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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Royal Warrant dated 16th November 1903


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Hi folks

Below is an excerpt from the Pension record of 7126 Pte James McGuire 2nd Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers, discharged due to wounds in 1917, as you'll see there is a stamp stating "Elected to come under the conditions of Royal Warrant dated 16 November 1903" which I'm confused with.

To give some background, he enlisted 7th May 1900 on a "7 years with the Colours 5 years Reserve, Short Service engagement", another relative who enlisted in 1904 has a more common "3 years with the Colours 9 years with the Reserve, Short Service engagement", could this Royal Warrant have been to change the terms of the "Short Service"?

I also note in the entry below it states "Permitted to extend his service to complete 8 years with the Colours" dated 1st April 1904".




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Sam, yes, it was a Royal Warrant that governed the terms and conditions of engagements at that time.

The most common infantry engagement was 7 years with the colours and 5 with the reserve for line regiments. Foot guards had 3 years with the colurs and 6 with the reserve. Cavalry and Artillery had variations. There were also different limits for height and chest size.

There were then clauses to permit 'signing on' (extending). The purpose was threefold, to keep the best men in and produce NCOs, to build a trained reserve (the most difficult thing - even now) and to 'limit' the numbers eligible for a full pension to what the exchequer could afford.

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Thanks for confirming that, would I be right in reading into your reply that the Warrant standardised the Short Enlistment to 3 and 9 across the Army and that those who enlisted on a 7 and 5, 3 and 6 etc engagement would automatically be changed to a 3 and 9 unless they requested to extend and only in the case where the extension was granted as it was with Jimmy?


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