5 July 2009

Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 - Index


This index to British Army regimental numbers comprises two sections: SECTION 1 which deals with individual regiments and battalions, and SECTION 2 which deals with other, largely non-regiment specific articles.

All service record information on these Army Service Numbers posts is taken from WO 363 (The so-called 'Burnt Documents') WO 364 (Pension Records), WO 97 (Chelsea Pensioner records), WO 96 (Militia Records) and, to a lesser degree, the WW1 Medal Index Cards (MICs). These records can be viewed on a PayPerView basis by clicking the links or by visiting The National Archives at Kew where they are available online free of charge.

Note: reference to service battalions below may also include local reserve battalions which fed into the service battalions and which shared the same number sequence as the service battalions. See for example, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. The 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th Battalions were service battalions. The 13th and 15th Battalions were reserve battalions for the four service battalions. All six battalions shared the same numbering series.

SECTION 1 - REGIMENTS and BATTALIONS

REGIMENTS - FOOT GUARDS

Grenadier Guards
Coldstream Guards
Scots Guards
Irish Guards
Welsh Guards

REGIMENTS – CAVALRY OF THE LINE

CORPS OF DRAGOONS

1st (King's) Dragoon Guards
2nd Dragoon Guards (The Queen's Bays)
3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards
4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards (1882 enlistments)
5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards
6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers)
7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards

1st (Royal) Dragoons 1880-1906
2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys)
6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons


CORPS OF HUSSARS

3rd (King's Own) Hussars
4th (Queen's Own) Hussars
7th (Queen's Own) Hussars
8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars
10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars
13th Hussars
14th (King's) Hussars
15th (King's) Hussars
18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars
19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars
20th Hussars
21st Hussars

CORPS OF LANCERS

5th (Royal Irish) Lancers
12th (Prince of Wales’s Royal) Lancers
21st (Empress of India's) Lancers

YEOMANRY

Ayrshire Yeomanry
Bedfordshire Yeomanry
Berkshire Yeomanry
Buckinghamshire Yeomanry (Royal Bucks Hussars)
Cheshire Yeomanry
Denbighshire Yeomanry
Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry
Royal North Devon Yeomanry
Dorset Yeomanry (Queen's Own)
Essex Yeomanry
Fife & Forfar Yeomanry
Glamorgan Yeomanry
Queen's Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry
Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
Hampshire Yeomanry (Carabiniers)
Hertfordshire Yeomanry
Royal East Kent Yeomanry
Queen's Own West Kent Yeomanry
Lanarkshire Yeomanry
Lancashire Hussars
Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry
Leicestershire Yeomanry

Lincolnshire Yeomanry
City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders)
1st County of London Yeomanry
2nd County of London Yeomanry
3rd County of London Yeomanry
Lothians and Border Horse
1st & 2nd Lovat's Scouts
Montgomeryshire Yeomanry
Norfolk Yeomanry
Northamptonshire Yeomanry
Northumberland Hussars
Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers)
Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (South Nottinghamshire Hussars)
Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars
Pembrokeshire (Castlemartin) Yeomanry
1st Scottish Horse
2nd Scottish Horse
3rd Scottish Horse
North Somerset Yeomanry
West Somerset Yeomanry
Staffordshire Yeomanry
Suffolk Yeomanry (Duke of York's Own Loyal Suffolk Hussars)

Surrey Yeomanry
Sussex Yeomanry
Warwickshire Yeomanry
Welsh Horse
Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry
Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (Prince of Wales's Own)

Worcestershire Yeomanry (Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars)
Yorkshire Dragoons (Queen's Own)
Yorkshire Hussars (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own)
East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry

REGIMENTS - ROYAL ENGINEERS
Royal Engineers 1881-1914

REGIMENTS – INFANTRY

Military Books

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
1st and 2nd Battalions

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion
4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion

5th Battalion (TF)
6th Battalion (TF)
7th Battalion (TF)
8th Battalion (TF)
9th Battalion (TF)

10th – 15th (Service) Battalions

Bedfordshire Regiment
1st & 2nd Battalions

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion
4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion

The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
1st & 2nd Battalions

Border Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
1st and 2nd Battalions

Cambridgeshire Regiment
1st Battalion

The Cheshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions
3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion

The Connaught Rangers
1st and 2nd Battalions

Devonshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions
3rd (Militia) Battalion

Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
1st and 2nd Battalions

Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Durham Light Infantry
1st and 2nd Battalions
5th Battalion
Other Rank PoWs 1914

East Lancashire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

East Surrey Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions
3rd and 4th Battalions
East Surrey Regiment curiosities: 364*

East Yorkshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions
4th Battalion (TF)

Essex Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion

4th Battalion (TF)
5th Battalion (TF)
6th Battalion (TF)
7th Battalion (TF)
8th (Cyclist) Battalion (TF)
9th – 14th (Service) Battalions

Gloucestershire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion

4th Battalion (TF)
5th Battalion (TF)
6th Battalion (TF)

7th – 16th (Service) Battalions

Gordon Highlanders
1st and 2nd Battalions

4th Battalion
5th (Buchan and Formartin) Battalion
7th (Deeside Highland) Battalion

Hampshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Highland Light Infantry
8th (Lanark) Battalion, TF
15th, 16th & 17th Battalions: Glasgow Pals

Honourable Artillery Company
Honourable Artillery Company - HAC

Inns of Court Regiment
Inns of Court Regiment

King's (Liverpool Regiment)
1st and 2nd Battalions
17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Battalions - Liverpool Pals

King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions
Other Rank PoWs 1914

King's Own Scottish Borderers
1st and 2nd Battalions

King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
1st and 2nd Battalions

5th Battalion



King’s Royal Rifle Corps
1st - 4th Battalions

King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
1st and 2nd Battalions

Lancashire Fusiliers
1st and 2nd Battalions
3rd and 4th Battalions (1899-1906)

6th Battalion

Leicestershire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Leinster Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Lincolnshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion

4th Battalion (TF)
5th Battalion (TF)

6th – 9th (Service) Battalions
10th Battalion (Grimsby Chums)

London Regiment - City of London battalions (TF)
1st (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
2nd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
3rd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
4th (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
5th (City of London) Battalion (Rifle Brigade)
6th (City of London) Battalion (Rifles)
7th (City of London) Battalion
8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office Rifles)

London Regiment - County of London battalions (TF)
9th (County of London) Battalion (Queen Victoria's Rifles)
10th County of London) Battalion (Hackney) [Originally Paddington Rifles]
11th (County of London) Battalion (Finsbury Rifles)12th (County of London) Battalion (The Rangers)
13th (County of London) Battalion (Kensington)
14th (County of London) Battalion (London Scottish)
15th (County of London) Battalion (Prince of Wales's Own Civil Service Rifles)
16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen's Westminster Rifles)
17th (County of London) Battalion (Poplar & Stepney Rifles)
18th (County of London) Battalion (London Irish Rifles)
19th (County of London) Battalion (St Pancras)
20th (County of London) Battalion (Blackheath & Woolwich)
21st (County of London) Battalion (First Surrey Rifles)
22nd (County of London) Battalion (The Queen's)
23rd (County of London) Battalion
24th (County of London) Battalion (The Queen's)
25th (County of London) Cyclist Battalion
[26th - TITLE NEVER USED - See Honourable Artillery Company - HAC]
[27th - TITLE NEVER USED - See Inns of Court]
28th (County of London) Battalion (Artists Rifles)

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
1st & 2nd Battalions

Manchester Regiment
1st & 2nd Battalions

Volunteer Service Companies (Boer War)

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion
4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion

5th Battalion (TF)
6th Battalion (TF)
7th Battalion (TF)
8th Battalion (TF)
9th Battalion (TF)
10th Battalion (TF)

11th – 14th Battalions

16th, 17th & 18th Manchesters (1st, 2nd and 3rd City Battalions)
19th, 20th & 21st Manchesters (4th, 5th and 6th City Battalions)
22nd, 23rd & 24th Manchesters (7th & 8th City Battalions and the Oldham Pioneers)
25th, 26th & 27th (Reserve) Battalions

Middlesex Regiment
1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Battalions
17th & 23rd (Footballers) Battalions

Monmouthshire Regiment
3rd Battalion

Norfolk Regiment
1st & 2nd Battalions
3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion

Northamptonshire Regiment
1st & 2nd Battalions
4th Battalion


North Staffordshire Regiment
1st & 2nd Battalions
3rd (Militia) Battalion - South African War casualties 1900-1902
5th Battalion

Northumberland Fusiliers
Regular Battalions

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
1st and 2nd Battalions
4th Battalion

Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
1st and 2nd Battalions

Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment
1st & 2nd Battalions
Other Rank PoWs 1914

Rifle Brigade
1st - 4th Battalions

Royal Berkshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Royal Dublin Fusiliers
1st and 2nd Battalions

Royal Fusiliers
Regular Battalions
22nd (Kensington) Battalion
23rd (1st Sportsman’s) Battalion
24th (2nd Sportsman’s) Battalion
30th (Reserve) Battalion
Other Rank PoWs 1914

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
1st and 2nd Battalions

Royal Irish Fusiliers
1st and 2nd Battalions

Royal Irish Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Royal Irish Rifles
1st and 2nd Battalions

Royal Munster Fusiliers
1st and 2nd Battalions

Royal Scots
3rd (Militia) Battalion

1st and 2nd Battalions
8th Battalion

Royal Scots Fusiliers
1st and 2nd Battalions
3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion



Royal Sussex Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion

4th Battalion (TF)
5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion (TF)
6th (Cyclist) Battalion (TF)

7th – 10th (Service) Battalions

11th (1st South Down) Battalion
12th (2nd South Down) Battalion
13th (3rd South Down) Battalion
14th (Reserve) Battalion

Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Regular battalions
Militia and Special Reserve

Royal Welsh Fusiliers
1st and 2nd Battalions
3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion
5th (Flintshire) Battalion
7th (Merioneth & Montgomery) Battalion

Royal West Kent Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Seaforth Highlanders
1st and 2nd Battalions
1st and 2nd Battalions - numbering 1900-1906

Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment)
1st and 2nd Battalions

Shropshire Light Infantry
1st and 2nd Battalions

Somerset Light Infantry
1st and 2nd Battalions

South Lancashire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

South Staffordshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

South Wales Borderers
1st and 2nd Battalions

Suffolk Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions
4th Battalion (TF)
5th Battalion (TF)
Other Rank PoWs 1914

Welsh Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

West Yorkshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Wiltshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Worcestershire Regiment
1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Battalions

York and Lancaster Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

Yorkshire Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions

ROYAL HORSE ARTILLERY
West Riding RHA

ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
3rd Highland Howitzer Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY
4th Highland (Mountain) Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery

REGIMENTS - OTHER
Military Foot Police / Military Mounted Police

SECTION 2 - OTHER ARTICLES

Case studies

Alf Webb - a Bedfordshire regular
Donald Banks, a Lincolnshire Terrier
Every number tells a story - The 1/5th Essex
Harry Bardsley - a Manchester Pal's war
William Buchanan - an exception to the rule

Recruitment and numbering patterns
1908 - What a difference a year makes - changes in army numbering
Border Regiment recruitment in 1906 - analysis of enlistment locations
British Army recruitment in the 19th century
Cavalry numbering in 1906 - the change from numbering by regiment to numbering by corps
Cavalry numbering conundrums - service numbers re-used
City of London Regiments - recruiting patterns 1908 - 1914
Corps of Dragoons recruitment 1881 - 1906 - recruitment patterns
Five-digit Territorial Force numbers
Maverick battalions - the continuation of militia numbering series in 1908

Research aids
Army Service Number sources
Army Service Number prefixes
Ascertaining a man's battalion from his number - can it be done?
Dating photographs by regimental numbers
Enlistment dates on medal index cards
Regimental numbering series
Understanding army service numbers - case study
Volunteer Service Companies - formation and composition (1900-1901)
Volunteer Service Companies - numbering

Rules and regulations
Militiaman's Small Book (1892)
National Reserve Regulations 1911
National Reserve Regulations 1913
Queen's & King's Regulations - regimental numbering
Special Reserve Army Order - 23rd Dec 1907
Special Reserve appendices - Army Order 1907
Special Reserve - creation in 1908
Supernumerary Companies - Army Order 187, May 1915

Miscellaneous
Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 - Introduction
Boar's Head, The - in Remembrance 2009
Delhi Durbar 1903 - infantry regiments and old soldiers attending
London Regiment - six digit number anomalies
Ten Tommies, The - WW1 Variety troupe - also HERE
With the 1/5th Essex in the East - Appendices

158 comments:

Bets said...

My grandfather served for three years as a private between 1907-1910. I have a photograph of him standing next to a bicycle, so I am guessing he was in a cyclist battalion. The branch he lists on a WWI draft card in 1917 when he was living in the US, indicated "McTetra." I have been unable to find any information about this branch. If you have any suggestions for my research, it would be appreciated. Thanks!

Paul Nixon said...

McTetra does not relate to any British Army cyclist unit that I've ever come across, and I don't know much about the US Army I'm afraid. Could McTetra be the make of bike?

Anonymous said...

I can't see the Somerset Light Infantry here, do you have any informaton on them please?

I'm trying to research my Grandfather, Alfred Clarence Hoare. We have photographs showing him in Somerset Light Infantry uniform and in India.

We have four numbers with his surname, these are.

From Medal cards.

37667 Correct forename and middle inital.

26513 Correct forename, no middle inital.

From Ships Passenger list, Bombay-Southampton April 1920.
Correct Regiment, rank & surname, no initals.
18670
18672
This coincides with the demobilisation on 2nd Battalion which had been staioned in India throughout the War.

Since there are only two medal cards for this surname in the S.L.I. are the two passenger list numbers the same two men with new numbers?

He served in the Home Guard in WW2. Would any reference to previous service be included in the later records?

Paul Nixon said...

My inclination would be to settle on the MIC which has the correct middle initial. 37667 dates to mid 1917, whilst 26513 dates to around June 1916. I really can't comment about 18670 and 18672 and I'm afraid I'm not sure about Home Guard records either, but the National Archives should be able to help you on that one.

Anonymous said...

My ancestor, Thomas Reed, served with the 3rd (Prince of Wales) Dragoon Guards during 1886-98, with regt.no. 2788. He then re-joined the regiment in April 1900, with the regt.no. 4457.

I have reason to believe that he was transferred to the 1st (Royal) Dragoons and served with them in the Boer War, with regt.no. 4489.

Can you possibly tell me when 4489 would have joined the 1st (Royal) Dragoons, so that I can see if this supports this? Was it after April 1900?

On a related note, I would be interested to know when another Private Andrew Fox, regt.no. 4870,joined the 1st (Royal) Dragoons. This gentleman definitely transferred from 3rd Dragoon Guards, in time for service in the Boer War.

Thank you for your assistance!

D.

Paul Nixon said...

D.

From my database, during the period you're looking at:

3rd Dragoon Guards

2788 Aug/Sep 1886
4457 Apr 1900 (4456 joined on the 7th April)

1st Royal Dragoons

4489 Aug/Sep 1899
4870 May/Jun 1900

Around 500 men joined the 1st Royal Dragoons in 1900, quite a feat considering the generally slow rate of recruitment into cavalry regiments.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much!

D.

Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me when regt.no. 3835, 7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards, joined that regiment?

Thank you very much!

D.

Paul Nixon said...

It would have been around April 1891 if pre-1907; otherwise Aug/Sep 1909.

Cheers!

BabaAndrew said...

Hi Paul

Can you please tell the closest 'confirmed' dates/regt.no.'s to regt.no.4489, of the 1st (Royal) Dragoons.

I am still battling to find out which regiment my ancestor transferred to prior to the Boer War. The most feasible possibility still seems to be Pte T Reed, regt.no.4489, 1st Dragoons - subject to reconciling dates. With this in mind, it would be most helpful to know the range of dates within which 4489 joined the 1st Dragoons...

Thank you in advance!

D.

Paul Nixon said...

4487 was issued to a 1st Dragoons man on 16th September 1899 so I'd say that 4489 was issued later that month.

Paul

Anonymous said...

My grandfather served in the Army Veterinary Corps in WW1 - I have his medals and have found his service record but do not know what regiment he joined (presuming it was a Northampton Regiment as that was his county of birth but I believe he was in the Bedford Police Force before joining the army) or where he served in France. Can you please help Thank you JM

Paul Nixon said...

Sure, send me all the details you have please and I'll have a look.

Paul

Anonymous said...

what an excellent Blog!
The info is incredible!
I am looking for Yorkshire Regt Numbers pre-WW1 and into the war.
Can you please help?

Paul Nixon said...

Yes, probably. Do you want to try me with a few?

Paul

Anonymous said...

I'm researching the names on our village war memorial (Middleton Cheney, Northants). Your website has been enormous help. Please can you tell me when Private Owen Tims enlisted? His number is 6655, 1st/8th Bn., Middlesex Regiment. Duke of Cambridge's Own. Was he a Territorial? Many thanks if you can help

Paul Nixon said...

Glad to have been of assistance. The battalion was indeed a TF battalion and the number dates to 1916, possibly late March or April, although I have gaps for numbers in the 66** range.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Thanks for replying so quickly

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
You will gather from this email that the 6th Bn., Northants Regiment was the destination for a number of lads from thei village (see previous post). Please can you help me out with enlistment dates for the following (all on our war memorial)-
15260 Henry Alfred Gibbard
17083 Charles Braggins
20465 William Newman
22922 Albert Bayliss
25961 George Bayliss
Many thanks once again

Paul Nixon said...

My best guesses would be:

15260 - Sept 1914
17083 - Jan 1915
20465 - Late Aug / Early Sep 1915
22922 - Late Jan 1916
25961 - June 1916

RIP to all these men

Anonymous said...

Thanks again.Your help is invaluable and a great help for our village history when we add it to the background info we already have.

Andy said...

Hi Paul
I've a relative i'm researching that served in the Northumberland Fusiliers during the Great War. His medal card gives him two numbers - 3926 and T-425188 (Pte. William O'Neal)He was born,bred and worked in Hull. I know the 17th Battalion (North Eastern Railway Pioneers) were formed there. Would he have been part of this? I'm very new to this and don't know how to use his number to find out.If you can help it would be great. He was a larger than life character in his time and a bit of a strongman - all the bent railings down his street testified to that when he was thrown out of the house by my great grandfather and went off in a rage. How could i not want to find out more!
Andy O'Neil (His surname was spelled with an A)

Paul Nixon said...

Andy

Unfortuantely you're going to ned to find his battalion and you'll do this by using the medal roll references against his medal awards on his mkedal index card (which is available on line via the Ancestry site). Unfortunatley it's just not possible to say which NF battalion he belonged to, from the number alone. The second number you give is for the ASC - Army Service Corps - and we can also deduce that because he only receivd the British War and Victory Medals, that he didn't arrive overseas until January 1916 at the earliest. Once you know the NF battalion, post here again.

Best wishes

Paul

Anonymous said...

Please can you help with these Ox & Bucks Light Infantry numbers -

5th Battalion - no. 10125
7th Battalion - no. 14087

Nina said...

I am hoping you can help me. I am trying to trace my great grandfather. He was in the No 1 Cornwall Fire command and was posted from Falmouth around 1920. His regimental number is 41449, Gunner, J McCarthy. I have no other info on him. Can you help.

Paul Nixon said...

Ox and Bucks

Both numbers are from the same series which was an extension of the series in use by the regular 1st and 2nd Bns.

5th Battalion - no. 10125 dates to around the 11th or 12th August 1914.
7th Battalion - no. 14087 is slightly later, around the 3rd or 4th September 1914.

Paul Nixon said...

Nina

41449 Gunner John McCarthy, Royal Garrison Artillery, arrive in France on the 11th July 1915. He was entitled to the 1914-15 Star and the British War and Victory Medals. His number looks to date to early August 1914. You can access his medal index card via Ancestry.co.uk. No service record appears to survive.

Anonymous said...

These are two brothers from Middleton Cheney who died on the same day. Surname Penn

14983 - 7th Bn., Wiltshire Regt formerly 14883 Ox & Bucks

16008 - 7th Bn., Ox & Bucks

Is it possible to work out when they enlisted? Thanks once again for your superb work.

Paul Nixon said...

Re Middleton Cheney:

14883 Ox & Bucks - around the 11th/12th September 1914

16008 Ox & Bucks - November 1914, probably the first week of November.

14983 for the Wilts Regt could date to early 1915 but treat this latter estimate with caution as my data is a little thin at this particular point.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Paul - all these numbers and regiments are getting to me! I should have asked for

16008 7th Bn., Wiltshire Regiment

Anonymous said...

Not sure if my last post to you arrived in your in-box. Apologies if this is a duplicate. Also could brothers request a transfer into the same regiment? -

16008 7th Bn., Wiltshire Regiment

Paul Nixon said...

16008 for the Wilts is, thankfully, easy. There is a series of 160** numbers which all date to the 1st October 1914 and which are all transfers from the Ox and Bucks Regt. I'm not sure how many men this affected but your man was certainly amongst these.

In answer to your question about brothers requesting transfers; yes it did happen, and the chances of a successful transfer would undoubdtedly have stood greater chance of success in the early stages of the war than in the latter stages when conscription was introduced.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your detailed answer to my last query - your help has been brilliant (again!)

How do I find out when an officer enlisted? I have a Lieutenant Joseph Baker - Royal Garrison Artillery.

And where do I look for R.N. number Bristol Z/4848, Howe Battalion

Paul Nixon said...

Officers records survive for the most part at The National Archives so you might be able to find him there if you pay them a visit.

As for Howe Bn, that's part of the Royal Naval Division and you can access those service records on the TNA website. Have a look here:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline
/royalnavaldivision.asp

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for your answer to my last enquiry. I've nearly completed my war memorial
'stories.' Thanks to your valued help these men will NOT be forgotten. Please can you sort the last few for me -

45110 1st / 4th Bn., Suffolk Regt
67444 6th Bn., The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regt.
150346 Royal Army Ordnance Corps

Anonymous said...

I came across your site by accident and may i say it is brilliant, i wonder if you could help me out though, i am researching my great uncle and on his mic card it has 4 regt nos listed,
m.g.c 9213
R.fus 19043
11. Lond. R. 3773
m.g.c. 9212

Any idea which came first and why m.g.c. listed twice thks if you can help.. Steve

Paul Nixon said...

45110 1st / 4th Bn., Suffolk Regt
67444 6th Bn., The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regt.
150346 Royal Army Ordnance Corps

I'm struggling with all of these three I'm afraid, but I'd suggest that the first two are 1916 onwards and as for the AOC, no idea I'm afraid. Generally, my data beocmes thinner the later the war progressed. As always though, this is a work in progress, not that this helps you at this particular point in time.

Paul

Paul Nixon said...

Steve, thank you.

Taking the order in which these numbers appear on the card:

MGC 9213 dates to Jan 1916

Royal Fusiliers 19043 could date to September 1915. For instance, G/19065 was issued on September 6th 1915. The omission of a G/ prefix on Frederick Langmead's card could simply be an omission.

11th London Regt 3773 dates to May 1915.

So sequentially, it looks as though he joined the 11th Londons, transferred to the Royal Fusiliers and then to the MGC, but no idea why MGC appears twice with the same number. It might be worth your while calling up his medal rolls to see if you can identify the RF battalion.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Thank you in advance!

3/9175 2nd Bn, Northamptonshire Regt.

Is this a regular army entry?

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks for your enquiry.

3/9175 Alfred Watts is a 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion enlistment dating to early 1911, the man subsequently being posted to the 2nd [Regular] Battalion.

There is also a 9175 William Elworthy of the 2nd Bn who was KiA on 17th June 1915. This man was a regular soldier who had enlisted in July or August 1910.

This is a good example of two men with the same number, serving with the same battalion at the same time. Each number though, belongs to a separate number series.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Paul. You have taught me so much through your website and offer a brilliant service!

Anonymous said...

Many thks paul for your info,
it gives me much more info than i had and a new sense of direction, kew bound i think, many tks once again

steve

Liz said...

Are you able to tell me anything about this young man please...

Name: Frank Commons
Birth Place: Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts
Residence: Mansfield, Notts
Death Date: 9 Aug 1917
Death Location: France & Flanders
Enlistment Location: Mansfield, Notts
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Battalion: 10th Battalion
Number: G/16336
Type of Casualty: Died of wounds
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
Comments: Formerly 12597, Sherwood Foresters

The date he enlisted and the date he transferred to the Royal West Kents maybe?

Thank you.
Liz

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the useful information.
May I ask for help with the following?
My grandfather was sent to France in August 1914 with the First Draft of the 1st Bn Northumberland Fusiliers. He fought at Mons and received the 1914 star with bar, retreated to the Marne where he was killed in September 1914. However he was 'Not A Regular'.
Records show him as enlisting in the Northumbrian Royal Engineers TF in 1908 Service No 371, for ONE YEAR only.Census records etc show him as a family man in civilian employment.His Service No with the Northumberlan Fusiliers was 292, a very low number.
How did a 'civilian' with only one years TF service in the Royal Engineers TF, 5 years earlier, get posted to the Infantry with such a low service number and get sent as part of the BEF to France with the Northumberland Fusiliers?
Thanks for any advice you can give.
Alex

Paul Nixon said...

Alex, thanks for your message.

I've had a look at the service record for 371 William Alexander (whom I assume is your grandfather)and it shows that whilst he enlisted with the Territorial Force for one year in 1908, he was already a serving member with the Northumbrian Royal Engineers (Volunteers) having joined on 9th April 1906. The TF replaced the Volunteer Force and, as you say, he then signed on for a further year with the TF and had completed a total of two years and 357 days' service by the time he was discharged on the 28th May 1909.

None of this explains how a 292 William Alexander came to be killed in September 1914. The number 292 for a regular soldier in the NF dates to 1904 and so I'm at a loss to explain this one (unless we're looking at two separate William Alexanders) The number 292 also does not fit into the pattern of Special Reserve numbers.

A pal of mine - and a follower of this blog - is an expert on the NF and I've sent him an email to see if he can shed any light on this. Watch this space.

Anonymous said...

Please can you help me 'find' my grandad? he was a Corporal in the Worcester Regiment service no. 9426 and then a Private in the 10th Royal Hussars regimental number H/7497. I've no idea when or why he transferred but he left the Hussars in September 1912 and was either recalled or volunteered at the beginning of WW1. Any help would be much appreciated.

Paul Nixon said...

Anon

9426 for the Worcesters (regular battalions) dates to Aug/Sep 1905. 7497 for the 10th Hussars dates to around July 1911.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Thanks - and may I commend you on your excellent service.

Paul Nixon said...

Thank you for taking the trouble to say, thank you; many don't. I have now published a separate blog post on Worcestershire Regiment numbering in the regular battalions between 1881 and 1914. See also the links to external sites at the end of that post.

Paul

shirley said...

hi, im trying to research my family but baffled with a great uncle in northumberland fusiliers
number 14827
10th battalion
5th sept 1916, medals removed, desertion. had them reinstated at some stage but died of wounds exactly 1yr later on
5th sept 1917
visited his grave at grevillers on a battlefield tour this year
can you find any info pls? i cant find any records

Paul Nixon said...

Shirley, I can't be sure, but it looks as though he enlisted around October 1914. You should follow up the references on his medal index card and get somebody to look at the actual medal rolls for you. That might give you more information about battalions he served with. The medal rolls are not on-line but are accessible at The National Archives.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul

My grandfather was Alfred Robert Richmond and he was a private in the Scottish Rifles with a service number 10843. He later moved to the Tank Corps and his service number was then 305007. I am trying to find out when he enlisted and when he would have transferred. His qualifiying date for medals was 15 Aug 1914. I know he was at Nigg camp in 1917 with the 3rtd battalion. Any information would be gratefully received.

Thanks in anticipation

Geoff Richmond said...

Hi Paul
I thought I had sent you a request, but it did not appear on your blog! Must have made a mistake.

My grandfather Alfred Robert Richmond joined the South Wales Borderers as a boy on 10 Feb 1910. His service number was 10332. He trained as a musician and was sent to pretoria south Africa, but was discharged unfit 20 August 1912, just 17.6 years old.

He then re-joined at some stage with the Scottish Rifles, service number 10840 and saw action in France 15 Aug 1914. He then joined/transferred to the (16?) Tank Corps with a service number 305007. From citations later in his life I beleive he was a Company Sergean Major.

I am sorry to trouble you, but can you tell me anything about him such a when he joined the Scottish and how he would have transferred to the Tanks. His life seems to have been extraordinary, but I have little knowledge of him.

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Geoff

10840 for the Scottish Rifles dates to October 1912, so he wasn't out of khaki very long.The Tank Corps number looks to me to be late October or November 1917.

Thanks for posting.

Paul

Geoff Richmond said...

Many thanks for the information Paul. It's a great site.

Given that he transferred to the Tanks in Oct/Nov 1917, would he have seen action or remained in reserve?

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks Geoff. Difficult to say without a surviving service record, but I would have thought he stood a good chance of seeing action.

I take it you have seen his pre-war service record in WO 97 (and also online thanks to findmypast.co.uk)? You might also try the tank museum at Bovington to see if they have anything on him.

Good luck.

Paul

rickalan21 said...

hello i would love to find out more about my great grandfather i have researched only so far i have his details as follows William Thomas Avis Name: William Thomas Avis
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1888
Age at enlistment: 26
Residence: 54 Tak St, Lambeth SE
Document Year: 1914
Regimental Number: 16922
Regiment Name: Royal Regiment of Artillery ( Royal Horse & Royal Field
Artillery )

and would like to find out what regiment he was in

kindest regards Richard.M

Paul Nixon said...

William Thomas Avis has a service record in WO 363 which states that he saw prior service with the King's Shropshire Light Infantry and was discharged with less than 12 years service. You can view this record on ancestry.co.uk. If you go to findmypast.co.uk you'll also find his KSLI record which shows that he enlisted on the 13th April 1907 and was discharged on the 31st July 1907 having served 111 days. He was discharged under Article 1142, paragraph (iii) and was discharged free of charge.

Article 1142 dealt with the purchase of discharges (£10 for a recruit and £18 after a man was trained). Paragraph (iii) dealt with those men with less than 12 years' service and stated that "... provided that he satisfies the general officer commanding of the existence of urgent reasons for his being discharged for the purpose of supporting his parents, or for any other such sufficient special cause – free".

Roger said...

Hi Paul,

I'm researching the WW1 names on the memorial in my local church. I wonder if you can help with an approximate enlistment date for Private 25605 Arthur Cooper 7th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment? The database on FindMyPast says that he was formerly 23314, Somerset Light Infantry. Would that make sense? If so, do you know why he might have transferred? (It also says that he enlisted Canterbury which seems a bit strange for someone from Hampshire joining the Wiltshire Regiment?!)
Regards
Roger

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Roger

23314 for the Somerset Light Infantry looks like February or March 1916.

From the few surviving service records in WO 363 and WO 364 it looks as though there were a numkber of transfers from the SLI to the Wilts Regt in May 1916. For example:

25600 Wesley Denis Allen, (formerly 23606 Somerset Light Infantry, teransferred to 8th Bn on 10th May 1916.

25607 S Cooper (formerly 23661 Somerset Light Infantry) transferred to X Bn Wiltshire Regiment, date unknown.

So possibly a batch of transfers on or around the 10th May 1916 and I'd suggest that your man was probably a Derby Scheme man who had originally attested in 1915 and been called up in Feb/March 1916. He wouldn't have had any say in where he was sent and so it's not so unusual to find him posted where he was.

Paul

Roger said...

Paul,
Thank you so much for that. I have 49 names on my list and doing brief research on each one is certainly giving me a better understanding of the various campaigns and battles that made up WW1 (and the people who went to war).
Thanks again
Roger

bill patey said...

My grandfather served in the First World War in the first Batallion Lincs Regiment (Reg number 5110). He was previously thought to have served in the Boer War. Would he have kept the same regimental number? Can you narrow down his joining date in 1898/1899 please?

Many thanks, Bill Patey

Paul Nixon said...

Bill

My apologies for the delay in responding: a short family break without internet access.

Your grandfather's MIC indicates 1st Bn and a disembarkation in France date of 13th September 1914.
5110 for the Lincs Regt dates to September 1898 (5111 attested on the 22nd September 1898) and your grandfather did indeed serve in the Boer war with the 2nd Battalion. He received the QSA with the clasps Paardeberg, Johannesburg, and Cape Colony, and also the KSA with the usual two clasps. A note on this medal roll indicates that he was invalided. It would appear though, that he served continuously with the Lincs Regt and presumably extended his service, as had he not done so, he would have well and truly completed his Seven and Five by the time Britain went to war in 1914.

Gill Dobson said...

I am trying to discover what Regiment if any my grandfather may have been in. My aunt told me he was a cook with a regiment posted to German West Africa (now Namibia) during WW1. Any ideas how I might discover which Regiments were there and if he was part of a regiment. His name was William Henry Dobson - born 1882, so he would have been in his mid 30s at the time.

Paul Nixon said...

Gill, I don't know I'm afraid but go to The Great War Forum. Somebody there is bound to know: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?act=idx

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul
Whilst clearing out my grandmother home I found a photo of someone in army uniform, photo was taken in cork and looking at the uniform it is from around 1914. There are two numbers on the back C2-58577 and C2-82594 will these be army ID's and if so any idea what regiment and how I find out who the ID belonged to. Thanks

Paul Nixon said...

Gosh, not sure on that one. Possibly Army Service Corps but that's a wild guess. Try posting the photo and your query on The Great War Forum: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php. If the photo shows a cap badge or army insignia, that may help narrow down the search.

Anonymous said...

Hello Paul,
Could you please help me trace which regiment my grandfather served with.
The number on his Egypt medal is 41729.
The rest of the insciption says:
Trooper J S Haggart 2nd Comp Co. Ryl Dragoons,but they have no record of him in the Royal Dragoons
Many Thanks
John H.

Paul Nixon said...

John, Egypt Medal as in: http://britisharmymedals.blogspot.com/2009/08/egypt-medal-1882-1889.html? The number isn't right for that period. Can you confirm the medal please and any other detaisl about him, year of birth (if known), full names etc.

Thanks

Paul

Anonymous said...

Hello Paul,
My grandfather John Small Haggart was born on 7th July 1871 in Dundee.I have been told that his two medals - The Egypt Medal dated 1882 with clasps for Tamaai 1882 and Gemaiziah 1888 together with the Khedive's Star are bogus as he would have been 11years old in 1882. The 1891 Census puts him back in Dundee working in a Jute Mill.I had hoped the army number would give some clue as to which regiment he may have served with.
Hope this helps.
Many Thanks
John H.

Paul Nixon said...

John, I've updated my blog post for the Egypt Medal with the regiments which qualified for the clasps Tamaai and Gemaizah 1888. Hre's the link again: http://britisharmymedals.blogspot.com/2009/08/egypt-medal-1882-1889.html

There were Hussars present at both actions but not Dragoons. However, as I mentioned, that number does not belong to that particular period for any cavalry regiment. For instance, by 1889 not one single line cavalry regiment had a number higher than 3900, and many a good deal lower than that. So they all had four digit numbers and none of them would make it to five digit numbers for more than two decades (by which time the cavalry had renumbered by corps rather than by individual regiment). So that five digit number is NOT a cavalry number from the 1880s (or earlier). The number could fit the Royal Artillery (post 1883) but not the RE. In any event, you say that this is a red herring in any event.

Let's assume the Egypt Medal is genuine, albeit not awarded to your grandfather. Those awarded to British troops were impressed in sloping capitals EXCEPT the Royal Marines which were named in large upright bold capitals. How does the naming appear on your medal?

As you say, it doesn't really stack up does it?

Anonymous said...

Hello Paul Again
Many Thanks for all your help.It looks as though my grandfather's service history will a bit of a mystery. I have been able to trace his service with the Red Cross during WW1 with the VAD from medals ,certificates and photos.
His Medals can be seen on :
www.britshmedalforum.com
Topic: Database of Named Khedive's Star pages 8/9
Regards John H.

Paul Nixon said...

I'll check it out, thanks John. I am a member of the forum but only an occasional visitor there. If you've not already done so it would be worth contacting the British red Cross archives in Moorgate as they do have index cards for a lot of VAD members.

Paul

Dave Willis said...

Hi, my grandfather, William Henry Willis, was in the South Wales Boderers for part of WW1, number 40506, intially with the Brecknock Btn, latterly (I think) with the 2nd regulars. My father also thinks he started in the Hampshire territoral forces. Can you confirm any of this and give any dates? Thanks in advance.

Paul Nixon said...

Dave

William'smedal index card notes 445 for the Hampshire regiment (no battalion given) and 40506 for the SWB (again, no battalion). Regardless of the Hants battalion, the number is an early one and suggests an enlistment date of 1908 or 1909 and possibly prior service with the Volunteers. Presumably he was from Hampshire and you could probbaly guess at a TF battalion with reasonable certainty if you knew whereabouts in the county he lived.

The SWB number is much later, 1917 onwards and I wonder whether your grandfather joined the SWB after he became a time-expired Territorial. He certainly did not go overseas until Jan 1916 at the earliest.

Hope this helps.

Paul

Paul Nixon said...

Dave

Further to my last comment, March 1917 looks like a likely date for transfer to the SWB. For example, 40618 transferred to the 2nd SWB on the 29th March 1917.

Paul

Dave Willis said...

Paul, that's helpful thanks, he was from Southampton so I'll see what I can find around here.

Form what my father remembers a time expired Territorial would sound right - he was told of him coming home,working at the gas board then going in again.

Dave

dave said...

Paul

Further to my last comment March 1917 looks perfect as he was married in January 1917 with a TF stamp on the certificate and we have post cards form the front dated March-August 1917.

Dave

Paul Nixon said...

Dave

The 5th Battalion was the Southampton battalion and 445 for the 5th dates to early 1909. The 9th (Cyclist) Bn was also headquarterd at Southampton but 445 wasn't issued until 1913.

Paul

Dave said...

Paul,

Thanks for that, he was born Feb 1891, assuming he needed to be 18 then 5th Btn sounds good.

Dave

Paul Nixon said...

Dave, he could have joined the TF from the age of 17 so it still fits.

Paul

Ken Roberts said...

Paul

I'm trying to find some info on Pte A H Watts Wilts Regt (Bn unknown). His no was 35292. Any ideas on when he enlisted and perhaps which Bn he was in?

Paul Nixon said...

Not sure, Ken; the number's quite high, late 1916 onwards but can't say exactly when. Impossible to tell the bn I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

Great website!

Can anyone help me with my gt grandfather's numbers please:

1751 1/7th LF
022664 Army Ordnance Corps
38926 3rd Borders

Thank you,

JB.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent site! Ive only just started my research but am already at a loss as my info is extremely limited. Am trying to find info on my great grandfather Edward Henry Jones, I've been informed he was a Hussar, and his son,my grandad, was born in India in 1921? I believe he was born in 1890, and received a DCM. The only record I can find is of a DCM to an 586 EH Jones (gloucester, Hussars) in 1917. Not sure where the best place to researching, what it was for, when he enlisted or where! Any advice appreciated! Thank you. AK

Paul Nixon said...

The Hussar you refer to is EDWIN Henry Jones according to his medal index card and whilst he started off as a lance-sergeant in the 7th Hussars, he was later commissioned and certainly served in India. You need to visit Ancestry.co.uk to see his medal index card - click on one of the Ancestry links on my blog - but you should find his complete service record at The National Archives, assuming these have been released to the public.

Kathy - PK said...

Hi Paul,
Wondering if you can help me please.
I am trying to find out information for a Herbert Edward Whitehead, who I understand was in the Royal Fusiliers in WW1 with the (regimental?) number of G49817.
I am having trouble finding his service record as I do not know which battalion he was in. Are you able to help me narrow down some further information?
Many thanks.

Paul Nixon said...

Hi Kathy

His mnedal index card notes GS/49817, the GS standing for Geneal Service and indicating that he enlisted for wartime service only.
I can't date the number as accurately as I'd like to but it looks as though it dates to the first half - and possibly the first quarter - of 1917.

Paul

Kathy - PK said...

Thanks Paul.
I've found out info from a family member since

Date of Attestation - 10 November 1915
No. G49817
Stationed at Dover
Trained in Musketry & Bayonet Fighting and Bombing
Qualified as Drive & Musketry Instructor 3 September 1917
Field Service Septemebr 1917 to January 1919

Can any of this help in finding a Battalion or any further info?
Or can you explain what some of these thing mean for me?

Many many thanks for any and all you you can give me and all the others who ask.
I know I appreciate it a lot.
Kathy

Paul Nixon said...

No worries Kathy.

As good as that information is, it doesn't help you with a battalion. I still stick to my guesstimate of 1917 for actually "joining" the battalion and being given his regimental number. If he attested in Nov 1915 though, he probably did so under the Derby Scheme and was called up later in 1917.

You should not rule out checking the medal rolls. His medal index card gives the reference for the British War & Victory medal roll and this is: TP/104 B14 Page 1692. These rolls are not published online but are accessible at the National Archives in Kew. You can request this roll yourself or ask a researcher to find it for you; it's a straightforward enough task. The roll MAY give a battalion. Where di your relative obtain this additional information from? I looked for a service record online but couldn't identify one. Mayve they could provide you with further clues.

Paul

Kathy - PK said...

Thanks Paul for the further info, hope it helps me find his record.
I don't know where the relative got the information from originally, they found it in the filing cabinet the other day and it was on a piece of paper that had type-writer typing on it, so it must have been done pre-computers.

Thanks again for your help - greatly appreciated.
Kathy

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
Trying to find about John Henry Brown in WW1. I have his Short Service Attestation with a reg. no of 55811 enlistment date 23/02/1916. The only Medal Card I can find for John Henry Brown gives a REG. No 31082, enlistment date as 23/02/1916 and a discharge date of 27/09/1916 under Para 2(b1) 392(xv1) KR. Action taken List 0/2263/1. I know from his attestment that he said he was 25 years 3 months when he was in fact 28 years 3 months. Could these two be the same person and would he be discharged for an inaccurate age? Thanks, Ray.

Paul Nixon said...

Ray

They're two different men. Your man did indeed join the West Yorks Regt with the number 55811 but by the time he went overseas he was with the Labour Corps and the number 666893. Trying keying in this number and his name and you'll find him. The MICs only record the name of the regiment that the man was serving with when he arrived overseas. No prior service is noted.

Paul

David F said...

I have come across a photo with no name, but "No 6856 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards, killed in action at St Juliens 21/9/14"
Can you put a name to him please

Paul Nixon said...

Serjeant Walter Charles Farrance, born Polymelus Camp, Cyprus; living in Pickering, Yorkshire; enlisted Newcastle-on-Tyne about 21st July 1906. His death date is given by CWGC and SDGW as 21st October 1914 (not September). Commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul
I'm looking for info on my Grandfather 6766 George Cook. I know he was in the RAMC 7th Field Ambulance. I know he was wounded and think this was in France.
Would be grateful for any info. Amazing site by the way.
Wendy R

Timothy Alden said...

Hello,,Paul is it? Your great guy,,If I had the knowledge you have,Id be trying to help folks also..Cudos! to you,,,Ive been
researching these 2 Soldiers from award groupings I hold,(DCM's),,am not getting to far..What you have done here is Remarkable.I am American,so I dont understand GB's regiment listings.As a favor,if you ever run acrossed any of these names,could you please smg me,in honor of your brave hero's? Im attempting to aquire their image to keep with their groupings so the next holder has them together.I feel they deserve this..The 1st is SJT J. Arthur #5175 2nd cameron highlanders.....The 2nd---PTO/WO H. Biggs 6th dragoon guards/3rd county of London yeomanry my email is Gracie02@frontiernet.net ..Any info you had,,On my word,Id pass on my expertise in the areas Im well in as return for your favor,to another..Great person you are..These hero's would feel honored,you help with them being remembered for their contribution to mankind.MONSTER regards,,,Timothy

Paul Nixon said...

Wendy R

George Cook was a regular soldier who enlisted in the RAMC on the 1st January 1913. His medal index card, silver war badge roll page and service record in WO 363 can all be viewed on the ancestry.co.uk website.

Paul

Paul Nixon said...

Timothy

Thanks for your comments. Lucky you to have two DCM groups. That's two more than I have.

5175 John Arthur, later commissioned Border Regt so his record should survive at The National Archives in London.

1732 Alfred Henry Biggs possibly? Can't find any reference to this man being with Dragoon Guards, not on the MIC anyway.

Thanks for your complimentary words.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Hi

I wonder if you can help with any information on the following please

Pte Walter Stanford, 4129 and 200478, Bedfordshire Regiment

Pte Percy James Leach, 1867 and 30793, Bedfordshire Yeomanry

Thanks

Paul Nixon said...

Hello

Walter Stanford: 5th Beds Regt, joined second or third week of September 1914.

Percy Leach joined Beds Yeo between Feb and Oct 1915.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul
I am trying to trace where the following World War I serviceman may have been stationed between 1914 and 1918.His details are as follows:
Walter Hudson - Royal Fusiliers/Army Service Corps - service no. 228990. He survived the war dying in the early 1980s.
Any assistance would be much appreciated.
Regards
Tony

Paul Nixon said...

Tony I'm sorry but I've drawn a blank on this man. I can't find a medal index card for him but the number doesn't look like a RF number albeit it does fall within the series used by the 1st (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). It looks to date to late 1917, early 1918 but would appear to be a London Regt number rather than the ASC.

Paul

Roger Blinko said...

Tony
Do you have any RGA numbers in your database? Looking to date enlistment of Sergeant Albert Blencowe Serial no 49747 Royal Garrison Artillery

Thanks
Roger Blinko

Paul Nixon said...

How does November 1914 sound?

Paul

Roger Blinko said...

Paul,
Plausible , this is one of my haven't a clue where he comes from Blencowe's. Medal cards shows Gunner then Sergeant , entry into France 12 July 1915.
Cl 2 24 March 1919
Victory, British and Star.
Would the promotion be recorded anywhere other than service file?

Cheers
Roger

Paul Nixon said...

Could be recorded in a local newspaper or a regimental journal but that's probably about it. Might be worth getting in touch with Firepower (RA museum situated in Woolwich) and always worth posting a cry for help on the Great War Forum. You should certiainly join if you haven't already done so.

Roger Blinko said...

Thanks for suggestions Paul.
On another subject
Recent file I sent you was helped greatly by this site for Ox and Bucks LI at http://www.sofo.org.uk/if you havent seen it.

Roger

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks Roger. Yes, I do know of the site but haven't been there for a while. I probably need to re-visit it.

Elaine Foster said...

Hi Paul

I am trying to research two relatives from WW1

Mt grandfather was a Private Harry Tulk and served with the Dorset Regiment.

I have his medal card but am unable to find out what it means, therefore i do not know which battles he was in.

I am aware he did not join until 15/8/1915 and was injured 3 times, the last time he was left for dead but was found when the burial parties realised he was still breathing, he finished his time in Southampton hospital and was there for Armistice day

His number is 24153.

The medal card has what looks like a c or L/2/101B13 under the roll details and then ditto again for both the Victory and British medal, I beleive he was entitled to another one but never received it.

The second relative was his half brother who was a Frederick William Dean and he was also in the Dorset regiment his number was 200277 pte.

Can you possible help me any information.

Thank you

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Elaine

I'd have said that Harry Tulk joined later than the date you give. Certainly, his number with the Dorsets is much too high for August 1915 and looks more like August 1916. The refernces next to the medals refer to the original rolls which are at the National Archives in London. You could ask a researcher to photograph thee for you, or go to Kew yourself, but they probabky won't yiled a lot of additional information. Based on his number I'd have said that these medals were his only campaign entitlement.

200277 fro F W Dean shows that he was a member of the 4th Dorsetshire Regiment, a Territorial Force battalion. Like his half brother, he did not arrive overseas until after 31st December 1915.

Paul

Bob said...

Paul

Wondering if you can help. I have the following information from the CWGC and I am trying to track any further information on:
William Edwards
nationality: South African
Rank: Driver
South African Service Corps
M.T.
age 34
Date of death: 30/11/1918
Service No 3499
Son of John and Fanny Edwards Cuddington Cheshire

Hope you can help

Bob

Paul Nixon said...

I wish I could help, Bob, but I'm afraid I don't have anything at all on South African numbers. I do know that SA records survive still at the SA Military Archives and so you should probably direct enquiries there, although I gather from hearsay that you may find it something of a pallaver to get access.

Sorry I can't be more help.

Paul

Derrick Watson said...

This is an amazing piece of work that you have put together. Thanks for taking the effort to do so.

I am trying to find the right records for my Grandfather, William George Watson. I know that he was a sergeant in the Machine Gun Corps (from my aunt's birth certificate dated July 1916) and that he had previous Army service (1901 to 1904 in India with the Border regiment).

I have found three possible William Watsons who were sergeants in the MGC from the medal index cards and wonder if their service numbers might help identify which is the right one. They are:

Sgt William Watson MGC 12654 & Liverpool Reg 13373

Sgt William G Watson MGC 3751 & N Staff Reg 44789

Cpl William Watson Yorkshire Reg 9585 & then Sgt MGC 113957 & then R Tank C 7817439

Any help you can give to narrow down my search will be much appreciated

Thanks

Derrick Watson

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Derrick

Thanks for your post. You can rule out 113957 because this number is post July 1916. The other two are both possible candidates although with the first man, 13373 for the King's Liverpool Regt is an August 1914 enlistment and therefore pre-dates the MGC number. Unfortunately the pre-war service with the Border Regt is a red herring here. Both men could have had prior service in the army but you won't know that unless you find a service record for one or the other.

Paul

vivjenks@aol.com said...

Hi Paul what a great site found it most informative.
An im afraid i do have a query
My Grandfather Taliesin Jenkins on his first Worl War Records show that he had been in the Army before
it shows that he had joined in 30/12/1895 at Pontymister South wales he had joined the 1st S.W. Borderers NO.5152 and was discharged on 9/12/1903 I can find no record of this Number His World War 1 Number is 13256 S.W.BORDERERS He also had the number TR/4/66 after he was wounded. I would love to know where he was between 1895 and 1903 Thanking You Vivian Jenkins

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

I'm re-posting this message as I don't think the original got through for some reason.

I am researching a Cpl Arthur Sluman from Padstow in Cornwall who joined the Devonshire Regiment with the number 4348.

He returned to UK to become a machine-gun instructor but was recalled to France during the Spring Offensive and was posted to 10th Worcestershire with the number 43532. He was killed on 10th April 1918.

Is there anyway I can check whether the first number was in fact for the Devons as members of the family believe he joined the DCLI.

Also, is there any info I deduce from the two numbers that might help me fill in some of the blanks re enlistment date etc?

I'd also like to know more about interpreting army service numbers. Can you recommend a book?

Great blog, by the way.

Paul Nixon said...

Vivian

5152 for the SWB dates precisely to 30th december 1895 and he has four surviving pages from his attestation in WO 97 (pension records) which you can access on the findmypast website. He served in Gibraltar and India as well as in the UK.

Paul

Paul Nixon said...

4348 for the Devonshire Regt dates to Jul/Aug 1895. 4348 for the DCLI dates to December 1893. If he was under 18 in Dec 1893 you can probably rule out the DCLI.

There's no book on army numbers, as far as I know, other than the one I have self-published and which contains some of the information you'll find on this blog. Howard Williamson is currently working on a book which will contain information on army numbers, some of this contributed by me, but this will not be published until next year.

Best wishes

Paul

Peter Smith said...

Hi Paul,


Thanks for you reply to my question re army service numbers for Arthur Clarence Sluman.

Without in anyway doubting its veracity, I must admit I am rather baffled by what you have said. You indicate Arthur would have enlisted in the Devonshires in Jul/Aug 1895. He would then have been aged six, so clearly something is wrong. As I foolishly gave you no idea as to his age that was my fault.

I was always under the impression that Arthur enlisted late in the war and as there was no entry date for France assumed that he arrived some time after 1915.

I tried a quick search on Ancestry and came up with a John Dixon in the 2nd Devons who had the same number as Arthur. He arrived in France on 6/11/14 and was KIA 10th March 1915. Is it possible Arthur was allocated his number?



Peter

Paul Nixon said...

Thanks for the confirmation, Peter. I was just looking at the series for the regular battalions but armed with this additional information about his age it seems more plausible that the number belongs to the series which was being used by the 3rd (Militia) Battalion and would date to 1905/1906. This battalion became the 3rd Special Reserve Bn from 1908. Under no circumstances though, would he have been issued with a number which had been used by another man.

Hope this helps.

Paul

Peter Smith said...

Thanks Paul,

I must admit this is taking me into unchartered waters. I shall have to go in search of enlistment rolls for the militia of that date, if such things still exist.

The date you give would make Arthur about 18 at enlistment, which sounds plausible, if a little unexpected.

Not exactly sure where militias fitted in to the army structure. I understood them to be county-based volunteers, much like the Territorials. Were they paid? Presumably after the Haldane reforms they became part of the Territorial establishment?

I thought Army reserves were all ex-soldiers, but clearly I'm wrong there.

Thanks again for your help. What happened to your excellent Chailey website by the way? I'm in that neck of the woods myself.

Peter

Paul Nixon said...

Peter

You're close. The militia was county-based, as were the Volunteers. So you couldn't join the West Essex Militia, for instance, if you lived in Sussex. The militia gave men the opportunity to have a proper taste of army life without the full-time commitment, and in fact a lot of men joined the regular army having oiriginally served with the militia. They were paid. From 1908, the militia became the Special Reserve (and Extra Reserve) albeit a number of militia infantry battalions were disbanded. At the same time, the Volunteers became the Territorial Force.

There is a great distinction to be made between the men of the Army Reserve (who were regular soldiers marking time until they became time-expired)and the men of the Special/Extra Reserve who were part-time soldiers.

I abandondoned the Chailey site after the platform I'd published it on became too unwieldy. I always intended to re-publish but have rather been overtaken by other projects since then (and see no light at the end of the tunnel currently). But you certainly live in a beautiful part of the country.

Happy Easter

Paul

Peter Smith said...

Paul,

As the milita were exclusively local it seems Arthur Sluman would very likely have been living in Devon at the time he enlisted. Interesting.

By way of a sneaky supplementary, I wonder if you could give me any help with another soldier of mine, a Robert England from Padstow who was KIA aged 27 on 23/8/17 at 3rd Ypres. He was in the 6th Somersets.

Robert has two numbers on his SDGW details, 15176 for the Somersets and a former number of 15590 for the DCLI. The DCLI number does not appear on either his CWGC or medal card. His date of entry for France is 8/9/15. The question is do his numbers give any clues as to when he transferred from the Cornwalls to the Somersets. Both the 6th Somersets and 6th DCLI were in 43rd Bde 14th (Light) Div, if that helps at all.

Once again thanks for all your help.

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Peter

15176 for the Somerset LI dates to October 1914. 15590 dates to around 7th September 1914 (I have 15580 who enlisted on the 7th).

Best wishes

Paul

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, I have discovered from your list of dates and P numbers that my Great grandfather, Rupert Youers must have transferred into the military mounted police between 12 Dec 1917 and 8 Feb 1918, as his number was P 14907. He was in the Bucks Yeomanry 2394, entry date to theatre of war 2A on 29/8/1915. I think this means he was at Gallipoli. Do you have any info on the bucks yeomanry?

thanks a lot for your wonderful site!
Ann

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Ann

Thanks for your compliments. I have some info on the Royal Bucks Hussars and based on his number would suggest that he joined them in May 1915.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Hello Paul
I am.doing some war memorial research and am interested in George Edward Hunter who served in 8th batt. East Yorkshire Regiment (205645) before being transferred to the Dorsetshire Regiment 6th Batt. (23485). He was KIA on24/8/1918.
Are you able to tell me anything about his likely date of transfer to the Dorsetshires or his original enlistment date? Many thanks for any help.

Paul Nixon said...

Regret I have nothing meaningful on these numbers currently and would need to do some more research on these regiments in order to come up with some likely dates. Sorry I can't assist at present.

Paul

Peter Smith said...

Hello Paul,

I wonder if you could shed any light on a chap I am researching. His name is Charles Edyvane (or Edyveane, or Egdvane as he is referred in some of his army records).

Charles came from Padstow, Cornwall and enlisted in 6th DCLI in December 1914. He went to France with the DCLI, but subsequently transferred to 1st Wilts and was KiA on 1st Sept that 1918.

He had two service numbers: No. 17212 (DCLI) and No. 28101 (Wilts).

The 6th DCLI disbanded in Feb 1918 and I had assumed that was when he transferred, but the regimental museum don't think this was the case.

My question: Is there anything we can deduce from his second service number which would indicate when he joined the 1st Wilts?

I'd be grateful for any help.

Thanks

Paul Nixon said...

Hello Peter

From the information I have (which, admittedly, gets thinner the klonger the war progresses), I'd have said that he transferred to the Wilts Regt between April and August 1916. If I weer you though, I wouldn't take my word for it but would also pose the same question on the Great War Forum. Be sure to put Wilts Regt help needed in the title of your post.

Paul

Michelle C. said...

Dear Paul,

I just found out about your website from the Who Do You Think You Are? magazine.

My grandfather served in the Royal Field Artillery. I've been trying to work out where he may have served in France (in connection with which battles); but I have not been able to work out his battalion.

Ernest Albert Cale was born in Birmingham on 8 July 1892. He initially joined the Royal Field Artillery as a boy soldier on 17 August 1906 (military number 43615). In 1908, he became a trumpeter; and then in October 1908 he got into some kind of trouble, was charged and detained, and then discharged "services no longer needed". (WO 97/4479/152)

He signed up again with the Royal Field Artillery after the outbreak of war, sent to France on 14 July 1915 (WO 329/2545). He returned home at the end of the war and received the usual array of medals. For his second enlistment, he was Albert Ernest Cale, military number 10611. I am sure this is the right man, because he gives this number on his marriage certificate in 1917. He died in 1947 in Birmingham.

The archivist at the Royal Artillery Library suggested searching the medal rolls at TNA for references to the brigade, but nothing turned up.

Any ideas I could pursue?

Thanks so much!
Michelle C.

Paul Nixon said...

Michelle

Thank you for your post. Good old WDYTYA; I didn't know they'd given me a plug.

Tricky isn't it? In the absence of a service record, you're struggling, but it might give some pointers to look for men with numbers close to that of your grandfather and see if any patterns emerge. Do this by checking the service records (WO 363) and pension records (WO 364) on Ancestry. I had a quick look and came up with this:

10608 enlisted 01/09/1914 at Birmingham; 184 Bde
10610 enlisted 01/09/1914 at Birmingham; C Battery, 58th Brigade.

Inconclusive, at best but you might also try posting this same query on The Great War Forum and hope that A RFA expert (and there are some knowledgeable folk there) comes along and gives you some more pointers.

Good luck and sorry I can't be of more assistance.

Paul

Anonymous said...

Hi. I wonder if you can help with this query?

Approximately when would the number 20815 have been issued to (a)the Royal Garrison Artillery (b) the Royal Field Artillery?

Also, did the RGA, RHA, and RFA have different number sequences or did the Artillery just use one sequence, irrespective of which branch a man joined?

Many thanks.

Paul Nixon said...

Hello

The RGA and RH&FA used different number sequences. In addition, there were Territorial Force units which, again, each used different sequences. Royal Artillery numbering is worthy of a blog in its own. 20815 for the RGA dates to the second half of 1904. For the RH&FA it could date to January 1902 or, when a new numbering sequence began, to around November 1914. But I stand to be corrected by an expert on RA numbering.

Zach said...

Hi I am search for info on my great grandfather, his name is Arthur G Peakall and from what I can gather on ancestry.com he served in the 20th London Regiment, Army Cyclist Corps and the regimental numbers given are633136, and 23208. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Paul Nixon said...

Zach, the 20th London Regt dates to between July and December 1916. The ACC number post dates this but I'm afraid I can't tell you when.

Zach said...

Thanks I have been searching for info on the 20th London Regt and I cant find anything about them or what they did in the war. Any idea's on where to search?

Paul Nixon said...

Zach, the National Archives will hold the war diary for this battalion and some diaries are already available online. All infantry war diaries should be online by August 2014.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to track 2 great uncles,. I know Robert Finlayson served in the Royal Fusiliers, regiment no spts4348 from his medal card, but there is no other record, and his death is still unknown both in date and place.
I also have a photo of I believe Eugene Finlayson in what appears to be Royal Fusiliers uniform, with the number 33370 on the rear. I can't trace any info on him at all, so does this mean his military records are in the burnt set?

Thanks

Paul Nixon said...

Re RF, I'd have said the first man joined in November 1915 but there is no record of him on either SDGW or CWGC. SDGW is not good on post 1918 deaths and if he died after August 1921 he won't have been regarded as a WW1 war death. But as you'll have seen, his brother applied for his medals in 1922.

I could not find a card for 33370 and so maybe this man did not serve overseas or transferred to another regiment before serving overseas. Around 60% of service records were destroyed during WW1.

cretanlover said...

I am hoping that someone, somewhere will help me in trying to trace John Osborne's records who was born in Paisley. He says born 1914 but marriage age means born in 1917. The only info I have got is that he married in 1940 and residence is 51 (st?) Anti Tank RA Giza (Lines?) he was a gunner aged 23. His supposed number was 863871 and he told his family he was a gunner/bombardier in the Royal Horse Artillery. I desperately need to find his records as I cannot find a birth certificate for him and I am hoping that any info on his records will help me determine exactly where he was born and when! If you served with him please get in touch too.

Thank you all
Pam

Paul Nixon said...

I can't help I'm afraid, Pam. My knowledge ends in 1918. You'll need to get in touch with either the MoD (which still holds personnel records for WW2) or the Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich who may have some information.

Paul

Trevor Purnell said...

Paul,

Great website. Grateful for your help with some dates of enlistment for some service numbers for Royal Sussex regiment I am unable to find on your site.
G/1694 2nd Battalion 1st Division
TF/320155 16th Battalion 74th Division
S/2292 2nd Battalion 1st Division
G/17557 7th Battalion 12th Division
TF200499 1st/5th Battalion 48th Division
G/4072 9th Battalion 24th Divison

Our village team is working on a project for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 and the numbers belong to our village war dead.

Many thanks and regards,
Dr Trevor Purnell

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if you can shed some light on my great grandfather David Lynas who was a private in the Armagh Militia in 1855 (listed under his occupation on his marriage license. Now I am not fluent in any of the Battalion names if he belonged to one in particular but I need some direction in which to search for info. I know he lived in Portadown and that's all I know other than his marriage date. Can you direct me at all as to where I would find a register or listing on where he served?

Kind regards,
Jan

Paul Nixon said...

Trevor

Good luck with your project. Estimates below:

G/1694 - Aug/Sep 1914
TF/320155 - Not sure
S/2292 - Aug 1914
G/17557 Sep 1916 onwards
TF200499 - Sep 1914
G/4072 - Oct 1914

Paul

Paul Nixon said...

Jan

I have no data on this I'm afraid. However, if he was militia, he probably didn't serve overseas at all but rather would have been based in Armagh.

Try posting the same query on the Victorian Wars Forum perhaps.

Paul

Trevor purnell said...

Paul,

Many thanks for your reply to my query re dates of enlisting. Is there any way from these numbers or other way that I can find where they enrolled.

Regards,

Trevor Purnell

Paul Nixon said...

Trevor

Tricky really. There may be some patterns for some of the numbers, and for TF200499 (which of course, would NOT have been his original number) the enlistment would have happened within the recruiting area for the 1/5th Battalion. The earlier South Down numbers do fall into blocks which pertain to men who came from specific towns, but I think that for the majority of the numbers you have it would not be possible to pin down a precise location.

Paul

Trevor Purnell said...

Paul,

Not sure if you received my latest request so posting again.
Grateful for further help. Could you tell me the enlistment
dates for
W Bryder TF260042 7th Royal Sussex.
Pte A J Bridger 92115 11th Sherwood Foresters.
Pte T D Daniels G/53052 2nd Royal Fusiliers.
L/C JW Grice P/4354 Corps of Military Police.
Pte CH Edwicker 33344 8th East Surrey.
Pte ER Pratt 30334 123rd Company Machine Gun Corps.

Many thanks for your help
Trevor

Paul Nixon said...

Trevor

I have nothing to offer on Bryder or Bridger.

Pte T D Daniels of the Royal Fusiliers looks like a 1917 enlistment, pre July. L/C JW Grice P/4354 Corps of Military Police is Sep or Oct 1916. Pte CH Edwicker 33344 8th East Surrey is post Aug 1917. Pte ER Pratt 30334 123rd Company Machine Gun Corps is April 1916.

Paul

Manni P said...

Thanks for all the hard work on this site - it helps a lot with researching family histories.

My relative was with the Camerons in WW!, and died somewhere on the Western front. His medal gives his service number as 3597 but according to your list that means he joined in 1894, but he wasn't born until 1895! have I taken a wrong turn somewhere?

Paul Nixon said...

Manni P

Thomas Murray? Was he from Inverness? The numbers I posted only relate to the series used by the regular battalions but he could have joined the 4th (TF) Battalion in July 1915 and been overseas by 10th Nov 1915. I'd suggest he was 4th battalion, later S/40270.

Paul

Trevor Purnell said...

Paul,
Still having problems with Pte William Bryder TF/260042 7th Royal Sussex. have found that he had an earlier service number 2212 with the Royal Sussex Regiment but don't know prefix or which battlion.

Grateful for any ideas

regards
Trevor Purnell

Doug Cox said...

Hi Paul

Can you help me with any info about L/Cpl Harry Coburn G/9952 26th Middlesex Regt.
He died in Salonika in 1919.
Medal card suggests he served in France in 1915 but I cannot trace activity there by 26th Middlesex.
Any idea when he may have joined up with this number.

Doug Cox

Paul Nixon said...

Doug

I'd have said the number dates to April/May 1915 which suggests he was posted to the 26th form another Middx battalion whilst still in England.

Paul

paulb said...

hi paul, I have found the interviews you had with my grandad Donald Banks,and would like to know if you have any more information that might help my research,thanks. regards paul banks.

Paul Nixon said...

Would love to chat to you Paul, have left a message on your grandfather's blog post. Paul