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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

RFA Drivers service numbers


paul leeson

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Hi.  Were the drivers in the RFA treated as their own corps and have their own series of service numbers, or were they just numbered along with the rest of the RFA.

Thank you in advance.

Paul.

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Thank you Alan.

Do you happen to know if there was a period of time early in the war, when the RFA recycled earlier 4 digit service numbers ?

I am looking at a driver with a 4 digit number who must have joined in late 1914 or early 1915.

Thank you.

 

Paul

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Hi Paul

 

I don't think I've heard of recycling early 4 digit numbers, I'm fairly sure I have come across RFA men who happen to have the same 4 digit number, though that's not very many. Ones with the same number don't appear to have occurred because an earlier recipient perhaps died and the number was recycled, merely they just happened to have the same number.

 

Alan

Edited by alantwo
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The Regular series had reached 99999 in late August 1914 and was restarted from 1 again. Otherwise, he was a Territorial which were using four figure numbers for each brigade by then.

 

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16 hours ago, alantwo said:

Hi Paul

 

I don't think I've heard of recycling early 4 digit numbers, I'm fairly sure I have come across RFA men who happen to have the same 4 digit number, though that's not very many. Ones with the same number don't appear to have occurred because an earlier recipient perhaps died and the number was recycled, merely they just happened to have the same number.

 

Alan

Thank you Alan

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13 hours ago, David Porter said:

The Regular series had reached 99999 in late August 1914 and was restarted from 1 again. Otherwise, he was a Territorial which were using four figure numbers for each brigade by then.

 

Thank you David.  The RFA is a very hard regiment to research !  The man I am looking into is Herbert Dunderdale RFA Dr 3697 [later in MGC 123128].  As he was the only Herbert Dunderdale in the war I hoped it would be a bit easier !!  I know from his MIC he went to France 23 Dec 1915.  He was a Lancashire man so I guess local TF brigades embarkation dates may be worth looking at.  Thanks again fro your help.  Paul

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14 hours ago, David Porter said:

The Regular series had reached 99999 in late August 1914 and was restarted from 1 again. Otherwise, he was a Territorial which were using four figure numbers for each brigade by then.

 

 

Paul

I hope you don't mind my asking David a question off the back of your post, but he has great expertise in this area. I did look up your man in the RFA but my main interest is the MEF in 1915/16 and his date of entry is a little late for that theatre and I didn't find him in my notes.

 

David

Do you know how many times the series went through to 99999 and was restarted? I have a number of RFA 4 digit number men with the same number, but one or the other always seems to have the prefix 'L'. Would this 'L' series have run along side the regular series or would it have been taken up after say one of the regular ones had finished? (Hope that makes sense). Very occasionally two men turn up with the same 4 digit number, without the 'L' , but in the MEF it seems to be an exception rather than the rule. I believe the 'L' indicated Local enlistment, but please correct me if not. At some point in time presumably, the numbers were allowed to run through the 100,000, when would this have occurred?

 

My thanks in advance.

 

Regards

Alan

 

 

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Not a problem Alan, thank you for looking through your notes.  Paul

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Hi Guys,

 

I have just come across this thread so hope you do not mind me asking........

 

I am still looking for my Grandfather, Arthur F Evans, "F" for Frederick. His MIC states his service number 83217 and was a Driver. He was definitely stationed at Woolwich, I assume with 4a reserve Batt and was sent to somewhere in France on 27/12/15. Any ideas or info going forward would be much appreciated.

 

Kindest Regards,

 

Philip

Edited by philipthespur
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5 hours ago, alantwo said:

Do you know how many times the series went through to 99999 and was restarted?

 

As far as the Great War is concerned, just the once around August 30, 1914. Prior to that it was June 1899.

From June 1908 - February 1913 there was also a separate series starting at 1 for the Royal Field Reserve Artillery (RFRA). Sometimes these men have a RFRA prefix.

 

5 hours ago, alantwo said:

Would this 'L' series have run along side the regular series or would it have been taken up after say one of the regular ones had finished?

 

It ran alongside the Regular series from February 1915 -  January 1916. These were localized enlistments for the artillery in 30th - 41st Divisions plus the reconstructed 16th Division. A 'W' series was also introduced for the Welsh Army Corps from January - November 1915. I have a strong suspicion that Herbert Dunderdale enlisted in the WAC. They also recruited in Lancashire and the 119th - 122nd Brigades with 38th DAC went to France just before Xmas 1915.

 

6 hours ago, paul leeson said:

I know from his MIC he went to France 23 Dec 1915.  He was a Lancashire man

 

See my answer about WAC above. Enlistment date around April 21, 1915.

 

5 hours ago, alantwo said:

At some point in time presumably, the numbers were allowed to run through the 100,000, when would this have occurred?

 

The decision was taken sometime prior to that number being issued on April 24, 1915.

Edited by David Porter
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David,

Many thanks.  I will follow that line of investigation as the dates are a very good match.  Do you know if the 'W' prefix was dropped when the WAC concept had to be dropped and the 38th Div was created from the subsequent reorganization?

Thank you again.

Paul

 

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35 minutes ago, paul leeson said:

Do you know if the 'W' prefix was dropped

 

It is certainly missing off some documentation but was not dropped. The main 1914-15 rolls for the RFA usually have the ''W' prefix if it is applicable. Your man went to the MGC so it got overlooked.

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23 hours ago, philipthespur said:

Hi Guys,

 

I have just come across this thread so hope you do not mind me asking........

 

I am still looking for my Grandfather, Arthur F Evans, "F" for Frederick. His MIC states his service number 83217 and was a Driver. He was definitely stationed at Woolwich, I assume with 4a reserve Batt and was sent to somewhere in France on 27/12/15. Any ideas or info going forward would be much appreciated.

 

Kindest Regards,

 

Philip

Sorry I cannot help - but good luck and stick at it, it is amazing what can turn up.

Paul

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1 hour ago, David Porter said:

 

It is certainly missing off some documentation but was not dropped. The main 1914-15 rolls for the RFA usually have the ''W' prefix if it is applicable. Your man went to the MGC so it got overlooked.

Thank you again. Paul

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On ‎26‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 15:33, David Porter said:

 

As far as the Great War is concerned, just the once around August 30, 1914. Prior to that it was June 1899.

From June 1908 - February 1913 there was also a separate series starting at 1 for the Royal Field Reserve Artillery (RFRA). Sometimes these men have a RFRA prefix.

 

 

It ran alongside the Regular series from February 1915 -  January 1916. These were localized enlistments for the artillery in 30th - 41st Divisions plus the reconstructed 16th Division. A 'W' series was also introduced for the Welsh Army Corps from January - November 1915. I have a strong suspicion that Herbert Dunderdale enlisted in the WAC. They also recruited in Lancashire and the 119th - 122nd Brigades with 38th DAC went to France just before Xmas 1915.

 

 

See my answer about WAC above. Enlistment date around April 21, 1915.

 

 

The decision was taken sometime prior to that number being issued on April 24, 1915.

 

David

 

Many thanks for taking the time to reply, very helpful. I have seen a number of RFRA prefixes without quite realising the significance.

 

My Grandfather's enlisted in the RFA 2nd September 1914 and has a low number (11**) which must be explained by the numbers returning to 1 after 30th August 1914. Never realised that.

 

It seems as if we could have, at least the potential for, four RFA men in 1915 having the same number, is that right?. The original series, a second series starting from 1, the 'L' series and a 'W' series, the latter I have yet to come across.

 

My thanks again.

 

Regards

Alan

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Alan/David,

You may be interested in the attached, I was looking up Fred Gilham and then noticed the duplicate numbers above him.

Regards 

Paul

41629_636897_10725-00039.jpg

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All. 

I should add Fred was a pre-war regular.  He joined up in 1906 and was in India with 14 Bty on the 1911 census.  As part of the Indian 7th [Meerut] Division he landed in France 14 Oct 1914 and was in 4th Bde RFA.

Paul

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