16 February 2021

Black Watch - 7th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th (Fife) Battalion (TF), The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) between 1908 and 1914.

The 7th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 6th (Fifeshire) Volunteer Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 38 officers and 701 men. Sergeant A Wilkie of H Company was the best shot of the unit. 524 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 139 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 34 officers and 1002 men and at the annual camp at Largoward in 1909, 675 officers and men had attended for eight days whilst 167 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Private H Dexter of C Company was the best shot of the unit. Camp in 1910 was scheduled from the 16th July at Kinghorn.

By August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at St Andrews with recruits drawn from the following areas:

A Company: Dunfermline
B Company: Lochgelly
C Company: Kircaldy
D Company: Cowdenbeath
E Company: Cupar, with drill stations at Newburgh, Auchtermucht and Abernethy
F Company: Leven with drill stations at Colinsburgh and Largoward
G Company: St Andrews, with drill stations at Guardbridge, Anstruther and Crail
H Company: Leslie, with drill stations at Markinch and Thornton

The battalion formed part of the Black Watch Infantry Brigade with Scottish Coast Defences.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 7th Battalion (TF), The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders).

61 joined on the 2nd April 1908
746 joined on the 27th January 1909
1294 joined on the 31st March 1910
1397 joined on the 25th January 1911
1655 joined on the 11th April 1912
1786 joined on the 14th January 1913
2025 joined on the 30th April 1914
2083 joined on the 6th August 1914

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's number was 1500 he would have joined the battalion between January 1911 and April 1912.

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To search for photos of your Black Watch ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.


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