17 January 2016

DVD-ROM bargains - Quick sharp now!

Naval and Military Press has these current DVD-ROM bargains. I have a number of these myself - and rather wish I'd invested in the Military Operations, France & Belgium instead of filling up my bookshelves with red-spined volumes. You can buy the DVD of these volumes for £180. I think I was paying around £30 a time when I was buying these Battery Press / IWM imprints in the eighties and nineties. My incomplete set goes up to the end of 1917 and takes up eighteen inches of bookshelf. What's more, I need to refer to indexes to find what I need. Here on a single DVD-ROM, you have everything at your fingertips - and it's fully searchable. After 25th January, this will cost £45 more, so make the most of it now.
Military Operations France & Belgium
The other stand-out publication here is the War Diaries' DVD-ROM: 4,500 separate war diaries of battalions which fought on the Western Front, comprising 1.52m pages in full colour - £360 now or £450 after 25th January. I was looking at my copy this afternoon - so much easier to search than on Ancestry. Remember too, that Naval & Military Press offers an interest-free easy-payment scheme where you can spread payments across four or ten months. Well, why wouldn't you?
War Diaries 1914-1918
All of these DVD-ROM and CD-ROMs  - not to mention the books from Naval & Military Press's extensive back-catalogue are offered with a 20% discount until 25th January 2016 - so you'll need to be quick to catch these deals.

Here's a list of the titles with links to each of them.

16 January 2016

6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons - Boer War transfers

Here's an interesting little diversion. When the Army Reserve was called out in 1899 in response to the crisis in South Africa, the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons were under strength. Other Corps of Dragoons regiments however, appear to have had men to spare. The result? Some men recalled from the 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards, were transferred into the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons upon their recall. Furthermore, there was nothing ad hoc about it. An examination of the regimental numbers shows that this was a well-planned out exercise.

6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons men with numbers in the range 5001 to 5178 are almost all recalled reservists. I say "almost all" because, just to make things awkward, 5004 certainly enlisted in April 1903. However, for the most part, all of these men were specially numbered out of sequence in late 1899 and early 1900. Their entries on the QSA and KSA medal rolls stand out like sore thumbs, and furthermore, there is a pre-planned and logical method in this re-numbering. There are some anomalies, to be sure - note, for instance that Karl and Roughan are oddities in the first, and otherwise alphabetical listing, below. Such is the British Army: exceptions to most rules.

The list which follows is taken from the QSA roll to the 6th Dragoons. Those men with annotated comments after their names have surviving papers in WO 97.

Numbers 5001 to 5052 were issued to men who had formerly served with the 1st Dragoons:

5001 Private Walter James Agland. Formerly 3130 1st Dns
5002 Private Harry Leonard Ashton. Formerly 3213 1st Dns
5003 Private W Baldwin
5005 Private W Cheeseman
5006 Corporal H Karl. QSA roll notes "deceased"
5006 Private T Creswell
5007 Private Harry Christensen. Formerly 3079 1st Dns
5008 Private J Campbell
5009 Private W Clarke
5010 Private J Capel
5011 Private Oswald Stephen Roughan. Also 10057 Royal Artillery
5012 Private C Dundrow
5013 Private P Devine
5015 Private T Dixon
5017 Private W Edmunds
5018 Private George William Evans. Formerly 3328 1st Dns (formerly 3371 3rd DG)
5019 Private W Edwards
5020 Private Charles Henry Edsall. Formerly 3040 1st Dns
5021 Private C E Evans
5023 Private George Freebury. Formerly 3142 1st Dns
5024 Private G Fenton
5025 Private R Fenwick
5026 Private Frederick Garrard. Formerly 3298 1st Dns
5027 Corporal G Groombridge
5028 Private G Gorett
5029 Private James Grattage. Formerly 3155 1st Dns
5030 Corporal Charles Grattage
5031 Private A Geal
5032 Private Luke Graham. Formerly 3121 1st Dns
5033 Private J Garlick
5034 Private P Glen
5035 Private Albert Edward Horne. Formerly 3300 1st Dns
5036 Sergeant D Hartland
5037 Corporal W Smith
5038 Private T H Smith
5039 Private William Alfred Stacey. Formerly 3135 1st Dns
5040 Private James Sweeney. Formerly 3137 1st Dns
5041 Private A Spratley
5042 Private A Shead
5043 Private T Williams
5044 Private Samuel Wagland. Formerly 3139 1st Dns
5045 Sergeant Charles Robert Sidney Milnes. Formerly 3222 1st Dns
5046 Private J Mustart
5047 Corporal Shoeing Smith Henry Taylor Parmenter. Formerly 3233 1st Dns
5048 Private Ernest Henry Herbert Jackson. Formerly 3234 1st Dns
5049 Private J Lawrence
5050 Private James King. Formerly 3138 1st Dns
5051 Private W Leedham
5052 Private Henry King. Formerly 3033 1st Dns

Numbers 5053 to 5063 were issued to former 2nd Dragoons men:

5053 Private Arthur Johnson. Formerly 3090 2nd Dns
5054 Corporal Albert Jenner. Formerly 3161 2nd Dns
5055 Private J Mathews
5057 Private J Kaberry
5058 Private C Brown
5059 Private Peter Dick. Formerly 3048 2nd Dns
5060 Private J Dalziel
5061 Private J Chapman
5062 Private George Louis Holder. Formerly 3135 2nd Dns
5063 Corporal Robert Raphael Birnie. Formerly 3031 2nd Dns

Numbers 5064 to at least 5156 were issued to former 4th Dragoon Guards men:

5064 Private Alfred Andrew. Formerly 3891 4th DG
5065 Sergeant Abberthue George Alliston. Formerly 3801 4th DG
5066 Private M Butler
5067 Private Albert Edward Broughton. Formerly 3823 4th DG
5068 Private William Bogle. Formerly 3785 4th DG
5069 Private H Beardswood
5070 Private J Manning
5070 Private W Jeffries QSA roll notes "deceased"
5071 Private Charles Curry. Formerly 3979 4th DG
5072 Private W W Felstead
5073 Lance-Corporal William Coleman. Formerly 3884 4th DG
5074 Private Thomas Crouch. Formerly 3848 4th DG
5075 Private Harry Clarke. Formerly 3849 4th DG
5076 Corporal George Cheek. Formerly 3852 4th DG
5077 Private William Alexander Carson. Formerly 3864 4th DG
5078 Corporal William Needs. Formerly 3832 4th DG
5079 Private J Carmichael
5081 Private C Day
5082 Private R W Epps
5083 Corporal E Ellison
5084 Private A Eager
5085 Private C Foster
5086 Corporal Fred Flowers. Formerly 3887 4th DG
5086 Private John Fortune. Formerly 3813 4th DG
5087 Private E H Osborne
5089 Private Albert Gunn. Formerly 3781 4th DG
5090 Private P Gardener
5091 Corporal C Hawkesworth
5092 Private J Hanvil
5093 Private A Hamill
5094 Private F O Jefferies. Formerly 3877 4th DG
5095 Private E Jeater
5096 Private William Lyons. Formerly 3899 4th DG
5097 Private H Love
5098 Private E Murphy
5099 Lance-Corporal J McClintock
5100 Private J Reilly
5101 Private Charles Stanley George Ralph. Formerly 3857 4th DG
5102 Sgt Farrier T Starsmeare
5103 Private C Mitchell
5104 Private Edward Lawlor. Formerly 3866 4th DG
5105 Corporal E Perrin
5105 Private J Mitchell
5106 Private Arthur McCartney
5107 Private James Thomas O'Hare. Formerly 3755 4th DG
5108 Private T Byrne
5109 Private J Smith
5110 Private A Page
5111 Corporal T Smith
5112 Private F H Smith
5113 Private M Tustin
5114 Private Justin Lawrence William White. Formerly 3812 4th DG
5115 Shoeing-Smith George Edwin Peacock. Formerly 3587 4th DG
5116 Private J Polden
5117 Corporal E J Russell
5117 Private S Padgham
5118 Private C W Robinson
5119 Private Frederick Smith. Formerly 3476 4th DG
5120 Private S Spong
5121 Private E Tatam
5122 Private W Watkins
5123 Private C E Perry
5124 Private S Stott
5125 Corporal George James Spanswick. Formerly 3565 4th DG
5126 Private W E Wedlock
5126 Private John Shevlin Formerly. 3635 4th DG
5126 Private John Thompson. Formerly 3998 4th DG
5129 Private T Quinlan
5130 Private Charles Osborn. Formerly 3689 4th DG
5131 Private Thomas Paisley. Formerly 3634 4th DG
5132 Private John Quinn. Formerly 3771 4th DG
5133 Private E Reed
5134 Private W J Shaw
5135 Private W Slavin
5136 Private H Smith. (3696 Herbert Smith, formerly 4th DG is either 5136 or 5137)
5137 Private H Smith
5138 Private J Stevens
5139 Private F G Stinchcombe
5139 Lance-Sergeant Andrew Quinn. Formerly 3369 4th DG
5140 Private Ernest Taylor. Formerly 3350 4th DG
5141 Private Albert Turner. Formerly 3541 4th DG
5142 Private Harry Unsworth. Formerly 3185 4th DG
5143 Corporal William Horace Ward. Formerly 3504 4th DG
5144 Private J Wickins
5145 Private Harry Windebank. Formerly 3558 4th DG
5146 Private M Whittle
5147 Private M Saunders
5148 Private Thomas Ward. Formerly 3532 4th DG
5149 Private John Williams. Formerly 3503 4th DG
5151 Private Herbert Charles Turley. Formerly 3816 4th DG
5152 Private Malcolm Rainey. Formerly 3669 4th DG
5153 Private Henry Smith. Formerly 3787 4th DG
5154 Private Frank Price. Formerly 3472 4th DG
5156 Lance-Corporal Alfred Edward Trinder. Formerly 3902 4th DG

Numbers 5157 (possibly) to 5178 were issued to former 4th Dragoon Guards men who had completed their time on Section B Army Reserve and had re-enlisted for Section D Army Reserve. This is entirely right and proper as the regulations stated that Section D men were to be recalled after Section B men.

5157 Private A Thompson
5160 Private J Willoughby
5161 Private C C Smith
5162 Private J Clemo
5163 Private Patrick Doyle. Formerly 3185 4th DG, Section D Reservist
5164 Lance-Corporal Robert Ives. Formerly 3270 4th DG, Section D Reservist
5165 Private Henry Rose. Formerly 3313 4th DG, Section D Reservist
5166 Private W Ritchie
5167 Private T Buckley
5170 Private Harry Haimer. Formerly 3169 4th DG, Section D Reservist
5178 Private T Wilson

Another interesting to point to note is that on none of the surviving papers that I came across are the men's new 6th Dragoons numbers written. It is clearly stated that they were recalled from the Army Reserve, but the new regimental number has not over-written their former regimental number.

Need help with your own British Army research? Read the RESEARCH page and then drop me line.

13 January 2016

1st Highland Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, TF

This is something of a work in progress and I only stumbled upon these number series when I was doing some research on a DCM winner for a friend.

The 1st Highland Brigade comprised the 1st, 2nd and 3rd City of Aberdeen Batteries and the 1st Highland Ammunition Column. Here's the important point. Despite all being administered by the same County Territorial Force Association, the City of Aberdeen, each of the batteries and the ammunition column operated their own regimental number series. I have not researched this unit much beyond November 1915 but here's what I have found out so far.

1st City of Aberdeen Battery
Started numbering from 1 in April 1908 from a number series extending to 999. When the TF was re-numbered in 1917, the battery issued numbers between 630001 to 630300.

2nd City of Aberdeen Battery
Started numbering from 1000 in April 1908 from a number series extending to 3000. When the TF was re-numbered in 1917, the battery issued numbers between 630301 to around 630574.

3rd City of Aberdeen Battery
Started numbering from around 3001 in around 1911 (I am unclear when this battery was formed)from a number series extending to 4000. When the TF was re-numbered in 1917, the battery issued numbers from around 630575.

1st Highland Ammunition Column
Started numbering from the high 3000s in April 1908. The lowest number on my database is 4005 issued in 1911.  When the TF was re-numbered in 1917, the battery issued numbers from around 630840.

The significance of understanding this, particularly if your RFA ancestor was serving in the 1st Highland Brigade before late November 1915 is that if you know his regimental number, you'll also be able to identify which battery he served with, or whether in fact he served with the ammunition column.

For instance the men with the regimental numbers 289 (1st City of Aberdeen Battery), 1276 (2nd City of Aberdeen Battery), 3340 (3rd City of Aberdeen Battery) and 4128 (1st Highland Ammunition Column) - all of these units forming the 1st Highland Brigade RFA - enlisted in 1911.

Treat the number ranges above with a little caution. This is not an exact science, but I have enough data to be able to see significant patterns emerging for this Territorial Force artillery brigade in Aberdeen.

Hit a brick wall? I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective
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2 January 2016

4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards - PoW Other Ranks 1914

The 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards holds the distinction of being the first British Regiment to fire a shot during the First World War and Corporal Edward Thomas, pictured above, was the man credited with firing that shot.

The following men were all serving with the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards when they became prisoners of war of the Germans on or before Christmas Day 1914. There are 78 names in this list. Read more about this Prisoner of War data source on my 1914 PoWs page.

This data has been transcribed from three separate lists (B.O.2 1/47 to B.O.2 1/49 inclusive)which are now housed at the Imperial War Museum.

This is an edited list, giving number, rank and name only. The full transcription also includes date of capture and home address or next of kin address for most men. Supplementary information is also included for a number of the men listed here. If you would like a copy of the full, un-edited list for £10, please contact me via the RESEARCH tab on this blog.

4781 Private J W Agar
1003 Private W Arthur
5234 Private E A Badcock
6140 Private A E Bailey
3526 Private A Benton
4716 Private L H Bittleston
3102 Private A Blades
7940 Lance-Corporal R Bruce
4603 Lance-Corporal E W Buckland
3017 Private H Burgess
2662 Corporal C Burr
8039 Private R Cade
3933 Private J J Cheeseman
2951 Shoeing Smith A T Cook
4866 Lance-Corporal R N Cornall
2661 Trumpeter / Pte E G Coventry
7931 Private T R Cumber
4865 Private F B De Vriese
4002 Private J B Dinsmore
5088 Private G Evans
5067 Private R French
5121 Sergeant W Gardner
1025 Private H Gray
6106 Private J Grimes
5422 Private P Halford
7755 Private J Hanley
5113 Private A R Hardy
4521 SQMS W Harnett
4985 Lance-Corporal J Harrison
2786 Private E W Harvey
5149 Private H W C Hedges
1067 Private A Hewett
1055 Corporal H Hope
8138 Private J J Hopkins
2170 Private J W Hornsey
1078 Lance-Corporal G Knight
6196 Private T C Laidlaw
8300 Private C F Lee
6474 Private F F MacDonald
6960 Private T Marygold
3930 Private W Merryweather
2963 Private F J Milborrow
5139 Private G Morton
8648 Private F Mott
4940 Lance-Corporal J Murphy
3101 Private A S Nicholls
5806 Private A H Osborne
5191 Private G W Palmer
2361 Trumpeter J Patterson
5485 Private E Penfold
5373 Private W Pennington
2928 Private F A Piercey
5169 Private J Priddey
7742 Private C M Raymond
4732 Private E Robb
7463 Private R Robinson
6656 Private A Scriven
1079 Private F W Seago
4803 Private H J Searle
5306 Private E St Ledger
6109 Private J Starr
6832 Private H Stretton
3918 Private W H Sullivan
5404 Private G H Tanner
7923 Private A V Taylor
4911 Private E J O Thunder
5915 Lance-Corporal J A Turner
5214 Lance-Corporal W F Upton
4410 Corporal J Varley
3466 Lance-Sergeant T J Vaughan
3845 Private J Veasey
6042 Private J W Vincent
6096 Private W J E Vincent
6001 Private R Wallington
6001 Private R Wallington
2855 Private R H Webb
7010 Private J E Wright
5377 Private J Wyeth

The photograph of Corporal Thomas published on this post was first published in the magazine series, The Great War, I Was There.

29 December 2015

The importance of regimental numbers in military research

This is a well-worn topic on this blog but it doesn't harm to go over the basics again once in a while. And before I forget, the image above is borrowed from the Postcards of Cornwall website and shows men from Section 4, A Company, 10th DCLI photographed in 1915.

The reason I began my study of regimental numbers in the first place was that for many of the men I was researching at the time, a regimental number on a medal card / medal roll was all I had. Knowing how particular the army was I felt sure that there must have been a system in place when it came to issuing regimental numbers and that if I could crack the code, a man's regimental number could tell me quite a bit.

Over the years I  have built a database of men with known enlistment and/or transfer dates and the regimental numbers they were issued with. I did this for the majority of all infantry of the line battalions and for all other corps except the Army service Corps and Labour Corps. My study embraced all branches of the army: regular, militia, special reserve, extra reserve, Volunteer Force (partial), Territorial Force, Yeomanry and New Army (from 1914). I have published a fraction of this research on this blog.

So here's an example of what I mean. The eight names listed above are the first eight results you get if you run a blank search of "Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry" on Ancestry's medal index card collection. The DCLI appears to be one of the worst affected regiments when it comes to surviving documents from 1914-1918 and so understanding when numbers were issued for this regiment becomes particularly important. Here's what I make of the numbers:

36689 Percival H Abbiss
Some papers survive in WO 363 but documents dealing with his transfer to DCLI do not survive. From my database, 36689 dates to October 1917

38115 Albert E Abbott
No service record survives. The number dates to late November 1917.

5288/201891 Albert S Abbott
No service record survives. The six-digit number marks this man as a member of the 4th (Territorial Force) Battalion. Papers survive in WO 364 and show that this man enlisted in April 1916, although he had attested earlier, in December 1915, under the Derby Scheme. My army service numbers database also identifies patterns of Derby Scheme enlistments.

6326 Alfred Abbott
Some papers survive in WO 364 which show that this man was discharged from The Norfolk Regiment in June 1917. The papers show that this man enlisted in 1891 and again in October 1914. The 1891 enlistment cannot have been when he was issued with the number 6326 and therefore this number must have been issued in October 1914. The only battalion that this can have been was the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion.

676/240010 Arthur W Abbott
No service record survives. The six-digit number marks this man as a member of the 5th (TF) Battalion and an enlistment date of June 1908. This man was probably an original member of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion which pre-dated the 5th (TF) Battalion. By the time he was issued with his new six-digit number in 1917, he was the 10th longest serving man in the battalion.

28818 Fred Abbott
No service record survives. The number dates to September 1916.

23049 George Abbott
No service record survives. The number dates to August 1915.

27960 George Abbott
No service record survives. The number dates to May 1916.

So there you have it in a simple blog post: eight good reasons why regimental numbers are important.

I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information.

27 December 2015

Lancashire Fusiliers - PoW Other Ranks 1914

The following men were all serving with the 2nd Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers when they became prisoners of war of the Germans on or before Christmas Day 1914. There are 162 names in this list.  Read more about this Prisoner of War data source on my 1914 PoWs page.

This data has been transcribed from the following sources which are now housed at the Imperial War Museum:

1. B.O.2 1/248 is a six-page typed document from The Lancashire Fusiliers Prisoners of war Regimental Care Committee. Dated 4th January 1919.

2. B.O.2 1/251 is a three-page typed document from officer i/c No 1. Infantry Records, No 3 District. Dated 2nd March 1919.

Some men appear on both lists, Typically one list will give the man's home address whilst the other will record next of kin and next of kin address.

Note the variation in regimental numbers in the list which follows. The Lancashire Fusiliers reached 9999 in November 1903 and immediately commenced a new series beginning from 1. By August 1914, numbering in the two regular battalions had reached around 2900.  Knowing this information we can guess that most, if not all, of the men in the list below with numbers between 1 and 2900 enlisted between November 1903 and August 1914 whilst most of, if not all of, the men with numbers between 2900 and 9999 are pre-November 1903 enlistments and would, for the most part be men who had either re-engaged to complete 21 years with the colours or who had joined Section D of the Army Reserve at the end of their 12-year colour/reserve service.

The two Company Sergeant Majors on this list who have the numbers 5290 and 5358 both joined the regiment in 1895 and would have been well on the way to receiving their LSGC medals at the time of capture. Colour Sergeant Frederick Byford, on the other hand, had joined the regiment in June 1889 as a 14-year-old and was already in possession of medals for the Sudan and the Boer War as well as the LSGC. He would be repatriated in 1917 and would finally be discharged from the army in 1920 after over 30 years' service.

I say "most, if not all of, the men..." Bear in mind that some of the men in the list below could have been original members of the 3rd (Special Reserve) or 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions and may have been posted as part of a draft to the 2nd Battalion. These two battalions, when formed in 1908, had picked up the numbering sequences of their militia predecessors and new recruits who joined between 1908 and 1914 would have been given numbers in the 3000/4000 range.

The full transcription is available for sale as a download or CD for £10. Contact me
if you would like to purchase a copy.

2642 Private T Ainscough
9944 Private T Ainsworth
690 Private J Anscombe
9189 Private W Ashton
6746 Private F Ashworth
6924 Private Henry Ballard
9587 Private J Banks
2359 Private W C Barr
9435 Pte Stephen Barrett
2636 Private A E Batchelor
991 Private G W Bilton
9720 Private A Blake
2530 Private A Blue
1706 Sergeant Arthur H Bond
155 Private J Bramble
1301 Private N Briggs
2721 Private R Briggs
1456 Private R Bunting
614 Private H Burgess
9096 Private J Burke
9017 Private W Butcher
3019 Colour-Sergeant Frederick Byford
395 Private J Byrne
1612 Private J Callaghan
9921 Private Hugh Campbell
1158 Corporal George Cannon
1402 Sergeant A Carrington
730 Private S Chance
9630 Private J Clough
9555 Corporal John F Clowes
706 Private J Collins
191 Private Joseph Collins
2855 Private P Collins
9806 Private John Connell
141 Private G Cooke
40 Pte Ernest Corbett
2730 Private J Cox
9183 Corporal W Crossley
57 Private E Daley
9287 Pte Edward Daly
9924 Private A J De Massey
749 Private James Dennehy
9998 Private F J Dowding
318 Lance-Corporal J Doyle
9126 Private C Eachus
2808 Private J Eckersley
171 Private R Edmondson
2573 Private W E Fawley
2522 Corporal R Fellows
196 Private J Fenny
2796 Private C Fenton
2107 Private E Firth
9709 Pte William Fitton
9200 Private J G Fleming
9771 Private Harry D Funnell
850 Private F Gannon
519 Private J Gethings
9041 Private J W Gill
626 Private J Gorman
250 Private A Green
9892 Private T Grundy
68 Private F Hall
439 Private H Hall
2437 Private H R Hall
2413 Private T Hall
9667 Private D Hallam
9253 Private B Hamer
6840 Private J Hanlon
618 Private E Hanson
30 Private M E Hardman
6267 Private J Hart
1719 Private L Hatson
990 Corporal H Hemsley
9651 Pte John Henry
886 Private J Heyes
9915 Private B Hill
9302 Corporal H Hilton
9776 Private P Hines
2841 Private J Hogan
180 Private R Holding
2549 Private George Holland
1470 Private W E Hooper
9780 Private H Horwood
9311 Private J Howard
2851 Private George Hurst
682 Private R Hurst
1684 Private G Inch
156 Private A Jackson
9411 Private P Jeffers
157 Private T Jennings
2799 Lance-Corporal C Johnson
77 Private R
377 Lance-Corporal P J Jordon
1580 Corporal P Keegan
751 Private T Kerfoot
9875 Private G Knight
39 Private W G Lawrence
9136 Private W Leah
2660 Private M Lee
125 Private P Logan
304 Private Thomas H Lowe
2794 Private W L Lupton
2862 Private R G Magin
1013 Private H Mann
502 Pte James Markland
351 Private G Marsden
2837 Pte Thomas Mason
2491 Corporal A Massey
5290 CSM C J R Maxwell
9477 Private M McBride
9477 Private M McBride
9139 Private C McCormick
5358 CSM H McCready
9441 Private T Melia
9465 Private W Metcalf
82 Private G Mottershead
329 Sergeant H Mowbray
1009 Corporal J Mullen
9293 Private T Nuttall
1476 Private A E Oliver
9882 Private G W Oliver
9157 Pte Benjamin I Steele
19 Private C T O'Malley
158 Private R Orrell
2760 Private H Osborne
9067 Private T W Owen
8800 Private J Park
9294 Private J C Paul
9047 Private J H Pearce
1901 Private W J Pembery
264 Private C Preston
9357 Private W H Price
9092 Corporal W Riley
9040 Private T Rogers
720 Sergeant Stanley H Sayer
9394 Private H Sherrin
2765 Private G Snape
9303 Private R Stansfield
6399 Private J Steel
306 Private G Tarrant
9680 Private J W Taylor
9389 Corporal R Thomas
9606 Private J Tobin
9444 Private E Toole
297 Private H Travers
9881 Corporal P Tumhelty
8765 Private R Turnbull
8656 Private R Waddington
5526 Private J Walker
9061 Private E Walmsley
631 Private John Walters
276 Private J Watthey
553 Private S Waugh
1435 Private H W Wheeler
2529 Private J White
9958 Lance-Corporal A Wilson
2456 Private H W Wilson
2833 Private Harry Wilson
330 Private T Winstanley
2579 Private C F Wooten
2908 Private J Worsley
2644 Lance-Corporal F L Wyatt

I also offer a comprehensive, fast and cost-effective military history research service. Follow the link for more information. 

24 December 2015

Army Service Numbers 1881-1918: one million views and counting

Yesterday, seven years after I launched this blog, it received its millionth view. In those seven years I have published 426 posts - and you're reading the 427th post now.

More importantly, over the last seven years, I have tried to make sense of the regimental numbering system in the British Army. 1881 was my starting point because this was the year which saw the demise of the old regiments of foot and their re-birth as county or territorial regiments, a process which had begun nine years earlier. I chose 1918 as my end point because it marked the end of the First World War, although it would have actually made more sense to put the end date at 1920 which was when, actually, regimental numbers were replaced by army numbers.

Correctly then, were I starting this exercise again, I would probably have called this blog, British Army regimental numbers 1881-1920. Semantics aside, however, I am pleased that the  information published here has been useful. Understand too, that what is published here is a fraction of the information I have researched over the years. I set out on this exercise initially because I was frustrated that so many of the men I was researching from the Sussex village of Chailey had no surviving service records. For the majority, all that survived was a medal index card and medal rolls and most of these told me very little about when the man had joined the army. At that time too, with a few notable exceptions (Graham Stewart and David Langley in particular), general opinion was that regimental numbers told you very little. I hope that I have proven that opinion to be flawed.

The posts on this blog have mostly concentrated on the period 1881-1914. Regimental numbering certainly becomes more complicated, and more interesting in many respects, from August 1914, and worthy of study in its own right is the response of the army as a whole and regiments in particular, to the challenges brought about by mass recruiting and the formation of brand new battalions. Regiments dealt with this challenge in different ways and some certainly seem to have been more organised than others.

Over the last seven years my own interests have also developed. The First World War remains an abiding passion, but I have become more interested in the late Victorian army and the regular army which went to war in August 1914. I have an enduring admiration for the men of that army and the manner in which they fought in their Majesties' many small wars.

I have also started publishing regimental lists of other rank PoWs captured in 1914 (the only online resource, as far as I know, where this information is available regimentally) and I launched a low-cost research service. Oh, and I continued to post on the other eight blogs that are currently running (although maybe 2016 will see some consolidation in this area).

Thanks for supporting this blog over the last seven years. Onward and upward.

The image on this post is taken from the Gardin-Zanardi archive.

20 December 2015

Manchester Regiment - PoW Other Ranks 1914

As we approach Christmas 2015, spare a thought for those men of the BEF who spent Christmas 1914 as prisoners of war. Whilst elsewhere an unofficial truce would take place along parts of the line, thousands of British soldiers captured in fighting in the early months of the war were beginning lengthy periods in captivity, and many would not make it home until 1918 or 1919.

The following men were all serving with the 1st or 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment when they became prisoners of war of the Germans on or before Christmas Day 1914. There are 108 names in this list.  Read more about this Prisoner of War data source on my 1914 PoWs page.

This data has been transcribed from the following sources which are now housed at the Imperial War Museum:

1. B.O.2 1/208 is a five-page typed list of Manchester Regt men who were PoWs on or before 25th December 1914.  Sent by Lancashire County War Comforts Association on 6th January 1919.

2. B.O.2 1/209 is a single typed name of L C Trott giving address details.  Sent by Lancashire County War Comforts Association on 8th January 1919.
3. B.O.2 1/210 is a two-page typed list of Manchester Regt men who were PoWs on or before 25th December 1914.  Sent by Infantry Record Office No 1, No 3 District, Preston on 5th March 1919

There is obviously some duplication between 208 and 210 but note that 210 also gives the date of repatriation in most cases. My full transcription of this Manchester Regiment Prisoners of War roll call of other ranks (not reproduced here) also contains the battalion, and home address or next of kin address. 

The full transcription is available for sale as a download or CD for £20.
Contact me
if you would like to purchase a copy.

9824 Private Thomas Addis
1972 Private George Appleton
1812 Private James Bailey
6539 Corporal J Beresford
1338 Private Thomas Berry
138 Private James Brown
9915 Private James Brown
2291 Corporal M J Brown
29 Private W T Brown
489 Sergeant M J Cahill
2542 Private J Campbell
9930 Private W Campbell
9954 Private P Carroll
9085 Private J Clarke
9135 Private J Clay
1549 Private H Cosgrove
7974 Private A Cronshaw
8662 Private Charles Cusworth
2091 Private P Daly
8581 Sergeant John Devonshire
7910 Private J Dickson
9074 Private W Downey
9585 Private W Edwards
3 Private Harold Elson
7938 Private W England
1530 Drummer J Eyres
2464 Private J Fenton
8103 Private H Fielding
173 Private J Foster
9024 Private George Fox
1074 Corporal Arthur Freeth
9983 Private J Fudge
9749 Private T Furber
8589 Private J Gettings
2529 Lance-Corporal Thomas Gill
7598 Private Edward Gorton
204 Pte Thomas Green
4498 Lance-Corporal J Gregory
1928 Lance-Corporal W C Hadfield
107 Private Robert Haigh
8142 Private W Hamer
9694 Private H Harland
8741 Private R Harrison
2629 Lance-Corporal W Heaton
535 Private James Henderson
8708 Private J S Hilditch
2611 Private J Hill
9861 Private Travis Hilton
2598 Private William Hilton
1991 Private William D Hodges
133 Private J Hollis
389 Pte Joseph Hopwood
9677 Private W Iveson
2618 Private A Jacobs
1527 Private T Keefe
2596 Private William Kelly
1218 Private Charles Kenny
878 Private T King
2637 Private G Langley
1802 Corporal S Leaberry
9955 Private John Leek
2495 Lance-Corporal W Leigh
2672 Private W G Lewis
1949 Lance-Corporal W Linney
273 Corporal J Lumby
9410 Lance-Corporal T Mackin
8648 Sergeant J Mannion
2014 Private D McBride
2308 Lance-Corporal D McKenna
9758 Lance-Corporal W McPherson
9923 Private T Molley
2528 Pte A Morgan
8601 Private J Morley
9552 Corporal J Morrow
2578 Lance-Corporal Herbert Moulding
8564 Private R Mulcahey
2521 Lance-Corporal F Mulholland
9133 Private S Mullen
7990 Private T Munro
8687 Private W Murphy
8616 Private J O'Donnell
1812 Corporal J Pailey
6800 Sergeant F G Pinchin
9402 Private Charles Porter
9854 Private J Reddy
38 Lance-Corporal A J Roberts
2633 Private C Rose
4426 Private John Rothwell
2772 Private S Ryan
177 Corporal J Ryder
9117 Private J Schofield
8603 Lance-Corporal R Shaw
2383 Driver William S Shelsher
8701 Private James Shirley
2336 Private N Sladen
9155 Bandsman C F Smith
8892 Private John Smith
2283 Corporal W H Smith
8468 Private John Snape
8502 Private T Taylor
8987 Private W Taylor
9881 Private A J Thompson
9764 Private George Tobin
1414 Lance-Corporal T Trott
1414 Lance-Corporal Thomas Trott
8013 Lance-Corporal E Walmsley
182 Private Thomas Ward
2370 Private E Williams
8786 Corporal Ernest Yates

The undated photograph on this post is courtesy of the Imperial War Museum and shows captured British soldiers in the prisoner of war camp Altengrabow, in the Prussian province of Saxony.

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14 December 2015

Kalapoosh! 7th Hussars transfers in 1886

Edwin Mole, a troop sergeant major with the 14th Hussars, and back in England in 1886 just prior to the regiment's return from India (or Kalapoosh, as it was known to the men), writes:

“Judge then our feelings of dismay when one Sunday, about four months before the 14th was expected home, on returning from church parade, every man of our depot was ordered to parade in front of orderly-room. Colonel G then called the troop to attention, and to the surprise and mortification of both Captain T and myself, read out an order that all our men under three months’ service were to be forthwith transferred to the 7th Hussars and that all over that service might volunteer for the same regiment, which was just proceeding to India to relieve the 14th. To make matters worse, he pointed out to those who desired to see foreign service, that now was their time, for as the 14th was coming home and would remain in England for some years, unless they accepted this chance, all their soldiering would be in the United Kingdom. The argument was irresistible, for Kalapoosh was every young fellow’s ambition. Before evening our depot had lost half its muster.”

I decided to explore this further by looking in series WO 97 for men transferring into the 7th Hussars in 1886. It didn't take long before I found what I was after.

In the list below, the names of the recruits are followed by their previous Hussars regimental number and Hussars regiment, followed by their new 7th Hussars regimental number and their date of transfer. As we can see, the 14th Hussars were not alone in losing men to Kalapoosh:      

Augustine John Welsh, No prior service, 3004 7th Hussars, 26th August
Edward Ellis, No prior service, 3007 7th Hussars, 1st September
Charles Duck, No prior service, 3012 7th Hussars, 15th September
Henry Brereton, No prior service, 3020 7th Hussars, 20th September
John MacQueen, No prior service, 3021 7th Hussars, 20th September
Headley Frederick Griggs, No prior service, 3023, 7th Hussars 21st September

14th Hussars transfers

William John Davis 2400 14th Hussars 13th June 1884; later 3026 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Fred T Harper 2427 14th Hussars 13th October 1884; later 3027 7th Hussars, 23rd September
John Rhodes 2585 14th Hussars 9th January 1886; later 3028 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Henry Peck Naylor 2538 14th Hussars 29th August 1885; later 3029 7th Hussars, 23rd September
William Bull 2473 14th Hussars 4th June 1885; later 3032 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Robert Bishop 2490 14th Hussars 25th June 1885; later 3033 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Thomas Clarke 2477 14th Hussars 11th June 1885; later 3038 7th Hussars, 23rd September
George Ernest Harris 2484 14th Hussars 19th June 1885; later 3040 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Thomas Hendley 2461 14th Hussars 29th May 1885; later 3041 7th Hussars, 23rd September
Charles Le Court 2505 14th Hussars 16th July 1885; later 3042 7th Hussars, 23rd September
John Edward Murtan 2529 14th Hussars 14th August 1885; later 3043 7th Hussars, 23rd September
William Bevan 2446 14th Hussars 19th March 1885; later 3050 7th Hussars, 23rd September
George Ernest Whitmarsh 2474 14th Hussars 6th July 1885; later 3056 7th Hussars, 23rd September

Joseph McCullie, No prior service, 3058 7th Hussars, 5th October

19th Hussars transfers

Robert Bousfield 2801 19th Hussars 25th November 1885; later 3065 7th Hussars, 12th October
William Charles Cook 2785 19th Hussars 9th November 1885; later 3066 7th Hussars, 12th October
Robert Barclay 2609 19th Hussars 30th June 1884; later 3067 7th Hussars, 12th October
Benjamin Burton 2133 19th Hussars 27th January 1882; later 3070 7th Hussars, 12th October
Charles Butterworth 2356 19th Hussars 3rd November 1882 ; later3071 7th Hussars, 12th October
Henry James Elliott 2481 19th Hussars 14th March 1884; later 3073 7th Hussars, 12th October
Harry Thomas 2535 19th Hussars 21st May 1884; later 3080 7th Hussars, 12th October
William Smith Jeffcott 2647 19th Hussars 4th April 1885; later 3081 7th Hussars, 12th October
Henry Walker 2565 19th Hussars 10th June 1884; later 3083 7th Hussars, 12th October
Richard Allen 2848 19th Hussars 11th January 1886; later 3084 7th Hussars, 12th October

3rd Hussars transfers

Charles Robinson 2171 3rd Hussars 6th August 1884; later 3086 7th Hussars, 23rd October
William Neal 2174 3rd Hussars 7th August 1884; later 3087 7th Hussars, 1st November
William Marshall 2121 3rd Hussars 10th July 1884; later 3088 7th Hussars, 31st October

Various Hussars transfers (including another man from the 14th)

Frederick Godfrey 2532 14th Hussars 20th August 1885; later 3095 7th Hussars, 1st November
Louis Madge 2889 18th Hussars 23rd September 1885; later 3101 7th Hussars, 1st November
Richard Probert 2314 21st Hussars 20th June 1884; later 3103 7th Hussars, 1st November

15th Hussars transfers

James Henry Hannett 2076 15th Hussars 23rd January 1884; later 3105 7th Hussars, 1st November
John Paterson 2105 15th Hussars 10th April 1884; later 3110 7th Hussars, 1st November
Harry Gray 2177 15th Hussars 1st November 1884; later 3114 7th Hussars, 1st November

William Buck, No prior service, 3117 7th Hussars, 5th November
William Smith, No prior service, 3118 7th Hussars, 29th October

10th Hussars transfers

James Black 2096 10th Hussars 15th March 1884; later 3123 7th Hussars, 16th November
Samuel Clarke 1858 10th Hussars 27th January 1881; later 3127 7th Hussars
Richard Ellis 2127 10th Hussars 3rd May 1884; later 3131 7th Hussars, 16th November
Thomas Green 1946 10th Hussars 25th January 1882; later 3134 7th Hussars, 16th November
David Griffin 1935 10th Hussars 8th November 1881; later 3139 7th Hussars, 16th November

Christopher Kiddell 2174 19th Hussars 7th March 1882; later 3144 7th Hussars, 16th December

The last man on this list, Christopher Kiddell, did not make it overseas as he enlisted after the 7th Hussars had departed for India on the 25th November 1886. But there are definite sequential patterns to the transfers: a block of around 30 men from the 14th Hussars, 20 men from the 19th Hussars, 16+ men from the 10th Hussars, and others.

Edwin Mole's assertion though, that 14th Hussars recruits with under three months' service were also transferred, appears to be incorrect. I looked at 14th Hussars enlistments in 1886 and did not come across a single man who transferred to the 7th. Admittedly there are gaps in surviving service records but all those for whom records do survive spent their colour service at home in the UK. On the other hand, men with no prior service who enlisted directly into the 7th Hussars in 1886, did travel to India with their regiment. William Buck, for instance, enlisted on the 5th November 1886 and was en route to India twenty days later.

I have noticed pattern of transfer in line cavalry regiments in the past but had not considered the possibility that one of the reasons for this was to bring another regiment in the same corps up to establishment before it proceeded overseas. Edwin Mole's casual statement now sheds more light on this.

The image on this post, taken from the Navy & Army Illustrated, shows the 14th Hussars in Ireland in 1896.

I offer a fast, efficient and cost-effective military research service. Have a look at my military research page and drop me a line if you think I might be able to help.

4 December 2015

Northamptonshire Regiment - PoW Other Ranks 1914

The following men were all serving with The Northamptonshire Regiment, when they became prisoners of war of the Germans on or before Christmas Day 1914. There are 61 names in this list.  Read more about this Prisoner of War data source on my 1914 PoWs page.

This data has been transcribed from the following source which is now housed at the Imperial War Museum:

1. B.O.2 1/195. A five-page undated typed list, sender unknown. 

My full transcription of this Northamptonshire Regiment Prisoners of War roll call of other ranks (not reproduced here) also contains the date of capture, home address and whether or not the man had been repatriated as a prisoner of war at the date on which this list was compiled.

The full transcription is available for sale as a download or CD for £10.
Contact me if you would like to purchase a copy.

9724 Private Henry Allen
3/8776 Private Arthur Ball
7331 Private Fred J Bannister
7991 Private Edward Barton
9673 Private Harold Beeby
7214 Private William George Bennett
3/10110 Private James Biddle
9655 Private Percy Bradley
3/10004 Private Charles Carter
7554 Private George Cave
7114 Private John Chinnery
7076 Private Harry Clarke
7272 Private John Dixon
7622 Private John T England
3/9593 Private George Fielding
7644 Private George H Finch
7703 Private George Foster
3/9989 Private Arthur Franklin
3/9979 Private Thomas Frisby
7172 Private William Fuller
6908 Sergeant Frederick Gayton
3/10071 Private Harry Greystone
8464 Private Frederick Humphreys
7643 Private Robert Ireland
9693 Private George Jacob
7271 Private John W Johnson
7439 Lance-Corporal Henry T Last
6238 Sergeant George Albert Lines
7414 Private Harry Lowe
9770 Private Albert Mitchell
3/10079 Private Harry Mitchell
3/10259 Private Reginald Morrall
9868 Private Arthur Munton
5621 Corporal Richard Murphy
3/9075 Private Thomas Orton
7517 Private Ralph Paxton
7233 Private John Pescow
6961 Private Sidney Pratt
8089 Private Thomas Pugh
3/10167 Private Frederick Robbins
3/9999 Private Eric Rose
7484 Private William Sargent
9801 Private Frank Smale
7564 Private John Smedley
3/9980 Private Ernest Smith
7296 Private Harry Smith
7670 Corporal Thomas Stock
3/10972 Private George Taylor
9696 Private William Thomas
7530 Private George S Tinkler
7992 Lance-Corporal Frederick Varley
3/10788 Private George Watts
3/9538 Private George Webb
3/9929 Private William Welby
9702 Private Harry Wesley
3/9491 Lance-Corporal Horace Whitewell
3/9447 Private Herbert Whiting
7757 Private Robert Wiggins
9501 Private Ernest E Wood
9646 Private Walter Wood
7083 Private Thomas Woods

I offer a fast, efficient and cost-effective military research service. Have a look at my military research page and drop me a line if you think I might be able to help.