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.
25 December 2020
Yorkshire Regiment - 5th Bn (TF)
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.
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