5 March 2021

Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) - 5th Battalion (TF) - 1908-1914


In this post I will look at regimental numbering in the 5th Battalion (TF), The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 1st Lanarkshire Volunteer Rifle Corps. The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was 40 officers and 592 men. Sergeant D Reid was the best shot of the unit. Thirty officers and 339 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days, with eight officers and 123 men attending for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 37 officers and 896 men and at the annual camp at Troon in 1909, 531 officers and men had attended for eight days whilst 313 officers and men had attended for 15 days. Colour-Sergeant Instructor Kensit was the best shot of the unit. Camp in 1910 was scheduled from the 16th July at Denny.

The battalion was headquartered at 261 West Princes Street, Glasgow and, togther with the 7th and 8th Battalions of the same regiment, was administered by the City of Glasgow County Association. The battalion drew all of its recruits from the City of Glasgow and 
formed part of the Scottish Rifle Brigade with the Lowland Division.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th Battalion (TF), The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). Unlike the majority of newly formed Territorial Force battalions, the 5th Scottish Rifles did not start a new regimental number series from 1 but carried on from where the old Volunteer Force numbering had left off.

5161 joined on the 13th April 1908
5882 joined on the 22nd March 1909
6106 joined on the 17th February 1910
6268 joined on the 15th March 1911
6345 joined on the 23rd February 1912
6601 joined on the 9th May 1913
6736 joined on the 27th January 1914
6820 joined on the 5th August 1914

The battalion reached the number 9999 in September 1915 and then commenced a new number series beginning from 1. (So beware gleeful eBay sellers proclaiming "low number!" when selling their 5th Battalion Scottish Rifles medals. Here, a low number does not equal an early enlistment. Gets me every time).

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 6000 he would have joined the battalion between March 1909 and February 1910. 

The photo on this post shows officers of the 1/5th Battalion. It was published in The Tatler on the 28th April 1915.

Also see these related posts:


Remember. I research soldiers!

To search for photos of your Scottish Rifles ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.


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