30 May 2021

Devonshire Regiment - 7th (Cyclist) Bn (TF) - 1910-1914


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 7th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment between 1908 and 1914.

The 7th Battalion had no direct Volunteer Force predecessor although it had its nucleus in cyclist sections of the 1st and 5th Volunteer Force Battalions. The 7th Battalion (TF) was formed on the 11th June 1908 with the recruiting area defined as "not restricted, but preferably the south coast of Devon."

The Territorial Year Book for 1909 recorded that the battalion strength was eight officers and 252 men. 137 Sgt W D Pyne was the best shot of the battalion and at the annual camp in 1908, 104 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 96 officers and men attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength was 19 officers and 413 men. 128 Pte J L Mogridge was the best shot in 1909 and at the annual camp 108 officers and men attended for 8 days whilst 236 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp for 1910 was scheduled for Totnes from the 23rd July.

The battalion was headquartered at Exeter, and its eight companies drew men from the following areas.

A Company: Torquay, with a drill station at Broad Clyst

B Company: Exeter, with drill stations at Topsham and Woodbury

C Company: Exeter

D Company: Cullompton, with drill stations at Bradninch and Silverton
E Company: Crediton
F Company: Dartmouth
G Company: Plymouth
H Company: Torquay

The battalion was attached to Southern Command

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 Crediton and wishing to join this battalion would have logically been assigned to E Company, serving together in that company with men from the same area. 

I have fewer numbers in my 7th Devonshire Regiment database than for some other battalions and so I start here in 1910. Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the 7th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment.


387 joined on the 8th March 1910
671 joined on the 11th May 1911
736 joined on the 12th March 1912
819 joined on the 26th February 1913
1005 joined on the 18th June 1914
1077 joined on the 7th August 1914
1155 joined on the 12th October 1914

1560 joined on the 7th November 1914

1625 joined on the 1st December 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 1555 he would have joined the battalion between February 1911 and December 1912.

The undated image that I have borrowed for this post shows a First World War era cyclistTo search for photos of your Devonshire Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.


Remember. I research soldiers!


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