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.
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