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Lincolns numbering John Blanchard


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Hoping someone can help me with Pte John Thomas Blanchard.

His MIC says he was 291037 with the Lincolns before going to the Labour Corps.

A discharge papers says he was disembodied, so he is a Territorial. Apparently enlisted 16 October 1915.

Now all my sources say 291037 is not of the 1917 renumbering of the Lincolns, and I can't find a single man numbered like it in searching the service records.

However to add to the mystery his family also think he might have been with the Sussex at some point - and that number would be a Sussex TF number (15th Bn).

All insight welcome.

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Hi Chris,

I thought at first that the '9' may have been a mistake, but is written quite clearly on his original MIC.

4th Lincs 6 digit numbers started 20

5th Lincs 6 digit numbers 24

13th (TF res) 6 digits 26

I haven't come across a 6 digit starting 29.

I have cross checked 241037 and 201037 (just in case) and both are taken by other men.

I can only speak for the 5th Lincs but October 15 enlistment dates would coincide with a group around 241270-241310

There were quite a group of Lincs TF (4th and 5th) transferred to Sussex service battalions. A quick scan would suggest 11, 12 and 13th battalions, a sample service number for one of these is: G/ 15370 12th R.Sussex.

However, in the group that I have none were re-numbered with a 6 digit Lincs TF (or any as far as I'm aware) number.

Not sure if this helps any!



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Thanks, Steve. His story is very difficult to figure out just from his numbering. Whether it was his first posting is hard to say but he appears to have served with the 70th Provisional Battalion of the Sussex, which converted to 15th Battalion on 1 January 1917. His 291037 comes from that.

Then he is transferred to the Lincolns as does not have to change his number (see the TF regulations re renumbering). He goes to France and presumably serves with 1/4th, 1/5th, 2/4th or 2/5th Battalion.

He is in the Labour Corps by mid 1918 and serves with 409 (Agricultural) Company.

But what his numbers were, and what his story was, before March 1917 is hard to guess. His family believe he enlisted in October 1915, which may make him a Derby Scheme recruit.

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HI Chris,

May be able to help some more here.

The 409 Labour Company seems like the catalyst!!! (although coincidental!)

On my 5th Lincs DB I have 1 man also in the 409 Lab Coy 3241 5th Lincs renumbered 239222 Lab Coy.

This made me re-check my files. I had forgotten that there is also in the Lincs medal rolls a large group of 235*** and a smaller group of 238*** numbers.

The men in this group have a real mish mash of former battalions, from all over the country, a quick scan suggests a TF bias. I think intended to supplement the Lincs TF originally, but eventually transferred to several Lincs battalions. There are among them some Lincs Yeomanry so I think the date may be early 1918? (Jim Davies could perhaps give a more accurate date?)

There are two R.Sussex transfers recorded that may help to solve the problem.

235500 Pte John Hollick 2nd Lincs formerly 290412 15th R. Sussex, 290412 13th R.Sussex

235503 Pte Cyril Michael 2nd Lincs formerly 291236 9th R.Sussex, 291236 8th R. Sussex.

There are 7 men among this little group, 6 of which including the above have Sussex Regiment connections and all went on to the 2nd Lincolns.

The others are:

235501 Pte C.P. Easton formerly 1858 1/1/ Herts, 15607 12th then 11th R.Sussex

235502 Pte A. Martin formerly 2129 2/1 Sussex Yeo. 260037 7th R.Sussex

235504 Pte R. Dugdale formerly 4403 6 E.Lancs 6274 LN.Lancs, 202887 LN.Lancs

235506 Pte T. Swift formerly 202123 2/5 R.Sussex 202123 13th R.Sussex

235507 Pte E.M. Podesta formerly 22903 13th R.Sussex.

The anomaly here is Lancashire man Dugdale. However the previous 9 (consecutive) entries are all Lancs men who also ended up in the 2nd Lincs.


It would be convenient then if Blanchards 291037 'Lincs' number was in fact his ?? Sussex number? His actual 2nd Lincs number slotted in (235505) among the small group of Sussex-Lincs transfers on the medal roll. And even more convenient if he was wounded with the 2nd Lincs at Kemmelberg in March/April? 1918, leading to his role in the Labour Company!!!!

What say you?


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