23 April 2022

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment)

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, King’s (Liverpool Regiment) between 1908 and November 1914. 

Men signed up for six years' service on the understanding that they were "liable to be called out or detained whilst called up for training, in case of imminent national danger, or great emergency, on permanent service in the United Kingdom, or elsewhere..." and furthermore that they "could be detained in army service for the unexpired portion of [their] term of service in the Army Reserve and for a further period not exceeding 12 months..." And when Britain went to war in August 1914 that is exactly what happened. Men in the Special Reserve were called up and were soon forming drafts to replace casualties in the regular battalions which, in the case of the King’s (Liverpool Regiment), were the 1st and 2nd Battalions. 

The regimental numbering sequence used by the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion was entirely separate from the numbering series used by the 1st and 2nd Battalions and separate also from the numbering system in the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions. Both the 3rd and the 4th Battalions had been created in April 1908 with the demise of the 3rd and 4th (Militia) Battalions. Use these sample regimental numbers to ascertain when a man would have joined the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, King’s (Liverpool Regiment). 

9272 joined on the 30th June 1908 
9542 joined on the 24th June 1909 
9732 joined on the 4th March 1910 
9851 joined on the 18th April 1911 
10030 joined on the 5th January1912 
10290 joined on the 19th February 1913 
3/10628 joined on the 6th August 1914 
3/11991 joined on the 12th September 1914 
3/12339 joined on the 1st October 1914 
3/12628 joined on the 2nd November 1914 

The 3/ prefix was used inconsistently and it can therefore be confusing at times when it comes to trying to ascertain, from a man's regimental number alone, whether he was a regular soldier or a man who had originally joined the Special Reserve. For instance, whilst the number 9851, above, was issued to a Special Reservist in April 1911, the same number would have been issued to a man signing up as a regular in 1907.

For photos of King's (Liverpool Regiment) soldiers don't forget to check out my British Army Ancestors website.

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