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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Number of men in a Company?


snailybailey
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Hi, was there a standard number of men that made up a Company? Grateful for any response

Cheers

Glyn

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Hi Glyn

In theory, about 250. See LLT for a breakdown of units and sizes.

In reality, as the war went on they weren't at that level. IT would seem about 180-200 was more normal from war diaries I've seen. Of course, when things went bad, they could be down to a mere handful and, for all intents and purposes ceased to exist.

Glen

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The Long, Long Trail......Companies

Usually lettered A to D - or in the case of the Guards and certain other regiments numbered 1 to 4 - each of the four companies numbered 227 heads when they were at full establishment. Each was commanded by a Major or Captain, with a Captain as Second-in-Command. Company HQ included a Company Sergeant-Major (CSM), a Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS), 2 Privates acting as batmen and 3 as drivers.

The body of the company was divided into 4 Platoons, each of which was commanded by a subaltern (a Lieutenant or Second Lieutenant). In total, the 4 Platoons consisted of 8 Sergeants, 10 Corporals, 4 Drummers, 4 Batmen and 188 Privates.

Each Platoon was subdivided into 4 Sections, each of 12 men under an NCO.

If asked, after his name, rank and number, a man might refer to himself as being in 3 Section, 1 Platoon, A Company, the Xth ???shire Regiment.

Wikipedia....A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–250 soldiers and usually commanded by a captain or a major. Most companies are formed of three to six platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure. Several companies are grouped to form a battalion or regiment, the latter of which is sometimes formed by several battalions.

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Hi Glyn

Just to add to Hookleg's excellent post, it was common for platoon numbers to run through the battalion: hence 1 to 4 Platoons would comprise A Coy, 5 to 8 B Coy and so on.

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Cheers guys......VERY comprehensive answers, the knowledge on the site never ceases to amaze me!

Glyn

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