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1911 Census Demographics - Regular Battalions


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22 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

Another big step forward!

 Indeed. All in a few days. While the software was initially quite daunting, there are some useful tutorials on how to resize the plots to reflect different number counts in each location. The trick is to try and not allow the larger dots obliterate the underlying smaller ones. The software 'layers' each set of data so by playing around with transparency and layering its should be possible to show the larger concentrations without losing any of the nitty-gritty detail of places where just one individual was born. 

 

Another experiment here with the Black Watch. Note how bar-belled the data is. At one end lots of individual places with one man, and at the other end three or four cities that produced most of the recruits. I recall reading that three cities accounted for a massive proportion of Scottish recruits (cant recall the exact number).

 

Black Watch 1911 Census Place of Birth

QGIS Black Watch Census 1911 Weighted.JPG

QGIS Black Watch Census 1911 Weighted 2.JPG

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Latest iteration of the Border Regt based on the modern discrict boundaries for the UK. The darker the colour the greater the number of men born in that particular district. London is shown on the right enlarged. 

QGIS OHM Border.JPG

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7 hours ago, QGE said:

A slightly different view. Black Watch and Border Regt...

 

 

QGIS Bubble.JPG

 

This might go well on my bathroom wall, call it "British Bubbles" and sell it in art galleries. Can I please have slightly different colours, such as lilac, and a dark grey?

 

Seriously, when can I hope for the Royal Regiment of Wales to receive the treatment?

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13 minutes ago, Muerrisch said:

 

This might go well on my bathroom wall, call it "British Bubbles" and sell it in art galleries. Can I please have slightly different colours, such as lilac, and a dark grey?

 

Seriously, when can I hope for the Royal Regiment of Wales to receive the treatment?

 RRW or RWF? 

 

If RWF I can only do 1st Bn as it requires Census data for 1911, unless you can provide me with a roll of men and their place of birth or residence. 

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Until the messy mergers there was only one Royal Regiment of Wales, the RWF. I was being too clever by far.

 

The 1st battalion would be most welcome. Be prepared for a massive Birmingham and Black Country blob.

 

2nd bn are on the India census, I will scratch around and report back.

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1 hour ago, Muerrisch said:

Until the messy mergers there was only one Royal Regiment of Wales, the RWF. I was being too clever by far.

 

The 1st battalion would be most welcome. Be prepared for a massive Birmingham and Black Country blob.

 

2nd bn are on the India census, I will scratch around and report back.

 

 

The 2nd Bn RWF was in India in 1911 not 1st Bn RWF... (my mistake), so you will be pleased. VERY. I have over 1,000 names...am crunching the data which will be posted in the small hours. Brums are less than is popularly believed.... 

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8 minutes ago, QGE said:

 

 

The 2nd Bn RWF was in India in 1911 not 1st Bn RWF... (my mistake), so you will be pleased. VERY. I have over 1,000 names...am crunching the data which will be posted in the small hours. Brums are less than is popularly believed.... 

Many thanks: the following may confirm your findings, extracted the hard way many years ago. 

Wales or Birmingham

 

 

‘The battalion which arrived in France was largely English, the ‘Birmingham Fusiliers’ …..TWTIK

 ‘About eighty percent of us were Birmingham men: I never saw better soldiers or wished for better pals’ OSND.

 ‘In peacetime … (the battalion) did not contain more than one Welsh-speaking Welshman in fifty’ GTAT.

 

The contentions quoted above will be examined in this section.  They refer only to the Other Ranks and indeed insufficient is known of the origins of the majority of officers to comment in these terms.

 

Birmingham

Undoubtedly the Birmingham connection was very strong at the beginning of the war. All the original members or 1914 arrivals had a regimental number 11500 or below (see Chapter xx). A very small proportion of these numbers are believed to be misleading, but they are not sufficient in quantity to disturb the thrust of the statistics.  Of all of those war dead throughout the years of the war with numbers 11500 or below, 80 had Birmingham as a birthplace (declared on enlistment and to be found in SDIGW), a further five from Wolverhampton, three from West Bromwich and (by scraping the barrel of any definition of ‘Birmingham area’ to the very bottom) by including Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire towns and villages one reaches a grand total of 138 war dead soldiers in the 1914 battalion who might by a considerable stretch of the imagination be said to be of the Birmingham area in origin. This is a far cry from 80% of the 1400 or so men who served in the battalion in 1914.

The customary regimental practice of recruiting in Birmingham continued through the war.  For example, on 25th October 1915 the Depôt sent Major Pryce (a wounded veteran of war service) to Birmingham, with Lieutenant Barter VC (commissioned from the ranks), the Band, a Corps of Drums, 20 NCOs, ten privates and of course the Goat.  This substantial effort, spread over a week, produced a handsome reward: 350 recruits.  Their regimental numbers are in a batch between about 36300 and 36900.

 

Wales

According to SDIGW, and using the assumptions above,  116 men of the war dead (all years) of the 1914 battalion were born in Wales.  One can not determine how many spoke the language, but the data base reveals the North Walians (where the use of the language is greatest) among the Old Army men and this is examined later. Clearly there were many in the 1400 or so men who crossed to France in 1914 who were neither from the Birmingham area, nor Welsh. The number can not be specified because these statistics are derived from the dead who were only about a quarter of those who belonged at one time or another to the battalion (see Chapter xx for justification of this statement).  What one can reasonably expect is that Birmingham and Welsh casualties should have been approximately pro-rata to the Birmingham and Welsh population of the unit.  Bearing in mind the efforts of flexibility required to raise the Birmingham number to 138 men and the fact that Wales mustered 116 among the dead of the ‘Old Contemptibles’, one is driven to conclude that the statements of Richards and Dunn regarding the Birmingham connection are not proven.  Unless (preposterous theory) the Birmingham men, truly outnumbering the Welsh, possessed sufficient cunning or skill to avoid sharing their fate in proportionate numbers. As the war went on there were certainly rising numbers of Welshmen in the battalion.  One can examine Welsh-born casualties in each year of the war.  They are as follows:

 

Dead of Welsh Birth                                  

Year                                                 Number    Welsh Percentage of dead

1914                                                              19    23

1915                                                              39    28

1916                                                           120    39

1917                                                           141    45

1918                                                           121    43          

1919                                                                2    18

TOTAL                                                     442    39%

These statistics demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the number of Welsh soldiers dying in the ranks of the battalion rose sharply.  It is reasonable to conclude that so also did the proportion serving as the war went on.

Finally, the data base can not comment on the Welsh-speaking ability of the old 2nd RWF, but, noting Robert Graves’s statement that there was not more than one in 50 Welsh-speaking (i.e. some 20 in the battalion of about 1000 if at full strength), the SDIGW birthplaces give rise to doubt.  420 of the 1139 war dead (all years) qualify by virtue of regimental number as Old Army.  116 are known to be of Welsh birth but the 13 from Cardiff and 5 from Swansea were possibly not Welsh speakers.  But from the north of the Principality one has the following numbers:

 

1914 Welsh County names and boundaries

Anglesey                              6

Carnarvonshire                 9

Denbighshire                   11

Flintshire                           10

Merionethshire                  4

Montgomeryshire             3

TOTAL                              43

 

Conclusion

This implies that one in ten of the ‘old soldiers’ were North Walians, rather than Graves’s one in twenty.  Even allowing for the fact that probably not all of the North Walians were native speakers, the above calculation has totally ignored the centre of the Principality and discounted the industrial south.  Graves was probably wrong. 

 

 

 

7 minutes ago, QGE said:

 

 

The 2nd Bn RWF was in India in 1911 (my mistake), so you will be pleased. I have over 1,000 names...am crunching the data which will be posted in the small hours. Brums are less than is popularly believed.... 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting stuff- I am not into large scale plotting from census data (With me,"large-scale" means more than the number of fingers and toes). A larger question has to be: Is birthplace a reliable guide to a person's self-view of their origins? And, thus,perhaps perceptions of unit loyalty in the more specific territorial regiments? (Reference,D.of Wellington, barns and Irish nationality,etc). Your model presumes a high degree of social and territorial immobility- that is, the recruits of say 18 years are still in the same place they were born. Which is not so- In comparative terms, much of the population were less mobile than now as they progressed through life. But,say,the growth of Victorian cities is a reverse ripple effect- cities have higher mortality, lower average age of death and,despite the publicity given to large slum families, rely on the inward migration of younger adults- thus, people from the Home Counties might migrate into London, people from the ring beyond the Home Counties might move in to the Home Counties proper, etc.

     In peacetime, place of enlistment would be important as an indicator of background-Your lack of KRRC recruits in Scotland -Is that because the Scots regiments were often understrength and thus it made sense not to allow recruiting in their home areas???  Would your model be able to plot place of enlistment, say, against place of birth-either by numbers/percentages or distance from one to the other.  How men ended up in particular regiments in peacetime is a useful exercise-it may well be that "territorial" units did indeed have reduced or minority  enlistments from their own areas- its useful and a corrective to the placements during the war (as in my recent queries about Transfers of Drafts)

     To me, I think there is some mileage in how men were allocated not only to specific regiments-overtly territorial or not- and to which branch of the service. For instance, a number of "my casualties for Wanstead are either agricultural labourers or, given the growth of urbanisation, domestic gardeners- most domestic gardeners are either former labourers or from labouring familes-a little something that I had not anticipated). But they are disproportionately posted-yes,in the war years, to Artillery- used to outdoor and heavy work must have been a key consideration.

      What might be interesting is plotting birthplace against branch of service-  Are there agricultural areas that provide more men for the cavalry  for instance (Any mention here in further postings of "Warhorse" and I'll be reaching for the valium)-or say, Durham urban births to,say Royal Engineers- more miners ergo more posting to RE???

      Much of how men ended up in specific regiments is anecdotal and reasonably obvious. But good luck with doing it- But what about the reverse??   A sample of army men from 1911 Census of battalion size from a particular area an then the breakdown of where they were posted, age and say rank??   Might throw up longer term recruiting trends.eg I suspect that men from the more rural areas might,on average, show up as having served longer enlistments-that men from say London were more likely to quit after one term of engagement- thus, birthplace percentages plotted against NCO ranks might be an interesting exercise. Just a thought but Im interested anyway. 

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13 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

Interesting stuff- I am not into large scale plotting from census data (With me,"large-scale" means more than the number of fingers and toes). A larger question has to be: Is birthplace a reliable guide to a person's self-view of their origins? [Not always.. The data includes many expatriates born in India and the colonies. Culturally they were British]. And, thus,perhaps perceptions [whose perception?] of unit loyalty in the more specific territorial regiments? (Reference,D.of Wellington, barns and Irish nationality,etc). Your model presumes a high degree of social and territorial immobility- that is, the recruits of say 18 years are still in the same place they were born. [there is no 'model'. It is simply a plot of birthplaces declared by the individuals. One would need to tread carefully before making any conclusions. It does not make any 'assumptions'] Which is not so - In comparative terms, much of the population were less mobile than now as they progressed through life. [I am not sure I would agree. What is you source for this claim?. The UK saw massive emigration and very large movement within the UK based on economics. The General Annual Returns of the British Army (GARBA) 1902-1913 specifically mentions emigration to Canada and Australia as a drain on potential recruiting.  Every Census from 1841 to 1911 shows incredibly detailed tables by county and metropolitan borough of birthplace. Parts of Lancashire and Durham for example show massive Irish immigration peaking in 1861 but continuing throughout as a consequence of the massive depopulation of Ireland. Some places in England had more than 25% of their male population born outside of England. These were the fathers of many men born in England of Irish parentage. So a man born in, say Durham might well have been Irish by culture but not by birth. It is possible to plot every town and county and % by birthplace. I am not sure comparisons with mass immigration in the last few decades is meaningful. One only has to look at the relative growth in the populations of England & Wales v Scotland v Ireland to see massive population movements. We have reliable data starting in 1811] But,say,the growth of Victorian cities is a reverse ripple effect- cities have higher mortality, lower average age of death [what is the source of this claim? I am not sure this is correct. I would be interested in seeing the evidence and happy to be proven wrong] and,despite the publicity given to large slum families, rely on the inward migration of younger adults- thus, people from the Home Counties might migrate into London, people from the ring beyond the Home Counties might move in to the Home Counties proper, etc. [how does one separate a dead ex-rural urban dweller from an urban-born one? If mortality in urban areas is higher as you claim, how do we separate rural immigrants from indigenous urban? If your arguments are correct urban born people would on average die younger. Is there data to support this? One needs to recognise that infant mortality was high in the Victorian era, so rural immigrants to urban areas were survivors of the high risk period and the base mortality might reasonably be added back to reflect this. Put simply, dead people cant migrate. For every 100 Suffolk farm workers going to London to seek their fortune, how many of their brothers and sisters died in infancy? ]

     In peacetime, place of enlistment would be important as an indicator of background-Your lack of KRRC recruits in Scotland -Is that because the Scots regiments were often understrength and thus it made sense not to allow recruiting in their home areas???  [I think it was because English Regiments could not recruit in Scotland. Scots joining English regiments were expatriate Scots already in England I think]. Would your model be able to plot place of enlistment, say, against place of birth-either by numbers/percentages or distance from one to the other.  [Yes, If I had the data it would be simple] How men ended up in particular regiments in peacetime is a useful exercise-it may well be that "territorial" units did indeed have reduced or minority  enlistments from their own areas- its useful and a corrective to the placements during the war (as in my recent queries about Transfers of Drafts) [There is little doubt that Territorial Line Infantry regiments pre-war had large minorities or small majorities from their own County. This is understood by academics but not necessarily widely understood by the general public. The demographics changed as time passed and Conscription levelled the structural asymmetry between traditional recruiting districts and population densities.. Scotsmen were allegedly not allowed to be posted to English regiments against their will so the Scottish regiments at least maintained some cultural identity throughout, maintaining in some case exceptionally high proportions of Scotsmen. Disbandments and amalgamations assisted this process, as it did with Irish regiments] 

     To me, I think there is some mileage in how men were allocated not only to specific regiments-overtly territorial or not- and to which branch of the service. For instance, a number of "my casualties for Wanstead are either agricultural labourers or, given the growth of urbanisation, domestic gardeners- most domestic gardeners are either former labourers or from labouring familes-a little something that I had not anticipated). But they are disproportionately posted-yes,in the war years, to Artillery- used to outdoor and heavy work must have been a key consideration. I suspect your Wanstead sample is too small a statistical sample to draw any meaningful conclusions from it. 

      What might be interesting is plotting birthplace against branch of service-  Are there agricultural areas that provide more men for the cavalry  for instance (Any mention here in further postings of "Warhorse" and I'll be reaching for the valium)-or say, Durham urban births to,say Royal Engineers- more miners ergo more posting to RE??? [If one has the data it is easy analysis. The challenge is assimilating the raw data. Separately there are examples of Kitchener battalions being re-roled as Pioneer battalions due to the high incidence of miners in their ranks, so I suspect the early data (if it can be found) would in part support this part of the theory]

      Much of how men ended up in specific regiments is anecdotal and reasonably obvious. [About 30-40% is not anecdotal as we still have their Service records]  But good luck with doing it- But what about the reverse??   A sample of army men from 1911 Census of battalion size from a particular area an then the breakdown of where they were posted, age and say rank?? [Impossible to do unless we have all their records, which seems unlikely due to German town planning in 1941. Some Regimental records might still exist. The only exception I can think of is the Guards, but they recruited nationally so there is no 'Territorial' base to compare to]   Might throw up longer term recruiting trends.eg I suspect that men from the more rural areas might,on average, show up as having served longer enlistments-that men from say London were more likely to quit after one term of engagement [why?]- thus, birthplace percentages plotted against NCO ranks might be an interesting exercise. [Based on small sampling, there is no correlation] Just a thought but Im interested anyway. 

 

Voltaire -  my comments in blue. You make some assumtions that I am not sure I would agree with. I have done some hard yards in the Census data so I would be interested in the sources of some of your assumptions particularly with regards to rural v urban.

 

Most of my understanding on the Census comes from detailed analysis of the Census data 1841-1911 at the University of Portsmouth, along with some related analysis by authors. I have done a very detailed study of Irish emigration to the UK during this period in order to try and establish the proportion of Irish born in the Britsih Army pre-war and during the war as well as the percentage descended from Irish parents or grandparents.  MG

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17 minutes ago, QGE said:

 

Voltaire -  my comments in blue. You make some assumtions that I am not sure I would agree with. I have done some hard yards in the Census data so I would be interested in the sources of some of your assumptions particularly with regards to rural v urban.

 

I'd add to the above that in my work with the DLI T.F. (mainly 6th Bn) there weren't a huge number who were moved to the RE (other than signallers). The men tended to remain in the infantry and I can't say (perhaps surprisingly) that I noticed more men going to the RE than average on recruitment.

They did however form mining companies in 1915 (very scare records available) which may well have been in lieu of a lot of the men joining the RE directly and thus skew any meaningful figures.

Craig

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   I admit defeat on this - I am not a number cruncher-  and I can only just about spell the word "cliometrician".  My information comes from being taught the subject by 2 very good teachers at the London School of Economics- the late A.H.John (mostly a specialist in Welsh economic history-but one of quietest and most courteous people I have ever met) and Charlotte Erickson, a quite high-powered (ie on top of all the historical debates) American lady,who subsequently moved to Cambridge.

     But if more recent work challenges this- and good on you for doing chunks of it-then that is all part of what (remember Jim Callaghan using the term? -"the glory of the garden"- History moves on in part because technology allows us (well,you) the ability to research in ways that were not available a while back.

     So, I plead guilty to the sin of aggravated ignorance and ask for a reduced sentence in mitigation, M'Lud.

        I would stand by the comment about having to factor in levels of social mobility between birth and enlistment- I believe sincerely (God,Im turning into the late Hughie Green) that your model assumes a little too much a static model of society.  My understanding is that, particularly with Census data, one has to be on the alert for the changing use of terminology-what a term meant to a Census enumerator then may not be the same as its use now. As a small example of the birthplace problem- My experience with some of the casualties for Wanstead who are born out of area is that they are basically local but that many out of area births are in the mother's home area (across several censuses)- Because in an age of home births, daughters often went back to Mum come delivery time).But this would give a small distortion to "birthplace" use of statistics.

 

       So shoot me down, please-  I just look at the stuff and think how it can illuminate the experiences of individual histories, which is my main concern- Yes,there is an important place for "Big History"- but the generation of statistics is not an end in itself-it is an aide to further ends.

      And I think the capacity for debate and speculation that is thrown up by the generation of this sort of data is wonderful- If it makes one think afresh or differently then all to the best for all- no matter how amateur or off-beat their reasons are. For instance, -just as a casual query/speculation-  this thread has some interesting stuff on the Black Watch- showing a straggle of enlistments from further north in Scotland-  My immediate thought was that the linking factor on those enlistments would likely be the railway- But then to speculate just a bit further-why would some recruits travel further to enlist in the Black Watch specifically- and a stray thought that (if I ever bet) I would bet that the out-of-main-area enlistments in the Black Watch are more likely to have a previous family connection with the Black Watch-eg Father/Brother/Grandad had already served. 

     But go for it- give us the stuff-It adds to the pot and cheers up idiots like me. If it makes even Yoru Humble think twice,then all the better.

 

       All the best

 

                   Mike

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2nd Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers Census 1911.  The data has 1,087 names of whom we can positively identify the birth place for 942 (86.6%) We have a number born overseas in the colonies and in Ireland (the mapping software cant cope with Ireland but I am working on it). There are 88 whose birthplace and county dont match modern cross-checks or the spelling does not generate a single match. I suspect with a little more effort half of these will be resolved. So I would expect around 1,000 names.

 

Birmingham was 246 of the 942 known birth places or 26.1%

Wrexham (the next highest) was 45 or 4.8%.

 

English born were 710... or 75%

Welsh born were 215 ....or 23%

Others..................................2%

 

Note the software is rejecting Anglesey and Swansea as locations which would ad a few to the blanks in these districts. I am working on this and will re-post when done. In the meantime I don't think the picture will change significantly... MG

 

Only 20 locations accounted for 10 or more men (note the geographies are based on modern definitions. It is better than 'ceremonial county' which clusters men in too large an area and better than parishes which make the map looked like a shattered pane of glass and would take a lifetime to populate):

 

Birmingham City Council 246
Wrexham County Borough Council 45
Gwynedd Council 36
Cheshire West and Chester 31
Bristol City Council 29
Liverpool City Council 27
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council 21
Cardiff Council 20
Denbighshire Council 18
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 17
Conwy County Borough Council 16
Shropshire Council 16
Manchester City Council 13
Powys County Council 12
Plymouth City Council 11
Wolverhampton City Council 11
Cheshire East 10
Flintshire County Council 10
Isle of Wight Council 10
Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council 10

 

Welsh Locations in order. 215 names

Wrexham County Borough Council 45
Gwynedd Council 36
Cardiff Council 20
Denbighshire Council 18
Conwy County Borough Council 16
Powys County Council 12
Flintshire County Council 10
Pembrokeshire Council 7
Monmouthshire Council 6
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council 6
City and County of Swansea 6
Blaenau Gwent County Borough 5
Carmarthenshire County Council 5
Merthyr Tydfil Council 5
Island of Anglesey 4
Ceredigion County Council 3
Neath Port Talbot Council 3
Vale of Glamorgan 3
Bridgend County Borough Council 2
Torfaen County Borough 2
Caerphilly County Borough Council 1

 

 

 

QGIS OHM 2nd RWF Big Map.JPG

QGIS OHM 2nd RWF Focus Map.JPG

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4 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

          I would stand by the comment about having to factor in levels of social mobility between birth and enlistment- I believe sincerely (God,Im turning into the late Hughie Green) that your model assumes a little too much a static model of society.  My understanding is that, particularly with Census data, one has to be on the alert for the changing use of terminology-what a term meant to a Census enumerator then may not be the same as its use now. As a small example of the birthplace problem- My experience with some of the casualties for Wanstead who are born out of area is that they are basically local but that many out of area births are in the mother's home area (across several censuses)- Because in an age of home births, daughters often went back to Mum come delivery time).But this would give a small distortion to "birthplace" use of statistics. I am sure mobility was a factor and continued to be a factor during the recruiting of regulars between 1902-1913 (i.e men eligible for Reserve commitment). The birthplaces of a known number of men will only tell us part of the story. There are other databases such as SDGW which provide place of enlistment and place of residence. The data is patchy but there is enough to be statistically significant. If for example we look at the Scottish National War Memorial data, we have tens of thousands of named individuals and their place of birth, place of enlistment and place of residence. It would be a simple task to calculate the percentages of those who were born and lived in the same location and a simple but time consuming task to calculate the distance apart if the resided in a different place to where they were born. It might also provide an idea of the percent that had migrated since birth. 

 

Separately one needs to remember that the Territorial Force battalions would show rather concentrated data. The TF could only recruit within the boundaries of the County Association (a close proxy to the ceremonial counties ) with few exceptions. The demographic profile of a TF battalion in 1913 would be radically different from one in 1916. Even during mobilisation many TF battalions were under strength and needed drafts from elsewhere; sometimes different regiments (read districts). When we look across the Army very little was uniform in this sense.

 

I just look at the stuff and think how it can illuminate the experiences of individual histories, which is my main concern- Yes,there is an important place for "Big History"- but the generation of statistics is not an end in itself-it is an aide to further ends. I think the use of stats can on occasion eliminate some speculation. It is no panacea and stats need to be handled with extreme care. The shaded maps are a good example of this. Large counties such as Northumberland and Wiltshire can be visually over-representative. Statisticians don't particularly like these and for Census data use the parish fragmentation which provides an exceptionally high level of distribution in ares of roughly equal size. Again population densities are a major factor. The maps might easily be changed by showing recruits as % of population. It would be shaded rather differently. The point is that the observer needs to understand exactly what they are looking at. The various experimental charts are simply a way of exploring how to best present some hard facts in a visual format. Different chart types have different strengths and weaknesses. As long as one understands these, then some objective interpretation can be made. My purposes are to provide a general idea of where men were born who served in each regiment on the eve of the war. The 1911 Census data is only one data set that has a high level of integrity and completeness. 

 

      And I think the capacity for debate and speculation that is thrown up by the generation of this sort of data is wonderful- If it makes one think afresh or differently then all to the best for all- no matter how amateur or off-beat their reasons are. This is entirely the point. Perceptions about the make-up of British infantry battalions might be challenged. The RWF data would certainly support Grumpy's challenge to the perceptions of some serving RWF men, which is itself interesting.  Journalists and historians picking up quotes such as those highlighted by Grumpy would understandably take this primary material as 'factual'. The data suggest otherwise.  There are similar examples with the 10th Irish ihistory whose author, desperate to prove the "Irish-ness" of the formation fell into some rather imaginative ideas about alleged Irish heritage of the English recruits sent to bolster their ranks in 1914. Some simple stats show his ideas are really a flight of fancy. 

 

For instance, -just as a casual query/speculation-  this thread has some interesting stuff on the Black Watch- showing a straggle of enlistments from further north in Scotland-  My immediate thought was that the linking factor on those enlistments would likely be the railway- But then to speculate just a bit further-why would some recruits travel further to enlist in the Black Watch specifically- and a stray thought that (if I ever bet) I would bet that the out-of-main-area enlistments in the Black Watch are more likely to have a previous family connection with the Black Watch-eg Father/Brother/Grandad had already served. I strongly suspect it has more to do with recruiting men in one of the three major Scottish cities: Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, which acted as catchment areas for the highland diaspora. A substantial number of Scottish recruits were recruited in these three cities. GARBA has fine detail on this. Population in Scotland was extremely highly concentrated. It was far more efficient to recruit in the cities rather than trawl the highlands for men. After Conscription no recruiting parties were required, so we are really only talking about a short period of 18 months. 

 

         Mike

 

Mike- in blue again. I hope you don't feel that any disagreements are interpreted as trying to shoot you down. Far from it. It is interesting to be challenged, however it is useful to have reference points. One last point (again): there is no 'model' here and no attempt yet to draw any conclusions. It is simply a way of displaying data in a visual format. I am experimenting with different techniques. MG

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  If it makes me think afresh,then all the better for it. Thank you for your comments. This form of quantitative history produces data but it can never stop the arguments about it-and good thing too. I am aware of the 10th Irish Division "Irishness" problem- Indeed, a local casualty for the area I work on is in Ireland Roll on Ancestry (Herbert James Bentley,) but never went near the place - just transferred as part of a batch of conscripts to a battered battalion.But particularly towards the end of the war, with transfers, amalgamations ,etc-it does make one wonder about how representative it is ,say,with Bentley, to say "The Irish" gained a victory,etc,etc, -This is just a debating point-when analyis might show it was more a London suburban victory.

    The example that was lurking in the depths of my mind was Rorke's Drift and just how Welsh the SWB actually were,having not that long before moved their recruiting area-Certainly, not quite the level of Ivor Emmanuel Welshness in Zulu.

So keep bashing away at the stuff- If all else fails, then its colourful enough to cover that damp spot on the bathroom wall!

    Seriously-good luck in your work. It informs even the lowliest of others-ie Me.

       Mike

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

 The example that was lurking in the depths of my mind was Rorke's Drift and just how Welsh the SWB actually were,having not that long before moved their recruiting area-Certainly, not quite the level of Ivor Emmanuel Welshness in Zulu.

 

 

Indeed, Rorke's drift was fought by the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regt of Foot. The Title of the South Wales Borderers was not used for another two years in 1881. MG

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Martin, very many thanks indeed. Unless there were dramatic population shifts in the battalion [for example when they transferred many men to the 1st battalion at Malta on St David's Day 1914] the quotations look seriously adrift.

 

The battalion which arrived in France was largely English, the ‘Birmingham Fusiliers’ …..TWTIK  Yes and No.

 ‘About eighty percent of us were Birmingham men: I never saw better soldiers or wished for better pals’ OSND.  Very much No to Birmingham.

 ‘In peacetime … (the battalion) did not contain more than one Welsh-speaking Welshman in fifty’ GTAT. Almost certainly No.

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16 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

 

Your lack of KRRC recruits in Scotland -Is that because the Scots regiments were often understrength and thus it made sense not to allow recruiting in their home areas??? 

 

Nope - it's because there was a "national" Scottish rifle regiment - The Cameronians/Scottish Rifles - which tended to attract (some, but NOT all of) those Scots recruits who wanted to enlist into a regiment with the great traditions of the Rifles.  Such recruits still had the option of the KRRC and RB open to them and both "UK" Rifle regiments did recruit successfully in both Ireland and Scotland.  You will certainly see the names of riflemen of the 60th and 95th on war memorials all over Scotland, but probably proportionately less than in England and Wales.

 

The Cameronians had been selected to become the Scottish Rifle regiment in the 1881 reforms.

 

Similar effect in Ireland with the Royal Irish Rifles, though tempered there perhaps because in 1881 the KRRC and RB had five Irish militia battalions between them, three of which survived all the way to the Haldane Reforms.

 

Apologies if this has already been picked up in the extensive discussion of the other points raised in voltaire's posts, but they're too visually dense for my poor old eyes and I'm too busy to plough through them all!  :P

 

Mark

 

 

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On 11/10/2016 at 14:26, Muerrisch said:

 

Martin, very many thanks indeed. Unless there were dramatic population shifts in the battalion [for example when they transferred many men to the 1st battalion at Malta on St David's Day 1914] the quotations look seriously adrift.

 

The battalion which arrived in France was largely English, the ‘Birmingham Fusiliers’ …..TWTIK  Yes and No.

 ‘About eighty percent of us were Birmingham men: I never saw better soldiers or wished for better pals’ OSND.  Very much No to Birmingham.

 ‘In peacetime … (the battalion) did not contain more than one Welsh-speaking Welshman in fifty’ GTAT. Almost certainly No.

 

I think we are in agreement. I would add that Welsh speaking appears to have been far more widespread in past decades. As recently as 1961 (before my time) the map below would suggest far more Welshmen and women were speaking Welsh. GTAT's claim is likely to be far off given the one in four men were born in Wales and of these there was a heavy tilt towards areas where Welsh has been more resilient.

 

The Yeomanry diaries at Gallipoli commented on the Welsh Horse and Lovat Scouts speaking Welsh and Scots Gaelic respectively which caused some confusion for sentries. Cadogan aslo commented on the Welsh Horse' wonderful singing.... Elsewhere....

 

Blackadder: Have you ever been to Wales, Baldrick?

Baldrick: No, but I've often thought I'd like to.

Blackadder: Well don't. It's a ghastly place. Huge gangs of tough, sinewy men roam the Valleys, terrorizing people with their close-harmony singing. You need half a pint of phlegm in your throat just to pronounce the place names. Never ask for directions in Wales, Baldrick. You'll be washing spit out of your hair for a fortnight.

 

welsh speaking.JPG

Source: Uniplaces.com

 

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2 hours ago, MBrockway said:

 

Nope - it's because there was a "national" Scottish rifle regiment - The Cameronians/Scottish Rifles - which tended to attract (some, but NOT all of) those Scots recruits who wanted to enlist into a regiment with the great traditions of the Rifles.  Such recruits still had the option of the KRRC and RB open to them and both "UK" Rifle regiments did recruit successfully in both Ireland and Scotland.  You will certainly see the names of riflemen of the 60th and 95th on war memorials all over Scotland, but probably proportionately less than in England and Wales.

 

Mark

 

 

 

 

CWGC- a quick stab generates 13,181 KRRC men killed or died during the war. Searching that data for the word 'Scotland' generates only two returns. The same exercise with the Rifle Brigade generates 12,221 names and with Scotland as a filter, just 4 names. That surprised me. A lot. 

 

Separately the KRRC battalion data I posted earlier in the thread had only 6 men born in Scotland of slightly over a thousand (1911 Census) which might provide some idea of the level of active recruiting. I have three other Rifles data sets and they show similar results for 1911 Census. 

 

My understanding has always been that English line infantry regiments were not permitted to recruit in Scotland in the pre-war years and in 1914-15. Given somewhere in the region of 3% of England's population was Scots-born, the metropolitan boroughs would generate enough expatriate Scots to the mix, however the lure of the London Scottish, Liverpool Scottish (pre war) and Tyneside Scottish created some competition. From the analysis of pre-war data, Scots born men in English regiments was fairly low. Even in the Border areas. the 1st Bn Border Regt only 18 of the 1135 named men were born in Scotland. That equates to just 1.6%.

 

I have never understood why there was not a Glasgow Irish battalion. 

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1 hour ago, QGE said:

 

 

CWGC- a quick stab generates 13,181 KRRC men killed or died during the war. Searching that data for the word 'Scotland' generates only two returns. The same exercise with the Rifle Brigade generates 12,221 names and with Scotland as a filter, just 4 names. That surprised me. A lot. 

 

I just did a similar filter on the KRRC Fallen using the search term "England".

 

After excluding "Church of England", the surname "England", the street name ""England's Lane", the phrases "One of England's soldier poets" and "former England International Rugby Football player", it generates eight returns.

 

Of those, six were foreign nationals (US, Canada, France), whose parents lived in England.

 

So following your method, of the KRRC Fallen, only two were from England.

 

That surprised me.  A lot.  

 

A review of our methodology may be merited before we make any conclusions ;)

 

Mark

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40 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

I just did a similar filter on the KRRC Fallen using the search term "England".

 

After excluding "Church of England", the surname "England", the street name ""England's Lane", the phrases "One of England's soldier poets" and "former England International Rugby Football player", it generates eight returns.

 

Of those, six were foreign nationals (US, Canada, France), whose parents lived in England.

 

So following your method, of the KRRC Fallen, only two were from England.

 

That surprised me.  A lot.  

 

A review of our methodology may be merited before we make any conclusions ;)

 

Mark

 

 

I have a GIS database of 6,614 unique place names in Scotland. When I run a search and match across the KRRC CWGC data I get less than 100 hits Glasgow = 0, Edinburgh =18, Dundee= 0. Some are place names that are duplicated in England. I will do it against SDGW. If KRRC had lots of Scots one would expect a database of 13,000 names to show something slightly higher. 7,000 odd have biographic data such as parents address, etc. I am keeping an open mind but I think the percentage has to be extremely low...in the very low single percents and possibly less than 1%. I will stick my neck out on this. I think it will be less than 2%. We shall see. 

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That was my point - the majority of Scotsmen wishing to join a rifles regiment would have chosen the Cameronians.

 

However such Scotsmen still had the option of the KRRC and the RB and Scotsmen in Scotland definitely enlisted into both regiments.  So voltaire's speculation about recruitment into the KRRC and RB being disallowed in Scotland is incorrect.

 

The village war memorial at my sister's home in Argyll has an RB rifleman on it.

 

The town war memorial at my grandfather's home town in Ayrshire has an RB rifleman on it.

 

I stop and look at most village war memorials during my peregrinations around the Highlands and regularly see a KRRC or RB rifleman listed.

 

By all means continue with your investigation, but I'm not sure why you're going to such lengths - by finding even 1%, you have proved what I was trying to explain.  I have never stated that the "KRRC had lots of Scots".

 

As regards my post about "England" hits, that was a bit of fun to make clear by reductio ad absurdam how unsafe that particular CWGC methodology was!  Tongue firmly in cheek and not meant to upset you!  :D

 

I think I have made it very clear that I think this mapping project you've started is very worthwhile and I'm right behind it.

 

Cheers,

Mark

.

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1 hour ago, QGE said:

 

 

I have a GIS database of 6,614 unique place names in Scotland. When I run a search and match across the KRRC CWGC data I get less than 100 hits Glasgow = 0, Edinburgh =18, Dundee= 0. Some are place names that are duplicated in England. I will do it against SDGW. If KRRC had lots of Scots one would expect a database of 13,000 names to show something slightly higher. 7,000 odd have biographic data such as parents address, etc. I am keeping an open mind but I think the percentage has to be extremely low...in the very low single percents and possibly less than 1%. I will stick my neck out on this. I think it will be less than 2%. We shall see. 

 

Strange - on the same data, I get Glasgow = 12.  However one was born in Walsall, another born in Ireland.  While I get Dundee = 2, one of which is Dundee, Natal, S Africa.

 

We do agree on Edinburgh = 18 though :thumbsup:

 

I tried a quick lookup myself using a search array containing the names of the counties of Scotland.  Difficulty is some of the hits using e.g. "Ross" are actually for elements from parents' names.  Also any element in the parents' address that matches a Scottish county e.g. "Sutherland Place, Pimlico" and "Edinburgh Road, Plaistow", is also going to raise a misleading hit.


I guess this shows when compared to your 1911 Census birthplace data, how much more work is involved in data cleaning the CWGC data before a gazetteer look-up is safe and thus that there is some value in these experiments in that they flag up potential issues.  That all strengthens the Project eh?  :thumbsup:

 

I stress I am mainly pursuing this because I can transfer the same array formula technique for an unrelated Mountain Rescue Excel project! - I am NOT disputing that KRRC & RB riflemen from Scotland will only be in small numbers.

 

For what it's worth, here's the raw results (most nulls excluded)  (also summing these is pointless as it includes double counting - e.g. Lanark and Lanarkshire are the same 5 men) ...

 

Aberdeen 11
Argyll 2
Ayrshire 5
Berwick 1
Bute 1
Caithness 2
Clackmannan 1
Dumbarton 1
Dumfries 2
East Lothian 2
Edinburgh 18
Elgin 2
Fife 6
Forfar 1
Forfarshire 1
Haddington 1
Inverness 3
Kincardine 2
Kincardineshire 2
Kirkcudbright 2
Lanark 5
Lanarkshire 5
Linlithgow 1
Nairn 1
Orkney 1
Peebles 0
Perth 9
Perthshire 4
Renfrew 4
Renfrewshire 4
Ross 78
Ross and Cromarty 0
Roxburgh 1
Stirling 2
Sutherland 2
West Lothian 2

 

I note that ALL of the genuine KRRC CWGC 'Glasgow' men have no county (Lanarkshire, Renfrew etc.) included, so they'll be missing from the above.  There'll be similar gaps on any other Scottish town where CWGC has not also included that town's county.

 

Not forgetting also that 5,739 KRRC riflemen in the CWGC database have no information in the "Additional Info" field at all.  That's approx 40%.

 

Cheers,

Mark

 

 

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