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Remembered Today:

Frank Henley 11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) d 1918

Guest Weevie

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I am trying to find out more about my ancestor, Frank Henley, Private 23141, of the 11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) - who died on 23rd March 1918 and I am looking for anything that you may have....

Were they attached to the 16th Irish regiment ?

What happened etc etc ?

Why have other soldiers, supposedly got the same service number (https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/2095448) & http://somme-roll-of-honour.com/Units/british/1st_south_wales_borderers.htm

I had assumed that service numbers were unique to a particular soldier ?


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Up to 1920 there was no such thing as an “army number”. men had numbers issued by their regiment or Corps. With each regiment having its own scheme, numbers were inevitably duplicated and in some cases dozens of men had the same number.

From Long Long Trail top left of this page.

Each regiment had its own number system. For instance if a regiment used numbers 1-9000 when the last number was issued they might have started again from the beginning. If a man transferred from one battalion to another within his regiment his number stayed the same. If he was transferred to another regiment he would be issued a number from that regiments block.

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From LLT

11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers)
Formed at Winchester in September 1914 as part of K2 and moved to Dublin, attached as Army Troops to 16th (Irish) Division. Moved to Mullingar in September. Became Pioneers to the Division in December 1914. Moved to Kilworth in March 1915 and on to Aldershot in September 1915.
Landed at Le Havre on 18 December 1915.
2 May 1918 : reduced to cadre strength. Returned to England on 18 June 1918 and moved to Lowestoft.
Reconstituted with 13th Bn, the Border Regiment.
Moved to Aldershot on 3 July 1918 and landed at Boulogne on 1 August 1918.

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Welcome to the forum.

Service numbers were only unique in certain circumstances - unique seven digit service numbers for all soldiers did not appear until after the war. There is information on this on the Long Long Trail website - there is a link top left.

I can't immediately find the war diary for 11th Hants on Ancestry.

It can be found here on the national Archives (£3.50): http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352839

As a major German offensive was taking place (starting 21st March 1918) it is unlikely that he will be mentioned by name there. The battalion was part of 16th Irish Division - 16th (Irish) Division

Kind regards


Edit - too slow!

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Killed on the third day of the Battle of St Quentin, 23 Mar 1918. 16 Division were part of VII Corps of 5th Army at that time. The German advance had split the lines and they were able to get in behind our lines and cause havoc.

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