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.
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