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1911 Census Demographics - Regular Battalions


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3 hours ago, MBrockway said:

 

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) ...

 

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

 

 

 

 

I tried a simple Ctrl+F search. Glasgow generates 13 returns.  I suspect the GIS benchmark has spacing issues (Glasgow[space]) which might explain the earlier zero return.

 

Looking at the Ross returns I suspect it is picking up Cross etc. I get 13 returns rather than 78 so It might be worth checking.

 

Regardless, we are haggling over tiny numbers. I really don't think that the KRRC were active recruiters of Scotsmen for reasons articulated above. They certainly were not in the pre-war years as the Census data provides both Town and County, so there are immediate cross-checks available. We appear to agree that KRRC recruited Scotsmen in small numbers.

 

I have seen no evidence in any of the English regular battalion data that they could recruit across the border. The fact that the Border Regt has such a small number might at least provide some supporting evidence. 

 

The SNWM data has 9,498 fatalities extracted from English Regiments. This is of course the whole Army for the whole war. The Infantry accounted for 85% of fatalities suggesting around 8,000 would have died while serving in English infantry regiments. There were 1762 battalions of which the KRRC represented 25 battalions (not all of course Service Battalion). This is roughly 1.4% of all battalions. This rough arithmetic would imply around 112 would have served and died in the KRRC (all other things being equal).  Assuming 20% died (infantry casualty ratios were much higher than the 11% average for the Army for the whole war), we need to scale this up to 560(calc: 112/ 0.2). The BWM rolls return 44,900 men for the KRRC, suggesting around 1.25% of KRRC were Scotsmen. If the assumptions are out by 100% we are still looking at insignificantly small numbers. Either way I look at the data, I cant see the KRRC as large recruiters of Scotsmen. 

 

There is an easy explanation for this. All the 'national' formations  - Welsh, Scots and Irish - struggled to sustain national identity from the outset. They only managed to sustain some form of national identity by amalgamations and disbandments. The Scots managed this process better than the Irish and Welsh, but there was an inescapable fact: The population could not sustain the commitment. The political desire to maintain 'national' formations was tangible:  the 9th and 15th Scottish Divisions and the 51st Highland Div and the 52nd Lowland as well as the Scottish reserve Divisions were unable to sustain national characteristics. One of the Scottish Divisions was propped up numerically with South Africans, and at one stage a Battalion of the Suffolk regiment. Against this backdrop it is difficult to see how, from a political perspective, English infantry were plundering the already stretched resources of Scotland. I think this largely explains why so few Scotsmen served in English line infantry battalions. The KRRC was not unusual.

 

Separately, the proportion of Scotsmen serving in the line infantry had been in a 20 year decline before the War. In Oct 1913, the last General Annual Report of the British Army (GARBA) recorded 12,623 Scots-born regular infantrymen or 9.6% of all regular Infantrymen. If we assume the same proportion of the Army Reserve was Scots born, there were less than 18,500 Scots born infantry men for mobilizaton. There were 20 regular Scottish battalions meaning mobilization would have absorbed every regular and Army Reserve Scots-born infantrymen. The Special Reserve could only provide another 5,500 Scots born infantrymen or 275 per battalion. Most battalions saw 80% turnover in 1914 alone. The numbers make it quite clear that the idea of Scottish national identity was being stress-tested right from the beginning. The Black Watch solved their problems by halving the required training for new recruits to just 12 weeks. This context is important as I think it makes English recruiting of Scotsmen even more politically sensitive. MG

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AFAIK in the infantry, the Guards regiments, the KRRC and the RB recruited in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland - i.e. their recruitment "territory" was UK-wide.  Their peace-time recruitment was NOT restricted to England and Wales.

 

I have never seen any ACI or similar that changed this after Aug 1914, but perhaps some such could exist.


Under Cardwell/Childers "it was decided that a new, elite, regiment of Rifles be established in Scotland" (Cameronians Regimental Museum). The Cameronians were selected for this role and the amalgamation of the 26th and 90th into the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) effectively created the "national" Rifles regiment for Scotland.  However, unlike the KRRC and RB, the SR did also have an allocated recruitment "territory", which was centred on Lanarkshire & Glasgow and shared with the HLI.  How their recruitment in Scotland outwith Lanarkshire was distributed would be a question worth investigating and one of your 1911 Census plots for the SR would cast light on that.  If it helps, from the 1911 Army List It looks like 1st Bn were at Bloemfontein in South Africa with 2nd Bn at Colchester.

 

I certainly see Scottish Rifles on memorials all over Scotland, not just in Glasgow & Lanarkshire,and definitely in greater numbers than KRRC or RB.

 

I would expect recruitment (in peace and in the War) into KRRC and RB from within Scotland to be proportionately lower because of the Cameronians/Scottish Rifles.

 

This seems to be borne out in both of our data, but my assumption that a partial cause was Scotland-wide Cameronians recruitment needs testing.

 

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5 hours ago, MBrockway said:

AFAIK in the infantry, the Guards regiments, the KRRC and the RB recruited in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland - i.e. their recruitment "territory" was UK-wide.  Their peace-time recruitment was NOT restricted to England and Wales.

 

I have never seen any ACI or similar that changed this after Aug 1914, but perhaps some such could exist.


Under Cardwell/Childers "it was decided that a new, elite, regiment of Rifles be established in Scotland" (Cameronians Regimental Museum). The Cameronians were selected for this role and the amalgamation of the 26th and 90th into the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) effectively created the "national" Rifles regiment for Scotland.  However, unlike the KRRC and RB, the SR did also have an allocated recruitment "territory", which was centred on Lanarkshire & Glasgow and shared with the HLI.  How their recruitment in Scotland outwith Lanarkshire was distributed would be a question worth investigating and one of your 1911 Census plots for the SR would cast light on that.  If it helps, from the 1911 Army List It looks like 1st Bn were at Bloemfontein in South Africa with 2nd Bn at Colchester.

 

I certainly see Scottish Rifles on memorials all over Scotland, not just in Glasgow & Lanarkshire,and definitely in greater numbers than KRRC or RB.

 

I would expect recruitment (in peace and in the War) into KRRC and RB from within Scotland to be proportionately lower because of the Cameronians/Scottish Rifles.

 

This seems to be borne out in both of our data, but my assumption that a partial cause was Scotland-wide Cameronians recruitment needs testing.

 

 

1911 Census for 3rd Bn KRRC based at Dagshai, India. 1002 named individuals. Place of birth:

 

England    960

Scotland       2

Ireland        18

Wales           3

Other          16

Unknown       3

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1st Bn Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 1911 Census. 960 named individuals

 

Birthplace

England     599

Scotland    296

Wales            2

Ireland         44

Other           11

Unknown       8

 

 

62% of this battalion was born in England. There were twice as many London-born than Glasgow-born serving in the battalion. This surprised me. A lot. MG

 

 

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That Cameronians data surprises me too!  Just shows the value of what you're doing.

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1st Bn Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). 1911 Census. Data scrubbed down. 874 men pinned to locations in England Scotland and Wales. The data is extremely bar-bellled: 147 from Glasgow and 343 from inner London. Not shown: 54 born outside GB and 26 whose birth places do not resolve with modern place names. Total: 874+54+26=954

 

QGIS 1st Cameronians 1911 Census.JPG

 

Top 30 Birth Places: Note Glasgow includes all possible variants including Barony. Inner London Boroughs total 330 names.

City of Glasgow (including 102 from Barony) 147
London Borough of Tower Hamlets 62
London Borough of Islington 38
London Borough of Hackney 36
London Borough of Southwark 36
City of Edinburgh 29
London Borough of Camden 25
London Borough of Wandsworth 21
City of Westminster 19
South Lanarkshire Council 15
London Borough of Lambeth 14
Aberdeen City Council 13
Sunderland City Council 13
London Borough of Bromley 12
Dundee City Council 11
London Borough of Brent 10
London Borough of Haringey 10
Renfrewshire Council 10
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea 10
Fife Council 8
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 8
London Borough of Barnet 8
North Lanarkshire Council 8
West Dunbartonshire 8
City of London 7
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham 7
London Borough of Newham 7
Manchester City Council 7
Portsmouth City Council 7
London Borough of Lewisham 6
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  The formula "London Borough of....." did not exist until the reorganisation of London local government in 1964-65, which led to the current 32 boroughs plus the replacement with the Great London Council, an expanded version of the former London County Council but going out further into the surrounding counties(Plus of course,the abolition of the Middlesex).

    All (or nearly all) of the current London boroughs are amalgamations of 2 or more former boroughs-eg My area, London Borough of Redbridge is the amalgamation of the Borough of Ilford and the Borough of Wanstead and Woodford .

    Is your data on 2 or more of the current London boroughs or on the "old" boroughs.  For instance, is "London Borough of Islington"-which would include the former Borough of Islington and the former Borough of Finsbury. Or just the old Borough of Islington??

   Or London Borough of Camden, -just the old Camden or Holborn and St.Pancras.Or even further out with the various territorial areas for the "Home Counties" regiments-eg 4th Essex (Ilford), 7th Essex (Walthamstow) 13th Essex (West Ham)

        If its the new borough scheme, then I think it limits the use of some of this data- Some of the old designations of London regiments only make sense when set against the boroughs of the time-  eg The Kensington, St.Pancras, Hackney, Finsbury.

To apply current-day boundaries seems to ignore how matters were organised back then and give a distortion- eg I cannot see that 38 men would enlist from the old Borough of Islington and none from the old Borough of Finsbury. 

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On 12/11/2016 at 08:20, voltaire60 said:

  The formula "London Borough of....." did not exist until the reorganisation of London local government in 1964-65, which led to the current 32 boroughs plus the replacement with the Great London Council, an expanded version of the former London County Council but going out further into the surrounding counties(Plus of course,the abolition of the Middlesex).

    All (or nearly all) of the current London boroughs are amalgamations of 2 or more former boroughs-eg My area, London Borough of Redbridge is the amalgamation of the Borough of Ilford and the Borough of Wanstead and Woodford .

    Is your data on 2 or more of the current London boroughs or on the "old" boroughs.  For instance, is "London Borough of Islington"-which would include the former Borough of Islington and the former Borough of Finsbury. Or just the old Borough of Islington?? The geographic layout is based on modern Boroughs

   Or London Borough of Camden, -just the old Camden or Holborn and St.Pancras. Or even further out with the various territorial areas for the "Home Counties" regiments-eg 4th Essex (Ilford), 7th Essex (Walthamstow) 13th Essex (West Ham) Essex as a Ceremonial County is broken down into a number of modern boroughs.

        If its the new borough scheme, then I think it limits the use of some of this data- Why? Some of the old designations of London regiments only make sense when set against the boroughs of the time-  eg The Kensington, St.Pancras, Hackney, Finsbury. I diasagree. The idea that the Kensington's only recruited from Kensington is incorrect. The Civil Service Rifles and the Post Office Rifles for example were obviously not geographically constrained. 

To apply current-day boundaries seems to ignore how matters were organised back then and give a distortion- eg I cannot see that 38 men would enlist from the old Borough of Islington and none from the old Borough of Finsbury. see commenst below.

 

Voltaire,as usual in blue. At risk of repeating myself: 

 

I start with the raw data which would typically mention a town or village and the county or borough based on 1911. Three men might typically record the same place of birth differently, For example one might say Islington, London, another might give [Parish name], Islington,  another might just give the Parish name (often the name of a Church) and 'London, eg. St Gile's, or St John's etc.  There is no consistency so a large amount of detective work is required so sort out the thousands of entries.

 

Because I am trying to plot the birthplaces on a map, I need to have a benchmark. I have used the Govt's list of 48,078 towns and villages simply because there is no reliable or consistent database from 1911. The vast majority of place names have not changed. 

 

Separately there is the issue of boundaries. We could segregate the men in a number of ways, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages.The limit factor is to find the software that has drawn the relevant map that I can attach the data to so that the software populates and shades the areas in. These are GIC 'shape files' or .shp files which describe the boundaries that have been digitally created as complex polygons. To date I have not found a .shp file that has drawn the old borough boundaries and it would take a few weeks to design one. I would rather work with what is available as they are in my view an extremely good proxy. The options are also limited by the simple fact that most men answering the 1911 Census did not provide sufficient information to drill down beyond the name of a town or village. The options with modern technology are;

 

1. Ceremonial Counties. These are very close to the old counties, however they have disadvantages as the counties are geographically large and provide no granularity. It is useful in high population density counties such as Lancashire to be able to break the data sets down into smaller buckets based on a finer division of Counties;

 

2. Modern Districts. There are 129 modern Districts which provide a slightly finer breakdown of the geographic areas. These are fairly close proxies for the Ceremonial County boundaries. Most exactly replicate old Counties such as Leicestershire, Shropshire etc with some of the modern metropolitan areas separately defined. We have .shp files for these. It is a small step forward. 

 

3. Modern Counties. There are 248 modern Counties as many of the old metropolitan boroughs have become administrative 'counties' in their own right. This nearly doubles the number of defined areas . Two steps forward.

 

4. Modern Councils. There are 434 modern Councils. Most large towns have their own council, so it is useful as it allows us to plot men from urban areas with greater accuracy and separate them from their County. i.e. Chelsmford and Colchester are separate from Essex County. This sub-division happens in fine detail with most counties, but not all. Cornwall, Wiltshire, and Northumberland (ex Newcastle) as well as most large Scottish counties such as Dumfries and Galloway lack further subdivision. I think it simply reflects a complex mixture of low population densities and ancient boundaries. Despite these weaknesses this is the template I have used as it provides a refinement that is around four times greater than using Ceremonial Counties, isolates the urban centres and provides a good visual balance.

 

5. Modern Parliamentary Constituencies. There are 639 of these and provides a further refinement. I have chosen not to go down this path as the fragmentation of data is too fine for my purposes. There are .shp files available for these. Trying to establish which of the 48,078 towns and villages are in each modern constituency is extremely challenging and too much of a heavy lift.

 

6. Modern Parish Boundaries. There are 10,449 Parishes in England alone. The boundary map in .shp also exists however it is a refinement well beyond my requirements and provides the same gigantic challenge of allocating the 48,000 towns and villages to their respective Parishes. Interestingly not all areas have Parishes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_parish#/media/File:Uk_parishes.png

 

Aims. The aims are to visually display the birth-places of the men who were serving in 1911 as these men almost all served in 1914 and provide an extremely good proxy for the BEF of 1914. This can be done by simply plotting each man on a map. Ten men from the same town will still appear as a single plot as their data is congruent rather than adjacent. To solve this and to better represent higher density locations we can proportionally increase the size of the plots to represent higher populations. This is what my first attempts did.

 

An alternative way of displaying the data is to select a framework of boundaries that sub-divide the UK and then ascribe the data (as laid out above). The higher the incidence within each boundary, the darker the colour. This has some advantages and some disadvantages.

 

London is slightly more complex due to the merger of old boroughs into larger boroughs. Despite this there are still 32 modern boroughs, so the fragmentation is sufficient for my purposes. If one was inclined one could use Parish boundaries however given the population densities I think it would be a lot of work and the maps would end up looking very similar in shading. While more refined one would have to zoom into the map to see this level of detail. When looking at the map of the UK this detail is lost due to resolution challenges. 

 

Summary. While using old boundaries is one approach, we don't have modern .shp files. Every town and village is still in the same place it was in 1911 regardless of where the arbitrary boundaries are drawn around it. While some borough boundaries may have changed this does not greatly impact the visual effect when looking at the map of the UK. 

 

It is of course easy to criticise. It is a lot harder to produce thousands of data in this format. I suspect the charts have already changed a few preconceived ideas on the make-up of the Line infantry - particularly the Scottish Rifles - , and has at least confirmed that a few first hand RWF accounts from the Great War were at best slightly misleading.  There is a lot more behind this. I hope to have the following:

 

Black Watch

Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

KOSB

Border Regiment

Northumberland Fusiliers

Worcestershire Regiment

KRRC

RWF

SWB

R Inniskilling Fus

Connaught Rangers

DCLI

Suffolk Regiment

Royal Fusiliers

 

Which will give an idea of demographics of battalions from all four corners of the country, as well as being able to compare, say Highland and Lowland regiments and urban (RF) and rural (DCLI, Suffolks) as well as nationally recruited battalions (KRRC). With over 70 regular Regiments it would be interesting to eventually do the lot. When spliced with 1914 Star and 1914-15 Star data and again spliced with the War Diaries it becomes an far more interesting project that I know will change preconceptions on the makeup of the regular Army in 1914.

 

If anyone has a nominal roll of a TF battalion or a New Army battalion with place of birth or residence I would be a grateful recipient as I would like to see the demographics plotted on a map. This is perhaps where Parish boundaries might be useful. 

 

MG

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No destructive criticism implied and, I hope, none taken.  Only 2 observations on  your excellent work and analysis

1)  Its just a a caution - using modern boundaries for an historical issue slightly muddies the matter. Although seemingly obvious, clarifying what the boundaries are is a necessity. Mixing old-generated data with modern analysis can give problems.I think if the data is written up or descriptive commentary comes in,then the distinction say for example, between the 1914 "Islington" and the current "Islington" must be made- If not, then is one comparing like for like?

2)  You are quite right about recruiting of the London regiments not being confined exclusively by the old boroughs-BUT- it was a significant factor both before the war and in the raising of battalions of the New Armies at the beginning of the war. eg  Burrows "Essex Regiment" in dealing with 7th Bn Essex R says that it was understrength in 1914 as half of its recruiting area, in Hackney, had  been taken away and transferred to an RF battalion. I think that given the history/ myth of ,particularly, "pals battalions", that it is a quite germane question when considering local loyalties  to ask just how "local" and just how "loyal"- which is where your excellent techniques of analysis come in very useful.

    eg We are all used to the mythology/actuality of,say, Accrington Pals- but I think that other battalions that may not seem so obviously based on just a specific area may (or may not) have been as much "pals" though it may not show up so much- such as, in London, the " Stockbrokers Battalion", the "Bankers Battalion", the Public Schools Battalion or the Sportsmans Battalion. In those-as you rightly point out-recruiting would not be territorial. But in an age where we-supposedly-have more psychological knowledge of what binds men together in war, then a measure of what was supposed to be the original bond may be useful.-eg a hypothetical example- were there more bankers in the "Bankers Battalion" than there were men of Accrington in the Accrington Pals?  I say this not to disparage the memory of the better-known pals battalions but to suggest that  some battalions -particularly those raised in London- may had similar bonds of unit loyalty that have been obscured by the passage of time-especially if they dont have, as with the main pals battalions, a contemporary official or unofficial "pals" tag to go with them-  the more so as the war progressed. For instance,the Borough of East Ham raised a battalion which I think would be as "pal" as any "pals" battalion but it is not remembered as such as it was not popularly designated at the time. And,again, coming back to my local "Irish" casualty, Herbert James Bentley- transferred into RDF from 6LR, then it would be a moot point as to just how "Irish" his battalion actually was in 1918.

     One aspect of the Great War that does fascinate me is how we-on a continuing basis- memorialise it. And the very strong territorially designated regiments or larger units claim-in my humble view deservedly- the rightful remembrance and heritage from their successors-eg- Its a great thing to see,say folk of a particular county remember the sacrifices of their county regiment in the Great War. But it will obscure that many men had no effective link with that area other than being detailed off at an infantry base depot in northern France and told they were now in a new regiment.You commented previously on the problems of "Irishness" in 10 Irish Div- my man Bentley might flag up that there   might be a large chunk of non-Irish in many regiments-so that publications such as Ireland National Roll may give a false impression as to Ireland's contribution-Similarly, -I have not read down this subject, given traditional peacetime recruitment from Ireland, then in measuring Irish soldiers in the war-are more Irish in English regiments than in Irish ones?? And given the propensity of nationalisms in our Island to play out on a continuing basis then that colours how we look at the record. -Again, my first instinct on the comment on this thread about why wasnt there a  Glasgow Irish specifically nominated battalion would be to look and see if there is one Glasgow-raised battalion of any regimental designation that stands out as being more "Irish" than the others-Your tool of analysis by birthplace helps-but how do you factor in "Irishness" when it is second generation or beyond-surname analysis? Birthplace of father/mother? Its a subject of endless fascination-so lets hope we can all wear out the software across the years

 

         All the best

                 Mike

     

 

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Just as a postscript, I was taught at the LSE about reading statistics and trying to understand what the pitfalls of interpretation are by that wonderful old statement "The average number of legs in human beings is less than 2" True or False? Now of course,statistically,its true-there are plenty of humans with one or no legs but none with three or more. Its a great pub quiz question as an icebreaker.

  (My other favourite is the statement "Heinrich Himmler was born in County Durham-True or false- answer:True-BUT not THAT Heinrich Himmler- give Ancestry a bash on that one!!)

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2nd Bn Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Census 1911. Londoners outweigh the men from Kernow by a factor of four.

 

Cornwall     78

London     312

 

Who would have thought...

 

2nd Bn Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. London shown on the right. 

QGIS 2nd Bn DCLI Census 1911.JPG

 

Top 30 Districts

Cornwall Council 78
Bristol City Council 65
Birmingham City Council 45
London Borough of Tower Hamlets 36
London Borough of Southwark 34
London Borough of Islington 26
Bath and North East Somerset Council 24
Plymouth City Council 23
London Borough of Camden 22
London Borough of Lambeth 22
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 21
London Borough of Newham 18
City of Westminster 17
London Borough of Greenwich 17
London Borough of Hackney 16
London Borough of Wandsworth 14
Taunton Deane Borough Council 13
Exeter City 11
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham 10
London Borough of Haringey 10
Wiltshire Council 10
Northampton Borough Council 9
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea 9
Coventry City Council 8
Dudley Metropolitan Borough 7
London Borough of Lewisham 7
Southampton City Council 7
London Borough of Ealing 6
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council 6
London Borough of Waltham Forest 5
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3 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

    eg We are all used to the mythology/actuality of,say, Accrington Pals- but I think that other battalions that may not seem so obviously based on just a specific area may (or may not) have been as much "pals" though it may not show up so much- such as, in London, the " Stockbrokers Battalion", the "Bankers Battalion", the Public Schools Battalion or the Sportsmans Battalion.

 

I tend to agree. Rightly or wrongly I have always thought of there being two types of Pals battalions:

 

(1) Those drawn from men from a certain location / community, where "friends and family" were fighting together irrespective of their profession. For example, "Accrington Pals".

 

(2) Those drawn from a particular profession, passion, or background, irrespective of their location. For example, "Public Schools Battalion".

 

These categories can be helpful insomuch as the definitions are easy to apply, e.g. you either lived in a location such as Accrington or you attended a public school. Both follow the same underlying principle in that men would more likely enlist if there was a connection with the other men. And they align somewhat with the more pronounced class divisions of those times.

 

And then are some that seem to fit into the second group but which, on closer inspection, are not as clear cut as the above examples and were more based on a common interest or way of life. For example, the Sportsman's Battalion, which did indeed enlist some professional sportsmen (many from a working class background), but also enlisted lawyers, farmers, entertainers, bankers, engineers, and authors who were of a sporting mindset. "Sporting" and "sportsmanlike" of course meant something different back then but there is, or was, an idea that if you played sports you should join up and play the game with other sporting men.

 

But perhaps this is too simplistic a viewpoint and deserves more attention.

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3 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

But in an age where we-supposedly-have more psychological knowledge of what binds men together in war, then a measure of what was supposed to be the original bond may be useful.-eg a hypothetical example- were there more bankers in the "Bankers Battalion" than there were men of Accrington in the Accrington Pals?  I say this not to disparage the memory of the better-known pals battalions but to suggest that  some battalions -particularly those raised in London- may had similar bonds of unit loyalty that have been obscured by the passage of time-especially if they dont have, as with the main pals battalions, a contemporary official or unofficial "pals" tag to go with them-  the more so as the war progressed

 

Certainly it is true that, in the Sportsman's Battalions, the profile of enlistees changed after the initial flood of "sportsmen". Once the balance of recruiting power had shifted from Mrs Cunliffe-Owen to the battalions themselves and their COs, there was much less emphasis on background. Many later recruits were young working class men from areas of Manchester.

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Thank you very much for posting the DCLI information - although part of, I hope, our friendly discourse here on the Forum, it is unexpectedly helpful to my local Roll- a couple of DCLI casualties -both local Londoners. Its impossible to research everything ad infinitum but the little gem of information that 2 DCLI wasnt even full of Kernewics in peacetime,let alone the demands of the service battalions in 1914+ is helpful when I write them up

     Which brings us to pre-war notions of how our army  was promoted to gain the support of the populace- I find that, historiographically, 2 bits of "History"/"Myth" grate against each other in juxtaposition and Im not quite sure of any convincing one-off account as to why- 1) The notion of soldiery being despised in society, particularly before the Boer War- the Tommy Atkins-"we serve no redcoats here"  versus the large flock of men to the Colours in 1914-If the army was so despised, then why was there a rush in K1,2,3, volunteering?   (As an afterthought-Im sure the statistic is out there- more men of military age did not volunteer in 1914 than did v.Those who had to be conscripted??)

    It suggests that there were extensive efforts across the decades to make the army more "acceptable" as an institution and that the territorial association with a particular area was what we would now call a "branding exercise". Perhaps,that -on the assumption that the thinkers of pre-1914 were no less intelligent than those of today (We just believe we are,as we have the infallibility of hindsight)- the war planners were well aware that home morale, carrying the population during a prolonged war with heavy casualties was all part of the projection of the British Army into popular culture pre-1914. OK, its a well-worn theme- military tournaments, "Soldiers of the Queen",etc,etc. But theres still plenty of meat on that particular bone to gnaw away at- and your analysis adds not only to the stock of knowledge but also to the stock of debate (and even more to the stock of unanswered questions-the greatest thing that the generation of statistics produces is the generation of even more questions)

      Why does this intrigue me?  Just a small smidgin from general reading of war memoirs across the years-rather than a specific hunt for the theme- Its quite common for British front line memoirs to refer to the Germans by their states- that the writer's unit was fighting not the "Germans" but the "Bavarians", "Prussians", etc-OK, a bit of a truism given the military structure of the German Empire-but not so prevalent the other way round- few references to ,say, "The Londoners against the Prussians" etc. That regionalism/localism doesnt come across as strongly, despite the regional designations of divisions in both wars.  So I think your analysis adds to the stock of stuff on "nationality", "patriotism" "support" and how such concepts were either built into a system consciously or just "happened"  

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MG

As usual an interesting and thought provoking thread. It has made me look into the East Surrey Regiment and the 1911 Census in a bit more detail.

Having looked at the digests of service for the 1st and 2nd Battalions the strengths of both units on 1 April 1911 are recorded as follows:

 

1st Bn: 24 Officers; 2 Warrant Officers; 39 Sergeants; 16 Drummers and 628 Rank & File.

A total of 709 all ranks  

 

2nd Bn: 28 Officers; 2 Warrant Officers; 44 Sergeants; 15 Drummers and 979 Rank & File.

A total of 1068 all ranks  

 

Currently I have a rough list of 1075 all ranks for the 2nd Battalion in Burma while only 381 (out of 709) for the 1st Battalion. These 381 men were the left half of the battalion stationed at Kinsale Barracks while I have so far been unable to identify the right half of the battalion which according to the digest of service was stationed at Spike Island and Camden Fort on the night of the census and returned to Kinsale Barracks later in April 1911. My difficulty is compounded by my rather dismal grasp of Irish geography coupled with the fact that soldiers in Barracks were usually recorded using initials. I managed to identify those at Kinsale because some were recorded using their surname.

 

If anyone can point me in the direction of the ‘missing’ men from the 1st Battalion I would be grateful.

 

As the information recorded in the British and Irish 1911 Census is different any results I arrive at will vary depending on which one being discussed. Once more analysis has been done I will post my findings.

 

Bootneck     

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On 12/11/2016 at 21:53, voltaire60 said:

 No destructive criticism implied and, I hope, none taken.  None taken. I should have been more clear: I am simply in agreement that it is open to criticism but it is better than nothing. 

 

Only 2 observations on  your excellent work and analysis

1)  Its just a a caution - using modern boundaries for an historical issue slightly muddies the matter. Although seemingly obvious, clarifying what the boundaries are is a necessity. Mixing old-generated data with modern analysis can give problems.I think if the data is written up or descriptive commentary comes in,then the distinction say for example, between the 1914 "Islington" and the current "Islington" must be made- If not, then is one comparing like for like? I am not sure I agree. When we look at the boundaries, while they have merged neighbouring boroughs, men from both boroughs are included, It is largely as case of labelling. Islington today means a larger area than Islington in 1911. The borough included Tollington, Upper Holloway, Lower Holloway, Tufnell, Higbury, Mildmay, Canonbury, Thornhill, Barnsbury, St Mary and St Peter. Any man giving theses as his birthplace is consolidated in "Islington" on the map. the original Islington is shown here: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/Islington_Met._B_Ward_Map_1916.svg 

 

As you know, Islingtom was merged with the borough of Finsbury in 1965 which included Charterhouse, Liberty of Glasshouse Yard, St James & St John Clerkenwell and St Luke Middlesex. Anyone born in these four Parishes is now included in the Finsbury data Incidentally 'St Luke's is a very common place name given in the Census.  The modern map that shows 'Islington' now covers the old 'Ilsington and 'Finsbury'. Anyone born in either is now counted in the merged entity. I cant see how this is becomes misleading in any way. If I had a shape file with the split of the two original boroughs I would show them separately. I don't, so I cant, but no-one outside of the original boundaries is included. Perhaps I should simply re-label it "Islington & Finsbury". It won't make a blind difference to the data contained therein. 

 

2)  You are quite right about recruiting of the London regiments not being confined exclusively by the old boroughs-BUT- it was a significant factor both before the war and in the raising of battalions of the New Armies at the beginning of the war. eg  Burrows "Essex Regiment" in dealing with 7th Bn Essex R says that it was understrength in 1914 as half of its recruiting area, in Hackney, had  been taken away and transferred to an RF battalion. I think that given the history/ myth of ,particularly, "pals battalions", that it is a quite germane question when considering local loyalties  to ask just how "local" and just how "loyal"- which is where your excellent techniques of analysis come in very useful. As I am sure you are aware the 7th Bn Essex Regt was a TF battalion. The TF had structural challenges dating back to the Haldane reforms of 1907. Most were very severely undermanned. Walthamstow was still a high population density area compared to recruiting areas of TF battalions across the country if the 1911 Census is any indication.  When TF battalions became full, nothing stopped a man walking across London to enlist elsewhere. 

 

    eg We are all used to the mythology/actuality of,say, Accrington Pals- but I think that other battalions that may not seem so obviously based on just a specific area may (or may not) have been as much "pals" though it may not show up so much- such as, in London, the " Stockbrokers Battalion", the "Bankers Battalion", the Public Schools Battalion or the Sportsmans Battalion. In those-as you rightly point out-recruiting would not be territorial. But in an age where we-supposedly-have more psychological knowledge of what binds men together in war, then a measure of what was supposed to be the original bond may be useful.-eg a hypothetical example- were there more bankers in the "Bankers Battalion" than there were men of Accrington in the Accrington Pals?  The biggest mythology is what actually constituted a Pals Battalion. Personally I see 'Pals' battalions as those raised locally  - funded and equipped by body corporates and not the War Office - and later transferred to the  War Office. There is some confusion as the label of Pals battalion has been applied liberally to all Kitchener Battalions. There are a few writers who don't appear to understand that not all Kitchener Battalions were Pals battalions. It is a term that modern writers are prone to back-fit to any Kitchener formation. 'Pal's Battalion" needs to be defined as it was not an Official term. 

 

I say this not to disparage the memory of the better-known pals battalions but to suggest that  some battalions -particularly those raised in London- may had similar bonds of unit loyalty that have been obscured by the passage of time-especially if they dont have, as with the main pals battalions, a contemporary official or unofficial "pals" tag to go with them-  the more so as the war progressed. For instance,the Borough of East Ham raised a battalion which I think would be as "pal" as any "pals" battalion but it is not remembered as such as it was not popularly designated at the time. see comments above. And,again, coming back to my local "Irish" casualty, Herbert James Bentley- transferred into RDF from 6LR, then it would be a moot point as to just how "Irish" his battalion actually was in 1918. It is quite easy to approximate Irish-born using SDGW data. It is more difficult trying to identify men descended from Irish parents but born outside of Ireland. See 'definitions' below.  

 

     One aspect of the Great War that does fascinate me is how we-on a continuing basis- memorialise it. And the very strong territorially designated regiments or larger units claim-in my humble view deservedly- the rightful remembrance and heritage from their successors-eg- Its a great thing to see,say folk of a particular county remember the sacrifices of their county regiment in the Great War. But it will obscure that many men had no effective link with that area other than being detailed off at an infantry base depot in northern France and told they were now in a new regiment.You commented previously on the problems of "Irishness" in 10 Irish Div- my man Bentley might flag up that there   might be a large chunk of non-Irish in many regiments-so that publications such as Ireland National Roll may give a false impression as to Ireland's contribution-Similarly, -I have not read down this subject, given traditional peacetime recruitment from Ireland, then in measuring Irish soldiers in the war-are more Irish in English regiments than in Irish ones?? One needs to define 'Irish'. Without a definition it is intractable. And given the propensity of nationalisms in our Island to play out on a continuing basis then that colours how we look at the record. -Again, my first instinct on the comment on this thread about why wasnt there a  Glasgow Irish specifically nominated battalion would be to look and see if there is one Glasgow-raised battalion of any regimental designation that stands out as being more "Irish" than the others-Your tool of analysis by birthplace helps-but how do you factor in "Irishness" when it is second generation or beyond-surname analysis? Birthplace of father/mother? Both. The Irish-born population in Glasgow was high and the Scots-born-Irish-desended population was higher still. Identifying the latter group is more difficult, however large sampling of SDGW data provides an inkling. Its a subject of endless fascination-so lets hope we can all wear out the software across the years

 

         All the best

                 Mike

     

 

 MG

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20 minutes ago, bootneck said:

MG

As usual an interesting and thought provoking thread. It has made me look into the East Surrey Regiment and the 1911 Census in a bit more detail.

Having looked at the digests of service for the 1st and 2nd Battalions the strengths of both units on 1 April 1911 are recorded as follows:

 

1st Bn: 24 Officers; 2 Warrant Officers; 39 Sergeants; 16 Drummers and 628 Rank & File.

A total of 709 all ranks  

 

2nd Bn: 28 Officers; 2 Warrant Officers; 44 Sergeants; 15 Drummers and 979 Rank & File.

A total of 1068 all ranks  

 

Currently I have a rough list of 1075 all ranks for the 2nd Battalion in Burma while only 381 (out of 709) for the 1st Battalion. These 381 men were the left half of the battalion stationed at Kinsale Barracks while I have so far been unable to identify the right half of the battalion which according to the digest of service was stationed at Spike Island and Camden Fort on the night of the census and returned to Kinsale Barracks later in April 1911. My difficulty is compounded by my rather dismal grasp of Irish geography coupled with the fact that soldiers in Barracks were usually recorded using initials. I managed to identify those at Kinsale because some were recorded using their surname.

 

If anyone can point me in the direction of the ‘missing’ men from the 1st Battalion I would be grateful.

 

As the information recorded in the British and Irish 1911 Census is different any results I arrive at will vary depending on which one being discussed. Once more analysis has been done I will post my findings.

 

Bootneck     

 

 

Bootneck

 

I would suggest taking a group of men known to have embarked in 1914 who have rare or unusual surnames. Perhaps 20. Then search the 1911 Cenus for them.Unusual surnames will generate fewer matches and hopefully get you to a limited choice.  This is the quickest way to find the un-indexed Census data in my experience. It works for the Census in India and might also work for for those serving in the UK.

 

MG

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3rd Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regt). 1911 Census. 936 names. 885 in UK. 683 from London (77%)

No surprises here. 

 

QGIS 3rd Bn RF Census weighted.JPG

 

Top 30 Locations

London Borough of Tower Hamlets 95
London Borough of Hackney 66
London Borough of Islington 63
City of Westminster 51
London Borough of Southwark 48
London Borough of Camden 42
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham 41
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea 39
London Borough of Wandsworth 31
London Borough of Hounslow 28
London Borough of Haringey 25
London Borough of Lambeth 23
London Borough of Enfield 20
London Borough of Newham 20
London Borough of Ealing 18
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames 17
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 13
London Borough of Barnet 13
London Borough of Waltham Forest 11
City of Edinburgh 9
London Borough of Lewisham 9
London Borough of Brent 8
London Borough of Greenwich 8
London Borough of Hillingdon 8
Birmingham City Council 7
London Borough of Croydon 7
Telford and Wrekin Council 7
City of London 6
London Borough of Bromley 6
Portsmouth City Council 6
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Ooh!! Temptation- Thanks for that.  A pals battalion manque??   

     Might I ask one general interest question- For a strongly "Londoner" London regiment there appear to be 51 non-UK.

Can you remind me-what is your non-UK- All bits of Ireland in or out?  Anywhere else in particular?- the non-UK would be at No.4 in the league (ie in the Champions League) so rather intriguing- please note the other thread with Mark Brockway re. 17 and 20 KRRC- backed as "pals battalions" with WO authorisation but intended to let colonials serve together in part.

   (Its a different and longer-term interest-London as the "Heart of the Empire" between 1850-1914-so anything thing on an imperial connection is of interest.)

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49 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

 note the other thread with Mark Brockway re. 17 and 20 KRRC- backed as "pals battalions" with WO authorisation but intended to let colonials serve together in part.

   (Its a different and longer-term interest-London as the "Heart of the Empire" between 1850-1914-so anything thing on an imperial connection is of interest.)

 

voltaire - can I reiterate with even greater stress than I have done several times already in the other topic that 17th and 20th KRRC were not intended in any way as battalions for colonials who wished to serve together.

 

The bulk of the Rhodesians and South Africans we discussed, enlisted into 2nd and 3rd KRRC, sometimes at platoon strength, with others sprinkled through ALL the KRRC Service battalions.  Such sprinklings landed in 17th and 20th KRRC naturally, but enlistment of those men from the Empire into these two BEL raised battalions was totally unconnected to the battalions having been raised by the British Empire League.

 

The vast majority of the original establishment of 20/KRRC were from the East End, especially Woolwich, from Dorset and from County Durham.  No large groups of colonials.

 

I'm away from home just now, so I cannot give Chapter and Verse, but the situation was similar with 17/KRRC.

 

You seem to have made an erroneous connection between the British Empire League and recruits from The Empire, to which I alerted you in the other topic.

 

Mark

 

 

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2 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

Ooh!! Temptation- Thanks for that.  A pals battalion manque??   

     Might I ask one general interest question- For a strongly "Londoner" London regiment there appear to be 51 non-UK.

Can you remind me-what is your non-UK- All bits of Ireland in or out?  Anywhere else in particular?- the non-UK would be at No.4 in the league (ie in the Champions League) so rather intriguing- please note the other thread with Mark Brockway re. 17 and 20 KRRC- backed as "pals battalions" with WO authorisation but intended to let colonials serve together in part.

   (Its a different and longer-term interest-London as the "Heart of the Empire" between 1850-1914-so anything thing on an imperial connection is of interest.)

 

Overseas are India (5), Ireland (11), Canada (1), South Africa (1), total 18. Doubtless all sons of Empire. The remainder of the 51 (calc: (51-18 =40) are those who appear to be born in the UK but whose place of birth either does not resolve with modern locations or contains conflicting data, i.e 'Ipswich, Wiltshire'. It also includes men whose information is too vague i.e "St George's" ...which can not be nailed to any of the many places with St George in their titles. Parishes named after churches are the largest set of unknown locations. 

 

UK Is used in the modern sense i.e. including Northern Ireland but not Eire. I am confident that the floating 40 were born in the UK, however in the interests of integrity of the data I can not guess or make assumptions.

 

Separately, I would expect around 5% of any battalion data to be 'outliers' simply because the standards of record keeping wee not particularly tight. It varies slightly across regiments and battalions however there are a few place names that simply do not exist in today's gaetteeers and spelling was sometimes phonetic. 

 

Also note Channel Island are alos excluded from the data plots. MG

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  Mark- point taken both now and then .  You alerted me to the links between KRRC and Empire men-I am NOT (Lets use the navy signallers emphasis-REPETITION:NOT) suggesting that KRRC was set up in any way as a unit for Empire men but it does seem that there were links - I was wholly unaware of the links with Rhodesia until I ran keyword "Rhodesia" on CWGC and came up with a clutch of casualties in 2KRRC. -The Rhodesia Platoon- and for my other interest, I will be seeking to pick your brains on resources and writings about that.  My perusal of " British Empire Review" suggests that BEL supported and promoted both 17 and 20 KRRC in the expectation that some recruits could be steered by it into those battalions who had Empire connections. That 20 KRRC was recruiting as a service battalion for "pick and shovel" suggests the supply of returning Empire men was diminishing by the Autumn of 1915. The number of Empire men in King Edwards Horse is quite striking-the more so as it was a successor to Imperial Yeomanry.

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Thanks for the update. Fascinating stuff.  I know it cannot be substantiated easily ,nor for all- but "St.Georges" is likely for many/most to be the parish of St.George in the East- the end of Stepney nearest to the Tower of London-I drive past it often as I go along The Highway. It is quite often mentioned by that name in Victorian histories. Although this discussion has concentrated on the 1914 boroughs of London, to the folk of the time many of the "boroughs" were comparatively new- in 1914 many if not most London boroughs were newer in the psyche of Londoners than the current London boroughs of today are with us. And before the LCC (or even MBW-Metropolitan Board of Works), it was "vestry" government-so the local government area was the parish.

      And of course, mis-transcribed names are a pain- particularly on Ancestry where the 1901 Census in particular must have been transcribed by a clutch of visually impaired bibulous orang-utans, given the number of errors.And for my local patch of Wanstead,the realisation that there is at least one other Wanstead-somewhere in Norfolk-let alone mistranslation with Wandsworth,which causes hours of harmless drudgery to sort out. My favourite Wanstead casualty in terms of why he was with a particular regiment is one William Sherwood-Yes, you've guessed it...  killed serving with the Sherwood Foresters. Just chance or a Sergeant-Major whose haemerroids were playing him up the day they sorted out drafts to different regiments??

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