23 April 2022

4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment)

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, King’s (Liverpool Regiment) between 1908 and August 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 Extra 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 4th (Extra 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 3rd (Special 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 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, King’s (Liverpool Regiment). 

7072 joined on the 19th July 1908 
4/8153 joined on the 20th January 1909 
8423 joined on the 6th April 1910 
8652 joined on the 13th March1912 
8810 joined on the 25th July 1913 
8909 joined on the 18th March1914 
9103 joined on the 4th August 1914 

The 4/ 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 Extra Reserve. For instance, whilst the number 9103, above, was issued to an Extra Reservist in August 1914, the same number would have been issued to a man signing up as a regular in 1904.

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

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