In this post I will be looking at regimental numbering in the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Norfolk Regiment between 1908 and 1914.
On the 1st April 1908, the 5th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment was formed from what had previously been the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, Norfolk Regiment. The newly formed 5th (TF) Battalion was headquartered at East Dereham and distributed as follows:
A Company: King's Lynn
B Company: Downham, with drill stations at Hunstanton, Thornham, Hilgay and Stoke Ferry
C Company: Fakenham, with drill stations at Wells, Syderstone, Aylsham and Corpusty
D Company: Dereham, with drill stations at Castle Acre and Swaffham
E Company: Sandringham, with drill stations at Dersingham, Wolderton, Hillington and West Newton
F Company: Cromer, with drill stations at Melton Constable, Holt, Sheringham, North Walsham, and Gunton
G Company: Great Yarmouth
H Company: Great Yarmouth
By August 1914 the battalion formed part of the Norfolk & Suffolk Infantry Brigade in the East Anglian Division.
Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment:
353 joined on the 22nd April 1908
1323 joined on the 14th May 1910
1480 joined on the 10th May 1911
1582 joined on the 3rd January 1912
1816 joined on the 14th January 1913
2077 joined on the 13th January 1914
2187 joined on the 4th August 1914
A reserve or ‘second-line’ battalion was formed at East Dereham 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 was formed at East Dereham in early 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 1700 and lived in Holt he would have joined the battalion between January 1912 and January 1913 - and probably served with F Company.
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