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!

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