 btn structure, the 8 were amalgamated into numbered companies as follows:

No.1 Coy - A+B
No.2 Coy - C+D
No.3 Coy - E+F
No.4 Coy - G+H


Paul Nixon said...

Thanks Derek, probably my eyesight rather than the keyboard. Place names now corrected, and re-structured company information also noted; many thanks.

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