30 December 2020

Army Service Numbers 1881-1918: a 2020 retrospective

 


As 2020 draws to a close, here are some of my highlights of the year.

  • Including this post, a late flurry in December has seen me publish 41 Army Service Numbers blog posts
  • I wrote 1 Army Ancestry Research  blog post and have effectively abandoned this blog
  • I responded to over 600 British Army research enquiries through my blogs, via Facebook and via email. In the last 365 days I have written hundreds of thousands of words about the British Army.
  • I published 16 blog posts on my British Army Ancestors website and added tens of thousands of photos. The site now has over 100,000 photos and 12m searchable records
  • I continue to post daily on the British Army Ancestors Facebook page and commemorate those who gave so much. The photo on this post was published on the Facebook page on Christmas Day this year.
In addition to social media - restricted to Facebook these days - I delivered a number of online military presentations and published articles. As time allowed, I also continued with my own research projects and have been looking at prisoner of war casualties and the British Army of 1911 for the most part. Lack of funding has prevented me from doing as much as I would have liked to do in these areas.

I managed to buy the missing 1915 and 1919 KRRC Chronicles and was also fortunate to buy a complete run of Oxfordshire Light Infantry chronicles - and successor regimental titles - from 1892 until the 2000s. I continue to be tempted by books, photos and medals and have bought and sold all in small quantities

So what else is in store for 2021?

I will continue with the daily posting on the British Army Ancestors Facebook page and having added enhancements to the main site, will continue to improve the functionality. I will continue posting on this blog with a target post count of 40. 

I will continue delivering online webinars and have been invited to host a two-day British Military history seminar in November and am very much looking forward to this.

Covid-19, wokeism, assaults on freedom of speech, revisionist history and the destruction of national monuments have combined to make 2020 a dreadful year. I can only hope that 2021 will be better.  

I research soldiers! 
Contact me if you need help.

25 December 2020

Yorkshire Regiment - 4th Bn (TF)

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. 

On the 1st April 1908, the 4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment was formed from what had previously been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. The newly formed 4th (TF) Battalion was headquartered at Northallerton and distributed as follows:

A Company: Middlesbrough
B Company: Middlesbrough
C Company: Yarm-on-Tees, with drill stations at Great Ayton, Stokesley and Hutton Rudby
D Company: Guisborough, with drill stations at Eston, South Bank and Grangetown
E Company: Richmond, with drill stations at Catterick, Eppleby and Reeth
F Company: Redcar, with a drill station at Marske by the Sea
G Company: Skelton, with drill stations at Carlin How, Lingdale and Loftus
H Company: Northallerton, with drill stations at Bedale, Thirsk, Easingwold, Brompton and Helperby

By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the York & Durham Infantry Brigade in the Northumbrian Division. 

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

14 joined on the 1st April 1908 
682 joined on the 25th February 1909
1125 joined on the 18th May 1910 
1153 joined on the 25th January 1911 
1338 joined on the 1st February 1912 
1602 joined on the 22nd February 1913 
1832 joined on the 12th February 1914 
1979 joined on the 11th August 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Northallerton on the 4th September 1914, the original 4th Battalion now becoming the 1/4th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/4th Battalion. The Long, Long Trail website picks up the story of the 2/4th:

"Formed at Northallerton on 4 September 1914 as a home service (“second line”) unit. Troops began to arrive from 10 September. Supplied first drafts for overseas service in May 1915. 1 March 1915: came under orders of 189th Brigade, 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division, which was broken up in July 1916. 9 November 1916: transferred to 220th Brigade, 73rd Division. July 1917: reduced in strength; eventually disbanded in England November 1917."

A 3/4th Battalion was formed at Northallerton in March 1915 but never served overseas.  All three battalions - the 1/4th, 2/4th, 3/4th - issued numbers from the same regimental number series and from 1917 reissued numbers to serving soldiers and to new recruits from a brand new regimental numbers series which began at 200001 and extended to 240000. 

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 1200 and lived in Redcar, he would have joined the battalion in 1911 - and probably served with F Company. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

Yorkshire Regiment - 5th Bn (TF)

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. 

On the 1st April 1908, the 5th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment was formed from the amalgamation of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, and the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. The 2nd VB, East Yorkshire Regiment had had six companies at Howden, Bridlington, Beverley, Driffield, Market Weighton and Hessle. Meanwhile, the 2nd VB, Yorkshire Regiment had had seven under-strength companies at Malton, Hovingham, Scarborough (two companies and the HQ), Hemsley and Pickering. The newly formed 5th (TF) Battalion was headquartered at Scarborough and distributed as follows:

A Company: Market Weighton, with drill stations at Pocklington, Newbald and Stamford Bridge
B Company: Bridlington, with drill stations at Filey, Hunmanby and Flamborough
C Company: Beverley, with a drill station at Cottingham
D Company: Driffield, with a drill station at Sledmere
E Company: Scarborough
F Company: Scarborough
G Company: Pickering, with drill stations at Helmsley, Kirbymoorside, Grosmont, Ebberston and Thornton Dale
H Company: Malton, with drill stations at Sand Hutton, Sheriff Hutton and Hovingham

By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the York & Durham Infantry Brigade in the Northumbrian Division. 

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

29 joined on the 4th May 1908 
726 joined on the 2nd March 1909
1022 joined on the 19th February 1910 
1149 joined on the 29th March 1911 
1244 joined on the 16th April 1912 
1453 joined on the 2nd May 1913 
1608 joined on the 20th March 1914 
1784 joined on the 12th August 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Scarborough in September 1914, the original 5th Battalion now becoming the 1/5th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/5th Battalion. The Long, Long Trail website picks up the story of the 2/5th:

"Moved to Darlington in November 1914 and Benton in April 1915. Later moved to Catterick. On 1 March 1915 came under orders of 189th Brigade, 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) Division, which was broken up in July 1916. All category A1 men, now deemed by the Military Service Act to be available for overseas service, were posted. On 9 November 1916, battalion transferred to 220th Brigade, 73rd Division and moved to Blackpool. By January 1917 was at Chelmsford. 29 March 1918, disbanded in England."

A 3/5th Battalion was formed at Scarborough in March 1915 but never served overseas.  All three battalions - the 1/5th, 2/5th, 3/5th - issued numbers from the same regimental number series and from 1917 reissued numbers to serving soldiers and to new recruits from a brand new regimental numbers series which began at 240001 and extended to 265000. 

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 1500 and lived in Driffield, he would have joined the battalion in 1913 - and probably served with D Company. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

West Yorkshire Regiment - 8th (Leeds Rifles) Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 8th Battalion (Leeds Rifles), The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. 

Both the 7th and the 8th Battalions, formed in April 1908, were derived from the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment and both were headquartered at Carlton Barracks, Leeds; both drawing their men from Leeds. At the time when Britain went to war with Germany in August 1914, both battalions formed part of the 1st West Riding Infantry Brigade in the West Riding Division. 

Both the 7th and the 8th Battalions operated independent regimental number series and the numbers and dates below are taken from surviving service and pension records of men who signed up with the 8th Battalion: 

274 joined on the 21st May 1908 
560 joined on the 20th January 1909
1053 joined on the 3rd January 1910 
1200 joined on the 9th January 1911 
1255 joined on the 24th January 1912 
1519 joined on the 28th April 1913 
1769 joined on the 11th June 1914 
1930 joined on the 7th August 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Leeds on the 14th September 1914, the original 8th Battalion now becoming the 1/8th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/8th Battalion. Although the battalion had been formed to take in men surplus to establishment and then to provide drafts for the 1/8th Battalion, the 2/8th eventually served overseas in its own right from January 1917, serving alongside the 2/7th. Meanwhile, a 3/7th Battalion had been formed at Leeds in March 1915 but never served overseas.  All three battalions - the 1/7th, 2/7th, 3/7th - issued numbers from the same regimental number series and from 1917 reissued numbers to serving soldiers and to new recruits from a new numbers' series which began at 305001 and extended to 330000. 

Use the regimental numbers above, which were issued sequentially, to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. 

I have borrowed the photo on this post from the Leaves from a Leeds Album blog. It shows Arthur Shoesmith, formerly of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, who later served with the 8th Battalion (regimental number 12) and ended the war as a company sergeant major.

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

West Yorkshire Regiment - 7th (Leeds Rifles) Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th Battalion (Leeds Rifles), The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. 

Both the 7th and the 8th Battalions, formed in April 1908, were derived from the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment and both were headquartered at Carlton Barracks, Leeds; both drawing their men from Leeds. At the time when Britain went to war with Germany in August 1914, both battalions formed part of the 1st West Riding Infantry Brigade in the West Riding Division. 

Both the 7th and the 8th Battalions operated independent regimental number series and the numbers and dates below are taken from surviving service and pension records of men who signed up with the 7th Battalion: 

833 joined on the 10th July 1908 
1020 joined on the 18th March 1909
1297 joined on the 10th March 1910 
1445 joined on the 3rd February 1911 
1556 joined on the 8th February 1912 
1742 joined on the 21st April 1913 
1895 joined on the 30th March 1914 
2265 joined on the 11th August 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Leeds on the 15th September 1914, the original 7th Battalion now becoming the 1/7th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/7th Battalion. Although the battalion had been formed to take in men surplus to establishment and then to provide drafts for the 1/7th Battalion, the 2/7th ultimately served overseas in its own right from January 1917. Meanwhile, a 3/7th Battalion had been formed at Leeds in March 1915 but never served overseas.  All three battalions - the 1/7th, 2/7th, 3/7th - issued numbers from the same regimental number series and from 1917 reissued numbers to serving soldiers and to new recruits from a new numbers' series which began at 265001 and extended to 305000. 

Use the regimental numbers above, which were issued sequentially, to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. 

The photo on this post shows an unknown Leeds Rifles corporal.

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

24 December 2020

West Yorkshire Regiment - 6th Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 6th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) 1908 and 1914. 

Until the 1st April 1908, the 6th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment had been the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment and by 1914 it was headquartered at Belle Vue Barracks, Bradford, its eight companies drawing men from Bradford. The battalion formed part of the 1st West Riding Infantry Brigade in the West Riding Division. 

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

101 joined on the 1st April 1908 
693 joined on the 16th March 1909
993 joined on the 8th February 1910 
1123 joined on the 12th January 1911 
1287 joined on the 28th March 1912 
1419 joined on the 4th February 1913 
1575 joined on the 29th January 1914 
1740 joined on the 5th August 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Bradford on the 12th September 1914, the original 6th Battalion now becoming the 1/6th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/6th Battalion. Although the  battalion had been formed to take in men surplus to establishment and then to provide drafts for the 1/6th Battalion, the 2/6th eventually served overseas in its own right from February 1917. Meanwhile, a 3/6th Battalion had been formed at Bradford in March 1915 but never served overseas.  All three battalions - the 1/5th, 2/5th, 3/5th - issued numbers from the same regimental number series and from 1917 reissued numbers to serving soldiers and to new recruits from a brand new numbers series which began at 240001 and extended to 265000. 

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

West Yorkshire Regiment - 5th Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) 1908 and 1914. 

Until the 1st April 1908, the 5th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment had been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment and by 1914 it was headquartered at York, its eight companies drawing men from the following areas: 

A Company: York, with a drill station at Tadcaster
B Company: York
C Company: York
D Company: Selby
E Company: Harrogate 
F Company: Harrogate, with a drill station at Wetherby
G Company: Knaresborough, with drill stations at Borobridge and Starbeck
H Company: Ripon, with a drill station at Pateley Bridge

By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the 1st West Riding Infantry Brigade in the West Riding Division. 

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

70 joined on the 1st April 1908 
604 joined on the 4th March 1909
1101 joined on the 22nd December 1910 
1114 joined on the 20th February 1911 
1292 joined on the 7th March 1912 
1378 joined on the 18th February 1913 
1537 joined on the 24th February 1914 
2001 joined on the 10th August 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at York on the 28th September 1914, the original 5th Battalion now becoming the 1/5th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/5th Battalion. This battalion, only ever formed as draft-finding battalion for the 1/5th Battalion, eventually served overseas in its own right from February 1917. Meanwhile, a 3/5th Battalion had been formed at York in March 1915 but never served overseas.  All three battalions - the 1/5th, 2/5th, 3/5th - issued numbers from the same regimental number series and from 1917 reissued numbers to serving soldiers and to new recruits from a brand new numbers series which began at 200001 and extended to 240000. 

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 1432 and lived in Harrogate, he would have joined the battalion in 1913 - and probably served with E or F Company. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

East Yorkshire Regiment - 5th (Cyclist) Bn (TF)

This post will look at numbering in the 4th (Territorial Force) Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914. Information on this post has been compiled as a result of looking at service records in the WO 363 and WO 364 series at the National Archives; now also widely available online from various providers.

The 5th East Yorkshire Regiment had no Volunteer Force predecessor although it got off to a flying start in April 1908 when 90 NCOs and men who had formerly served with the Cyclist Company of the 1st Volunteer Battalion signed up to the newly formed 5th (Cyclist) Battalion. The newly formed 5th Battalion, which was headquartered at Park Street, Hull commenced a new number series from 1 in April 1908 and drew its men from the following areas:

A, B, C & D Companies: Hull
E Company: Howden, with drill stations at North Cave and Staddlethorpe
F Company: Beverley, with drill stations at Hessle, Market Weighton and Pocklington
G Company: Bridlington, with drill stations Driffield, Hunmanby and Filey
H Company: Hornsea, with drill stations at Hedon and Withernsea

The battalion was attached to Northern Command.

440 joined on 16th November 1908
468 joined on 1st March 1909
618 joined on 23rd August 1910
633 joined on 23rd January 1911
704 joined on 18th March 1912
836 joined on 27th May 1913
882 joined on 2nd January 1914
1042 joined on 17th 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 had the number 800 and lived in Hull, he would probably have joined the battalion in 1913 and would have served with one of the Hull companies (A to D). 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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


Wiltshire Regiment - 4th Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment)  between 1908 and 1914. 

Until the 1st April 1908, the 4th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment had existed as two battalions: the 1st Wiltshire Volunteer Rifle Corps and the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment. The two battalions had represented the south and north of the county respectively and by March 1908, the 1st Wiltshire VRC numbered 782 in its ten companies whilst the 2nd VB numbered 785 officers and men. The county could, quite possibly, have sustained two Territorial Force battalions but it was decided that one battalion would suffice comprised of 5 companies  - A, B, C, F & G - drawn from the 1st VRC and three companies - D, E & H -  from the 2nd VB. By 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Fore Street, Trowbridge and drew its recruits from the following areas:

A Company: Salisbury, with a drill station at Farley
B Company: Wilton, with drill stations at Wishford and Barford
C Company: Trowbridge, with a drill station at Steeple Ashton
D Company: Chippenham, with a drill station at Calne
E Company: Devizes, with drill stations at Lavington and Bromham
F Company: Warminster, with drill stations at Westbury, Chitterne, Horningsham, Dilton's Marsh and Heytesbury
G Company: Bradford-on-Avon, with drill stations at Melksham and Holt
H Company: Swindon, with a drill station at Marlborough

By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the South Western Infantry Brigade in the Wessex Division. 

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

26 joined on the 1st April 1908 
754 joined on the 6th January 1909
1293 joined on the 22nd February 1910 
1445 joined on the 13th January 1911 
1680 joined on the 31st July 1912 
1812 joined on the 7th January 1913 
2248 joined on the 8th August 1914 
2388 joined on the 3rd September 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Trowbridge in October 1914, the original 4th Battalion now becoming the 1/4th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/4th Battalion. A 3/4th Battalion would be formed at Trowbridge in March 1915. The 2/4th Battalion was serving overseas (in India) by December 1914, but the 3/4th Battalion only ever remained in the UK, feeding recruits through to, for the most part, the 1/4th Battalions. All three battalions - the 1/4th, 2/4th, 3/4th - issued numbers from the same regimental number series and from 1917 reissued numbers to serving soldiers and to new recruits from a brand new numbers series which began at 200001 and extended to 225000. 

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 1700 and lived in Chippenham, he would probably have joined the battalion in about August 1912 and probably served with D Company. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

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

Somerset Light Infantry - 5th Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry) between 1908 and 1914. 

Until the 1st April 1908, the 5th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry had been the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry and by 1914 it was headquartered at Taunton, its eight companies drawing men from the following areas: 

A Company: Taunton
B Company: Williton, with drill stations at Watchet, Minehead and Washford
C Company: Bridgwater, with a drill station at North Petherton
D Company: Langport, with drill stations at Highbridge & Somerton
E Company: Yeovil, with drill stations at Martock and Langport
F Company: Crewkerne, with a drill station at South Petherton
G Company: Wellington, with drill stations at Milverton and Wiveliscombe
H Company: Chard, with a drill station at Iminster

By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the South Western Infantry Brigade in the Wessex Division. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry).

404 joined on the 18th April 1908 
853 joined on the 10th March 1909
1066 joined on the 11th February 1910 
1234 joined on the 21st February 1911 
1530 joined on the 11th April 1912 
1837 joined on the 7th July 1913 
2035 joined on the 2nd April 1914 
2197 joined on the 12th August 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Taunton in September 1914, the original 5th Battalion now becoming the 1/5th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/5th Battalion. A 3/5th Battalion would be formed at Taunton in March 1915. The 2/5th Battalion - along with the 2/4th Battalion -  was serving overseas (in India) as early as December 1914, but the 3/5th Battalion only ever remained in the UK, feeding recruits through to, for the most part, the 1/5th Battalion. All three battalions - the 1/5th, 2/5th, 3/5th - issued numbers from the same regimental number series and from 1917 reissued numbers to serving soldiers and to new recruits from a brand new numbers series which began at 240001 and extended to 265000. 

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 1700 and lived in Yeovil, he would have joined the battalion between April 1912 and July 1913 - and probably served with E Company. 

The image on this post shows the 3/5th Battalion football team in 1916.

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

To search for photos of your Somerset Light Infantry ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

Somerset Light Infantry - 4th Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry)  between 1908 and 1914. 

Until the 1st April 1908, the 4th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry had been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry and by 1914 it was headquartered at Lower Bristol Road, Bath, its eight companies drawing men from the following areas: 

A Company: Bath
B Company: Bath
C Company: Keynsham, with drill stations at Brislington, Whitchurch and Bitton
D Company: Frome, with drill stations at Bruton, Mells and Wenstrow
E Company: Weston-super-Mare, with drill stations at Winscombe and Cheddar
F Company: Castle Cary, with drill stations at Shepton Mallet and Evercreech
G Company: Midsomer Norton, with drill stations at Radstock, Bishop Sutton and Peasedown St John
H Company: Glastonbury, with a drill station at Wells

By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the South Western Infantry Brigade in the Wessex Division. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 4th Battalion, Prince Albert's (Somerset Light Infantry).

480 joined on the 28th April 1908 
1058 joined on the 22nd March 1909
1204 joined on the 24th January 1910 
1458 joined on the 27th July 1911 
1555 joined on the 1st March 1912 
1815 joined on the 1st April 1913 
2082 joined on the 10th March 1914 
2497 joined on the 6th September 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Bath in September 1914, the original 4th Battalion now becoming the 1/4th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/4th Battalion. A 3/4th Battalion would be formed at Bath in March 1915. The 2/4th Battalion was serving overseas (in India) as early as December 1914, but the 3/4th Battalion only ever remained in the UK, feeding recruits through to, for the most part, the 1/4th Battalions. All three battalions - the 1/4th, 2/4th, 3/4th - issued numbers from the same regimental number series and from 1917 reissued numbers to serving soldiers and to new recruits from a brand new numbers series which began at 200001 and extended to 240000. 

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 and lived in Midsomer Norton, he would have joined the battalion in the first quarter of 1910 and probably served with G Company. 

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

To search for photos of your Somerset Light Infantry ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

23 December 2020

Sherwood Foresters - 8th Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 8th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. 
The 7th and the 8th Battalions of this regiment were administered by the Nottinghamshire County Association whereas the 5th and 6th Battalions were administered by the Derbyshire County Association.

Until the 1st April 1908, the 8th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters had been the 4th Nottinghamshire. By August 1914 it was headquartered at Newark, its eight companies drawing men from the following areas: 

A Company: Retford, with a drill station at Ollerton
B Company: Newark
C Company: Sutton-in-Ashfield
D Company: Mansfield
E Company: Carlton, with drill stations at Burton Joyce and Bingham
F Company: Arnold, with drill stations at Basford, Eastwood, Daybrook and Hucknall
G Company: Worksop, with a drill station at Shireoaks
H Company: Southwell with drill stations at Calverton and Farnsfield

By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the Notts & Derby Infantry Brigade in the North Midland Division. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 8th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters.

301 joined on the 1st April 1908 
952 joined on the 22nd August 1910 
1091 joined on the 25th March 1911 
1417 joined on the 19th March 1912 
1822 joined on the 19th May 1913 
1970 joined on the 17th March 1914 
2088 joined on the 9th August 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Newark on the 11th September 1914, the original 8th Battalion now becoming the 1/8th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/8th Battalion. A 3/8th Battalion would be formed at Newark on the 26th February 1915. The 2/8th Battalion would serve overseas from February 1917 but the 3/8th never did so, becoming the 8th Reserve Battalion in April 1916 and ultimately being absorbed by the 7th Reserve 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 1500 and lived in Mansfield, he would have joined in 1912 and probably served with D Company which was the Mansfield company. 

The photo I have used on this post shows officers of the 8th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters and was published in The Tatler on the 13th January 1915.

Remember. I research soldiers! Drop me a line if you need help 

To search for photos of your Sherwood Foresters ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

Sherwood Foresters - 7th (Robin Hood) Bn (TF)


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th (Territorial Force) Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. The 7th and the 8th Battalions of this regiment were administered by the 
Nottinghamshire County Association whereas the 5th and 6th Battalions were administered by the Derbyshire County Association.

Until the 1st April 1908, the 7th (Robin Hood) Battalion, Sherwood Foresters had been the Robin Hood Rifles, 1st Nottinghamshire Rifle Volunteers. The battalion had an inauspicious start in 1859 when just six names were put forward after the Lord Mayor and the Lord Lieutenant sought to raise a volunteer unit. However, by March 1908 the 'Robin Hoods' was a two-battalion corps with no fewer than eighteen companies and a strength of 1500 men. 

The new 7th Battalion was headquartered at Derby Road, Nottingham and all eight companies drew men from the city of Nottingham. By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the Notts & Derby Infantry Brigade in the North Midland Division. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 6th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters.

293 joined on the 1st May 1908 
899 joined on the 3rd March 1909
1198 joined on the 24th February 1910 
1285 joined on the 10th January 1911 
1475 joined on the 8th January 1912 
1760 joined on the 4th April 1913 
1946 joined on the 29th January 1914 
2624 joined on the 16th September 1914 

A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Notingham on the 19th September 1914, the original 7th Battalion now becoming the 1/7th Battalion and the new reserve battalion becoming the 2/7th Battalion. A 3/7th Battalion would be formed at Nottingham on the 1st March 1915. The 2/7th Battalion would serve overseas from February 1917 but the 3/7th never did so, becoming the 7th Reserve Battalion in April 1916 and ultimately absorbing the 8th Reserve 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 1500 he would have joined this battalion in early 1912.  

The photograph on this post shows men of D Company, 7th Battalion; winners of Sir Charles Seely's Football Challenge Shield in 1909. The original photograph appears in the regimental annual for 1910.

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