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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

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I am looking for details for a Robert John Steel 5th Scottish Rifles, he was killed 29/10/1916. He enlisted at Edinburg Castle into the Royal Scots ,battalion and year unknown although his R.S number was 4046, does this pertsin to certain year or Battalion?. Secondly his first Scottish Rifles number was 1901 and changed to 202357, again when did this change and for what reason?. someone thinks his first S.R number was Territorial?. Someday I hope to visit PRO and look to see if his service record survives. Today i managed to get a copy of his M.I.C , he was only elegible for the Victory and British Medal. Does the following figures mean anything?


Victory D/103B21 2551 ?

British -do do ?

I would be most grateful for any help as little else is known other than whats on the CWGC site

many thanks

Douglas Steel

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Often the MICs have dates of enlistment and dates of discharge on them plus regimental numbers and regiment.


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The numbers refer to the listing in the BWM and Victory Medal rolls. At the PRO, Kew you can find the modern references for these listings and then order at the PRO the right medal roll books to examine. The medal rolls will have info on dates of enlistment and discharge, battalion, unit etc

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The 4 digit service number suggests a territorial or pre war regular Army unit and 'suggests' enlisment before the war or early on in proceedings. not definite but possibly help to narrow down a starting point? Changing to 6 digits from 4 was an Army wide exercise and suggests that in March 1917 he was still assigned to his original Regular or terrier Btn, as they were all changed then to bring the 'old' service numbers (or those who'd survived frankly!) to match the new system and the massive numbers involved by then. the 1901 number is a low one for sure, but the guidelines Ive used for the Beds Regmnt may not apply to other Regmnts???? :huh:

If you get no joy elsewhere, try the local papers of the time. many ran sections on who enlisted from what village etc, so will certainly narrow the dates down a little if it doesnt specifiy the date.

The lack of a 1914/15 Star usually means his unit werent ready 'Active' Service by Feb 1915 I think??

'Soldiers Died' has extra details from the cwgc, but I dont have it sorry!


Steve :D

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