The following is an account of Christmas time 1914, as given by the men of the 5th (Territorial) battalion of the Black Watch.
In the early hours of November the 2nd 1914, the 5th btn landed at Le Havre, having left Southampton the night before aboard the SS Architect. They were the first Scottish Territorial battalion to arrive in France.
Allocated to the 24th brigade in the 8th Division they were employed as line of communication troops. Digging trenches under Royal Engineer supervis
It was the Army Council Instruction (ACI) 2414 of 1916, published on 23 December 1916, that among other things, ordered the renumbering of the men of the Territorial Force.
Previously numbered 1 - 9999, the Territorials were to be allocated a new (and in most cases) 6 digit number.
The changes were to be implemented by the 1st of March 1917.
In the case of the 5th Black Watch the number block given over to them began at 240001.
With few exceptions the renumbering followed the