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London Regiment - London Rifle Brigade - Regimental numbers


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My great uncle GEORGE A HEWITT was killed in action on 15th August 1917 while serving with the 1/5 London Regiment ( London Rifle Brigade ). His medal index card ( recorded as HEWETT ) shows two regimental number entries:

11 / London Regiment 821580

5 / London Regiment 315183

Can anyone confirm my assumption that he was originally in the 11th battalion and was then transferred to the 5th (LRB) ? If this is the case is it possible to tell from the regimental numbers the approximate dates of his enlistment and subsequent transfer ?

A search on ancestry does not find his service record so I am assuming that it was one of the burnt records.

All responses appreciated - my first use of this forum.


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  • 10 years later...

I do not know how far you have got in researching your uncle's war record but thought I might not be too late to add some detail. Both numbers you quote were allocated to Territorial battalions of the London Regiment in 1917. 821580 is in a block for the 31st Btn the London Regiment. The 11th Battalion, The London Regiment is otherwise known as the Finsbury Rifles. 315183 was allocated the 5th Battalion (The London Rifle Brigade).

I have been doing some work on the 5th Battalions war casualties as there is a difference between the CWGC figures and our Book of Remembrance. My list is not complete but so far there is no record of your uncle having been a member of the London Rifle Brigade prior to the 315183 number being issued.

The other Hewitts on my list of First World War men are : - 862 Hewitt, J.E. , Hewitt, H. St J., 8175 Hewitt R.F.(Joined 1904) , 617 Hewitt, T.A.. I mention these men as I know of at least one case of three generations joining the regiment so these may be connected to you.


Kind regards,

Peter Hart,

Secretary, London Rifle Brigade Veterans'

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  • Admin

Welcome to the forum Peter. Robert hasn't visited the forum since his first post in 2107. Once you have made two posts, you have access to private messages. If he isn't still using the same email address, he should receive the message.



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George transferred to the 5th Londons on 25.6.17 having arrived in France on 11.6.17 with 11th Londons. He was in a draft(s) of around 300 London Regiment soldiers drafted to the LRB on 25.6.17 from the depot. Mainly 11th and 9th Londons; some 13th and 28th. 315000 and 318000 ranges of numbers were allocated to men transferred to LRB from other units from Feb 17 onwards.

Incidentally I did some research on LRB casualties a while back and identified 2073 casualties; died serving with the LRB or LRB men died serving with other units.


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5th Londons were part of the 169th Brigade of the 56th London Division. On 11th Aug they moved into the line between Westhoek and 'Surbiton Villas'.


The 169th Attacked Glensorse Wood on 12th Aug. On 16th the Division took part in  the Battle of Langemarck. I have no specific information about  events on the 15th; he was probably killed in the build up to the battle.



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The Regiment suffered a number of casualties on 15th from enemy shellfire on their trenches. see Groome's book "Poor Bloody Infantry"

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