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  • 2 months later...

I have taken the time to perform a bit more analysis on the existing data. Of the men on the 1914 Star medal roll, 95 were taken prisoner and 403 were to die before the end of the year.



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Here is the underlying data:






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I have also compiled some more granular data. I have recorded every day of active service for every casualty from the 1914 Star roll.

As at 13 August 1914, when the 1st Battalion landed in France, 227 of these men were to die in 1914 (out of the 403 fatalities), and 56 of these men were to be taken prisoner in 1914 (out of the 95 prisoners).

The last prisoner was captured on 1 December 1914. Below are the monthly subsections from the larger graph that I created in Tableau Public. For October, I kept the November stub, as it shows how bad the casualties were at Langemarck on 31 October 1914.








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Here are the underlying figures:











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To conclude, I have put together the reinforcements, using the entry to theatre of war from the roll/MIC. To this has been added the fatalities and POWs. 

The elephant in the room, as far as data content is concerned, is figures on men who were wounded, and left the battalion to be attended to in a field hospital or similar. Where service records have survived this could be teased out, but would be a laborious manual task, and you never quite know what has survived in a service record.

Some more subsections from an area chart in Tableau Public once more:






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  • 2 weeks later...

When I performed the research on the "recruits" who enlisted in 1914, and found themselves in France prior to 22 November, I was surprised at the way in which the demographic for these men seemed to be far higher than for what I would have considered the average to be for the battalion as a whole.


I have been able to compile the following three datasets, which I have consolidated, for the purposes of using a table and chart to allow comparison. These sets are:

1911_1st Bn comprising the men of the 1st Battalion on the 1911 Census. This gives a complete dataset, in terms of the ages of the men. This is based on the information given at attestation, so the actual ages based on birth date will be younger.

1914enlist is the details of the men on the 1914 Star roll who enlisted in 1914. Unfortunately, I do not have the ages of 98 of the 361 men in this population. There will be instances where an age based upon birth is detected as being lower than the age as declared at enlistment. I have gone for the "actual" age rather than the declared, if a difference between the two has been detected.


From1907 records those men on the roll who enlisted from 1907 onwards for seven years of service, and their age as at the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914 is recorded. As per the above, I do not have the ages of 127 of the 375 men in this population.




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The charted information from the 1911_1st Bn dataset is what you would expect. As at the time of the Census, the largest chunk is made up of people serving their seven years, and the second largest comprising those men serving their seven + five with the colours, and "lifers" featuring on the chart thereafter.

It can be seen that of those men who enlisted in 1914, many were time-served soldiers, frequently with experience in South Africa, China or similar. 


Before looking at the last dataset, there are some points already raised in the thread that are worth considering.

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1st Bn South Wales Borderers. The History of the South Wales Borderers records 1,038 Reservists reported for duty on mobilisation of which only 6 proved to be medically unfit and that 631 were sent to Bordon to make up the 1st Battalion including the 10% "first reinforcements". When the Bn went overseas on 12th August it departed with 26 Officers, 1 Warrant officer, 49 Sergeants and 911 men [26 Officers and 961 ORs]. The 10% Reinforcements sailed a week later. Assuming 10% Reinforcements equated to 96 ORs, this would imply that 535 of the ORs in the 1st Bn SWB were reservists, or something in the region of 55.7%.




One of the issues that has gnawed away at me when analysing these rolls is the number of 'missing' men. If one sorts all the pre-war enlistments on the rolls by Army Number, the chronological sequence is typically riddled with gaps. For example you have 10001  and 10004 but not 10002 and 10003 ...I have been unable to find any source that recorded the 'wastage' during service or the 'wastage' of the Reservists in the pre-war years. It is an interesting exercise to list all the numbers that were issued and then populate the spreadsheet with the Star data etc...it helps illustrate the extent of the gaps. 

When one compares regiments we see quite large differences in numbers recruited over any defined period as well as large differences in the number of Army Reservists who answered the call in Aug 1914. 



Both of these comments were sourced and published by ********. What is interesting is that if you compare the From_1907 enlistments and transfers dataset to that of the 1911_1stBn dataset, the battalion does appear to be considerably under-recruited, and dependent upon the reserve element to make up the numbers in 1914.


There are 761 men in the 1911_1stBn dataset.

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Taken from Martin's original thread; link on the first page of this thread



Posted 10 December , 2013 

I thought that I would give an update on my quest to find out how many Reservists were required to mobilise the Line Infantry....


The National Archives has some extremely useful data showing each battalion's strength on the eve of the Great War.The 74 overseas based battalions were on average 2 men above War establishment but the Home based battalions were on average 315 men short. Clearly, for reasons already highlighted both types of battalions needed more that these numbers as unfit and under-aged men were weeded out. Additionally the initial drafts would also include sufficient men for the first reinforcement draft which was typically one Officer and 93 ORs.


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  • 6 months later...

Here is a link to a map plot of the birth places of men of the South Wales Borderers according to the 1911 Census. I do not know the size of the population. It makes for an interesting data visualisation. It will be a few months before I source any further details on the SWB.

In due course I would like to be performing similar geographic analysis, but I do not envisage that happening for a while yet.

Edit: Link inserted to a snapshot of the 57th post in the thread, as authored by the late Martin Gillott. That forum is no longer in existence, which is why the link originally posted no longer functions.

The late Martin Gillott is quoted twice in the post to this thread made on 27 October 2019 at 0159hrs, two posts prior to this one.

Edited by GrenPen
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Blimey :wacko:

now I research lots of SWB,the method I use, bit like pin  the tail on the donkey blind folded,OH and ask lots of questions on the forum,oh and pray a lot :whistle:

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  • 3 months later...

Kindly keep your irreverent comments to the "skindles" pages, and do not post to this thread if you are not able to add any knowledge to this topic. 


I came across the following, but I did not make a point of recording the source



Casualty Reports:

The following wounded non-commissioned officers and men of the South Wales Borderers, whose casualties have not been given in other lists, were admitted to hospital on the dates named :


2nd Eastern Hospital, Brighton (September 26th), 6863 Lance-corporal H. Meyrick, 8415 Private H. Plaster


Chatham Military Hospital (September 25th), 9346 Private A. Key, 9361 Private W. B. Lewis


4th Southern Hospital, Plymouth (Sept. 26th), 7816 Private L. Brooker, 9392 Drummer E. Connery, 8877 Private W. Dallon, 8203 Priyate R. Davies, 7311 Private R. Driscoll, 8413 Private H Fowler, 7903 Private D Jenkins 8473 Drummer W Jenkins, 8341 Private G. Jones, 8777 Lance-corporal J Keefe, 8475 Sergeant W; A. Williams


Military Hospital, Colchester 8745 F. Bartlett, 7359 Private S. Robson, 9447 H J Roullier


1st Eastern Hospital, Cambridge (Sept. 23rd), 7411 Lance-corporal A. Law, 9212 Private A. Payne


2nd Western Hospital, Manchester, 11066 Private C. F. Martin Connaught Hospital, Aldershot (September 25th), 7945 Private F. Murch, 11129 Private H. Griffiths


2nd London Hospital, Denmark Hill, 16289 Corporal T. Porter, 8570 Private G. Sims


American Women's Hospital, Paignton (September 27th), 7699 Private G. E. Coggins, 10975 Private H. L. Cole


1st Scottish Hospital, Aberdeen (September 27th), 9381 Private H. J. Fitzpatrick, 9060 Private A. Meaden;


2nd Southern Hospital, Bristol (September 23rd), 7413 Private T. Allen, 6472 Private H. Hardy, 9423 Private F. Jarvis, 7006 Private H. J. Stickler, 8962 Private C. Watford


Leeds Hospital (September 30th), 8103 Private A. Dadley, 8222


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2 hours ago, GrenPen said:

Kindly keep your irreverent comments to the "skindles" pages, and do not post to this thread if you are not able to add any knowledge to this topic.


You mistake amazement for 'irreverence' and your prowess at data presentation and analysis does not entitle you to high-handedly dismiss another member who is a well-respected researcher in his own (different) way.  

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Your comment is acknowledged.


I was of the opinion that the comment did not add knowledge to the topic, and considered it to be irreverent. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Not much to report, in terms of website additions, other than the listing of men in scope who have an entry in MH 106. The source was the Discovery catalogue.

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