30 August 2021

Devonshire Regiment, 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the Devonshire between 1908 and 1914. The Special Reserve and the Extra Reserve were the natural heirs to the militia battalions which, for the most part they replaced in 1908. My 2009 article on the Creation of the Special Reserve in 1908 may be helpful here.

With the creation of the Special Reserev in 1908, the Devonshire Regiment effectively lost a battalion. Prior to this date, as well as its two regular battalions, it also fielded two militia battalions, the 3rd and 4th Battalions. Wiht the creation of the Special Reserv, the 4th Battalion was abandoned, men now being given the option to sign up to the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion. As far as regimental numbering in the battalion was concerned. Men who were still serving with the 3rd (Militia) Battalion simply joined the 3rd (Speical Reserve) Battalion with their old regimental numbers. 4th (Militia) Battalion men who now opted to join the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion were given new numbers from the 3rd Battalion series which was, itself, a continuation of the militia number series. There are many examples in surviving service records of serving militia men joining the Special Reserve in 1908 but only signing up for the unexpired portion of their militia service.

Men joining the militia and special/extra reserve were not career soldiers. They were men who had completed a period of training alongside career soldiers at the regimental depot but they then went back to their homes, turning out annually for drills and camp. Men of the Militia and the Special Reserve signed up for six years' service and knew, in the event of war, that they would be called upon to fill gaps in the regular battalions. A glance at most 1914 Star rolls will show plenty of evidence of Special Reserve men who served alongside career soldiers. Sometimes their numbers are prefixed by the number of their battalion - typically a 3/ or 4/ in most line infantry regiments - but just as often there will be no prefix.

The first 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion number I have on my database - and there will be many earlier ones thatn this - is 4893 Samuel Rowe who was a time-expired soldier with 12 years' service under his belt. He was also a serving member of the 4th (Militia) battalion and when he joined the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion on the 27th June 1908 he only signed up for 2 years and 200 days which was the unexpired portion of his militia service. The new number he was issued with was from the series which had been in use for the 3rd (Militia) Battalion. 

Here then, are some sample numbers for the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, Devonshire Regiment:

4956 joined on the 27th June 1908 
3/5749 joined on the 12th May 1909
5947 joined on the 24th January 1910
6206 joined on the 18th April 1911
3/6597 joined on the 29th October 1912
3/6679 joined on the 12th February 1913
3/7040 joined on the 15th August 1914
3/7180 joined on the 1st September 1914
3/7743 joined on the 7th October 1914

The regimental number series was unique to the 3rd Miltia/Special Reserve Battalion but care needs to be exercised when determining if a man's number belongs to this series or to the series that was issued from the regimental depot to men joining as career soldiers. For example, looking at the sequence above, it can be seen that the number 7000 would have been issued to a 3rd Bn man between February 1913 and August 1914 (and more likely to have been July or August 1914 for that matter). However, the same number would have been issued to a career soldier who joined the regiment in July 1902. See my article on regimental numbering in the 1st & 2nd Battalions of The Devonshire Regiment.

And if all of this is still confusing, have a read of some of the articles towards the bottom of the Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 index

Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for Devonshire Regiment photos, check my British Army Ancestors website 

The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) - 3rd (Special Reserve) Bn


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the Buffs (East Kent Regiment) between 1908 and 1914. The Special Reserve and the Extra Reserve were the natural heirs to the militia battalions which, for the most part they replaced in 1908. My 2009 article on the Creation of the Special Reserve in 1908 may be helpful here.

As far as the Buffs was concerned, it was the 3rd (Militia) Battalion which it lost with the creation of the Special Reserve in 1908 and those concerned with such matters appear to have simply shrugged their shoulders and carried on with the same regimental number series that had been in use for the militia. 

Men joining the militia and special/extra reserve were not career soldiers. They were men who had completed a period of training alongside career soldiers at the regimental depot but they then went back to their homes, turning out annually for drills and camp. Men of the Militia and the Special Reserve signed up for six years' service and knew, in the event of war, that they would be called upon to fill gaps in the regular battalions. A glance at most 1914 Star rolls will show plenty of evidence of Special Reserve men who served alongside career soldiers. Sometimes their numbers are prefixed by the number of their battalion - typically a 3/ or 4/ in most line infantry regiments - but just as often there will be no prefix.

The first 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion number I have on my database - and there will be many earlier ones thatn this - is 7196 Ernest William John Brooks who had been issued with that number when he joined the 3rd (Militia) Battalion on the 3rd June 1904. He was still a serving member of the 3rd (Militia) Battalion when the Special Reserve was created, and he signed on for a further six years in July 1908, his old militia number being re-activated. Other men who joined at the same time and who were not already serving with the militia were issued with new regimental numbers which began where the old militia regimental series had ended. This pattern is seen in very many special and extra reserve battalion attestation papers for 1908.

Here then, are some sample regimental numbers for the 3rd Buffs (East Kent Regiment):

8104 joined on 28th June 1908 
9382 joined on 21st April 1909
9623 joined on 21st February 1910
9941 joined on 20th February 1911
10179 joined on 1st January 1912
10486 joined on 14th May 1913
3/10669 joined on the 8th July 1914
S/10703 joined on 8th August 1914

The regimental number series was unique to the 3rd Miltia/Special Reserve Battalion but care needs to be exercised when determining if a man's number belongs to this series or to the series that was issued from the regimental depot to men joining as career soldiers. For example, looking at the sequence above, it can be seen that the number 10000 would have been issued to a 3rd Bn man between February 1911 and January 1912. However, the same number would have been issued to a career soldier who joined the regiment in April or May 1913. See my article on regimental numbering in the 1st & 2nd Battalions of The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment.

In addition to this main regimental number sequence for the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, there was a second number series which was begun in August 1914 and which appears to have been short-lived. These numbers began at 1 and were prefixed with - on attestation papers at least - SREKGS, which was shorthand for Special Reserve East Kent General Service. If your man has a number with this prefix, then this mini series may be helpful:

SREKGS/102 was issued on the 14th August 1914
SREKGS/229 was issued on the 5th September 1914
SREKGS/828 was issued on the 27th October 1914

This is the last number I have on my database but I'd be interested to hear of later numbers issued in this series.

And if all of this is still confusing, have a read of some of the articles towards the bottom of the Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 index. The photo on this post was published in The Tatler on the 20th January 1915 and shows officers of the 3rd Battalion, The Buffs.

Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for Buffs (East Kent Regiment) photos, check my British Army Ancestors website 

7 August 2021

Fill yer boots! It's the Naval & Military Press summer sale!


Grab some bargains with the Naval & Military Press Summer Sale 2021. There's a flat 20% discount applied to all titles in the extensive Naval & Military Press catalogue inlcuding titles which have already been heavily discounted.

Clicking the link above will take you straight to the Naval & Military Press website where you can browse to your heart's content. However, to make it even easier for you, here are some links to specific categories which you might find useful:


        First World War regimental histories - over 230 titles
        Rolls of Honour, casualty lists and genealogy - over 140 titles


Remember, this is a time-limited discount and some stocks of titles on the Naval & Military Press website may be running low. Don't miss out. Grab yourself a bargain today.

 

29 July 2021

Border Regiment - regimental numbering in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion 1908-1914


This article will look at regimental numbering in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the Border Regiment between 1908 and 1914. As I have written before, the Special Reserve and the Extra Reserve were the natural heirs to militia battalions which, for the most part they replaced. My 2009 article on the Creation of the Special Reserve in 1908 may be helpful here.

As far as the Border Regiment was concerned, it was one of the regiments which lost a militia battalion with the creation of the Special Reserve in 1908. Up until that time it had recruited for the 3rd and 4th militia battalions. However, from 1908 it was just the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion which replaced both militia battalions. Men who were still serving with these miltiia battalions in 1908 were invited to join the new 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion.

Men joining the militia and special/extra reserve were not career soldiers. They were men who had completed a period of training alongside career soldiers at the regimental depot but they then went back to their homes, turning out annually for drills and camp. Men of the Militia and the Special Reserve signed up for six years' service and knew, in the event of war, that they would be called upon to fill gaps in the regular battalions. A glance at most 1914 Star rolls will show plenty of evidence of Special Reserve men who served alongside career soldiers. Sometimes their numbers are prefixed by the number of their battalion - typically a 3/ or 4/ in most line infantry regiments - but just as often there will be no prefix.

The lowest 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion number I have is 2585 for Thomas Walker who joined the newly formd battalion on the 12th July 1908. His number though, dates to the time when he had joined the 3rd (Militia) Battalion on the 8th June 1899. In common with many newly forming special reserve and extra reserve battalions, the 3rd Border Regiment just continued with the same numberv series that had been used for the 3rd miltiia battalion and old militiamen now joining the new special reserve simply brough their old militia numbers with them.

Here then, are some numbers for the 3rd Border Regiment.

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, Border Regiment

2585 joined on 12th July 1908 (but the number dates to 1899)
3987 joined on 14th January 1909
4222 joined on 18th November 1910
4309 joined on 29th May 1911
4434 joined on 3rd January 1912
4887 joined on 4th October 1913
5022 joined on the 31st March 1914
5135 joined on 17th August 1914
5477 joined on the 3rd September 1914
6463 joined on the 19th October 1914

The regimental number series was unique to the 3rd Miltia/Special Reserve Battalion but care needs to be exercised when determining if a man's number belongs to this series or to the series that was issued from the regimental depot to men joining as career soldiers. For example, looking at the sequence above, it can be seen that the number 6000 would have been issued to a 3rd Bn man between September and October 1914. However, the same number would have been issued to a career soldier in the first quarter of 1899 and there were plenty of men who had enlisted as early as this who would still be liable to fight for King and Country in August 1914. See my article on regimental numbering in the 1st & 2nd Battalions of the Border Regiment.

And if all of this is still confusing, have a read of some of the articles towards the bottom of the Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 index.


Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for Border Regiment photos, check my British Army Ancestors website

Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) - Regimental numbering in the 3rd (Special Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions 1908-1914


Having concentrated a lot in recent months on various Territorial Force battalions, I'm going to look at regimental numbering in Special Reserve and Extra Reserve battalions. As I have written before, the Special Reserve and the Extra Reserve were the natural heirs to militia battalions which, for the most part they replaced. My 2009 article on the Creation of the Special Reserve in 1908 may be helpful here.

As far as the Scottish Rifles was concerned, its new 3rd (Special Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) replaced the 3rd and 4th Militia Battalions and the new battalions just continued with the same regimental numbering systems that had been used by their militia predecessors.

Remember, the men joining the militia and special/extra reserve were not career soldiers. They were men who had completed a period of training alongside career soldiers at the regimental depot but they then went back to their homes, turning out annually for drills and camp. Men of the Special Reserve signed up for six years' service and knew, in the event of war, that they would be called upon to fill gaps in the regular battalions. A glance at most 1914 Star rolls will show plenty of evidence of Special Reserve men who served alongside career soldiers. Sometimes their numbers are prefixed by the number of their battalion - typically a 3/ or 4/ in most line infantry regiments - but just as often there will be no prefix.

My summary below shows enlistment into the 3rd (Special Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). All of these men would have lived locally, within the recruiting area for the Cameronians. 

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, Scottish Rifles

3/6298 joined on 9th August 1908. This man had already been serving with the 3rd Militia Bn with this number.
3/6965 joined on 27th April 1909
3/7207 joined on 25th January 1910
3/7339 joined on 19th June 1911
3/7439 joined on 1st February 1912
3/7639 joined on 3rd December 1913
3/7753 joined on 11th August 1914

4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, Scottish Rifles

6510 joined on 9th August 1908
6740 joined on 14th February 1909
6979 joined on 12th April 1910
7052 joined on 16th October 1911
7077 joined on 10th January 1912
7094 joined on 6th March 1913
7234 joined on 17th February 1914
7453 joined on 11th August 1914

You can see from the sequences above that there was very little difference between the 3rd and 4th Battalions in terms of when numbers were issued. By the 11th August 1914 the 3rd Battalion had has 7753 men through its books, whilst the 4th Battalion had recruited precisely 300 fewer men. But the regimental number sequences were unique to both battalions and it is important to understand this.

Practically, this means that when looking at medal rolls and trying to work out enlistment dates, if your man had the number 7000 he could have been a 3rd Battalion man who joined between April 1909 and January 1910 or a 4th Battalion man who had joined between April 1910 and October 1911. On the other hand, he could have been a career soldier who had joined between February 1900 and May 1901. (See my post on the 1st & 2nd Battalions, Scottish Rifles).

And if all of this is still confusing, have a read of some of the articles towards the bottom of the Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 index.


Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for Scottish Rifles photos, check my British Army Ancestors websiteThe image shows men of the 1st Cameronians at Portsmouth in 1894 and is reproduced by courtesy of the Cameronians Museum.

Highland Light Infantry - 9th (Glasgow Highland) Bn - 1908-1914



This post will look at regimental numbering in the 9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry between 1908 and 1914.

The 9th Battalion, which had previously existed at the 5th (Glasgow Highland) Volunteer Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, was formed on the 1st April 1908. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 30 officers and 696 men. At the annual camp in 1908, 344 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 286 officers and men attended for 15 days. Private J Chisholm of D Company was the best shot of the battalion. 

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 31 officers and 1000 other ranks, a steady increase on the previous year, and in line with increases in other HLI Territorial Force Battalions. At the annual camp in 1909 438 officers and men attended for 8 days whilst 477 officers and men attended for 15 days. Serjeant J W Mathieson of A Company was the best shot of the battalion. Camp for 1910 was scheduled for Stirling from the 16th July.

The battalion was headquartered at 81 Greendyke Street, Glasgow and used the Drill Hall at Glasgow Green. There was a shooting range at Patterton, five miles from HQ. It too formed
 part of the Highland Light Infantry Brigade in the Lowland Division. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry.

457 joined on the 9th April 1908
815 joined on the 15th March 1909
1207 joined on the 23rd February 1910
1295 joined on the 16th January 1911
1457 joined on the 12th February 1912
1746 joined on the 7th April 1913
1949 joined on the 28th January 1914
2205 joined on the 6th August 1914

Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1568 he would have joined the battalion between February 1912 and April 1913.

The image that I have used for this post shows officers and men of the Highlnad Light Infantry on Laffans Plain. To search for photos of your Highland Light Infantry ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

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Highland Light Infantry - 7th (Blythswood) Bn - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th (Blythswood) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry between 1908 and 1914.

The 7th Battalion, which had previously existed at the 3rd (Blythswood) Volunteer Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, was formed on the 1st April 1908. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 29 officers and 571 men. At the annual camp in 1908, 20 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 460 officers and men attended for 15 days. Serjeant J Humphreys was the best shot of the battalion. 

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 31 officers and 928 other ranks, a significant increase on the previous year, and in line with increases in the 5th and 6th Battalions. At the annual camp at Gailes in 1909 257 officers and men attended for 8 days whilst 572 officers and men attended for 15 days. Private Doctor of E Company was the best shot of the battalion. Camp for 1910 was scheduled for Stirling from the 16th July.

The battalion was headquartered at 69 Main Street, Bridgeton and had drill halls at its HQ and another at Glasgow Green. There was a shooting range at Dechmont, Cambuslang, seven miles by road from HQ, or five miles by rail. Like the 5th & 6th Battalions, the 7th Battalion’s eight companies drew men from the city of Glasgow. It too formed
part of the Highland Light Infantry Brigade in the Lowland Division. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 7th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry.

29 joined on the 28th May 1908
637 joined on the 2nd March 1909
1201 joined on the 28th February 1910
1311 joined on the 20th February 1911
1391 joined on the 9th February 1912
1625 joined on the 18th April 1913
1714 joined on the 26th February 1914
2125 joined on the 7th August 1914

Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1234 he would have joined the battalion between February 1910 and February 1911.

The image that I have used for this post shows officers of the 3/7th Highland Light Infantry photographed in 1915. The photograph was published in The Tatler on the 15th December that year. To search for photos of your Highland Light Infantry ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

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Highland Light Infantry - 6th (City of Glasgow) Bn - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 6th (City of Glasgow) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry between 1908 and 1914.
 

The 6th Battalion, which had previously existed at the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, was formed on the 1st April 1908. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 23 officers and 562 men. At the annual camp in 1908, 135 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 366 officers and men attended for 15 days. Lance-Serjeant E Patience was the best shot of the battalion. 

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 21 officers and 974 men, a good increase on the previous year. At the annual camp in 1909 377 officers and men attended for 8 days whilst 553 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp for 1910 was scheduled for Stirling from the 16th July.

The battalion was headquartered at 172 Yorkhill Street, Glasgow and had drill halls at its HQ and another at Westend Park. There was a shooting range at Dechmont, Cambuslang, nine miles from HQ. Like the 5th Battalion, the battalion’s eight companies drew men from the city of Glasgow. It too formed
part of the Highland Light Infantry Brigade in the Lowland Division. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 6th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry.

425 joined on the 19th August 1908
603 joined on the 13th April 1909
1168 joined on the 3rd June 1910
1210 joined on the 2nd May 1911
1318 joined on the 6th May 1912
1469 joined on the 11th February 1913
1656 joined on the 27th January 1914
1839 joined on the 5th August 1914

Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1600 he would have joined the battalion between February 1913 and January 1914.
 

The image that I have used for this post shows men of the Highland Light Infantry in camp. To search for photos of your Highland Light Infantry ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website. 

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Highland Light Infantry - 5th (City of Glasgow) Bn - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (City of Glasgow) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry between 1908 and 1914.
 

The 5th Battalion, which had previously existed at the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, was formed on the 1st April 1908. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 20 officers and 397 men. At the annual camp in 1908, 109 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 265 officers and men attended for 15 days. 

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 28 officers and 949 men, a significant increase on the previous year. At the annual camp 166 officers and men attended for 8 days whilst 701 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp for 1910 was scheduled for Stirling from the 16th July.

The battalion was headquartered at 24 Hill Street, Garnethill, Glasgow and its eight companies drew men from the city of Glasgow.
The battalion formed part of the Highland Light Infantry Brigade in the Lowland Division. 

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 5th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry.

53 joined on the 3rd April 1908
432 joined on the 1st February 1909
1083 joined on the 11th March 1910
1187 joined on the 25th January 1911
1340 joined on the 8th May 1912
1377 joined on the 3rd February 1913
1591 joined on the 15th March 1914
1637 joined on the 4th August 1914

Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1200 he would have joined the battalion between January 1911 and May 1912. 

The image that I have borrowed for this post shows pipers of the Highland Light Infantry ‘in the park on the march’. To search for photos of your Highland Light Infantry ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

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30 May 2021

Devonshire Regiment - 7th (Cyclist) Bn (TF) - 1910-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 7th Battalion had no direct Volunteer Force predecessor although it had its nucleus in cyclist sections of the 1st and 5th Volunteer Force Battalions. The 7th Battalion (TF) was formed on the 11th June 1908 with the recruiting area defined as "not restricted, but preferably the south coast of Devon."

The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was eight officers and 252 men. 137 Sgt W D Pyne was the best shot of the battalion and at the annual camp in 1908, 104 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 96 officers and men attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 19 officers and 413 men. 128 Pte J L Mogridge was the best shot in 1909 and at the annual camp 108 officers and men attended for 8 days whilst 236 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp for 1910 was scheduled for Totnes from the 23rd July.

The battalion was headquartered at Exeter, and its eight companies drew men from the following areas.

A Company: Torquay, with a drill station at Broad Clyst

B Company: Exeter, with drill stations at Topsham and Woodbury

C Company: Exeter

D Company: Cullompton, with drill stations at Bradninch and Silverton
E Company: Crediton
F Company: Dartmouth
G Company: Plymouth
H Company: Torquay

The battalion was attached to Southern Command

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 7th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in Crediton and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to E Company, serving together in that company with men from the same area. 

I have fewer numbers in my 7th Devonshire Regiment database than for some other battalions and so I start here in 1910. Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 7th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment.


387 joined on the 8th March 1910
671 joined on the 11th May 1911
736 joined on the 12th March 1912
819 joined on the 26th February 1913
1005 joined on the 18th June 1914
1077 joined on the 7th August 1914
1155 joined on the 12th October 1914

1560 joined on the 7th November 1914

1625 joined on the 1st December 1914

Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1555 he would have joined the battalion between February 1911 and December 1912.

The undated image that I have borrowed for this post shows a First World War era cyclistTo search for photos of your Devonshire Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.


Remember. I research soldiers!

29 May 2021

Devonshire Regiment - 6th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 6th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 6th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908, taking in men from the former 4th Volunteer Battalion. It was headquartered at Barnstaple.

The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 25 officers and 523 men. At the annual camp in 1908, 243 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 207 officers and men attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 27 officers and 853 men. At the annual camp in 1909, 408 officers and men had attended for 8 days whilst 411 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Camp for 1910 was scheduled for West Down South from the 23rd July.

The battalion's eight companies drew men from the following areas.

A Company: Barnstaple, with a drill station at Muddiford

B Company: Okehampton, with drill stations at Hatherleigh, Bow, and Sticklepath
C Company: Bideford, with drill stations at Appledore, Parkham, and Hartland
D Company: Torrington, with drill stations at St Giles, Holsworthy, and Ashwater
E Company: South Molton, with drill stations at Witheridge, Molland, and Chittlehampton
F Company: Chulmleigh, with drill stations at Winkleigh, King's Nympton, Burrington, and Crediton
G Company: Combe Martin, with drill stations at Berrynarbor,Braunton and Croyde
H Company: Barnstaple

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 6th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in South Molton and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to E Company. (Note that such logic was largely abandoned after 4th August 1914).

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

386 joined on the 1st April 1908

665 joined on the 16th February 1909
1203 joined on the 28th April 1910
1442 joined on the 1st July 1911

1479 joined on the 22nd February 1912

1724 joined on the 9th June 1913

1825 joined on the 9th January 1914

2240 joined on the 26th August 1914

Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined the 6th Battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1500 he would have joined the battalion between February 1912 and June 1913.

The undated image on this post shows men of the 4th Battalion band. To search for photos of your Devonshire Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.


Remember. I research soldiers!

Devonshire Regiment - 5th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908, taking in men from the former 2nd and 5th (Hay Tor) Volunteer Battalions which had been amalgamated to meet the requirements of the Territorial Forces Act of 1907. It was headquartered at Millbay, Plymouth.

The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 33 officers and 693 men. Private F Slade of F Company (Torquay) was the best shot of the battalion and at the annual camp in 1908, 279 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 306 officers and men attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 37 officers and 821 men. Corporal W Coways was the best shot this year and at the annual camp at Whitchurch Down in 1909, 273 officers and men had attended for 8 days whilst 493 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Camp for 1910 was scheduled for West Down South from the 23rd July.

The battalion's eight companies drew men from the following areas.

A Company: Tavistock

B Company: Plymouth
C Company: Plymouth, with drill stations at Ivybridge & Kingsbridge
D Company: Devonport
E Company: Newton Abbot, with a drill station at Chudleigh
F Company: Teignmouth, with drill stations at dawlish and Torquay
G Company: Moretion Hampstead, with drill stations at Bovey Tracey and Chagford
H Company: Totnes, with drill stations at Ashburton and Buckfastleigh

The battalion formed part of the Devon & Cornwall Infantry Brigade in the Wessex Division.

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 5th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in Devonport and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to D Company. (Note that such logic was largely abandoned after 4th August 1914).

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


861 joined on the 20th November 1908

978 joined on the 17th March 1909
1044 joined on the 20th January 1910
1354 joined on the 22nd February 1911
1591 joined on the 2nd September 1913
1803 joined on the 26th May 1914

1887 joined on the 7th August 1914

2094 joined on the 3rd September 1914


Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1900 he would have joined the battalion between August and September 1914.

The undated image on this post shows men of the 4th Battalion band. To search for photos of your Devonshire Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.


Remember. I research soldiers!

Devonshire Regiment - 4th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908, taking in men from the former 1st and 3rd Volunteer Battalions which had been amalgamated to meet the requirements of the Territorial Forces Act of 1907. The 1st Volunteer Battalion claimed to be the oldest Volunteer Battalion.

The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 34 officers and 791 men. Private H Squires was the best shot of the battalion and at the annual camp at East Anstey in 1908, 403 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 222 officers and men attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 28 officers and 932 men. At the annual camp at Whitchurch Down in 1909, 463 officers and men had attended for 8 days whilst 260 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Camp for 1910 was scheduled for West Down South from the 23rd July.

The battalion was headquartered at Exeter, and its eight companies drew men from the following areas.

A Company: Exeter, with a drill station at Broad Clyst

B & C Companies: Exeter

D Company: Exmouth, with drill stations at Budleigh Salterton and Lympstone
E Company: Tiverton, with drill stations at Bampton and Dulverton
F Company: Sidmouth, with drill stations at Ottery St Mary, Newton Poppleford, Honiton and Colyton
G Company: Cullompton, with drill stations at Burelscombe and Uffculme
H Company: Axminster, with drill stations at Chardstock and Lyme Regis

The battalion formed part of the Devon & Cornwall Infantry Brigade in the Wessex Division.

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 4th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in Tiverton and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to E Company. (Note that such logic was abandoned after 4th August 1914).

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


33 joined on the 1st April 1908

429 joined on the 2nd March 1909
1394 joined on the 7th October 1910
1411 joined on the 20th February 1911
1772 joined on the 6th December 1912
2234 joined on the 6th November 1913
2279 joined on the 5th August 1914
2440 joined on the 5th September 1914

Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1555 he would have joined the battalion between February 1911 and December 1912.

The undated image on this post shows men of the 4th Battalion band. To search for photos of your Devonshire Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.


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5 April 2021

Cheshire Regiment - 7th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 7th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908, taking in men from the former 5th Volunteer Battalion. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 20 officers and 677 men. The battalion had firing ranges at Congleton, Macclesfield and Nantwich, and Sergeant G Barton was the best shot of the battalion. At the annual camp at Abergavenny in 1908, 203 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 642 officers and men attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 28 officers and 974 men. At the annual camp at Conway in 1909, 173 officers and men had attended for 8 days whilst 818 officers and men had attended for 15 days.

having been headquartered at Congleton in 1908 and 1909, by 1914 the battalion's HQ had re-located to Macclesfield, and the battalion's eight companies drew men from the following areas.

A Company: Congleton
B Company: Congleton, with a drill statioin at Bollington
C & D Companies: Macclesfield
E Company: Winsford
F Company: Nantwich, with a drill station at Crewe
G Company: Sandbach
H Company: Wilmslow

The battalion formed part of the Cheshire Infantry Brigade in the Welsh Division.

Understanding the company distribution is important if you know where your 7th Battalion soldier lived as it would likely suggest the company he served with. For instance, men living in Sandbach and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to H Company. (Note that such logic was abandoned after 4th August 1914).

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment.

34 joined on the 7th April 1908
1133 joined on the 31st March 1909
1232 joined on the 2nd December 1910
1251 joined on the 5th January 1911
1466 joined on the 30th May 1912
1573 joined on the 27th January1913
1888 joined on the 17th March 1914
2018 joined on the 6th August 1914

Use these regimental numbers to approximate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1234 he would have joined the battalion between December 1910 and January 1911. 

The photo on this post was originally published in The Tatler on the 20th October 1915 and shows officers of the 2/5th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment.

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