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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Hussars - 686601


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Hi all,

New member and thank you for having me on your site :)

I was wondering if anyone here can help me with a search for a soldier.

Last year, while going for a walk on a local common, I came across this spoon, didn't think much of it until I saw the service number stamped onto the handle. I have done some research and found the number was issued to someone in the Hussars and that is where it's a dead end until yesterday, when I was given a photocopy of a newspaper cutting from a local (ish) newspaper. Dated 25th August 1915, it mentioned the the Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry, the West Somerset Imperial Yeomanry and the North Devon Hussars visiting a nearby town (Sidmouth) on a route march from camp on the common.

The service number on the spoon is 686601. I have looked at Ancestry, Find My Past and also the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website search, all with no luck. Though I'm a bit confused by the CWGC search giving a soldier with a very similar service number of 686600 being in the Royal Field Artillery?

I'm hoping someone can help point me in the right direction as I would love to know who this soldier is and potentially find the relatives.

Many thanks!

Best regards,





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unique numbers not issued until the 1920s so it may mean nothing to find a similar number

The first mark could be a G for General (service)

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This won't specifically answer your question but I agree that looks more like a G, and a search of the National Archive catalogue for Medal Index Index Cards produces 11 individuals who had a serial number 86601 at some point during the Great War, (the MIC's are hit and miss when it comes to prefixes). There are no matches for 686601.


MIC's are effectively only issued for overseas service, (before anyone jumps on me, I know there are circumstances in which a UK based soldier might have got one, but they are exceptional :-)

so someone who is home service only is very unlikely to have one. The point being that to have been in camp near Sidmouth in August 1915, its almost certain the units involved were the 3rd Line Home Service only ones.




Now the unlucky owner of this spoon may have gone on to serve overseas and have a MIC, but unless he went to the 1st line unit of his regiment, he would have been renumbered and the MIC and the associated Medal Rolls for his unit almost certainly won't reference his previous serial number.

The next port of call would be his service records, but unfortunately many of these were either destroyed or badly damaged as a result of bomb damage and the subsequent fire-fighting efforts in 1941. You've searched Ancestry and FindMyPast without any joy, so likely they were amongst those lost - although obviously worth checking with the G86601 / GS 86601 variants.

You can also try the relevant Regimental Museum for the Devons -



Good luck with your search but I suspect finding a spoon on the common will be easier than searching for a soldier in this particular haystack :-)



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