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1911 Census Demographics - Regular Battalions


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Grenadier Guards. Sample size: 1,264

 

Country of Birth

England   91.2%

Scotland    0.7%

Ireland       2.9%

Wales        4.5%

Colonies    0.8%

Other        0.1%

Unknown   1.6%

 

County of Birth - Top 20 Counties. A  high concentration from Notts and Derby. A surprisingly low number of men from Lancashire. Yorkshire and Warwickshire..

 

Kent 115 9.1%
London 100 7.9%
Gloucestershire 93 7.4%
Nottinghamshire 92 7.3%
Derbyshire 71 5.6%
Staffordshire 63 5.0%
Middlesex 62 4.9%
Essex 55 4.4%
Lancashire 50 4.0%
Northamptonshire 44 3.5%
Cheshire 39 3.1%
Glamorganshire 31 2.5%
Worcestershire 31 2.5%
Yorkshire 31 2.5%
Suffolk 29 2.3%
Somerset 28 2.2%
Surrey 28 2.2%
Berkshire 26 2.1%
Oxfordshire 19 1.5%
Warwickshire 19 1.5%

 

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10 hours ago, Muerrisch said:

Of interest is that many of the founder members of the Welsh Guards 1915 were Grenadiers! Not very Welsh! 

 

 

Funnily my exact thoughts. I will crunch the Coldstream too and see what the likely proportions were I do believe the WG also took in men from other regiments. 

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5 hours ago, QGE said:

Grenadier Guards. Sample size: 1,264

 

A  high concentration from Notts and Derby. A surprisingly low number of men from Lancashire. Yorkshire and Warwickshire..

 

Just as an observation, at last Sunday's Remembrance Sunday service in Liverpool, there was a large (and tall of course!) contingent of Irish Guards veterans.  Perhaps this was the local preference?  Unsurprising given the large Irish community in Liverpool and environs.

 

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Coldstream Guards. 1,409 names. Birthplaces

 

England 1,376 97.7%
Ireland 13 0.9%
Scotland 10 0.7%
India 3 0.2%
Wales 2 0.1%
Colonies 5 0.4%

 

Top 20 locations

Warwickshire 219 15.9%
London 151 11.0%
Yorkshire 148 10.8%
Norfolk 78 5.7%
Durham 68 4.9%
Devon 63 4.6%
Somerset 59 4.3%
Sussex 55 4.0%
Staffordshire 51 3.7%
Leicestershire 45 3.3%
Lancashire 44 3.2%
Wiltshire 36 2.6%
Surrey 34 2.5%
Northumberland 30 2.2%
Worcestershire 30 2.2%
Kent 29 2.1%
Lincolnshire 24 1.7%
Gloucestershire 19 1.4%
Derbyshire 17 1.2%
Hampshire 17 1.2%
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Irish Guards. Sample size is small at 363 of which details are available for 327. No real surprises in the Country data.

 

Country of Birth

Ireland 291 88.4%
England 30 9.1%
India 3 0.9%
Wales 3 0.9%
Egypt 1 0.3%
Scotland 1 0.3%

 

Top 20 Locations. Note Lancashire (not shown) with high Irish population provided only three men. 

Dublin 36 11.0%
Cork 21 6.4%
Down 20 6.1%
Meath 19 5.8%
Antrim 18 5.5%
Tipperary 17 5.2%
Limerick 12 3.7%
Galway 11 3.4%
Kerry 10 3.1%
Sligo 10 3.1%
Wexford 10 3.1%
Wicklow 10 3.1%
Clare 8 2.4%
Kildare 8 2.4%
Tyrone 8 2.4%
Armagh 7 2.1%
Cavan 7 2.1%
Roscommon 7 2.1%
Waterford 7 2.1%
Leitrim 6 1.8%

 

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2nd Bn Scots Guards. 415 names of whom 408 have a recorded place of birth

 

Two-thirds were born in England. A surprisingly high figure. Some are clearly expatriate Scots; 2.7% of the English-born have surnames beginning with the Celtic "Mc". The "Mc" in the Scottish-born sample is 14.6%. To me this suggests that while there were clearly English-born Celts in the Scots Guards there were probably plenty of Englishmen. 

 

Country of Birth

England                253   = 62.8%

Scotland               123   = 30.5%

Ireland                    22

Wales                       3

Colonies                   2

Unknown                  7

 

Top 20 - County of Birth

Lancashire              48

Yorkshire                 40

Middlesex                38

Lanarkshire             22

Surrey                     22

Lothian                    21

Hampshire               14

Sussex                     13

Aberdeenshire         11

Cheshire                  11

Inverness-shire        11

Kent                         11

Midlothian                10

Ayr                            7

Fife                           7

Herefordshire            6

Shropshire                6

Angus                       5

Warwickshire             5

Dumfries                   4

 

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Many thanks. We can see that the WG did not get fat on ANY of the established Guards regiments with two ifs:

if 1911 is anything to go by

if the battalions investigated were representative of the ones not investigated.

Martin, does the Hist WG in Great war have anything to say about the raising thereof please?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, QGE said:

2nd Bn Scots Guards. 415 names of whom 408 have a recorded place of birth

 

Two-thirds were born in England. A surprisingly high figure. Some are clearly expatriate Scots; 2.7% of the English-born have surnames beginning with the Celtic "Mc". The "Mc" in the Scottish-born sample is 14.6%. To me this suggests that while there were clearly English-born Celts in the Scots Guards there were probably plenty of Englishmen.

 

That highlights an issue with identity - I myself was born in England, but I am most definitely Scottish!

 

At school, of the four of us who shared a study, one was born in Malaya, one was born in Germany, one in Cyprus and me in England.

 

The other three were all English (Army and RAF brats!) despite none of them being born in England!

 

And of course, we all regarded ourselves as British first anyway.

 

PS Not disagreeing that "there were probably plenty of Englishmen" in the Scots Guards by the way, and I expect Mr Pay will be along shortly with some pearls on Englishmen in the Jock Guards ;)

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The Jockney Guards my grandfather called them. Apparently Jocks were a distinct minority with a majority coming from London or surrounding areas in their ranks. Mind you this was after the war when he transferred to the 2nd Jockney Guards in 1923, due to his feeling that the Lifeguards had not looked after his brother especially well. He served the entire war alongside his brother in the 2nd Life Guards, and was not especially complimentary regarding the Jockneys in comparison to The Life Guards.

 

Andy

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What would be interesting [and a good stir possibly] would be to know the "nationality" of the WOs and SNCOs of the Scots Guards, Pipe-Major excepted. That might cause a little controversy.

However, my reading of the brilliant 2-vol history is brimming with Scotsmen doing great deeds and suffering terrible hardships in a whole spectrum of ranks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1st Bn Scots Guards - Egypt  - 1911 Census. 753 named men of whom 749 recorded their place of birth. Very slightly more Scots-born than the 2nd Battalion. 

 

Country of Birth

England      429     = 57%
Scotland     266     = 36%
Ireland         38
Wales            8
SA                 2
US                 2
Australia        1
India              1
Jamaica         1
S America      1

Unknown       4
Total          753

 

 

Top 20 County of Birth

Lancashire                  77      = 11%
Yorkshire                    63
Lanarkshire                50
London                       37
Middlesex                   26
Inverness-shire          25
Lothian                      25
Sussex                       25
Surrey                        24
Kent                           22
Midlothian                  21
Aberdeenshire           18
Huntingdonshire         18
Forfarshire                 14
Dorset                        12
Fifeshire                     12
Cheshire                    10
Ross-Shire                 10
Essex                           9
Gloucestershire           9

 

 

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54 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

 

That highlights an issue with identity - I myself was born in England, but I am most definitely Scottish!

At school, of the four of us who shared a study, one was born in Malaya, one was born in Germany, one in Cyprus and me in England.

The other three were all English (Army and RAF brats!) despite none of them being born in England!

And of course, we all regarded ourselves as British first anyway.

PS Not disagreeing that "there were probably plenty of Englishmen" in the Scots Guards by the way, and I expect Mr Pay will be along shortly with some pearls on Englishmen in the Jock Guards ;)

 

You will note I have been careful to state Scots-born and English-born rather than Scottish or English. Incidentally the number of Scots-born in the regular infantry in 1913 would not have been sufficient to fill all the Scottish battalions.  I fully expect Rob Roy to appear stage left with some made up stats on how all the English were all of Scottish descent. Please note I am a half Scot (Maxwell) and my grandfather fought with the 6th Bn RSF in the Great War.

 

I am acutely aware of Wellington's argument regarding being born in a stable and not being a donkey (or words to that effect). We have, in three just generations family members born in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Egypt, India, Singapore, Hong Kong (all due to parents serving in the Army). More were born overseas than in the UK. All would consider themselves British and culturally English. 

 

I  was very surprised by the Scots Guards figures. They were nearly as surprising as the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). MG

 

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1 hour ago, Muerrisch said:

Many thanks. We can see that the WG did not get fat on ANY of the established Guards regiments with two ifs:

if 1911 is anything to go by

if the battalions investigated were representative of the ones not investigated.

Martin, does the Hist WG in Great war have anything to say about the raising thereof please?

 

 

Grumpy

I think 1911 is a good guide given 99% would have been liable for service in 1914. By the time the Welsh Guards were formed in 1915 most would have been serving due to existing terms of service.

When I have analysed battalions separately, there is little difference i.e the GG battalions all have similar birthplace distributions.

 

The history of the Welsh Guards does, if memory served, have some info. I will dig it up. The 1915 Star medal rolls  (or BWM &VM?) should show the original battalions as all would have been renumbered. The history was written by Dudley Ward who wrote an imaginative history of the 53rd Welsh Div. I would always look to check any of his figures with other sources. As you pointed out eslewehere, recollections of how Welsh or Brummie the RWF was are prone to embellishment. Ward was no stranger to fiction. I will report back.. MG

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according to Dudley Ward, page 5

 

303 men including 40 NCOs transferred from the Grenadier Guards. This will include Reservists and recruits who enlisted after War was declared, so it is distinctly possible that they were either Welsh-born or of Welsh parents. The counter-arguments would be that most of the regular serving and Reservists would have been through the mangle already and the Guards, like most infantry regiments were running out of trained men. The Guards of course did not have Special Reserve battalions, only Special Reserve officers. I suspect if they were all Welsh most would have been new recruits in Aug 1914. The Welsh Guards has a similar construct to a typical Kitchener battalion. 

 

Edit. The 1991 Census data show around 40 Welsh-born men serving across the other 9 Foot Guards Battalions. Assuming similar proportions among the Foot Guards Reservists might suggest that mustering 500 Welshmen in 1914 from pre-war men would have been challenging. 

 

200 alleged Welshmen came from the Guards Depot at Caterham according to Ward. That still leaves them 500 short. 

 

The Sgt Major was W Stevenson, Scots Guards who was No.1 on the new roll. 

 

CWGC data for 1915 shows that of the 45 men who have additional info, 60% had some tangible connection to Wales. A small sample but it might provide a benchmark. 

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Looking closer at the 1911 Census data, the Grenadiers had 59 welsh-born. The Coldstream, Scots and Irish Guards had just 16 between them. Roughly speaking the GG had nearly 80% of all Welsh-born serving in the Guards. By extension this was the right place to start. 

 

 

A random page from the Welsh Guards' BWM &VM roll showing prior regiments

WG BWM.JPG

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Scots Guards 1911 Census. 1,297 men.

 

Please note that the darker the area the higher the number of men born there. The Highlands are slightly misleading as the large area over-emphasises the significance. More men were born in London, Liverpool and Yorkshire. The distribution by District is also below. 

 

One noticeable aspect is the line south of Yorkshire. There are hardly any men recruited from the Midlands and Lancashire (ex metropolitan areas). This might suggest some form of agreement between the Foot Guards' recruiting: the Grenadier Guards had high concentrations in the Midlands for example. Something worth exploring. 

 

Top 30 Districts

City of London 70
City of Edinburgh 49
City of Glasgow 48
Liverpool City Council 48
City of York Council 46
Highland Council 40
Preston Borough Council 26
Aberdeen City Council 24
Manchester City Council 19
Midlothian Council 19
South Lanarkshire Council 19
Chichester District Council 17
Canterbury City Council 16
Cheshire West and Chester 16
Guildford Borough Council 14
Angus Council 13
Leeds City Council 13
Dumfries and Galloway Council 12
Fife Council 11
Huntingdonshire District Council 11
South Ayrshire Council 11
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames 10
Carlisle City Council 9
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea 9
Stirling Council 9
Herefordshire Council 8
Scottish Borders Council 8
East Riding of Yorkshire Council 7
Perth and Kinross Council 7
Dundee City Council 6

 

Scots Guards 1911 Census - Distribution by Place of Birth  - London shown separately. 

 

QGIS Scots Guards.JPG

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3 hours ago, QGE said:

 

Please note I am a half Scot (Maxwell) and my grandfather fought with the 6th Bn RSF in the Great War.

 

 

Another Gallovidian then?

 

My great grannie was a Johnston from Annan.  My people are split between Ayrshire and Galloway.

 

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A very rough attempt to show where the Foot Guards were born. By Regiment (left to right) and by Country (England & Wales on the left, Ireland & Scotland on the right)  and County within Country (top to bottom).

 

Three main points of note

 

1. High concentration in heavily populated industrialised areas. No surprise but perhaps suggests metropolitan recruiting. These were probably urban men. Rural recruiting seemed failry low and may reflect the idea that the Guards were confined to the national Metropolitan areas. 

 

2. Some evidence of mutual exclusion. A few recruiting areas appear to have been left to one particular Regiment

  • Grenadier Guards recruiting in Kent, Nottinghamshire and Debyshire - largely untouched by other Foot Guards
  • Coldstream Guards high concentration in Warwickshire (read Birmingham), Yorkshire, Durham, Devon, Norfolk - ditto
  • Scots Guards high dependency on Lancashire and Yorkshire and Middlesex (read London) - Scotland largely untouched by other Foot Guards
  • Irish Guards self sufficient in Ireland.Other Foot Guards recruiting of Irishmen was minimal.
  • Wales was not an important recruiting area for the Foot Guards

 

3. Characteristics. Some very broad-brush observations: 

  • Grenadiers were dominated by London and the Home Counties with a large minority from Notts & Derby
  • Coldstream were dominated by men from Birmingham, London and Yorkshire
  • Scots Guards were Scots, Londoners, Yorkshiremen and Lancastrians. English-born outnumbered Scots-born 2:1
  • Irish Guards were very Southern Irish

 

 

 

Census 1911 Guards-002.jpg

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   Coming back to an argument already raised, which the 1911 Census should illuminate- What are the percentages of NCOs from the "right" area to go with that regiment?   eg Scots Guards would be a good example- are the senior NCOs "more" Scottish-ie greater percentage Scottiish born.

   One often reads of battalions being expanded in war with a new one formed of a "cadre" from an existing one. An analysis of Scots Guards NCOs in 1911 Census might show whether it was more or less "Scottish"- but, of import, whether regimental identity might be maintained  if Officers (separate kettle of fish) and NCOs reflected an "identity" more than the rank and file. 

 2 items that would interest me would be a) Whether the statistics for,say,Scots Guards indicated higher proportion of Scottis-born-ie Chances of promotion were greater if you matched the "profile" of the regiment.  

  b. 1st  Coldstream Guards will be of interest, due to a local casualty (CSM Thomas William Oatway). 

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On 19/11/2016 at 07:44, voltaire60 said:

  Coming back to an argument already raised, which the 1911 Census should illuminate- What are the percentages of NCOs from the "right" area to go with that regiment?   eg Scots Guards would be a good example- are the senior NCOs "more" Scottish-ie greater percentage Scottiish born. 

   One often reads of battalions being expanded in war with a new one formed of a "cadre" from an existing one. An analysis of Scots Guards NCOs in 1911 Census might show whether it was more or less "Scottish"- but, of import, whether regimental identity might be maintained  if Officers (separate kettle of fish) and NCOs reflected an "identity" more than the rank and file. 

 2 items that would interest me would be a) Whether the statistics for,say,Scots Guards indicated higher proportion of Scottis-born-ie Chances of promotion were greater if you matched the "profile" of the regiment.  

  b. 1st  Coldstream Guards will be of interest, due to a local casualty (CSM Thomas William Oatway). 

 

I don't have the data immediately to hand as I need to transcribe the ranks first. It would take some time. 

 

My concerns are that the sample size is too small and would be statistically meaningless. In a battalion there would be roughly 50 Senior NCOs meaning a single man would swing the data by 2%. As already mentioned some men born in England might be of Scottish descent, so it would also involve researching all English-born to establish whether they had any Scottish heritage. This would take too much time (for me at least) as it is something I am not particularly interested in.

 

One also has to remember that the 1911 Census is simply a snapshot of a battalion on a single day in its history. The Guards turnover in men is something that would need exploring. SNCOs might easily have had 10 years service, so looking at the 1901 Census would also be necessary. Added to this the Scots Guards had a battalion disbanded in 1906/07 which might further distort the data.

 

Stats are only of value when used properly. Drawing conclusions from large data is fraught with potential pitfalls, so one needs to carefully explore these before attempting to draw too much from the data. There are other issues too: Is the collation complete? Have we captured very man in the potential samples? If two SNCOs were, say away elsewhere it would swing the data by 4% for example. Was the data recorded correctly? (each man needs to be checked for typos, probably twice) one mistake: another 2%. What about the men who we have no data for? If, say two SNCOs had no record of their place of birth, this could swing the data by another 4%. If we researched an English-born man called Smith and concluded (perhaps incorrectly) that he was of Scots descent, that would swing the data by another 2%. If a SNCOs Scots heritage was with his grandparents and we had not researched that far... etc,  Compounding all these could easily swing the data and any conclusions drawn from them by a massive amount..... So, unless someone is prepared to research 50 men, their 100 parents and 200 grandparents - some 350 people in total, I don't think it will be meaningful. I certainly don't have the time or inclination.

 

With data, rubbish in = rubbish out. MG

 

 

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On 19/11/2016 at 07:44, voltaire60 said:

 Coming back to an argument already raised, which the 1911 Census should illuminate- What are the percentages of NCOs from the "right" area to go with that regiment?   eg Scots Guards would be a good example- are the senior NCOs "more" Scottish-ie greater percentage Scottiish born.

   One often reads of battalions being expanded in war with a new one formed of a "cadre" from an existing one. An analysis of Scots Guards NCOs in 1911 Census might show whether it was more or less "Scottish"- but, of import, whether regimental identity might be maintained  if Officers (separate kettle of fish) and NCOs reflected an "identity" more than the rank and file. 

 2 items that would interest me would be a) Whether the statistics for,say,Scots Guards indicated higher proportion of Scottis-born-ie Chances of promotion were greater if you matched the "profile" of the regiment.  

  b. 1st  Coldstream Guards will be of interest, due to a local casualty (CSM Thomas William Oatway). 

 

On 19/11/2016 at 19:22, QGE said:

<snip>

So, unless someone is prepared to research 50 men, their 100 parents and 200 grandparents - some 250 people in total, I don't think it will be meaningful. I certainly don't have the time or inclination.

 

With data, rubbish in = rubbish out. MG

 

Mike/voltaire,

The 1911 census data Martin is using is available via Ancestry.  With Martin rightly focussing on his Army-wide demographics project, why don't you investigate the interesting, but more detailed Scots Guards angles you mention and report back to us?

 

It's quite nicely bounded with a pool of only 50 men and their antecedents to research.  With your stats background, you'd be the perfect man for the job.

 

However - a special plea before you get stuck in: I'd be very grateful to hear more on Nesbit Wallace, the British Empire League and the BEL's involvement in raising the first incarnation of the 4th County of London Imperial Yeomanry (King's Colonials) (later the KEH) in 1901.  Your information on those matters in the other topic was all new to me and, as you point out, has implications on the Great War history of 17th and 20th KRRC.  I am very keen to see the exciting new information you have turned up in your researches in the original British Empire League source documents at the British Library.

 

Cheers,

Mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mark- Thank you- I have been rather crocked this week but the task is set through next week. You are not forgotten.

   The local church here that had a CLB company (Holy Trinity Hermon Hill) -only 2 casualties  in the KRRC- one CLB (Enest Horsnall, 13KRRC,killed 1917 aged 22) and one not (Charles Edward Pink, 8 KRRC, killed 1916)

    

I am limited to odds and sods as I cant get about much- "Scused Boots" and a bit more. But I am anxious to get that little episode sorted out.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

   The local church here that had a CLB company (Holy Trinity Hermon Hill) -only 2 casualties  in the KRRC- one CLB (Enest Horsnall, 13KRRC,killed 1917 aged 22) and one not (Charles Edward Pink, 8 KRRC, killed 1916)

 

I'm struggling to understand this sentence!

 

Can you clarify please?  :D

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