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Barracks Challenge - 1911 Census


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I am trying to locate the regular infantry battalions in the 1911 Census. In theory there should be 60 battalions in England alone (including the Channel Islands). So far I have only located 47 battalions. I know the names of the towns that the barracks were located. I dont know in all cases which district or sub-district of the twon. Even with this information I can not locate some of the barracks in the 1911 Census.

 

At first glance, trying to find these places should be relatively easy; we should be able to find the towns with ease, however the Census uses the following hierarchy for classifying each area:

 

County...........................................................e.g. Surrey

      Registration District (RD): ......................e.g. Guildford

           Registration Sub-District (RSD): ........e.g. Woking

               Enumeration District (ED) ..............e.g. under Woking there are 27 Enumeration Districts. Each has hundreds of pages.

 

I am trying to identify the exact page within the correct Enumeration District within the correct Sub-District, within the correct Registration District within the correct County.  I am using Ancestry. 

 

The complexity is further compounded by the fact that some of the threads of RD-RSD-ED did not follow a logical pattern. Half of Aldershot for example is categorised under Surrey - Aldershot while the other half is categorised under Hampshire - Hartley Witney - Farnborough. No, I couldn't believe it either. 

 

So, trying to find the barracks in Woking where one lonely Battalion was based became slightly more difficult. It is like looking for a needle in rather a large haystack, and I am not certain I am looking in the right haystack. The challenge is further complicated by the fact that the Census is not particularly well indexed. I have tried key search words such as barracks, Depot, Infantry, Fusiliers, Guards, Battalion, Rifles etc which have yielded some clues, however the way the Census was recorded was inconsistent. Some barracks are proving to be particularly elusive. I have found Woking Barracks however the others still elude me .....

 

For example, take the two regular battalions based at Warley, Essex. I can only find one. The Census for Essex shows Great Warley, and separately Great Warley and Hornchurch as Registration Districts. I can only find the 1st Bn Queen's Own Royal West Kent Surrey Regt (edited) in the latter (and only part of the battalion to boot) and the 3rd (Reserve) Bn Essex Regt. I am missing another Regular battalion. It may be that in 1911 there was only one Regular Battalion (there were two in 1914). If so, where was the other battalion based? 

 

The list below shows where the gaps are. Some look easy, however I can't for the life of me find them. If anyone is a black-belt at searching the Census any pointers would be gratefully received. The list is based on James' British Battalions 1914 and may be slightly out of kilter with the distribution of battalions in 1911 during the Census. It gets more difficult with Ireland and Scotland, but rather than over-complicate something that is already complex, I would like to focus on England. MG

 

Place Count Found
England, Aldershot 14 13
England, Blackdown 1 2
England, Bordon 4 4
England, Chatham 1  
England, Chelsea Barracks 2  
England, Colchester 4 4
England, Devonport 2 2
England, Dover 3 3
England, Gosport 1 2
England, Gravesend 1  
England, Guernsey 1  
England, Isle of Wight 1  
England, Jersey 1  
England, Lichfield 2 2
England, Plymouth 2 2
England, Portland 1 1
England, Portsmouth 2 2
England, Sheffield 1  
England, Shorncliffe 3 3
England, Tidworth 4 4
England, Tower of London 1  
England, Warley 2 1
England, Wellington Barracks 2  
England, Windsor 1 1
England, Woking 1 1
England, Woolwich 1  
England, York 1  

 

 

Barracks Census.jpg

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Martin,

 

I think you still need to look to Ireland, unfortunately in light of your current task of mapping birthplaces. The 1911 Irish census only has initials for most men, which wouldn't be a problem for you but unfortunately it doesn't list birthplace beyond country of birth.

 

If you can identify which battalions were over there then you'll be able to pair them off with the ones in India, England and Wales that you've already identified. I suspect you've already considered this.

 

2nd Royal Sussex (Curragh) and 1st Buffs (Portobello Barracks, Dublin), and at least one of the Essex Battalions which I ran across yesterday while trawling through the Curragh for 5th DG are over there. Must be quite a few other regular battalions dotted around.

 

1st RWK were at Quebec Barracks, Bordon. Look for Rodney Charles Style in Headley, Hampshire (13-19). I think there might have been an entire Brigade garrisoned there in four barracks.

 

Be interested in the exact location of those RWK in Warley/Hornchurch as I'd thought the 'missing' from 1st RWK  were either all at the Depot at Maidstone or 1st RWK was understrength from supplying drafts to 2nd RWK at Peshawar.  My data for RWK is incomplete but it appears that for this period the regiment was recruited solidly in the South East, and primarily in Kent.

 

Best regards,

Matthew

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10 minutes ago, westkent78 said:

Martin,

 

I think you still need to look to Ireland, unfortunately in light of your current task of mapping birthplaces. The 1911 Irish census only has initials for most men, which wouldn't be a problem for you but unfortunately it doesn't list birthplace beyond country of birth.

 

If you can identify which battalions were over there then you'll be able to pair them off with the ones in India, England and Wales that you've already identified. I suspect you've already considered this.

 

2nd Royal Sussex (Curragh) and 1st Buffs (Portobello Barracks, Dublin), and at least one of the Essex Battalions which I ran across yesterday while trawling through the Curragh for 5th DG are over there. Must be quite a few other regular battalions dotted around.

 

1st RWK were at Quebec Barracks, Bordon. Look for Rodney Charles Style in Headley, Hampshire (13-19). I think there might have been an entire Brigade garrisoned there in four barracks.

 

Be interested in the exact location of those RWK in Warley/Hornchurch as I'd thought the 'missing' from 1st RWK  were either all at the Depot at Maidstone or 1st RWK was understrength from supplying drafts to 2nd RWK at Peshawar.  My data for RWK is incomplete but it appears that for this period the regiment was recruited solidly in the South East, and primarily in Kent.

 

Best regards,

Matthew

 

Matthew. Ref. Ireland, I will, in good time and I have some good leads, however this thread is focused on the battalions based in England.   

 

I will revert on RWK, but if my recent research is any indication, most 'County' regiments had at best small majorities from their 'home' County. This is nothing new, but putting some accurate figures on the assumptions is a useful exercise. The RWK in Warley needs to be checked (by me). I will revert. MG

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Martin,

 

1st Royal Irish Fusiliers at Bordon as well as 2nd Border. 1st RWK is in between them (3 books worth).

 

Re RWK: You'll get RWK transcribed well before I do, but 2nd RWK at Peshawar with 200 still to go in my transcription has over 70% originating in Kent. A brief review of 1st Bn does indicate considerably more coming from Surrey/Middlesex/London than 2nd RWK would indicate though. Be interesting to see where it ends up.

 

Enjoying your work in this area.

Matthew

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11 hours ago, westkent78 said:

Martin,

 

1st Royal Irish Fusiliers at Bordon as well as 2nd Border. 1st RWK is in between them (3 books worth).

 

Re RWK: You'll get RWK transcribed well before I do, but 2nd RWK at Peshawar with 200 still to go in my transcription has over 70% originating in Kent. A brief review of 1st Bn does indicate considerably more coming from Surrey/Middlesex/London than 2nd RWK would indicate though. Be interesting to see where it ends up.

 

Enjoying your work in this area.

Matthew

 Matthew

 

I have the Bordon based battalions.  I mistakenly wrote Queen's Royal West Kent when I meant to write Queen's Royal West Surrey. Now amended. This latter battalion was in Warley. Apologies for the confusion. 

 

Ref QORWK: I would not be surprised if the figure was 70%. Population density was reasonably high due to clusters of industry in the county. I will crunch the data soon.

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The 1911 Army List should show you all the battalion locations, e.g.

 

1911 Army List RB.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, MBrockway said:

The 1911 Army List should show you all the battalion locations, e.g.

 

1911 Army List RB.jpg

 

 Mark

 

Yes, I understand this. I know the names of the towns where each battalion was allegedly based (see list in the OP). The challenge is finding which of the 34  Enumeration Districts of Woolwich (for example) the Regular battalions was in. According to James' "British Regiments 1914-1918", 1st Bn Middlesex Regt was based in Woolwich in Aug 1914. I am trying to locate the barracks and establish which battalion was there in 1911 during the Census . I don't have the Apr 1911 Army List. The nearest I have is Jan 1913 which shows the 1st Bn Middlesex Regt in Aden, some distance from Woolwich...... In this case the drop-down menu in the Census shows Enumeration Districts 24-33 'clustered' together. The barracks tend to be in these clustered districts. In the case of Woolwich this proves to be the case, however having trawled the 600 pages I can find 25 Military ED books for various establishments and barracks, but none house a regular battalion. The Reserve battalions - 5th Bn RB (p.197) and 6th Bn RB (p.199) 5th Bn KRRC (p. 202) and 6th Bn KRRC (p. 204) can be found  - but the anonymous regular battalion eludes me. It is possible that there was no regular battalion based in Woolwich in 1911. 

 

Some of the other barracks in Warley and Sheffield (for example) are more difficult to find. 

 

Sheffield has 8 Sub-District. Between them there are 147 Enumeration Districts (ED) with, on average 600 odd pages each; roughly 88,200 pages to trawl through. I have no firm idea where the Barracks that housed the regular battalion was in Sheffield. If I have a street name or district I might be able to narrow down the search. I think it is Hillsborough based on a Google search but there are still 13 Enumeration Districts to trawl within Hillsborough Sub District. There are 8,278 pages covering Hillsborough (average of 637 pages per ED). The Military ED books have bright red cover pages and are easy to spot when trawling. In this case I can't find the barracks, so it is possible that it was not in Hillsborough but in one of the other 7 sub-districts and one of the other 80,000 pages of the other 134 EDs

 

Edit. In Jan 1913 the 2nd Bn Northumberland Fusiliers was based in Sheffield. click

 

MG

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Hillsborough barracks , Sheffield were located at Penistone Road S6 backing on to Langsett Road.   Currently a Morrisons supermarket and shopping mall. 2nd battn KOYLI  were there in 1905.

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5 minutes ago, Ellis1918 said:

Hillsborough barracks , Sheffield were located at Penistone Road S6 backing on to Langsett Road.   Currently a Morrisons supermarket and shopping mall. 2nd battn KOYLI  were there in 1905.

 

Thank you. I have the Census that covers the residential area of Penistone Road, however no Barracks are recorded under this section: Yorkshire/Sheffiled/Hillborough/Enumeration District 2

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26 minutes ago, jonbem said:

 

Jon. Thank you. I have Googled. I fear I have not been clear enough, which is my error.

 

I now know thanks to the Northumberkand Fsuiliers that the Barracks was definitely in Hillsborough, and thanks to Ellis 1918 tthe Barracks was definitely off Penistone Rd (see Post #8). So we know where it was exactly. What I cant do is find it in the 1911 Census. Houses on Penistone Rd are enumerated in ED No. 2 of the Sheffield, Hillsborough Census of 1911. It runs to over 600 pages. None show the barracks, meaning that Hillsborough Barracks, Penistone Rd must be in a different part of the Census. A needle in a large haystack.  There are 12 other Enumeration Districts within Hills borough.  

 

I have a similar challenge with around a doen other barracks. MG

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To clarify:

 

I am trying to locate the regular infantry battalions in the 1911 Census. In theory there should be 60 battalions in England alone (including the Channel Islands). 

 

So far I have only located 47 battalions. I know the names of the towns that the barracks were located. I dont know in all cases which district or sub-district of the town. Even with this information I can not locate some of the barracks in the 1911 Census.

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ah I see now.

Those census forms can be a great source of confusion with dodgy spelling and transcripts.

Could I suggest that if you know of a soldier who served there then search his name and then the form may note the district

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27 minutes ago, spof said:

 

Martin

 

FWIW, the National Library of Scotland has put the Hart's 1911 Annual Army List on archive.org.

 

Glen

 Thank you. I have Monthly lists only going back to Jan 1913 on the same website. Didnt think of these, so thank you for pointing this out. Very useful. It should at least confirm which battalions were in these elusive barracks. A step forward. MG

 

27 minutes ago, jonbem said:

ah I see now.

Those census forms can be a great source of confusion with dodgy spelling and transcripts.

Could I suggest that if you know of a soldier who served there then search his name and then the form may note the district

 

In the case of Sheffield, if the Northumberland Fsuiliers had been there a search by residence 'Sheffield' and birth place 'Northumberland' or 'Durham' might have thrown  up about 400-500 men... however the Census does not do this. I have also tried with key Officers' names without success. 

 

The 1911 Army list does show the Northumberland Fusiliers in Sheffield, so it remains a mystery.  It may simply be a case that the barracks is not listed under Hillsborough. Half of the Aldershot garrison in Hampshire is listed under Surrey for example. MG

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The 1911 Army list does show the Northumberland Fusiliers in Sheffield, so it remains a mystery.  It may simply be a case that the barracks is not listed under Hillsborough. Half of the Aldershot garrison in Hampshire is listed under Surrey for example. MG

I've been looking but so far can't see anything either.

 

Just from a random google search - some other people seem to have located but they've not given any links

Quote

There is a George Johnson born Macclesfield at the Hillsborough Barracks with the 2nd?  Northumberland Fusiliers in the 1911 census.
It is a bit of a mystery, why someone from Macclesfield would join the Northumberland Fusiliers.

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=713848.9

 

Craig

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Martin

 

This doesn't answer your Sheffield problem but......

 

"England, York     1"

 

2nd Bn. Yorkshire Regiment (or some of it at least) along with some Royal Scots Greys was at Strensall Camp, Strensall, York.

 

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/2352/rg14_28383_0085_34/39365610?backurl=%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fgst%3d-6&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnSearchResults#?imageId=rg14_28383_0053_34

 

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Found them.... Under 

 

Yorkshire West Riding, Eccleshall, Eccleshall North, ED 20 despite the fact that the cover page clearly shows Hillsborough Barracks, Sheffield. Googling Eccleshall and Hillsborough puts them some distance apart. I have no idea why the barracks should be listed this way in the Census and it illustrates perfectly the challenge. 

 

The key to unlocking this one was the Adjutant: Levenson

 

 

 

 

QGIS NF 1911 Census.jpg

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16 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

Found the 2nd Northumberland Fusiliers on Find My Past - http://search.findmypast.co.uk/record/browse?id=gbc%2f1911%2frg14%2f27720%2f0030

 

Strangely though it doesn't start with the officers so maybe part has been indexed wrongly.

 

Capture.JPG

 

Craig

 Our posts crossed. 

 

Still scratching my head as to why Hillsborough Barracks was categorised in a parish miles away. 

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25 minutes ago, QGE said:

 Our posts crossed. 

 

Still scratching my head as to why Hillsborough Barracks was categorised in a parish miles away. 

 

If you look on the vision of Britain site it adds some notes that were displayed with the tabulated census date - one note says " Registration Districts are co-extensive with Poor Law Unions or Parishes of the same names with the exception of the Registration Districts of [details depend on Division]. "

 

When you look at some old maps the Ecclesall-Bierlow district comes very close to where Hillsbrough is, I suspect a finer detail map would show that it was in that area or if not placed within that area to balance the work load. Hillsbrough must be about where there's a little hook in the district just above Sheffield.

Capture.JPG

 

Craig

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I did a census enumerator job in the late 90's. It was a trial of new forms before the introduction on the 2001 census.

Each area in town was divided into approximately the same number of dwellings. However, in the area I did there were a large  number that had been turned into flats.

Consequently I received enhanced fee for my area, and I believe the areas were adjusted for the actual census in 2001,to enableclarity

 

regards

Jon

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This link shows the barracks in part of Nether Hallam (11 o'clock from the City) and not particularly close to Eccleshall Bierlow boundary. Dated 1858

 

shef1832sm.jpg

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4 hours ago, QGE said:

 Mark

 I don't have the Apr 1911 Army List. The nearest I have is Jan 1913 which shows the 1st Bn Middlesex Regt in Aden, some distance from Woolwich......

MG

 

2 hours ago, spof said:

Martin

FWIW, the National Library of Scotland has put the Hart's 1911 Annual Army List on archive.org.

Glen

 

2 hours ago, QGE said:

 Thank you. I have Monthly lists only going back to Jan 1913 on the same website. Didnt think of these, so thank you for pointing this out. Very useful. It should at least confirm which battalions were in these elusive barracks. A step forward. MG

 

Sincere apologies Martin - I just assumed you were aware of the Army Lists online at the NLS and on archive.org.  I'm in there several times most days, so I took it for granted.

 

One of the rare times I omit to cite my references and it's the one time the reader actually needed it :(

 

Mark

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24 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

 

 

 

Sincere apologies Martin - I just assumed you were aware of the Army Lists online at the NLS and on archive.org.  I'm in there several times most days, so I took it for granted.

 

One of the rare times I omit to cite my references and it's the one time the reader actually needed it :(

 

Mark

 

Oddly I had trawled the website before, but my interest has never drifted earlier than 1914 so I was only vaguely aware of the earlier years. Then I saw the Monthly lists staring in Jan 1913 and assumed that there were no earlier monthly lists. The Harts volumes are useful but take an annual snapshot, so battalions moving after the initial date are difficult to trace...so I used the 1911 and 1912 editions. Still cant find any regular battalion in Woolwich though...

 

Separately I have located the battalions in

 

Gravesend

Sheffield

Chatham

 

 

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