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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Regimental Number Change


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One of my grandfathers was enlisted into the Hampshire Regiment but as per his MIC his number was changed whilst with the regiment before he was then moved to the Royal Engineers.

The words from his entry at Kew are somewhat confusing,

"War Office: Service Medal and Award Rolls Index, First World War. Medal card of Misters, Ernest R. Corps Regiment No Rank Hampshire Regiment 28884 Private. Hampshire Regiment 25155 Private. Royal Engineers 618184 Private".

Can anyone shed any light on this please as I'd always assumed a soldier's number would only be changed when they moved to a new regiment.

KInd Regards


Ps. interestingly he first joined up at 16 with the Warwickshire regiment but the family managed to get him discharged before he was sent overseas!


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I'd be inclined to check the relating RE British War and Victory medal roll at the National Archives to see if this sheds any further light on the MIC entries. I am not convinced that 25155 is correct. If it is a Hampshire Regt TF number then it is missing a digit.


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A possible explanation is that the second Hampshire number should have six figures (1917 renumbering) and the clerk who wrote out the MIC made a mistake.


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  • 6 months later...

I believe that the second number is a training reserve number which should have had the prefix TR/8/. Although his cap badge would be Hampshire Regt, he would be numbered as part of the training reserve, hence he appears to have 2 Hampshire Regiment numbers.

I would suggest from the order of the numbers on the MIC that he went overseas with the Hampshire Regt, but was later posted to the training reserve due to being medically downgraded through injury or illness prior to transferring to the Royal Engineers.

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As always, the answer, as such, is in the actual medal rolls.

The number first allocated is 25155, followed by 28884. There is an annotation against the latter number that he served with the 2/4th Battalion. Now, of course, it is possible that the roll is in error and that there is a missing digit to give the "usual" six digit territorial number. However, it is far more likely that the the second number is correct and he was simply transferred from serving with a regular/service battalion after 1917, by which time he would not be renumbered within the usual territorial range.

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