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1911 Census Demographics - Regular Battalions


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Very interesting topic.

 

Just a couple of quick points about the Scots Guards figures.

 

Yes, there was and still is a tradition for men from the North West of England, particularly around Lancashire to join the Scots Guards.

 

In 1911 the Scots Guards had not been stationed at "home" in Scotland for over 200 years. The 2nd Bn were stationed in Edinburgh later in 1911, the first time either Battalion had been stationed in Scotland since the Union of the Crowns in 1707, with the exception of the Highland Company which remained in Scotland until 1714. This might have had a significant bearing on where their recruits came from.

 

Perhaps some of those shown as being born in the City of London were the sons of men serving in the Regiment.

 

Thanks for all the information and hard work Martin.

 

Iain.

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2nd Bn Scots Guards

 

107 NCOs (SM (1), QMS (2), Amr S/Sgt (1), Drill C/Sgt (1), C/Sgt(10), Sgt Piper (1), Sgt Drummer (1), Drill Sgt (1), Sgt (18), L/Sgt (18), Cpl(11), L/Cpl(42))

36 SNCOs (including Pipes and Drums)

34 SNCOs (excluding Pipes and Drums)

 

This battalion was, roughly speaking two-thirds English-born and one third Scots-Born. The split of the three categories above is:

 

                     English-Born    Scots Born   Other

All NCOs           70%                   23%          6%

All SNCOs         72%                   19%          8%

Ex P&D              73%                  18%           9%

 

Note: one individual will swing the SNCO data by 3%. 

 

So the dominant English-born were slightly over-represented (if that means anything given the caveat of expatriate Scots). My reading into this statistically small sample is that the 2nd Bn Scots Guards was a meritocracy, which is what one would expect. A mere curiosity rather than anything concrete.   MG

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1 hour ago, TwoEssGee said:

Very interesting topic.

 

Just a couple of quick points about the Scots Guards figures.

 

Yes, there was and still is a tradition for men from the North West of England, particularly around Lancashire to join the Scots Guards.

 

In 1911 the Scots Guards had not been stationed at "home" in Scotland for over 200 years. The 2nd Bn were stationed in Edinburgh later in 1911, the first time either Battalion had been stationed in Scotland since the Union of the Crowns in 1707, with the exception of the Highland Company which remained in Scotland until 1714. This might have had a significant bearing on where their recruits came from.

 

Perhaps some of those shown as being born in the City of London were the sons of men serving in the Regiment.

 

Thanks for all the information and hard work Martin.

 

Iain.

 

 

Ian

 

Many thanks for your informed insight. It is interesting that recruiting traditions have been maintained in the last 100 years. It must have been a very great privilege to have served in such a fine Regiment. I have many close friends who served in the Guards who were all utterly professional. 

 

Elsewhere in the thread is data on the HLI and Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), two very fine Scottish regiments that appear to have included very large numbers of English-born. One side of my family are Lowland Scots and this has stimulated some greater interest in the Lowland regiments, a group that has often lived in the shadow of the more high-profile Highland Regiments (early masters of media). The recruiting and Census data might suggest that Scots-born had a higher propensity to join Highland regiments and that the lure of the kilt and tribal tartans (a Victorian invention?) was strong among the Scots. All Scots regiments could and did recruit in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee which produced something in the order of 70% of all Scottish recruits. It was a fair playing field, yet the Lowland Scots regiments (I would include the Scots Guards in this category) all had a significant proportion of English-born, occasionally a majority. My early assumptions (now blown to smithereens) were that itinerant Geordies lost in Edinburgh and Glasgow had inflated the English numbers. This is clearly not the case.

 

Cultural identity is obviously something that can be adopted. I lived in Asia for most of my life and the tens of thousands of rabid Chelsea, Liverpool, Man U, Arsenal supporters in Hong Kong and Singapore was always a source of great curiosity. Their tribal passions were no less than those of the UK based supporters despite the fact that most had never been within 12,000 miles of the focus of their passions It was and is remarkable how loyalties can be created. I suspect that British Regimental esprit de corps was not dissimilar to modern corporate esprit de corps, although the vulcanising effects of the white heat of warfare would of course make the bonds much stronger in the military.  I note that the influx of Fijiian recruits in the 1960s after National Service expired was an early example of how culturally alien groups could integrate into traditional strongholds of the British Army with remarkable finesse and success. Modern obsession with 'cultural diversity' might learn something from the British Army, which despite its perceived tribalism and exclusiveness appears to have embraced a form of multiculturalism many years before the term was invented. It is, I think, something that is not well understood as I listened to BBC Radio 4 today in a traffic jam on the M25 (where else?) to an American political 'expert' chastising current leadership for having 'Military Set' thinking (it was not a compliment and meant as a disparaging remark about people who allegedly reject multiculturalism). The inference being that military people were inherently racists or culturally prejudiced. She had forgotten that she was able to make these remarks due to the selfless sacrifice of so-called Military Set thinking people whose contribution delivers the freedoms that she takes for granted. 

 

I digress, but the regular British Army in the Edwardian period seems to have been a fairly multicultural place that was also a meritocracy. The Scots Guards appear to be a strong example of this.  

 

MG

 

 

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Thank you Martin.

 

There was a question earlier in the thread enquiring if there might have been some skewing of the higher ranks in favour of Scotsmen.

A quick check of the higher ranked NCO casualties during the War does not bear this out. In fact, it appears (amongst casualties) that most were English born, the exceptions being two RSM's who were both Scottish born. Of the 15 CSM's or CQMS's only one appears to have been born in Scotland. There are quite a few Lancastrians and Yorkshiremen though, and even a CSM born in Swansea..

 

During my time in the Regiment (1980's) I can't ever recall any animosity between Scots and English (other that the occasional bit of banter), and certainly I was unaware of anyone being promoted on anything but ability.

 

The crest of the 2nd Bn is an entwined Rose and Thistle, which was quite apt.

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TwoEssGee  -  I put in the question about the Scots Guards out of curiosity- about how regiments maintain an "esprit de corps" and promote an individual indentity by small differentiation- cap badges, regimental mascots, etc- And good thing to- the French and American systems of number after number after number just makes war a production line and the soldier just becomes a commodity and part of a "batch"

  I have no service connections- as a bookseller just starting on my own in 1987-1988, I bought (at Christies South Ken) a pile of books which included a ledger,which turned out to be the daily minute book of the adjutant, 1st Bn Scots Foots Guards from the 1840s-full of thousand and thousands of names-minor punishments,extra pay,etc,etc. We did what we have always done- quote at a reasonable rather than excessive mark-up to the Scots Guards at Wellington Barracks- Offer accepted immediately-and Your Humble was asked to deliver it to the RSM at the barracks. Who turned out to be a quiet, hard-working really nice guy,dressed in a business suit and in a normal office,  rather than the RSM of legend.

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On 11/6/2016 at 12:38, Muerrisch said:

 

Perhaps not all readers will be aware that Foot Guards regiments had regimental bands as opposed to a band for each battalion. Again, unlike the Foot, the regimental band did not have a formal established war role as, for example, stretcher bearers. Neither were Foot Guards bands "supposed" to deploy on active service. Each Guards battalion relied on its Corps of Drums [drum, flute and bugle, with pipes also for the Scots and perhaps Irish] for organic music.

 

Where there's a will there's a way, and good for them, because military bands have an important morale role.

 

1/12th Bn County of London Regt (The Rangers).  QED

 

Band.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...

Martin,

Is it possible to access similar records for barracks overseas in India etc. in the 1901 Census?

Mark

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12 hours ago, MBrockway said:

Martin,

Is it possible to access similar records for barracks overseas in India etc. in the 1901 Census?

Mark

 

I don't doubt that they exist but I cant see a way of locating them via ancestry. The methodology for 1911 is to go to the 1911 England Census, and within the 'County' drop-down list is 'Military'. Under this are all the Overseas locations. In the 1901 England Census there is no 'Military' in the drop-down 'County' menu. There is however a Royal Navy option which lists all the vessels (a rather long list in 1901).

 

The National Archives might have another way of approaching this, but so far I have tried and failed to find this via Ancestry.

 

MG

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David_Underdown

I believe 1911 was the first time that overseas military were included in the census. It would otherwise be much easier to track down those serving in South Africa in 1901.  There were usually colonial censuses carried out at the same time as the regular censuses carried out at home, but not all of those survive: Canadian ones do, but Australia routinely destroyed detailed census returns.

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  • 1 month later...

I have just stumbled across your research. Thank you for taking the time to put it together! 

Possibly of interest is that two of my great great uncles were Scots Guardsmen and both were from Ipswich,they both joined pre 1911 as boy soldiers.

 

Thanks again for the great research!

 

Will

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  • 3 years later...
Billy Bowker

Bootneck my Great Grandad Cpl Edward Jackson 37292 was in Cork Barracks around 1905 living on Old Yougal Street I believe he married a local woman Catherine White. On his marriage certificate it says AUC but this could be AMC not sure if this is a regiment as like you I’m a Bootneck. Any help in this matter would be gratefully appreciated. It could actually be AMC Army Medical Corp his number was 37292.

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