27 October 2020

Royal Warwickshire Regiment - 5th & 6th Bns (TF)

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th & 6th (TF) Battalions, Royal Warwickshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th & 6th Battalions were Territorial Force units which were formed as independent infantry battalions on the 1st April 1908.  They had formerly been the 1st Volunteer Battalion which, prior to the transfer to the Territorial Force, had comprised no fewer than 18 separate companies and between 1800 and 1900 men. In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the 5th Battalion strength comprised 24 officers and 808 men, whilst the 6th Battalion comprised 24 officers and 845 men.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the 5th Battalion had risen to 30 officers and 957 men whilst the 6th Battalion, matching the 5th almost man for man, had a strength of 29 officers and 954 men. Both battalions were headquartered at Thorp Street, Birmingham, and all companies (companies A-H) in both battalions, recruited in Birmingham.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment:

136 joined on the 8th April 1908
581 joined on the 25th January 1909
1232 joined on the 25th February 1910
1361 joined on the 24th February 1911
1501 joined on the 26th January 1912
1819 joined on the 24th January 1913
2318 joined on the 22nd May 1914
2445 joined on the 1st September 1914 

For the 6th Battalion:

1 joined on the 1st April 1908
1250 joined on the 11th March 1910
1360 joined on the 17th February 1911
1511 joined on the 26th January 1912
2110 joined on the 6th June 1913
2252 joined on the 27th March 1914
2400 joined on the 13th August 1914
2651joined on the 2nd September 1914

As can be seen from the patterns above, the battalions pretty much kept pace with each other in the years up until 1914; on the 26th January 1912 the 6th battalion had issued just ten numbers more than the 5th Battalion!

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 2000 and served with the 5th Battalion, he’d have joined the battalion between January 1913 and May 1914. The same number would have been issued to a 6th Battalion man between January 1912 and June 1913. 

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

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