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mlschofield

Why Can't I Find a "Long Service" Number

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mlschofield

I am researching 2nd Lt Norman Wood of the 1/8 Battalion Manchester Regiment, but cannot find any "Long Number" or :Service Number in any of his records.  I know from the London Gazette entry that he was commissioned on 27th June 1917.  I have the entries for his subsequent admission to a CCS, subsequent boarding of No 32 Hospital Train, admission and discharge to Millbank hospital, admission and discharge into Craiglockhart hospital, but none of those entries show a Service Number.  I have the details of his Medal Card and number for his SWB, but again no Service Number is given.

 

I have searched WO338 and 339 but cannot find any entries for Norman Wood.

 

Is there anywhere else that I could search?

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Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)

Read the bottom of this link which gives you an explanation. The “Long Number”. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14542

was a registry number which identified the relevant file. All files relating to an officer were held by the central registry at the War Office. The P or Personal Number only started to come into use from 1922 onwards.  

 

TR

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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clk

Hi,

 

The index to long numbers for the surname Wood is part of this free download. NB I know that for some reason not all officers are listed - for example, at least some RAMC and TF officers don't appear. In the column which notes a unit you often see it in the format of X/Y, which stands for X Battalion/Y Regiment of Foot - archaic terminology was still being used. I appreciate that Norman was discharged sick before the end of the war, but if he subsequently served in WW2 in some capacity, the MoD may hold what's left of his service file. They published an index of files in this format...

 

image.png.ecfe54a20a37a5bff60e11c91c816f36.png

 

Do any of the DoBs match? Failing that, might it be worth contacting the National Archives with the details that you have, to see if they can locate his file within their holding? It might also be worth posting on the Manchester Regiment Forum - link.

 

Regards

Chris

 

 

 

 

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keithmroberts

The other reality is that some officers files were weeded down to nothing and disposed of, and a few might even have been lost.  On the other hand when I went to Kew for the first time  to track a relative, I knew little about him, and ended up ordering I think it was 10 or 11 files that had the right firstname or initial.  His was the next to last that I opened; but at least it had survived and did give me some information about his service, and his injuries. 

 

I htink I'm a little bit smarter these days, but I would still I reckon,  have had to order a few files out of the batch to be sure that I had my man.

 

 

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Chris_Baker
Posted (edited)

As Norman was commissioned as an officer of the Territorial Force he will not appear in WO339 or its index WO338. They include only officers of the regular army or Special Reserve. His service record, assuming it exists and that he did not serve to 1923 or beyond, would normally be in WO374.

 

 

Edited by Chris_Baker

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mlschofield

Thank you to all the above for your helpful responses.  I did have a lengthy "live-chat" with TNA, who pointed me at all the above references other than WO374 . So thats where I shall now try.

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mlschofield

Just completed a search of WO374 and he doesn't appear there either.  I guess that's the end of the trail!

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rolt968

One very, very, very small hope; but unfortunately it would involve a lot of work and there would probably still not be anything.

A couple of years ago at TNA I ordered the file for an officer I was researching and found that the folder contained the files for two officers of the same name who served in the same regiment. I have wondered how long the two files had been treated as one. Certainly TNA indexed them as one.

RM

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mlschofield

Thank you RM . In hindsight, I think that I may have already found all that I am going to find.  I have the London Gazette entry for his commissioning, copies of the 1/8 Manchester War Diary giving the date of his joining "C" company at the front, his admission and discharge from the CCS, the War Diary of 32AT showing his journey from the CCS to Boulogne, admission and discharge at Millbank and similarly at Craiglockhart.  I would have been interested to see his Medical records and I think that's about all that remains to be found, if they exist at all.  Once again, my thanks to everyone for their guidance and advice.

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keithmroberts

Quite a number of surviving officers files at Kew contain medical boarding records, but if he was regarded as recovered fully there may have been a complete weed of his files. If you are a WFA member it might be worth checking the pension records  once they have all been loaded. I presume they include officers pensions, although I have not had time to get into them yet.

 

Keith

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