17 May 2020

King's (Liverpool Regiment) - 5th Battalion (TF)

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. 

The 5th Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which was formed on the 1st April 1908 and, prior to this, had been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, the King's Liverpool Regiment. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 26 officers and 599 men. 237 men attended camp at Peel, on the Isle of Man in 1908 for 8 days and 250 attended for 15 days. Best shot of the unit was Sergeant C Smith.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 33 officers and 1016 men; a significant increase on the previous year. At the annual camp that year, 925 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 650 officers and men attended for 15 days. Best shot of the unit was Sergeant J Marwood.


The battalion was headquartered at 65 St Anne Street, Liverpool and recruited in Liverpool and the surrounding district. Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th (Rifle) Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment).

200 joined on the 1st April 1908 
640 joined on the 2nd February 1909 
1164 joined on the 5th January 1910 
1328 joined on the 29th March 1911 
1386 joined on the 10th January 1912 
1548 joined on the 29th January 1913 
1820 joined on the 4th March 1914 
1954 joined on the 4th August 1914 


The battalion appears to have recruited well from 1909 and with the outbreak of war in August 1914, a reserve battalion was formed in September 1914. The original 5th Battalion now became the 1/5th Battalion and the new reserve battalion became the 2/5th Battalion. A 3/5th Battalion would be formed in May 1915.

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 had the number 1345 he would have joined this battalion at some time between 29th March 1911 and 10th January 1912.


Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your King's (Liverpool Regiment) ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

King's (Liverpool Regiment) - 6th (Rifle) Battalion

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 6th (Rifle) Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. 

The 6th (Rifle) Battalion was a Territorial Force unit which was formed on the 1st April 1908 and, prior to this, had been the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, the King's Liverpool Regiment. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 28 officers and 588 men. 341 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 176 attended for 15 days. 

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 29 officers and 968 men; a significant increase on the previous year. At the annual camp that year, 484 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 448 officers and men attended for 15 days. Best shots in the battalion were Sergeant J Pownall and Rifleman G Good. 

The battalion was headquartered at Prince's Park Barracks, Liverpool and recruited in Liverpool and the surrounding district. Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 6th (Rifle) Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment).

10 joined on the 1st April 1908 
811 joined on the 8th March 1909 
1129 joined on the 31st January 1910 
1189 joined on the 6th March 1911 
1249 joined on the 18th March 1912 
1396 joined on the 31st March 1913 
1553 joined on the 23rd March 1914 
1637 joined on the 1st August 1914 


The battalion appears to have no trouble in recruiting and the relatively low annual recruitment rates from 1910 is evidence of the battalion having already reached its establishment.

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 had the number 1234 he would have joined this battalion at some time between 6th March 1911 and 18th March 1912.


Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your King's (Liverpool Regiment) ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

16 May 2020

Durham Light Infantry - 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion - 1908-1914


In my blog post today I will look at numbering in the 3rd Battalion, Durham Light Infantry between 1908 and 1914.

The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion was the natural heir to the 3rd Militia Battalion which it replaced in 1908, and many of the men enlisting with the 3rd Special Reserve Battalion in 1908 were former militia men from the 3rd and 4th militia battalions who joined the new special reserve battalion but retained their old militia numbers. There are numerous examples of this in 1908 and a note on my spreadsheet for this battalion reads,

"Looks as though all men with prior service went into the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, whilst men with no previous service went into the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion. Numbering for new recruits in this battalion starts where numbering in the 4th (Militia) Battalion finished."

As an example of the militia / special reserve cross-over, see 7493 Joseph William Barker who has papers in WO 363 which show that he originally enlisted with the 3rd (Militia) Battalion on the 12th April 1907. The same number 7493 appears again on his special reserve attestation paper when he joined the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion on the 26th July 1908.

The lowest/earliest number I have for 3rd (Special Reserve) men is 6319 William Potts who would have originally joined the 3rd (Militia) Battalion in early 1904 and who re-enlisted with the special reserve with his same number on the 26th July 1908. Note though, that the man with the number 7246, George King, had actually joined before William. He was a former 4th (Militia) Battalion man. For all of these militia men and for the regiment, there would have been nothing unusual about this. The men would have originally signed up for six years' service with the militia and they were simply continuing their service with the newly formed special reserve. 

As noted above, men with former service in the 4th (Militia) Battalion also joined the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion and these men also retained their old 4th (Militia) Battalion numbers. And so when you look at regimental numbers for the 3rd Battalion in 1908 you have a combination of old 3rd Battalion numbers, old 4th Battalion numbers, and new numbers issued to men who had no prior service with the militia.  This from my notes on men who joined the 3rd Battalion in 1908:

6319 William Potts, 3rd Militia Bn
6743 Alfred Campbell, 3rd Militia Bn (attest date not shown)
6912 Ralph Gibson, 3rd Militia Bn
7026 Thomas Joyce, 3rd Militia Bn
7109 Watson Mills, 3rd Militia Bn
7246 George King, 4th Militia Bn att 06/11/1902
7373 George Davidson, 3rd Militia Bn
7417 John Golden, 3rd Militia Bn
7493 Joseph William Barker, 3rd Militia Bn
7693 James Garvey, no prior service
7771 Michael Gaffney, Time Ex 3rd Militia Bn
7790 Joseph Douglass, no prior service
7803 James Tuck, time-expired 3rd Militia Bn
8226 Elijah Brown, formerly 8226 4th Militia Bn
8580 William Baxter, formerly 8580 4th Militia Bn
8967 Frank Deary, formerly 8967 4th Militia Bn
9170 John Sawyer, formerly 156 7th DLI
9264 Patrick Donnelly, No prior service
9279 Ralph Hutton
9302 Michael McMahon
9355 William Barnfield, No prior service

9371 John McDonell

Both the 3rd and the 4th Militia Battalions had maintained completely separate regimental number series in the years to 1908 and both would continue to operate separate regimental number series from 1908 as the 3rd (Special Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions.

Some regimental numbers and enlistment dates for the period 1908 to 1914:

7790 Joseph Douglass (above), joined 26th May 1908

There appear to have been very few attestations in 1909 and I am guessing that this was because the battalion had reached its establishment; hardly surprising if it was taking in men from two former militia battalions.

9394 Joseph Rutley joined 19th December 1910
9474 John Atcheson joined on 9th October 1911
9533 Edward Armstrong joined on 27th January 1912
9685 Wilfred Clarke joined on the 17th February 1913
3/9775 Joseph Fraser joined on the 17th April 1914
10186 George Aberdeen joined on the 27th August 1914

Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for Durham Light Infantry photos, check my British Army Ancestors websiteImage source used on this blog post is unknown.