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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Change of regiment / unit


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Apologies if this is a basic question, I'm quite new to this.

I'm researching an elderly neighbour's father and he appears to have changed regiment during the war.  He was born in 1899 so likely joined around 1917 (name Archibald Walter Andrews).

He originally joined the Somerset Light Infantry but then appears to be recorded as both the 6th and 11th Cheshire regiment - is there any well known reason for this?  I have realised that some units changed en masse during the war but the Somerset Light Infantry was still in existence long afterwards.

Where should I be looking?


Edited by Guest
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Can I suggest you have a look at the parent site, the Long Long Trail, link top right for researching a soldier.


Men who were conscripted or mobilised in 1917 generally reported to the local Regimental Depot and after a couple of days posted to a unit of the Training Reserve, and before going overseas were posted to a Reserve Battalion of an associated Regiment.  From there they were posted to an active service unit overseas.  However when they arrived at the Infantry Base Depot (IBD) in theatre these drafts were often broken up and men simply posted where needed. Sometimes the Medal Rolls show the original unit.


if sick or wounded and taken off the strength of an active service Battalion when they returned, through the IBD often described as a ‘melting pot’ they were sent where they were needed.  Men were posted to a Battalion, Regimental affiliations were often ignored at the IBD, often causing resentment amongst returning soldiers.


As far as the Cheshire Regiment was concerned the remaining cadre of the  11th Battalion was absorbed by the 6th Battalion in June 1918.  It therefore seems likely he was in the 11th Battalion first. 



Close Number sampling in the online records can often reveal patterns of movement. 72739 Boon was also in the SLI he was compulsorily transferred to a regular Battalion of the SLI  from a home service cyclist Battalion on 12/4/1918, posted to the BEF following the losses from the German Spring Offensive, and on the 14/4/1918 at the IBD at Etaples posted to the 11th Cheshire’s,  probably the same draft as Andrews.  More examples may confirm but he did not serve in the field with the SLI.



Edited by kenf48
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