This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.
Until the 1st April 1908, the 5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment had, like the 4th Battalion, been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, originally raised in 1859. The 5th Battalion was headquartered at Loughborough and its eight companies drew men from the following areas:
A Company: Ashby-de-la-Zouche, with a drill station at Coalville
B Company: Oakham, with drill stations at Cottesmore, Whissendine and Uppingham
C Company: Melton Mowbray, with drill stations at Bottesford, Harby and Wymondham
D Company: Hinckley
E Company: Market Harborough, with drill stations at Kibworth and Fleckney
F Company: Mountsorrel, with a drill station at Woodhouse Eaves
G Company: Shepshed, with drill stations at Barrowden, Bisbrooke and Ketton
H Company: Loughborough
By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the Lincoln & Leicester Brigade in the North Midland Division. Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment. Numbers issued from about 1911 appear with the 5/ prefix:
125 joined on the 8th April 1908
876 joined on the 20th April 1909
1067 joined on the 25th May 1910
5/1098 joined on the 30th January 1911
5/1258 joined on the 12th January 1912
1454 joined on the 3rd January 1913
5/1781 joined on the 12th January 1914
1996 joined on the 5th August 1914
A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at Loughborough 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 Loughborough in 1915. The 2/5th Battalion would serve overseas from February 1917 but the 3/5th never did so, becoming the 5th Reserve Battalion in April 1916 and subsequently being absorbed by the 4th 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 Coalville, he would have joined this battalion in 1913 and probably served with A Company.
The photo I have used on this post shows officers of the 5th Leicestershire Regiment and was published in The Tatler on the 4th November 1914.
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To search for photos of your Leicestershire Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.