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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